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Old 09-28-2007, 06:29 AM   #1
NateKerx's Avatar
Apr 2007
Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 169

I was reading this article by a certain Robert Hansen in the the October issue of Brew magazine, and he states unequivocally that "Award-winning brewers typically boil their extract for 45 minutes". John Palmer seems to be telling this Hansen guy to relax, "The extra boiling time won't hurt."

I've heard bits and pieces of discussions about this before, and while I understand the need for proper aeration after longer boils specifically, is there really any reason why "Award-winning brewers typically boil their extract for 45 minutes"?? isnt it better to make sure you get the hop utilization as calculated? Its not as though you're boiling for a half hour after your aroma hop additions and destroying all the good stuff... a bit confused

What do the extract/partial mash brewers use for boil times??
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Old 09-28-2007, 06:40 AM   #2
mrkristofo's Avatar
Sep 2007
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I always use between 60 and 90 mins for extract or minimash.

Here's what the CRC Guide to Brewing Science and Practice has to say about it:

The changes that occur during boiling include the dispersion of the hop resins and oil,
the isomerization of some of the alpha-acids, the conversion of dimethyl sulphide precursor
(SMM; DMSP; 4.157) to DMS (4.158), the formation of new flavour and aroma
compounds, (largely through Maillard reactions, which also give rise to coloured
compounds and so a darkening of the wort), the denaturation and inactivation of residual
enzymes carried forward from the mash and the denaturation and coagulation of the
proteins that, combined with polyphenols, form the trub (which may weigh 20±70 g dry
wt./hl Chapter 9). The more vigorous and prolonged the boil the more complete the
removal of coagulable proteins and the more resistant the beer to the formation of non-
biological haze, but it will have less good foaming properties. The inactivation of the
enzymes stabilizes the composition of the wort in one sense, but of course the high
temperature maintains the on-going chemical reactions. The wort needs to be sufficiently
agitated to cause the denatured proteins to coagulate and form flocks. This process may
be assisted by the addition of copper finings, mainly the negatively charged, sulphated
polysaccharide -carrageenan, `Irish moss', added at 4±8 g/hl (Chapter 9). Instead some
breweries use silica gel.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:21 PM   #3
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Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
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When I did extract, I did 60 minute boils. However, I found that the extract was carmelizing a bit, so I started adding the majority of the extract with 15 minutes left in the boil. This increased the hops utilization, so the first time my beer was about twice as bitter as I expected. When I bought software, I ran the numbers and it was true- my IBUs went from like 25 to 48. After that, I just adjusted my bittering hops and kept doing the late extract addition.

So, my boil was 60 minutes for the hops, but my extract was in there around 15 minutes. The extract has already been boiled by the manufacturer so you don't need to worry about it, the way you would if you were mashing. The chemical changes in the extract have already happened.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:57 PM   #4
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Aug 2006
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I tend to boil for 75 minutes or so as I wait for the hot break before adding my hops (I find that reduces the chances for boil-over). I have never had any attenuation or carmelization issues due to the longer boil time.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:39 PM   #5
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Sep 2007
Houston, Texas
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Originally Posted by TheJadedDog
I tend to boil for 75 minutes or so as I wait for the hot break before adding my hops (I find that reduces the chances for boil-over). I have never had any attenuation or carmelization issues due to the longer boil time.
I do the same for ales. I usually make it 90 minutes for lagers. As I also increase boil volume and, thereby, wort dilution to account for the longer boil, I've seen no difference in carmelization. Attenuation is just the same, too. Basically, the only effect I've seen is a more stable beer.

Head retention isn't an issue, since I use Foam Control. If anything, my head retention is too good, and it may take me a while to pour that first beer. I do like that dense, rocky head, though. That goes double for my lagers.


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Old 09-28-2007, 04:39 PM   #6
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
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Well, you're comparing two peoples opinions. expert opinions, but still just opinions, not scientific facts that show 45 minute boils make better or worse beers than 60 minute boils.

beers are judged using opinions based on factual guidelines, so that makes 3 sets of educated opinions on the matter...still no real facts.

Not trying to belittle your question, just explaining how it might be a futile debate where there's no right or wrong answers.
(kinda like hot side aeration)
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:59 PM   #7
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Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
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Boil times only really relate to the amount of AA% hop bitterness extraction.
HB Bill

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