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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * February 8, 2004 * How long do you boil? < Previous Next >

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Kevin Wingfield (63.172.1.2)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I was curious as to how long most people boil their wort. When I started off using kits, all the recipes instructions said to boil for 60 minutes. That's what I have been in the habit of doing since and have had pretty good results on most ocassions. I recently started a Boch and read that the ideal boiling time was 1.5 to 3 hours for a 5 gallon batch. I'm guessing this was called for in part due to the amount of extratct required for this style of beer. I'm also guessing this results in a darker beer.

I'm curious what benefits (if any) there are to extending the boil time. For instance, what difference would I see in the final product if I boiled for 1 hour oppossed to 3?
 

richard triplett (65.102.97.209)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I see no reason to boil an average brew for more than 60 minutes. Some lagers call for 90 minutes. You do get a bit more hop utilization, but ISTR that it becomes a moot point after 120 minutes or so.

That said, I have done a 4 hour boil before. They can be necessary if you need to boil off alot of water, in the case of Barley Wines and what not. My last batch of BW (Fall 2001) was 9 gallons of high gravity wort boiled down to 5 gallons of 1.130 gravity. It actually fermented down to 1.030 and it is just now becoming drinkable. Talk about rocket fuel. But I digress.

Don't worry about boiling more than 60-90 minutes unless you need to boil off water or just like wasting propane/NG/electricity.

Richard
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.46)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"For instance, what difference would I see in the final product if I boiled for 1 hour oppossed to 3?"

You'd have something left to ferment.
 

JOHN K. LEE (206.66.239.111)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've always read that there are no real benefits in boiling(vigorously) more than 60 min.
-J.K.L.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I boil for 10 minutes for the break to coagulate, then start my hop schedule, which typically runs for another hour.
 

Michael Boyd (66.81.215.149)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do like DC, only I start my hop sched after 20 mins. It's one of those things I've read about somewhere, and it made enough sense to do it.

Michael
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The answer of course is that it depends. Longer boil times concentrate and darken the wort as well as increase the caramelizing of sugars. Some styles (barley wines and Scottish ales, for example) benefit from longer boils, while others (especially lighter colored beers) do not.
 

Brandon Dachel (216.177.117.110)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 08:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> while others (especially lighter colored beers)
> do not.

The exception being lambics though which are typically boiled a long time (several hours).
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, January 16, 2004 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, lambics are almost an exception by definition to many "rules."
 

Bill R (198.81.26.14)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 07:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gentlemen, may I add my 2 cents worth. I make a red ale, not to strong, SG 1.050, Ive found that extending the boil from 60 min to 90 min does help with clarity, not limited to my particular recepite. I read the scientific explanation for this somewhere on this board, all I know is that it works! The old German brewers used long boiling times to further break down protiens,
& better results from the bittering hops.

Ive used 90 minuit boils for about 10 years now & it works, no doubt about it. The extra 30 minuits is well worth the time.
 

Bill R (198.81.26.14)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 07:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Gentlemen, may I add my 2 cents worth. I make a red ale, not to strong, SG 1.050, Ive found that extending the boil from 60 min to 90 min does help with clarity, not limited to my particular recepite. I read the scientific explanation for this somewhere on this board, all I know is that it works! The old German brewers used long boiling times to further break down protiens,
& better results from the bittering hops.

Ive used 90 minuit boils for about 10 years now & it works, no doubt about it. The extra 30 minuits is well worth the time.
 

Bill Tobler (65.64.229.13)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 12:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I usually boil 75 minutes. The first 15 minutes for the hot break to form, then I start my time and hop additions. It works for me...

Building and Brewing in Texas
Bill Tobler
My Brewery
 

Jim Layton (4.72.24.128)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 02:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm a 90 minute guy myself, only exceptions being really strong beers where the extra boil time serves a purpose.
 

Tom Gardner (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 04:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Boiling the wort has several benefits: sanitizing the wort, boiling off water which concentrates the wort (helpful for big beers, or adjusting to the o.g. you were expecting), caramelizing the wort (Scotch ales and BWs as Bill says), isomerizing the hop alpha acids so they can be dissolved (increased boil times and increased boil intensity improve this up to about 90 minutes), boil off volatiles not wanted in beer such as DMS (don't boil with the lid closed, some brewers - see recent BYO - boil lagers for 90 minutes to get rid of more DMS), and coagulating proteins (hot break) which improves up to 90 minutes (Irish moss helps too) and helps decrease beer haze, etc.

So with all of this variability and the variability of our brew systems and our preferred beer styles and flavors, you just gotta brew more and find what results you like. Brew on, Tom
 

David Woods (67.242.69.20)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 04:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I brew to Denny's schedule, but a guy in my brewclub claims that when using pisner malt (he makes an excelent pilsner), a 90 minute boil is crucial! I also read in one of my books that the lighter beers are boiled the longest in the profesional breweries. Not sure where I read that though.

