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Old 04-26-2012, 01:08 PM   #11
bobbrews
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I used to have an electric stove and could keep 5-6 gallons of water at a vigorous boil. Presently, I have a gas stove and I can do the same thing. The only difference was that the gas stove got me there quicker, but both stoves kept a vigorous boil.

There are many factors that can influence a vigorous boil. Other than BTU output and elevation, you have kettle material, kettle measurements, and whether or not you use a tight fitting lid to bring the initial water to a fast boil. You don't want to use a lid when boiling the wort, just to bring the plain water to temperature.

For boiling times, the typical time frame is a 60 minute boil. And 90 minute boils for anything using pilsener malt to drive off DMS.

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Old 04-26-2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Koryb View Post
As for now ( as I am still a rookie) I think I will keep it as simple as I can. However, the current batch I have in the fermenter, is one that I put together with hand picked ingredients, not from a kit. I like this method so far, but unfortunately I don't know the boil times. Is there a method to figure this out? Ad does it vary per different styles of beer?
For an extract batch, the boil time is just based on the hop utilization for the bittering addition. The difference between the IBUs produced between 60 and 90 minutes is minimal, so most kits have you boil for an hour. However, if you're building your own hop schedule, you could knock that back considerably if you don't mind using more hops. Depending on style, I'd even consider combining the bittering and flavor additions and shoot for a 30 minute boil. If you post up the recipe you're considering, we can help you figure it out.

If you go all-grain, though, there are other factors - namely DMS - that pretty much require you to boil for 60 minutes or even longer.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
I used to have an electric stove and could keep 5-6 gallons of water at a vigorous boil. Presently, I have a gas stove and I can do the same thing. The only difference was that the gas stove got me there quicker, but both stoves kept a vigorous boil.

There are many factors that can influence a vigorous boil. Other than BTU output and elevation, you have kettle material, kettle measurements, and whether or not you use a tight fitting lid to bring the initial water to a fast boil. You don't want to use a lid when boiling the wort, just to bring the plain water to temperature.

For boiling times, the typical time frame is a 60 minute boil. And 90 minute boils for anything using pilsener malt to drive off DMS.
I'm assuming he's using extract. In that case, DMS isn't a problem and neither a vigorous boil nor an extended boil are required.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #14
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I basically said the exact same thing about DMS that you said above so why did you feel the need to call me out?

I don't know what kind of extract beers you're brewing, but my past extract IPAs always had a 60 minute boil. It is not only a matter of hop isomerization and utilization.

Boiling wort longer also:

*Stops enzymatic activity
*Coagulates undesired proteins and polyphenols in the hot break
*Evaporates undesirable harsh oils, sulfur compounds, ketones, and esters.
*Promotes the formation of melanoidins and caramelizes some of the wort sugars
*Helps to lower pH
*Aids clarity
*Lessens issues during fermentation
*Helps to provide maltier flavor
*Evaporates water vapor, condensing the wort to the proper volume and gravity

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Old 04-26-2012, 02:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Most kits are not meant to wow you. The goal of a kit is to make things as simple as possible while still providing semi-decent results. Additionally, a lot of stores make a profit off of kits because it is an opportunity to clear their older inventory of less fresh ingredients. This explains why many kits often contain LME and pellet hops. LME spoils quicker and the quality of old pellets can easily be hidden as opposed to old leaf hops.
I have to call bullpoops on this. A lot of stores work really hard to develop kits that will wow you. These same stores move through so much LME it would make your head spin, and it isn't about getting old product off the shelf. I don't know where you are shopping, but I have not seen this to be true from any of the larger well known vendors that are online.

It is true that LME has a shorter shelf life than DME once opened, but with the amounts these stores are going through it isn't an issue.

I think the assumption that using LME and hop pellets in kits to unload bad product is a horrible one.

I will also say that I have had friends that have gotten medals in comps using kits. As long as the kit is fresh, and your process is good, kits can make amazing beer.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:45 PM   #16
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Bob,

I didn't mean to "call you out," just provide a clarification. If you're using extract, it's already been through the equivalent of several hours of boiling, so all of the additional benefits you listed are already in place. All you need to do is get it hot enough to sterilize the wort and utilize the hops.

