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Old 10-08-2009, 03:30 AM   #1
fightingswede
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Default Why 60 minutes

In the recipes I see and the kits I have purchased, they advise you to boil for 60 minutes. Yet I saw a recipe today that said to boil for 90 minutes. What is so special about 60 minutes? What if I boil part of the extract for 60 minutes and part for 30 minutes?

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Old 10-08-2009, 03:53 AM   #2
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That's a good question. I don't really think a full 60 minutes is mandatory, and I'd also like to know the science behind it. I brew some good beer, and I know the process well, but I've never been into the whole science aspect of it. As long as I was turning out good beers...I didn't care.

I know that the boil is used to seperate the proteins from the wort. This is done during the first 20 minutes in the form of "hot break". Now...I always do 90 minute boils with my recipes because hops additions make it harder to control the foaming during the hot break. If I boil for 90 minutes, then I'm not adding the first hops for 10 minutes after the hops break at least.

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Old 10-08-2009, 03:59 AM   #3
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The 60 minutes is generally for optimal hop utilization.

In extract there is not much reason other than this.

In AG another reason is to drive off DMS precursors. The lighter the grain bill the more critical this is. In a beer containing only Pilsner malt this is important and 90 minutes is recommended.

In extract I cannot think of any reason at all to go 90 minutes.

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Old 10-08-2009, 04:02 AM   #4
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Longer boil times will tend to darken your beer.

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Old 10-08-2009, 04:02 AM   #5
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Extract recipes shouldn't need 90 minute boils. AG recipes with a lot of Pilsner malt will often call for a longer boil because you need more time to boil off the DMS precursors (otherwise, you can end up with some canned-corn-esque off flavors). Some will also do a long boil if they want to evaporate more wort; you might collect more wort on a big beer and evaporate off some of the excess water.

The core reason for boiling 60 minutes is to maximize hop utilization. Pretty much by 60 minutes, you've gotten as many IBUs from the hops as you're going to; if you do a 90 minute boil, you slightly increase hop utilization, but by a very, very small amount. Most 90-minute boil recipes still call for the hops to be added for 60 minutes. The protein separation is part of the reason for the boil, but it's to maximize the the isomerization of alpha acids that's the reason to boil 60 minutes.

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Old 10-08-2009, 04:07 AM   #6
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Jinx, Bird.

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:03 AM   #7
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lol.. I was totally going there but was too slow. Instead I'll link to an episode of Brew Strong, that talks about DMS precursers.
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/485

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Old 10-08-2009, 05:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noleafclover View Post
lol.. I was totally going there but was too slow. Instead I'll link to an episode of Brew Strong, that talks about DMS precursers.
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/485
I can understand concern about DMS precursor in an AG batch, but in extract brews that stuff has already been evaporated off.

I think hop utilization is the right answer. To be honest, if you plan your (extract) brews correctly 60 minutes is the max you'd need, and if you do some crazy brews like I have with all late hops additions you could probably do a 20 minute boil and still be completely fine and have a fantastic beer.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:28 PM   #9
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If I were still brewing extract, I'd modify all my recipes for a 30 minute boil. Hops are cheaper than gas, well, maybe not but time is money.

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Old 10-08-2009, 02:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
If I were still brewing extract, I'd modify all my recipes for a 30 minute boil. Hops are cheaper than gas, well, maybe not but time is money.
ditto...you could even curtail hop use somewhat by doing late extract addition w/a portion of it.
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