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Going to a Full Boil PDF Print E-mail
Learn - Tips & Tricks
Written by Mark Emiley   
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 20:10

It is that time of the year right after Thanksgiving where stores are looking to clear out their turkey fryers.  This is the perfect time to upgrade your extract brewery to a full boil and move your brewing outside (or grab another burner for your all-grain system).  I have seen a turkey fryer at Joe's for $20 and last year I got one for $10 with an 8 gallon pot. 

Why should you upgrade to a full-boil?  For starters, it reduces that syrupy, carmelized "extracty" flavor in your beer.  (Read September's Tip of the Month).  It also promotes better hop extraction by boiling in a lower concentration and reduces darkening Malliard reactions by not being in as concentrated of an environment.  It makes sure that all of your wort has been thoroughly sterilized (as compared to mixing in with tap water).  Overall, it essentially allows better and more consistent wort production.  Additionally, if your spouse hates the smell of brewing, that will no longer be a problem.  Plus, if you boil outside, clean up from a boilover is much easier.

There is one more catch: you will need to get a wort chiller to bring your beer down to pitching temperature.  For the most basic chiller, you can easily make an immersion wort chiller by wrapping copper tubing around a soda keg for about $30-$40 with fittings and hose.  We did this at a meeting in 2005 but you can find more information on how to do this on your own in the book Brew Ware.  Otherwise, you can pick up a chiller at your local store or ask for one for the holidays.  These are both very worthwhile investments.  Rapid chilling helps protein coagulation (cold break), reduces post-boil DMS production, and gets your wort ready as fast as possible for pitching your yeast (reducing the chance of contamination).

Many of the turkey fryers come with an aluminum pot.  While stainless steel is great, aluminum works just fine (actually better heat transfer).  The one worry that everyone has is about aluminum's contribution to Alzheimers.  While we could debate the validity of the claims, the easiest way to circumvent this is to simply boil water in the pot before its first use.  This passivates the surface preventing the chance of aluminum entering the acidic wort. 

So, if you are a frugal brewer, run out to your local outdoorsy store (or even places like Target) and grab a nice burner and 7+ gallon pot.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 July 2008 21:57
 
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