Originally Posted by DeadYetiBrew
I would be careful to sanitize everything well as usual, but would infection really be that big of a deal since it is pre-boil? I've heard of some people with an old can of LME skimming a majority of an infection off the top then throwing it in the boil as usual and that takes care of the rest of the nasties.
Right, but the concern isn't just the bacteria themselves, it's also the chemicals/flavors/odors they leave behind when they do their work.
With LME you'll mainly only get infection on the surface from what I've heard, due to some moisture getting in there and creating a thin layer of more dilute solution on the very surface which the nasties can grow in. Skimming the surface takes most of the bacteria, and likely most of the nasty chemicals/flavors they've created.
In your semi-concentrated wort, an infection could infect the whole thing - it could ferment/convert a whole lot of sugar in there and leave all sorts of nasty substances. Though you're boiling it when you brew with it, eliminating chance of infecting your final beer, if there are nasty compounds and off flavors (as commonly associated with infections), boiling may not get rid of them.
Isn't that basically how sour beer is made? letting the natural bacteria from barley infect the wort for a day or two, souring it, and then when you boil it to start the brewing process it kills off the bacteria, leaving the sour flavor? I'd think you'd get the same thing, only you wouldn't have such huge quantities of bacteria to begin with so it'd probably take a lot longer than 2 days, but who knows what kind of nasty flavors/smells you'd get...
Similar to the idea of canning small quantities of wort for making starters, you could likely make this work if you could bottle your wort in big jugs (half gallon or gallon or so) and manage to pasteurize the wort in the bottle - maybe if you've got a huge brew pot you could put a few jugs in over some boiling water and let them bathe in the steam for a while? This may not get hot enough without being pressurized, which is likely why they use pressure cookers to can wort. But if you've got a gigantic pressure cooker lying around that would fit a few glass gallon jugs inside...