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90 minute boil for all AG brews?

Hi All,

I’m very excited because I’ll be embarking on my first AG brew this week! I finally got a couple 5-gallon igloo coolers rigged up as a mash tun and HLT. Consequently, I’ve been reading up a lot on AG lately to make sure I’m prepared, and a couple sources have stated that a 90-minute boil is standard for all AG recipes. They didn’t say why a 90-minute boil is recommended; just that it is recommended. Is this true? The recipe I’ll be making is NB’s AG Cream Ale and only calls for a 60-minute hop addition. Should I still boil for 90 minutes? What is the benefit?

Thanks

Nope, not necessarily. Back when malts weren’t made as well, it was more necessary to reduce DMS in the beer. Some people still claim that you need to do it with pils malt for that reason, but I haven’t found that to be true. If you have a vigorous boil you’ll drive off the DMS precursors and a 60 min, boil will be sufficient. I generally boil for about 70 min., but that’s to allow the hot break to dissipate before I start adding hops and starting the 60 min. boil from there.

[quote=“BrewBum”]Hi All,

I’m very excited because I’ll be embarking on my first AG brew this week! I finally got a couple 5-gallon igloo coolers rigged up as a mash tun and HLT. Consequently, I’ve been reading up a lot on AG lately to make sure I’m prepared, and a couple sources have stated that a 90-minute boil is standard for all AG recipes. They didn’t say why a 90-minute boil is recommended; just that it is recommended. Is this true? The recipe I’ll be making is NB’s AG Cream Ale and only calls for a 60-minute hop addition. Should I still boil for 90 minutes? What is the benefit?

Thanks[/quote]

90 minute boils are usually only recommended if you need to make earlier hop additions before 60 minutes or if you are using Pilsner as a base malt. Pilsner tends to contain precursors to creating DMS and a 90 minute boil ensures enough time to boil all that out. Some say it’s not necessary with todays modern malts but it doesn’t hurt anything. Just make sure you have your boil off calculated correctly and shoot for a higher pre-boil gravity to compensate.

A longer boil is necessary when using pilsner malt to prevent DMS, which tastes like corn or canned vegetables.

In your case, a cream ale is SUPPOSED to taste a little like corn, and the recipe likely contains corn, so I would purposely cut the boil back to 60 minutes for the same reasons – a little DMS is expected and embraced in the cream ale style.

For most beers, you might not be using pilsner malt, and then can safely boil for just 60 minutes. I do for most of my beers. It’s the occasional German lager with a lot of pilsner malt that I’ll boil for 90 minutes. It doesn’t hurt anything to boil for 90 for everything, and might even improve clarity and efficiency… but it is certainly not necessary except for pilsner-based beers.

Longer boils help drive off DMS from the wort. DMS is usually produced from lighter malts so the extra boil time is beneficial for those beers. I usually go 75 min. and haven’t had a problem.

Awesome. Sounds like I’ll be fine with a 60-minute boil. Thanks to everyone who chimed in to debunk that for me.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]A longer boil is necessary when using pilsner malt to prevent DMS, which tastes like corn or canned vegetables.

In your case, a cream ale is SUPPOSED to taste a little like corn, and the recipe likely contains corn, so I would purposely cut the boil back to 60 minutes for the same reasons – a little DMS is expected and embraced in the cream ale style.

For most beers, you might not be using pilsner malt, and then can safely boil for just 60 minutes. I do for most of my beers. It’s the occasional German lager with a lot of pilsner malt that I’ll boil for 90 minutes. It doesn’t hurt anything to boil for 90 for everything, and might even improve clarity and efficiency… but it is certainly not necessary except for pilsner-based beers.[/quote]

Dave, I’ve gotta disagree…it’s not necessary just becasue you use pils malt. It depends on the malt you use. With Best, which is what I use, and a vigorous boil, you don’t need to do a 90 min. boil. Which is of course not to say that it’s never necessary. Just not as a regular course of action.

Good point. It’s really a precautionary measure more than anything. You might find that for you and your system and your malts, the rules don’t apply. Have I told you lately that I only mash most of my beers for 40 minutes?

:cheers:

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]Good point. It’s really a precautionary measure more than anything. You might find that for you and your system and your malts, the rules don’t apply. Have I told you lately that I only mash most of my beers for 40 minutes?

:cheers: [/quote]

wait…wut?

Heh heh… Yes, that’s right. Question everything. And it is good to question everything, because you’ll quickly find that about 80% of the so-called “rules of thumb” are about 80% inaccurate/incorrect/untrue.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=62970&start=0

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]Good point. It’s really a precautionary measure more than anything. You might find that for you and your system and your malts, the rules don’t apply. Have I told you lately that I only mash most of my beers for 40 minutes?

:cheers: [/quote]

DON’T GO THERE! :slight_smile:

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]Heh heh… Yes, that’s right. Question everything. And it is good to question everything, because you’ll quickly find that about 80% of the so-called “rules of thumb” are about 80% inaccurate/incorrect/untrue.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=62970&start=0[/quote]

Gee, that sounds just like the book I just finished writing!

Those same sources may have also recommended that you use more sparge water than necessary. It is sometimes necessary to boil for that long if you over-sparged and started with a large volume of pre-boil wort, and need to boil that volume down to 5 gallons. But otherwise, the only time it would be really desirable would be if you just want to develop a nice malt richness from melanoidin development, in styles such as bock or Scotch ale, or if you’re doing a SMASH beer and want to develop the depth of flavor from the base malt as much as possible. And as far as boiling a pilsner malt wort for 90 minutes, that may not be a bad thing for some beer styles, but in an actual pilsner beer, a boil that long may actually develop too much melanoidin character from the malt than you would want in that style, depending on the intensity of the boil. It’s easy to over-do it and give the beer too much richness from a lengthy boil, where you want the wort to be as clean and fermentable as possible.

I will admit that I do a 90 minute boil on all of my beers.

I have seen a couple don osborn videos where he does it to attain a higher OG, He sparges a little more, boils longer, has a separate boil on his stove and combines all the concentrated wert into the BK before cooling.

I have tested shorter boils just to see what would happen, I have boiled for 60 total and my bittering charge was only 45-50 minutes. I also tend to boil as vigorously as possible when I do a short boil to ensure no DMS. So far the 60 min boil has worked well for me too.

I do a 90 minute boil just because that’s what I decided to do, and now its standard procedure for me. I know that I can hit my target volume and gravity if I start with 7 gallons and accept the kettle loses I get from using my own hops. For new brewers, I always recommend sticking with a set of procedures that make sense and try to get predictability to allow you to begin to adjust recipes to your system & methods.

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