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Old 09-08-2006, 03:06 PM   #1
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Default Define "BOIL"

So, as I'm makin' my beer last night I got to wonderin' about something. I bring some water to boil, pull from heat to add LME (learned the hard way) and return to heat once it's all pretty much dissolved. I had turned the burner down to @ 75% while I was off of it, forgot to turn it back to full. Set timer for 10 minutes for 1st hop addition. 10 minutes comes and goes, add hops, NOW I set back to high, reset for 35 min for next hop addition. 8 minutes into this phase, or 18 minutes since I put it back on the heat, I get back to a full boil. I finish the regularly scheduled timing as if it'd been boiling the entire 60 minutes, but wondered if I need to wait for a proper "Boil" to start the clock. It was definitely hot & steamy the whole 60 minutes, just not at a full, rolling boil. Is it essential to boil, or just be real, real hot?

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Old 09-08-2006, 05:29 PM   #2
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That's a good question that I wondered myself. I noticed that even when the wort is kinda churning/rolling steamy, the temp is actually about 205dF, not 212. It takes quite a bit of time to get to 212 with my 3 gallons of wort, even on a 12kBTU burner.

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Old 09-08-2006, 05:45 PM   #3
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I've assumed a full rolling boil but never considered temperature.

These are two interesting questions and I'm now very curious. I'll have to browse "How To Brew" and Papazian.
Oh and let me not forget David 42, member of these forums whom I find very knowledgeable (one of among the many here).
I'm becoming a fan, Dave

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Old 09-08-2006, 05:47 PM   #4
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Well, has been a bit of debate about this. I was under the impression that you needed a really vigorous boil to get the hops banging around in there to get the acids isomerized, and also to get the hot-break to coagulate. While this is true, I have recently discovered that too-violent a boil will result in increased melanoidans and caramelize your wort, even with a full-wort boil.
The answer to your question lies in boil-off rates. This is expressed in percent of wort volume lost to evaporation per hour. Below 8% is not enough to drive off dimethylsulphide (DMS) which will give your beer a sweet-corn-like taste, 9%-15% is the sweet spot and anything above 15% will encourage melanoidans and caramelization of the wort.

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Old 09-08-2006, 05:53 PM   #5
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The impression that I've gotten is that a full, rolling boil is necessary for hops utilization and to get a good hot break (like Cheyco says - listen to any man named "Cheyco"). It's not just getting the wort hot. It has been very difficult for me on the stove; I think there may be a scientific reason why it's so much more difficult to get those last couple of degrees of temp before the boil (it always wants to stay at around 208 - 210 unless I have the lid partially on). I've invested in a turkey fryer in large part so I can get the full boil.

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Old 09-08-2006, 06:12 PM   #6
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Don't forget about altitude. I live up high, and my wort never sees 212F, I think mine boils around 209, or maybe even a bit less. And watch out with that lid Bird, you're heading for boil-over city (), not to mention possible DMS problems.

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Old 09-08-2006, 06:18 PM   #7
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Well, that's why I've got the fryer (don't you read? )

It was always a compromise; full boil or no lid, had to pick.

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Old 09-08-2006, 06:23 PM   #8
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Sometimes I read, when it suits me...

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Old 09-10-2006, 01:48 PM   #9
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I was told that when removing the heat from a boiling pot to make additions, you stop the clock as it were, and then start it back up when it comes back to a boil.
Reasoning is that for bittering purposes you need a full boil to acheive isomerization of the hops and that you generally need 60 minutes to 90 minutes of this for bittering.

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Old 09-10-2006, 02:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boo boo
I was told that when removing the heat from a boiling pot to make additions, you stop the clock as it were, and then start it back up when it comes back to a boil.

Now that's a surprise. I didn't know you had to remove the heat before adding hops. I just put my hops (in bags) right in the boiling wort.
The more I read the more I have questions

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