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:15 PM   #17
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I beg to differ on both accounts...

@nanofreak

First of all... Quality is subjective.

I find "most" (not all) kits to range from crap to decent and I'm not alone in this belief. The problem with most kits is the use of older, near stale ingredients and instruction to top off with 2-3 gallons of water after the boil. I've worked in a homebrew shop before so I know a little bit about the ins-and-outs regarding kits. Everything has an expiration date (other than Twinkies and Astronaut Ice Cream) even if sealed and unopened.

Have you read Ray Daniels' book? In the beginning, he talks about the results of a well-respected homebrew competition with pretty high standards. They featured extract, partial mash, and all-grain beers. Not one single extract beer won the first place award in any category. I don't even think they won second or third place if I recall correctly. There was no clear difference however between partial mash or all grain beers. This is not to say you can't brew a good extract beer. But according to Daniels, and me, they usually won't beat out PM or AG... especially if the brewer used a basic kit instead of assembling his own recipe. You don't win awards for mediocrity.

@gr8shandini

I've brewed extract , partial mash, and all-grain. I've boiled extract worts at various time frames. My best extract beers always were closer to a 60 minute boil, exclusive of hop utilization. Not ALL of the additional benefits are already in place. Even though the DME has already been previously boiled by the manufacturer, Extra Light DME is not generally boiled for hours on end since it is so light and is typically pure base malt, maybe with a little carapils. It has little character and has not had a chance to meld with hops, concentrate, develop melanoidins, and become something new by the homebrewer who uses it.

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:23 PM   #18
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I am not talking about the size of the boil, just the freshness of ingredients and quality of kits. I have a friend that took a gold with a stout from one of the larger vendors kits (done as full boil) where the comment was "really nailed the style" from the judge.

I think the blanket statement you make about kits containing crap and near stale ingredients is frightening, and irresponsible. It appears you worked for a ****ty homebrew shop, I wont argue that, but taking what your employer did and saying thats what all kits are, once again I call bullpoops.

Perhaps Austin Homebrew could chime in about how they package their kits, I know they are at times active on here.

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Old 04-26-2012, 03:32 PM   #19
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The point is that a homebrew shop, big or small, is a business. And a business looks into maximizing profits and minimizing product waste. Sure, they can sell you older ingredients regardless if you buy a kit or not. But the beginning homebrewer will almost exclusively buy pre-made kits, and they are too naive to know any quality deterioration as opposed to an advanced brewer. Beginners are mainly expecting something drinkable, not utterly mind blowing. Plus, kits made by the larger companies are usually pre-made in large amounts. So they very well may have assembled them months, or in some cases, years ago.

There may be some select employees with the authority to do whatever they want who put their heart into the kits they assemble, but this is rare... especially since many kits are advising hack procedures about partial boils and what not. Even supermarket employees and Chefs are advised on FIFO (First-In-First-Out)... you get rid of your old ingredients first by putting them in the front of the line.

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Old 04-26-2012, 05:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
The point is that a homebrew shop, big or small, is a business. And a business looks into maximizing profits and minimizing product waste. Sure, they can sell you older ingredients regardless if you buy a kit or not. But the beginning homebrewer will almost exclusively buy pre-made kits, and they are too naive to know any quality deterioration as opposed to an advanced brewer. Beginners are mainly expecting something drinkable, not utterly mind blowing. Plus, kits made by the larger companies are usually pre-made in large amounts. So they very well may have assembled them months, or in some cases, years ago.

There may be some select employees with the authority to do whatever they want who put their heart into the kits they assemble, but this is rare... especially since many kits are advising hack procedures about partial boils and what not. Even supermarket employees and Chefs are advised on FIFO (First-In-First-Out)... you get rid of your old ingredients first by putting them in the front of the line.
I have to say, as a beginner, I have been reading these forums for a couple of months now and what you have said in this thread seems to be against what most people say on these forums.

I think what you are failing to grasp, and what has been said already, is that the larger stores have such a large turnover of their kits that basically all the kits are fresh. And I have never heard that partial boil is a "hack procedure."
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