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Why do people insist on boiling extract ?

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Blaine

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Why are people still boiling their extract cans, if not only to sterilize. The real problem with boiling extract cans is that they, more often than not, are hopped at the time of manufacture by using Iso hops. This is done as a cost effective and quality controlled way of ensuring accurate IBU's and retaining balenced aromatic qualities specific to any give style of beer.

The problem is this, Iso hops are broken down by heat , they are not designed to be boiled. So that fine balence that was achived in the factory when the extract was canned is virtually destroyed. The only way to get it back is to re-hop your wort but as you don't know exactly what you have done to your extract hop levels you have got no point of reference. Therefore rehopping would be at best a hit or miss affair.

If people want to play with hops then surely they would be better off using unhopped extract in the first place. Otherwise why are people boiling their extract? It makes no sence to me? It seems like people are really overcomplicating a very simple process. Am I missing something here:drunk: ?

I'd be keen to here the views of my fellow brewers!!!
 

mrk305

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My first beer was two cans of extract, and I boiled it. The LHBS store said don't follow the directions of the can. Read our printed directions and it will be better. My second beer was a boxed kit with steeping grains and pellet hops and it was better. I never tried brewing again with canned pre-hopped extract.
 

the_bird

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Very, very few people around here use prehopped "kit and a kilo" kits. Those that are extract brewers (and there's nothing wrong with that) usually use unhopped malt extract and add hops (and use specialty grains).
 

joshpooh

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Prehopped kits seem like alot of work to drink a beer that basically someone else created. I mean you have no real control over the flavor. Unhopped etract isn't as good as AG in my opinion, but at least you are creating the beer for the most part and have a fair amount of control over the flavor. With prehopped kits though you're going through the trouble of sterilizing equiptment, mixing with the water (or boiling), pitching yeast, Sterilizing bottles, and bottling all for a beer that someone else basically created.
 
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Blaine

Blaine

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joshpooh said:
Prehopped kits seem like alot of work to drink a beer that basically someone else created. I mean you have no real control over the flavor. Unhopped etract isn't as good as AG in my opinion, but at least you are creating the beer for the most part and have a fair amount of control over the flavor. With prehopped kits though you're going through the trouble of sterilizing equiptment, mixing with the water (or boiling), pitching yeast, Sterilizing bottles, and bottling all for a beer that someone else basically created.
Fair point !!!!! I have been reading articles and watching you tube articles recently that are obviously using prehopped kits and they are boiling them.

Just to clarify, I am a mini masher myself so don't buggerize around with prehopped cans much anymore but there are quite obviously plenty of people around who do.
 

g_rath

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I have never understood the Prehopped thing. I haven’t gone to AG yet (Soon I hope) but is it really hard to add hops. it gives you so much more control with a major flavor component, why leave it to someone else.
 

AnOldUR

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With prehopped kits though you're going through the trouble of sterilizing equiptment, mixing with the water (or boiling), pitching yeast, Sterilizing bottles, and bottling all for a beer that someone else basically created.
You must be the Al Gore of beer. Every time you follow a recipe you end up with something that someone else created. People are constantly trying to clone this or that. Again, someone elses beer.

Sometimes it’s nice to pull a cake out of the oven. The house full from the aroma of baking. You may have followed a recipe, used your own or it may have come from a box mix. Either way, it ain't no Entenmann’s.

Just trying to defend the prehopped roots that many here came from ;)

Oh, and on topic. People boil extract because that was the old school way to do things. But the latest I've read is that you shoud boil a portion of it with your hops to get better utilization and proper flavor from the hops.
 

DUCCCC

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Ok, I'll stick my noob neck out here and ask:
What else are you supposed to do with a pre-hopped extract, not boil it? Would you simply boil a bunch of water to sanitize it and simply pour it in the primary over a can of hopped extract?

Sorry, but this thread has me both confused with the title, which should be changed to "Don't bother buying hopped extracts", so people who want to argue about it can find it easier, and a little curious as to why a testament to AG or PG brewing is in the Extract Brewing forum?

Thanks,
Matt
 

BNVince

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anoldur said:
You must be the Al Gore of beer. Every time you follow a recipe you end up with something that someone else created.
Best line ever. Man I love people in New Jersey.
 

Cheesefood

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In the U.S., we call them "No-Boil" kits. I've never used them, but I've seen 'em at my LHBS. I think it's basically a way to sell beer without getting licensed to sell alcohol, so it's a much cheaper way to bring your product to market.