David

PS. Noonan in "Brewing Lager Beer" says on P. 193
Decoction up to OG 1049 boil for 1-2 hours
Decottion over OG 1049 boil for 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Infusion up to OG 1049 boil for 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Infusion over OG 1049 boil for 2-3 hours
 

gregory gettman (67.75.118.43)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 07:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But brewer beware there are certain draw backs to a long boil. I understand that hops may become harsh in flavor if boiled over 2 hours. Can't remember where I read that but I think it's correct.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 08:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"hops may become harsh in flavor if boiled over 2
hours"...anybody know how or why? I haven't run across this or experienced it myself with long boils.
 

Mike Mayer (152.163.252.67)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 09:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have never strayed from a 75 minute boil. All of my hop additions start at 60 minutes. Results have always been acceptable.

Mike
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2004 - 09:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I do 60 min boils...

Walt
Lama Brewery
 

don price (65.32.41.166)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 03:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

90 minute mash, 90 minute boil...this way I get at least 75 minutes when cheating the clock...

Don
 

Jim Layton (67.31.255.87)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 12:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>hops may become harsh in flavor if boiled over 2 hours.

I've read the same thing but I don't think it's true. My experience has been just the opposite.
 

chumley (65.102.120.204)
Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2004 - 05:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

75-90 minutes, depending on how much boiling is needed to get to my target volume. I once simmered a PU clone for three hours (that supposedly is how they do it), and did not notice any extra benefit.
 

bilge rat (12.29.175.2)
Posted on Monday, January 19, 2004 - 04:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

same as Bill Tobler.....works for me and clear beer always.
 

Jim Filiault (12.111.160.74)
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 05:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I just read a book called "Brewer's Secrets" or something like that, which has interviews with a lot of home-brewers turned professional from places like Rogue, Elysian, Pikes and Gordon Biersch. Great book by the way, and it includes the "real" recipes for a lot of great beers.

Anyway, the one thing that every brewer agreed on was that 60 minutes is not sufficient. They all boil for 90 minutes or more.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 05:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But did they say why 60 minutes was not sufficient? That flies in the face of many of us who find that 60 minutes _is_ sufficient. Just because the pros say it doesn't make it true...
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 05:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not sure I entirely agree, Jim. For one thing, I know that commercial brewers vary the boil time with the style. I do know a number of breweries where the "average" boil time is 90 minutes, but there are others where it is shorter. Partly it depends on altitude, as the boiling temperature is lower in the mountains. For example, I know of a Colorado brewery where they typically boil for 120 minutes at a temperature of 198 F because of this.

I was not familiar with the book, Secrets from the Master Brewers by Paul Hertlein, Patrick Higgins and Maura Kate Kilgore. However, there are user-submitted reviews on amazon.com claiming that the recipes in the book are less than totally accurate. Of course anyone is free to have an opinion and express it.
 

Jim Filiault (12.111.160.74)
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 08:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill makes a good point -- 90 minutes was a general rule of thumb. It depends on the type of brew. One brewer did a 20 minute boil of one beer, while another said he'd go up to 2 hours on a specific beer.

Denny, I do not recall the reason for 90 minutes, but will check tonight.

Another interesting insight was that most of the brewers, unless making a Pilsner, don't worry about water. Use whatever your local water is, they said, and that way your beer will be regional. Of course, another generalization, but they didn't seem that concerned about it. On the other hand, they all said sterilization/sanitation is one of the most important things they do.

Buffalo Bill's comments were interesting. He thinks that there is no difference at all in taste between 6-row and 2-row and also says he loves dry yeast. He had some contrarian views.

I'm dissapointed that others have found some of the recipe's not as "authentic" as expected. I wonder how much of that goes to yeast/water differences and brewer skill? Still, I look forward to trying some of them.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 08:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm of the firm belief that what applies to pro brewers doesn't _necessarily_ apply to homebrewers.
 

Wykowski (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 09:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

yes I have the book, "Secrets from the Master Brewers", like any book some recipes look better than others ,,,, and some the info. seems outdated - it's worth looking at just for Greg Noonan's detailed recipes alone...(I disagree with many of Bufflo Bill's ideas, like 2-row v. 6-row & he also said he doesn't beleive in late hop additions, bunk I say)...
 

Nathi (165.127.8.254)
Posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 - 10:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Long boils add an excellent flavor compnent to many beers due to the carmelization that bill mentioned. The length of the boil should not be discounted as a component in your recipe that should be considered when determing what ingredients/procedures you will use to obtain the finished product you are looking for. Try some longer boils and see what you think, then file the info away to make you a better brewer. No ingredient or procedure in brewing should be ignored if you want to continue to grow as a brewer.

As far as long boils in a bock, I have one with a 5 hour boil conditioning right now. How I will like the flavor profile with the style is yet to be seen, but at one month, it seemed like it worked very well in obtaining the malt character I was after. But with a young high alcohol lager, it is very hard to tell. Sorry, that aint much help.

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