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Controlling the boil off rate ? Suggestions

The boil off rate is one of my bigger variables these days. I missed my mark by about a quart on the last few batches. This equates to about 4 gravity points. The beer is fine but I am stickler for hitting the OG target. I adjust the burner to acheive a vigorous rolling boil but visually the appearance doesn’t change that much when you get to a certain point. Typically I boil off about 1.3 gal per hour. Right now I am thinking that when the boil looks about right, turn the gas pressure up.

Anyone have any recommended procedures ?

I check my volume half way through the boil and adjust boil time as needed. I’ll shorten the boil or add more time as needed. I do it at the 30 minute mark, so my late addition hops go in as planned. If my 60 minute addition ends up being a 50 or 70 minute addition, no big deal.

I think there are a few variables in play on boil off rates (temperature, humidity, size of boil kettle in terms of surface area, etc…). I tend to cover the kettle 75% or so to get up close to boil and then put the lid on with a little venting (say 85% covered) to allow the undesirables (SMM, etc.) to vent out. Then, if I am a little over on volume, I will extend the boil (I usually use FWH, so I am less concerned about hop boil times) or if a little low, I will add some water to top it up to the right amount. I typically go all grain, so my target OG is not always exactly spot on and I don’t sweat it.

There may be a surface area boil off spreadsheet out there, but I am not aware of one.


Boil longer or top it off

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