The way I look at it:

No Boil Kit = Packaged ready-to-eat pudding.
Extract = Packages "Just add milk" pudding.
All Grain = Made from scratch pudding.

Yes, when you use someone else's recipe you're duplicating someone else's effort, or are you? Did they use the same grains and hops as you? Did they mash at the same temps? Did they ferment at the same temps? You have much more control over variation with all grain. In reality, it's really really hard to make a duplicate of a brew. I'm willing to bet that our best two brewers on this board could make the same recipe, and our best two judges would be able to explain the differences between them.

There's nothing wrong with using whichever method you like. I love some of the beers I made with extract and I've been fighting an uphill battle to duplicate them AG.

Those of us who brew for the hobby of it like the extra time and frustration of all grain brewing.
 

DUCCCC

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Cheesefood said:
In the U.S., we call them "No-Boil" kits. I've never used them, but I've seen 'em at my LHBS...
Oh, I see, he was actually chatting about something that doesn't need boiling then? I haven't even seen one of those yet, but I haven't really looked for one either...
 

the_bird

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ma2brew said:
Oh, I see, he was actually chatting about something that doesn't need boiling then? I haven't even seen one of those yet, but I haven't really looked for one either...
He's talking about the prehopped kits - they come in cans, same size as the cans of regular unhopped extract but they'll say "Pilsner" or "Stout" on the label instread of "Light Liquid Extract". They're already hopped, so they don't NEED to be boiled, as the OP indicated.
 

JoSeR

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ma2brew said:
Ok, I'll stick my noob neck out here and ask:
What else are you supposed to do with a pre-hopped extract, not boil it? Would you simply boil a bunch of water to sanitize it and simply pour it in the primary over a can of hopped extract?



Thanks,
Matt
I think the idea is to get the prehopped kit up to around 175-180 but not over 180ish. The hop profile that is set in the can will change if it boils.
The hop aroma will shift to flavor and the flavor will shift to bitterness, you end up boiling out/changing the aroma and flavor that the hops were intended to contribute to the beer.
 

the_bird

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I'll be honest, though.....







I can't help but be a little EAC-ish towards the prehopped kits. I was in the HBS last weekend, and a gentleman was there talking to one of the employees about the kits. He was buying a couple of stout kits, he was going to use two cans (instead of one!) to make his beer. The employee suggested that he might use some specialty grains to add a bit more flavor and complexity, explained how easy it was to steep a little grain, but the guy didn't want to hear it. Didn't want to "confuse" his tastebuds!

Ugh... I there thinking about doing my decoction (single or double), whether I should look for some lactobacillus so I can brew a Berlinerweiss, finalizing my grain bill for the smoked hefe and deciding on hop additions... basically trying to stretch my brewing as far as I can go.....

Meh, to each his own.
 

AnOldUR

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The way I look at it:

No Boil Kit = Packaged ready-to-eat pudding.
Extract = Packages "Just add milk" pudding.
All Grain = Made from scratch pudding.
More like?

Commercial Beer = Packaged ready-to-eat pudding
No Boil Kit = Packaged "Just add milk" pudding
Extract = Packaged “Just add milk and flavoring” pudding
All Grain = Made from scratch pudding.

Those of us who brew for the hobby of it like the extra time and frustration of all grain brewing.
I brew “for the hobby of it”, but “extra time” is hard to come by. Using extracts and speciality grains or partial mash is a way for me to fit this passion in with family, work and fitness. People using prehopped kits are still hobby brewers. They just have a different level commitment.
 

Buford

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the_bird said:
whether I should look for some lactobacillus so I can brew a Berlinerweiss
:off: Just let your mash sit overnight and your wort will be full of it. I've never done a sour mash (not a fan of sour beers), but I hear it really has a stench to it.
 

bradsul

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Buford said:
:off: Just let your mash sit overnight and your wort will be full of it. I've never done a sour mash (not a fan of sour beers), but I hear it really has a stench to it.
I read or heard somewhere (Jamil Show maybe?) that some people just throw some uncrushed malt on top of the mash and seal up the tun.
 

JoSeR

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Prehopped kits are also a good way to get someone to brew their first batch without adding any extra confusion.
The first time you brew, especially if you don't have someone with experience helping out you have to worry about things like how does this air lock thing work? Is the bucket sealed? How do I rehydrate the yeast? A hydro what? I don't have a spoon that long, how hot does this need to get?
Leaving out hops and a hop schedule could be a great relief in that situation. After the brewer in question becomes a little more comfortable with basic things like sterilizing etc... they will either quickly move on to grains and hops or maybe just stick with the can. At that point it becomes a level of commitment like anoldur said.
 

