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Old 01-06-2012, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default Fundamental question regarding all grain

I am preparing to brew my first AG in the near future. I have read and experienced the effects of wort darkening with 60 minute extract boils and the recommendations for late extract additions. Is the phenomenon of wort darkening limited to extracts only or is it a concern for AG boils as well? I've seen AG brew schedules that call for 90 minute boils and am wondering if that will effect AG brew color.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:38 PM   #2
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Sure, the longer you boil the darker it gets. That is normally taken into account in the recipe as whoever wrote it hopefully brewed it. Similarly if you have a raging boil over a simmer for a give length of time the simmer will most likely produce lighter colors.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:39 PM   #3
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All worts will darken during the boil, but the effect is mostly a factor of how concentrated the wort is. The extracts themselves tend to be darker to begin with because they have already been through a boil and dehydration process.
AG Pilsner beers are a light straw to light gold color, and they are usually boiled for 90 minutes.
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:42 PM   #4
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It happens with AG too. Wort will usually be a bit darker after 90 min than 60. Factor it in to your grain selection and/or planning for boil time if it is a concern.
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Old 01-06-2012, 05:02 PM   #5
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One reason it might be more of a concern with extract batches is that many extract brewers will do a partial-boil; i.e. all of the extract will be boiled in half of the water, and the final volume (e.g. 5 gallons) will be reached by topping off this wort with cool water. In that case, the boil gravity will be twice as high as it would be in a full-boil/AG batch. As mentioned above, the darkening and kettle caramelization is mostly a factor of sugar concentration.
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Old 01-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #6
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OK. It will be present, but not as pronounced, since I'm going from partial boil (3.5G) and topoff to full boil ( 6.5-7 Gal) I will start with 60 minute boil as a standard and see where that gets me after i establish my system's boil off rate. Also switching from stovetop to a banko burner, so I may need to adjust my process somewhat.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:02 PM   #7
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I'm glad you asked this question, I was wondering the same thing. I just brewed my first AG on the 21st of December. It was Yooper's fizzy yellow beer. It turned out a little darker than I was expecting. I just racked it to secondary two days ago and it is clearing up nicely.

Can't wait to give it a try.

Forgot to add that I did a BIAB for this beer.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:04 PM   #8
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yes boiling darkens the wort but it also serves many very important functions. Do not under boil your AG wort. You will cause many problems in your beer.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:16 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=maida7;3635438]yes boiling darkens the wort but it also serves many very important functions. Do not under boil your AG wort. You will cause many problems in your beer.[/QUOTE

Am I correct in assuming that the "standard" boil is 60 minutes or is 90 minutes more the AG norm? What problems occur with underboiling? I assume the primary issue is hops utilization. My first objective is repeatability. No sense tweaking a recipie to a favorite if I can't do it twice
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:24 PM   #10
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hop utilization is one thing. But there are many important things happening in the boil. DMS is eliminated. Proteins are coagulated.

60 min is considered the min for most beers. I use 90 min for any beer with a high percentage of pilsner malt. Pils malt has greater levels of the pre-cursor for DMS.
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