The First Full Volume Boil

Well, it’s done and in the chiller to ferment. I made a brown ale and pretty much had to re-do the entire recipe because the extra volume messes with hop utilization, steeping, etc. So it’s a pretty much new beer. 7.25 pounds light extract, 1 pound 90L crystal, .2 pounds chocolate malt. Hops are an ounce of 8.9% Amarillo and an ounce of 3.4% Willamette.

I also tried out a new method of cooling the wort. I’ve got an immersion chiller, basically a big copper coil, already, so I picked up a pond pump, some tubing and adapters to connect it to the chiller, and filled a large cooler with ice and water and then used the pump to recirculate that ice water through the coils. It worked remarkably well, bringing the six plus gallons of wort from boiling to below 80 in about 15 minutes.

Some observations, in no particular order.

1. Trying to maintain a boil on a windy back patio is tougher than it sounds.

2. Having a kettle with a spigot is VERY handy for filling a carboy.

3. Having a kettle with a built-in thermometer is also VERY handy.

4. Maintaining steeping temperature is not easy. Good thing I’m going to all-grain soon…

5. Cleanup is a lot easier outside.

I think the next one will be done in the garage, but I’m going to have to make a support structure for all of the components so that I’m not doing so much lifting and bending over.