First All Grain Batch - estimating starting boil size

I am not really sure of what my boil off rate is, I have a new 10 gallon kettle (SS Brewtech) and will try an all grain Dead Ringer IPA sometime in the next few weeks. I have been playing around with the trial version of BeerSmith and it estimates that if I want to end up with a 6 gallon batch to bottle, then my starting boil volume should be approx 8.29 gal. does that sound reasonable ?

If that is reasonable then the big question is, would it be possible to pull this off in my 10 gallon kettle? I know there is a little head room above the 10 gallon mark, I just don’t want to set myself up for a disaster during the boil. I guess I could stick with the 5 gallon batch size but the beer tends to go real quick around here and I was hoping to get a bit more out of the batch (scaling up the recipe on Beersmith) .

Thank you


Your fermenter has the potential room also? You can do the boil, just keep an eye on it as you normally would when you add the hops… I use to keep a good spray bottle with cold water to spray it when the foam monster started lurking… It did help, and your arm will get a work out! You could add just before it starts to boil also then carefully sneak up to the temp… You’ll be good after that. Sneezles61

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We did a 13.7 gallon boil in a 15.5 gallon Megapot the other night. One teeny boil over on the first hop addition (luckily we were in the garage) but probably could’ve controlled it if we’d have been paying closer attention and had the spray.

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That sounds like a lot to boil off. I would start with less and just top off for your end volume if need be. If you don’t boil off all the liquid your FG will be off and like @sneezles61 said you may not get it all in your fermenter

Do a test boil with water in the kettle to ESTIMATE your boil-off rate.

Thank you for all the info. Good points about the fermentor…I have the 6.5 gal bubbler. Maybe not enough head room in that? I thought I could hook up a big fat blow off tube to that and then after fermenting transfer to a 6 gal carboy for the secondary. Maybe I should scale back to 5.5 gal. Or start making two 5 gallon batches at a time.

Brew more frequently or do double batches. You don’t need anymore equipment just don’t secondary

Well, I think doing a test to see how much you actually boil off like @old_dawg suggests is a good start. One thing the guys here have been super adamant about is temperature control not only for proper fermentation but for a controlled fermentation so you don’t get the big blowoff and don’t need a ton of headspace. Even so 6 gallons in a 6.5 gallon vessel may be a little ambitious. You could always split off a gallon and ferment it separately, Heck, play with the dry hop for fun on the split! :sunglasses:

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