I’m new to homebrewing and am sticking to extract kits for the time being. My wife purchased me an 8 gallon pot with the valve and thermometer assemblies. Its too large to to do the 2.5 gallon initial boil but I should be able to view the correct temp if I boil using the 2 gallons of water added to the fermentor prior to adding the wort. Is this a problem and are there any real issues with doing a full boil. Thansk.
No problem. You’ll want the temp if you are steeping grains, so you can fill enough to submerge the temp probe, or just use another thermometer. There may be some minor differences in steeping in more water, but I don’t think you need to worry about it. Keep in mind that the water level will rise when you add a sack of steeping grains. Sounds like a great kettle, and it is enough to go all grain!
With a pot that big, you now have the ability to do full wort boils. Almost all the homebrew literature recommends stepping up to a full wort boil as one of the first improvements you should do to make better extract beer. Just put the full 5 gallons of water and extract in the kettle and do your boil that way.
Next issue, wort cooling! You will need to buy or make an immersion chiller in order to get 5 gallons of boiling water down to yeast pitching temperature. Remember in this hobby every step means more equipment.
When I brew extract kits, I always do a full boil. Account for grain absorbtion and boil-off, and you won’t have to water up to your 5G. mark in the fermenter.
And I’ve read that you’ll get better hop utilization with a lower gravity boil, as apposed to a high gravity wort concentrate. But on the flip side, when I started out my obsession all I had was a 5G. kettle and I never had a batch that I thought was undrinkable.
welcome to the “hobby”