Infusion mash wort boiling before hop addition?

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TrickyDick

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Been reading books on brewing in by spare time. I got about 15 or so books I'm working my way through. Right now, on reading Greg Noonan, new brewing Lager beer revised edition.

P154.

I never heard nor read of this anywhere. I guess it makes sense, but I am skeptical of its practical implications.

" when wort is the product of an infusion mash, it should be boiled vigorously for 15-30 minutes before more of the hops are added to allow the boiling action to decompose and precipitate some of the proteins. If this is not accomplished before the hops are added, then hop poly phenols will combine with the coarse protein flocks and be precipitated out of solution carrying the hop resins with them." Also the phrase " before more of the hops are added " is correct, in a preceding statement, it is said to add 5-15 percent of the hops before the onset of boiling to reduce surface tension, and diminish risk for boilover.

Is anybody familiar with this practice or read it elsewhere? It implies to me that less efficient hop utilization will occur. Also what is unclear is the percentage 5-15%. Is that for the bittering addition alone or the entire hop bill? He goes on to say decoction beers can be hopped more conservatively than infusion mashed beers due to much smaller proteins being present compared with infusion mashed beer.

TD
 
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TrickyDick

TrickyDick

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So I guess I DID learn something!! Noonan certainly seemed to be a decoction fan. Well thanks for confirmation. I've always just added my first dose of hops when it started boiling! Looks like my brew days just got a bit longer.

TD
 

LLBeanJ

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Like Yooper, I wait for the hot break to clear before adding my hops and starting the boil timer. I've never heard of adding hops before the boil starts, though.
 

butterpants

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Like Yooper, I wait for the hot break to clear before adding my hops and starting the boil timer. I've never heard of adding hops before the boil starts, though.
First Wort Hopping?
 

LLBeanJ

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Okay, except in the cases of FWH. I should have added that caveat.

More specifically, I was alluding to the practice, as suggested by Noonan in the OPs original post, of relying on hop oils to reduce the chance of a boilover. It may be perfectly valid, but I doubt it's widely known or practiced, at least on a home brewing level.
 

butterpants

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I was just being cantankerous.

I just won that Noonan book in a raffle. I'll have to read it soon, sounds like he has an interesting take on things. Its last revision was over 15 years ago wasn't it?? I forget
 
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TrickyDick

TrickyDick

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Okay, except in the cases of FWH. I should have added that caveat.

More specifically, I was alluding to the practice, as suggested by Noonan in the OPs original post, of relying hop oils to reduce the chance of a boilover. It may be perfectly valid, but I doubt it's widely known or practiced, at least on a home brewing level.
Yeah, I've never heard that before. He said the hops are added at or before the onset of boiling to reduce boil overs more or less, not a FWH, but the briefly did mention that as well.

He ALSO says that in lager beer, often late addition hops are added as an extract of hops steeped in wort at pH 5.5 pr higher for ten minutes ( 4 oz wort per half oz hops) rather than dry hopping or late kettle hopping. The extract is then added to the beer post primary fermentation to avoid scrubbing flavors and aromas. No mention on the extract wort temp.

He also mentions drawing samples of the wort to examine it for developing hot break, and also pulling samples toward end of boil and chilling to examine the cold break, and not to add late addition hops before You observe a cold break in the drawn sample. Two more things I've never done.

Often is difficult to see through the boil rolling foamy head if there is protein break or not. Sight glass can usually see though. What is the standard amount of time you wait, Yooper, for the hot break to form? Also seems odd to me to add the Irish moss or whirlfloc at the end of the boil if you're trying to get the hot break out of the way early on....

TD
 

Yooper

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To me, hot break is obvious. The wort is beginning to boil, and has a HUGE foamy head that threatens to boil over (and yes, I've boiled over in a keggle, with just 6 gallons of wort. :drunk:). Suddenly, this breaks up and stops. Then, the wort looks like it has had egg drop soup from China Express added to it. After that, the wort simply will not boil over no matter how hard I boil it. It's also clearer, but with those small little particles.

That's the hot break, and then the hot break material is clumpy tiny bits of protein coagulated in the wort.

The cold break is bigger and fluffy when it happens. I get cold break in my fermenter, as I have a counterflow chiller, so the break happens in my CFC and goes to the fermenter with the wort.
 
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TrickyDick

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Yeah, I had, but deleted a great pic of the hot break from the Helles I brewed earlier in the year.
Its sort of like snow-flakes in beer. I think I need a bigger pot. I boiled over a bit the last few times and the boil never really settled down.
TD
 

VladOfTrub

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The 5-15% hops added as soon as the kettle bottom is covered with wort and fired is the original meaning of FWH. The term was coined somewhere along the line, misapplied, and now used for bittering. It had nothing to do with bittering. The small amount of hops wouldn't impart bitterness to the finished product. It is a German brewmasters trick. There is another reason for FWH than reducing surface tension. It was used when a mash out rest wasn't used. Less fuel was used. Even though the brewmaster may use 170F sparge water, the water wouldn't raise the mash in the tun high enough to denature enzymes. Soon as the bottom of the boiler was covered with liquid, it was hopped and fired to denature. Limiting maltriose production by alpha. The cooler wort was added slowly to the boiling wort to get the temp up. The hops would react with the goop in the wort and reduce the hot break. Allowing the brewmaster to fill the kettle higher with wort. Instead of waiting for the boiler to fill with liquid and firing. What Noonan mentions is real FWH. He took it from Siebels books. The same thing can be accomplished by adding a couple of ounces of crushed black malt in the kettle. Both reduce the amount of hot break. Try it, you will see that a lot less hot break foam forms and boil overs are lessened. When the decoction method is used and done correctly. There is much less hot and cold break formed. One of the reasons that 5.5 pH wort is used to make the hop liquid is that wort pH that lager yeast favors is around 5.5-5.8. That's the pH of wort a lager brewer wants in the fermenter. During the boil wort pH will rise, then slowly drop as calcium is precipitated. Calcium phosphate and magnesium phosphate are precipitated during the acid rest when floor malt is used. This allows the brewer to rely less on doctoring up the brewing water. Ah, so much to brewing beer and so little time left to drink it all.
 
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TrickyDick

TrickyDick

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Pretty cool.. Thanks for the clarification and insight.

does the black malt added to boil need to be crushed? If not, does it impart a dark color to the wort?

TD
 

VladOfTrub

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Yes, the black malt needs to be crushed and depending on the volume of wort, the color won't be noticed nor will it impart flavor.
 

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