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Full vs. Partial Wort Boil

Partial Volume Boil - Boiling a concentrated wort and diluting with water after the boil to reach full volume.
Pros -
  • Boils can easily be done on a stove top
  • Can be done in 3-4 gallon kettle
  • Reduces the amount of time needed to bring to a boil
  • Wort chilling times reduced with less volume
  Cons -
  • Concentrated wort reduces hop extraction efficiency, more hops are needed to reach bitterness levels of full wort boil (approx. 10-25%)
  • Boil overs can be more difficult to clean up
  • Increased wort darkening occurs in concentrated wort boils
  • All grain brewing requires a full wort boil
 Full Volume Boil - Starting with 6 or more gallons and boiling down to a 5 gallon batch size
Pros -
  • Increased hop utilization over partial volume boil
  • less wort darkening
  • Ability to brew all grain batches
  Cons -
  • Can be difficult to boil 5+ gallons on stove
  • Requires 7.5+ gallon kettle
  • May require alternative heat source
  • Additional chill time or use of wort chiller needed
  • Increased time to bring to a boil