ThomasRau

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JoSeR said:
Prehopped kits are also a good way to get someone to brew their first batch without adding any extra confusion.
Exactly, my first three brews were no boil kits (one can pre hopped, one can plain extract). It gave me a chance to to easily try out homebrewing, the beer actually was quite good. It was more than enough to get me hooked and suddenly the single bucket and some bottles has become so much more.
 

the_bird

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bradsul said:
I read or heard somewhere (Jamil Show maybe?) that some people just throw some uncrushed malt on top of the mash and seal up the tun.
Yeah, Jamil was talking about the style recently. I'm inclined to use the bacteria directly so that I have a little bit more control.
 

joshpooh

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anoldur said:
You must be the Al Gore of beer. Every time you follow a recipe you end up with something that someone else created. People are constantly trying to clone this or that. Again, someone elses beer.

Sometimes it’s nice to pull a cake out of the oven. The house full from the aroma of baking. You may have followed a recipe, used your own or it may have come from a box mix. Either way, it ain't no Entenmann’s.

Just trying to defend the prehopped roots that many here came from ;)

Oh, and on topic. People boil extract because that was the old school way to do things. But the latest I've read is that you shoud boil a portion of it with your hops to get better utilization and proper flavor from the hops.
Even though it is me you're picking on that is pretty funny, but another way to think of it is you're doing most of the tedious work of brewing and none of the fun part. You do have a point about following a recipe though. When my friends ask me about certain brews I make I almost always distinguish if the recipe is my creation or something I found in a book or online and just followed and maybe modified based on what ingredients I have onhand.
 

Nurmey

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I don't get this thread. It struck me wrong from the first sentence. Is its purpose to make someone feel stupid because they don't brew like you?

Whether it's a pre-hopped kit or you grow your own grain and make it into beer, it's homebrewing and it's all good.
 
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Blaine

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Nurmey said:
I don't get this thread. It struck me wrong from the first sentence. Is its purpose to make someone feel stupid because they don't brew like you?

Whether it's a pre-hopped kit or you grow your own grain and make it into beer, it's homebrewing and it's all good.
Wow.. Chill mate! No if you go back and read it agian you will see that it is simply solid information and an opertunity for people to post their thoughts on this somewhat extraneous practice. It is not as you have indicated an attemp to make people feel stupid and if you read peoples responses you will see that most people have used it as the healthy open forum for discussion as it was intended. If you now have a better understanding of the issues arrising from boiling prehopped cans of extract then this thead has done its job. Relax and have a brew.:mug:
 

RedSun

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Hopped extract, yipes. It's no Mr. Beer, but it's somewhere close
 

AnOldUR

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Hopped extract, yipes. It's no Mr. Beer, but it's somewhere close
Actually that is exactly what Mr. Beer kits are. And getting back to the OP, they are no boil kits. I got started brewing with a MB kit that my kids bought me for Christmas. (It’s amazing how a hobby can spiral out of control so fast!) After researching brewing techniques I emailed MB asking if I should boil their extract. They said NO for the very reasons stated in the original post.
 

macs

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I think many people like myself started out with Mr Beer kits. If you've never brewed beer before, ease and convenience are very important to taking that first step. My interest in homebrewing did the spiral thingy and strangely, my bank account soon followed. I think it got caught up in the vortex.
 

par383

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A few months ago, I talked to a friend who had just begun making his Mr. Beer kits. He felt so proud that he knew how to make beer too, and gave a bottle to my brewing partner and me because he thought his were good. Ugh! Neither of us could finish ours (which is saying a lot because I feel guilty pouring out a beer).

Then, we let him try OURS. Definitely one of my proudest homebrewing moments.

(but to confess, we do use extract syrup...largely just to speed things up and add more ABV. We grind our grains and create our recipes, and add our own hop pellets, so I guess technically that's not cheating, right? right? anyone?)
 

boo boo

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Bobby_M said:
I think the better question is why are people using hopped extract in the first place?
Most people who live here use these kits as they are the only ones familiar to them. I used these kits for the best part of 20 years to make crappy beers before comming on line to find brewing forums, which taught me how to make real beer.
 
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