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Old 11-10-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
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Default Kit brewing - boiling hopped malt extract?

Hi everybody,

I am about to do my second batch ever, an Irish Stout from a Coopers Kit.

I am reading The Joy of Homebrewing. In the first chapter ("Especially for beginners"), when detailing the process to brew from kits, Charlie Papazian says

Many beer kits do not instruct the homebrewer to boil their ingredients, however your beer will always be much better if your ingredients are boiled for at least 45 minutes


However, reading around the forum I have never found anybody mentioning this trick for kit brewing, actually some people even say that boiling hopped wort will make all the hop flavor go away.

So what should I do, boil my kit or not?

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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General consenses is it should be boiled.

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Old 11-10-2012, 09:30 AM   #3
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Before I got into all grain brewing I used to buy the pre-hopped extract from the grocery store due to the cost savings vs. buying un-hopped malt extract.

I would treat it as if it was a non-hopped kit, adding my own hops to the batch for flavour and aroma, though I would try to minimize my bittering (assuming the pre-hopping would be adding some undetermined level of bitterness). I think the biggest challenge with these pre-hopped kits is you have no idea how much 'hop' has actually been added or what kind of effect, bitter or otherwise, it will have on your final product.

That all said I would be boiling it just for pasteurization and infection prevention.

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Old 11-10-2012, 10:14 AM   #4
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I boil for them for about 5 minutes to drive out an odd aromas

You could in theory boil out their finishing hops with a 60 minute boil adding your own finishing hops towards the end. But if you boil for any length of time you will only get bittering from the pre hopped extract.

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Old 11-10-2012, 11:06 AM   #5
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I don't know about hopped extract, but most people on here say to add the lme at the end off the boil, if not at flame out.

This avoids scorching it, caramalizing it, eliminates extract twang, and makes the beer lighter in color.

Seems better to add lme last, according to everyone on here.

I just brewed one for the first time adding only a 1/3 for boil and the rest at flame out.

We'll see if everyone is correct.

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Old 11-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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You are never supposed to boil pre-hopped extracts. It ruins the hop profile & darkens the LME,producing darker color & some of that twang. When using Cooper's cans,I do a 2.5-3 gallon boil with half a 3lb bag of plain DME for flavor hop additions. Then add the remaining DME & the Cooper's can at flame out. Stir all thoroughly,cover & steep for 15 minutes to pasteurize. Since the temp is still 180F+,it's plenty hot enough to pasteurize,which happens about 162F.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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I don't know how long pre-hopped extract has been available, but I would think that it became available after Papazian wrote the book. I know it didn't exist when I started brewing.

-a.

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Old 11-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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Not sure how long myself either. But I do know they're not meant to be boiled. Just added to boiled water with other fermentables,stirred,chilled & into the fv & topped off. Check out my recipes for what I do with them.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:39 AM   #9
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Thanks to all who answered!

In the end, I decided to boil the extract, since I also saw the same technique in the Zymurgy booklet An Introduction to Homebrewing (you can download it from here, together with a lot of other nice stuff)

As you can see in the pic below, they recommend boiling a hopped malt extract for 30 mins.

I thought- what is the likelihood that both Charlie Papazian and the American Homebrewes Association are completely and utterly wrong about something as basic as this??


I tasted it before pitching the yeast - it was horribly bitter
Now it's fermenting, I won't trow it away but I'll keep you update - probably I will require some tips on how to salvage it

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