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Full Boils for NB 5 Gallon Extract Kits

I have been brewing from extract for years and always have followed the standard 2-2.5 gallon boils then adding to 3 gallons cold water in primary. I am making the transition to all grain brewing and now have a propane burner and larger kettle. I also have a few more NB extract kits lying around the house and was thinking about trying to do these as full boils. Are there any modifications that need to be made to a standard NB extract kit recipe/instructions if you wanted to do a full boil? I am guessing that everything is formulated for a 2-2.5 gallon boil so wasn’t sure what adjustments if any I would need to make.

I believe you would need to decrease the amount of hops to adjust for increased hop utilization in a lower gravity wort. This, of course, depends on the beer style and your taste preferences. You may not mind, for example, if an IPA ends up being more bitter than planned.

I agree that hop utilization is the only thing you need to worry about. This is probably slight enough that it’s not worth trying to fix, unless it’s a pretty low IBU beer (like under 20).

If you have steeping grains, only use 2-3 gallons for the steep. When I used all 5+ the beer came out bitter and tannic

As an aside, you can save time and money with a short boil. Except for hop utilization, you don’t have to do a full hour boil with extract + steeped grains. I have done 15 min full-volume extract boils and had good outcomes and lighter colored beer to boot.

If you have a long-boil-time hop for bittering, or a complex hopping schedule, you may still want to go with a long boil. A partial-or-full mash will need the long boil too.

I’ve wondered about the hop additions myself. You could go ahead and compare the all grain kit to the extract kit and see if they change anything for the recipes. I kind of doubt they do, but maybe.

Other than that, you mentioned your going all grain and have the pot so just to make sure I’m assuming you have the chiller too? Cooling five gallons is a whole different ball game.

NB kits are the same, extract vs all grain, hop-wise. I’ve been bittered out, so I reduce all my additions when doing a full boil by 10 or 15 minutes. +1 to not steeping grains in the full volume. I learned the hard way… multiple times til I knew what was going on.

John Palmer recommends less than 1 gallon per pound of grains when steeping.

I never adjusted anything with full boils when doing NB kits and I feel like they turned out fine.

Trick I do to speed things up when doing an extract kit it to steep the grains in a gallon of water in a stock pot on my stove while I heat the rest of the water (5 gallons) up on my propane burner outside. Saves some time in that you don’t have to occupy the big boil kettle with holding the steeping grains and waiting for the steeping time, easy to heat up 1 gallon to the correct temp in the kitchen and do the steep while running the propane burner full blast outside getting the bulk of water up towards boiling. Doing those steps in parallel ends up saving 30 minutes or so.

I just made the Shining Star Pale Ale kit last week with a full volume boil. I entered the recipe into BeerSmith and used the IBU calculations that it gave me for a 2.5 volume boil vs a full volume boil to determine how much to reduce the 60 min hop addition by. But since I didn’t want those hops to go to waste I just added them to the flame out addition.

I have noticed with other kits in the past that if I don’t reduce the 60 minute addition they definitely come out more bitter than they should.

[quote=“Flip”]I never adjusted anything with full boils when doing NB kits and I feel like they turned out fine.

Trick I do to speed things up when doing an extract kit it to steep the grains in a gallon of water in a stock pot on my stove while I heat the rest of the water (5 gallons) up on my propane burner outside. Saves some time in that you don’t have to occupy the big boil kettle with holding the steeping grains and waiting for the steeping time, easy to heat up 1 gallon to the correct temp in the kitchen and do the steep while running the propane burner full blast outside getting the bulk of water up towards boiling. Doing those steps in parallel ends up saving 30 minutes or so.[/quote]

BRILLIANT!

I’ve actually been thinking of getting a hot plate to warm some water to sit the extract bottles in to get it to pour faster. Combining these two should really shave off some time.

appreciate all the replies. I enjoy my beers on the bitter side so may not adjust the hop schedule all that much. one final question…what is the typical boil off rate for a 5 gallon batch? I have a cheaper SS kettle and typically will lose 1/2 to 3/4 gallon during a 60 minute boil on the stove if I start with 2.5 gallons. thinking I’ll probably want to boil about 6 - 6.5 gallons to end up with 5 at the end of the process.

Boil off varies a fair bit depending on equipment and weather but it seems 1 gallon per hour is a safe place to start.

I’d also not that by separating out the steeping grains to another pot on the stove is most of the way to doing a partial mash. Doesn’t add too much time if you get the mini mash going first.

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