Long Times to Boil

Hey guys. Today I brewed my first home brew ever. It was a 5 gal. Caribou Slobber kit made with the essential starter kit from NB. To my knowledge, everything went well. There is only one thing that I was worried about throughout the whole process. It took FOREVER for my pot to come to a boil. The instructions said to steep the grains for 20 minutes or until it reached 170 degrees. I would check about every 5 minutes and my boil only got to around 140 degrees at the 20 minute mark. So I took them out. Not only that, but my water took probably another 20 minutes or maybe more to boil. It felt as if the bottom of the pot was boiling, but the top showed very small bubbles.

I finally got the whole pot to boil, but then I added the extract. Removed the pot from the heat and added it. Again, another 15-20 minutes for it to start boiling again. It started visibly boiling on top around 115 degrees but it really never got any hotter than that. I always thought that water boiled at 120 degrees, but I could be wrong there. Do you guys think this could potentially be a problem?

What elevation do you live at. At sea level water boils at 212°F. For every additional 500 feet in elevation boil temperature decreases by approximately 1°F.

Having the lid on the kettle when you start heating will save time. I boil with the lid partially on even after adding the extract. Takes less power and reduces the chances of scorching. I do wipe off the heavy condensation on the underside of the lid as the boils goes on to reduce the risk of DMS. Only noticed DMS once when using all Pilsen malts.

20 minutes steeping is sufficient to extract color and flavor. Longer is okay as long as the temp doesn’t exceed 170°F. At that temp tannins can be extracted from the grain hulls. Tannins can also be extracted at a lower temperature in very high pH water. I usually remove the grains at 165°F.

Time to get a new stove. Or better yet, a turkey fryer kettle/propane burner combo and do the boil outside. Check Bass Proshop, Cabelas, Home Depot, Lowes, or Wally world.

Ehh, this is a new hobby of mine. I don’t think I’ll be buying a new stove solely for beer brewing. I make look for a propane burner, but that is not something I am desperately after. I am not far above sea level here in Kentucky, on the Ohio River. So probably 212-215 is about right. I can tell you that I didn’t have the lid on during the boil at all. The video from Northern Brewer didn’t really show that happening until the cooling bath. I tried to follow their directions verbatim. Lol

So my main question was if that long of time to boil would affect my beer?

It won’t affect the beer, will just take you longer. I would look for a cheap burner. Better yet, pay attention here as they often offer 20% off any item. I think there is one this weekend. You could check with customer service.

I too will cover my BK until it gets close to boiling to speed the process up. As @flars said, be careful with condensation dripping back in as DMS could then be a problem.

are you doing a full boil (5 to 6 gallons) or a partial boil? I usually boil about 4 gallons at a time and it does take a while to bring to a boil.You can start with as little at 2.5 - 3 gallons and top off. Also, I dont turn the heat off when I add the extract, I usually have someone continually stir the wort as I add at a slow rate that way it doesnt take long for the boil to resume.

get a good burner it helps to get the water fast on boil temp water temp should be at 220 f thats boil temp. they way i do my boil start with five gal water around three pm it takes about 45 mins to get the water on the right temp meanwhile do steep the grains on the stove use one gal water add them once temp are the same cooking pot and grain pot

than proceed with brewing plan

but hahaa had the same thing with first beer i did brew burner way to small took forever to get the dme back to the right temp same day did buy bigger burner and went well

Turkey fryer 7G kettle and propane burner at Bass Pro shops was $75 a couple years ago. Keep an eye open for sales.

Of course I live in southern Louisiana, so burners and cookers are EVERY WHERE. I bought a turkey fryer pot kit from Academy for 40ish Bucks it’s an 8 gal pot. Also they have relatively inexpensive burners there too… My last boil I did in my 2o gal crawfish keg (academy) worked great! I’ve never tried it on stove top… I think my wife would kill me… There are many options out there that don’t cost an arm and leg for extract Brewers!!

I did a partial boil. I will look for a burner to see what deals I can find. Thanks for the suggestions guys.

Even with a partial boil it took that long to boil? Small stove?

If you plan on moving to full boil, All Grain, or bigger sizes a burner is appropriate.