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Old 09-11-2007, 11:53 AM   #1
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Default Boil hops separate from wort?

I recently made a IIPA extract kit from Northern Brewer. For that particular kit, they suggested making a separate "hop tea" and combining with the wort towards the end of the boil. The finishing hops were added straight to the wort in the last 10 minutes and at the end of the boil. I have to say, I did like the results.

It got me wondering if it was advantageous to make a separate hop tea for every batch I make. One plus is that the amount of hops don't have to be altered if I choose to do a full boil.

Does anybody else boil their hops separately on a regular basis?

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Old 09-11-2007, 12:55 PM   #2
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I made this same kit, and it is on its second month aging now in the secondary. I would be cautious about making a seperate hop tea for each batch where there isnt such a high malt bill. You run the risk of making a VERY bitter beer. I have been using beersmith to calculate bitterness using different hop schedules and late extract additions when I do extract batches.


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Old 09-11-2007, 01:13 PM   #3
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I'm having to do this for my bigger beers since I don't have a big enough brew pot to boil everything together without getting lots of nasty boilovers So far, so good.
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Old 09-11-2007, 01:21 PM   #4
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The issue is that when you do a concentrated wort boil, you inhibit the extraction of the bitterness from the hops. When you boil in pure water, you're getting as much bitterness from them as possible (and the more water you boil in, the higher the extraction).

The other, I think better, way of approaching this is to add the majority of your extract to the boil in the last ten minutes. Extract doesn't need to be boiled 60 minutes, only 10 or so to ensure sanitation. Doing this allows the hops to have their alpha acids extracted to a greater degree, since they're being boiled in a lower-gravity wort for most of that time.

As a side benefit, the beer will be a lot lighter.

The danger, as has been mentioned, is that it is easy to overdo the bitterness if you're not careful.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by the_bird
Extract doesn't need to be boiled 60 minutes, only 10 or so to ensure sanitation.
In fact technically you don't need to boil it at all since it comes in sanitary condition.
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:51 PM   #6
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I've used the approach once in a while, but I rarely need that much bittering.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:43 PM   #7
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Everything I've seen and read says that doesn't work. You need the malt to isomerize the alpha acid in the hops. Hop teas usually taste grassy.

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