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Length of boil for grains question for experienced brewers

I’ve been holding this question while I experiment, but I am not getting enough substantial changes to warrant a conclusion. Maybe “that” is the overall answer to my question.

Can you experienced brewers share your views on the length of boil for your extract or grain bill in regards to color and OG affects?

I understand (in general) that adding the extract later in the boil will keep the color lighter overall. I have seen this to some extent, but that begs the question… “why boil for 60 minutes when 30 or 15 would be just fine”?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of boil length on LME or DME?

Thanks in advance! Grizz

Northern Brewer sells a 20-minute boil kit:

Sixty minutes is usually used because of the amount of time needed for the alpha acid isomerization of the bittering hops. Here is some good information about that:

There is also the issue with boiling off “the bad stuff” like DMS (causes canned corn flavor). Longer boils are needed to get rid off those elements.

I don’t believe DMS is an issue with extract brewing…

I was under the same impression for extracts that it would not be an issue. I do notice color changes, but not sure on OG as my latest was a bit low, but not low enough to prove conclusive.

FYI…I’ve brewed over a dozen batches and only one with less than a 60 minute boil for LME. That particular batch came in a bit low on OG…??

[quote=“Grizz Talker”]I was under the same impression for extracts that it would not be an issue. I do notice color changes, but not sure on OG as my latest was a bit low, but not low enough to prove conclusive.

FYI…I’ve brewed over a dozen batches and only one with less than a 60 minute boil for LME. That particular batch came in a bit low on OG…??[/quote]

In an extract brew, if you use all the ingredients and end up with the final volume your recipe was intended for, you will hit the OG predicted, no matter what you measure.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“Grizz Talker”]I was under the same impression for extracts that it would not be an issue. I do notice color changes, but not sure on OG as my latest was a bit low, but not low enough to prove conclusive.

FYI…I’ve brewed over a dozen batches and only one with less than a 60 minute boil for LME. That particular batch came in a bit low on OG…??[/quote]

In an extract brew, if you use all the ingredients and end up with the final volume your recipe was intended for, you will hit the OG predicted, no matter what you measure.[/quote]

Makes perfect sense Denny (OG consistency).

So is color the only real reason to alter a boil time from full to say…15 minutes?

If you want to go with shorter boil times, you have to increase the hop weight/AA%/character to get the same result. I make an extract + steeping grain IPA that uses more than 2x the Chinook compared to the original to get the IBUs in the proper range with a 20-minute boil. It doesn’t have quite the bite that it should though because it doesn’t have the “traditional” 60-min boil addition.

As far as I can tell, not all extracts are boiled long enough to drive off all the DMS and in addition, some are boiled under pressure, which lowers the boiling temperature and thus lowers the potential for DMS to reduce. So yeah, I’d say that DMS can be a potential issue with extracts.

So other than potential DMS and color issues, the boil time with extracts can be from 60 min to say…30 minutes (for lighter color) with no noticeable effects?

Thanks folks…getting my “education” on!

[quote=“Grizz Talker”]So other than potential DMS and color issues, the boil time with extracts can be from 60 min to say…30 minutes (for lighter color) with no noticeable effects?

Thanks folks…getting my “education” on![/quote]

You seem to be ignoring the most important part about the length of boil that has been mentioned multiple times in this thread which is the bitterness contribution of your hops. The longer you boil your hops the more bittering they will add. So if you take an extract recipe designed for 60 minutes and boil it for 30 minutes, you will end up with a much less bitter beer than the recipe was designed for. This would result in a lower BU/GU ratio and your beer would probably taste overly sweet without the bitterness to balance it out.

[quote=“mattnaik”][quote=“Grizz Talker”]So other than potential DMS and color issues, the boil time with extracts can be from 60 min to say…30 minutes (for lighter color) with no noticeable effects?

Thanks folks…getting my “education” on![/quote]

You seem to be ignoring the most important part about the length of boil that has been mentioned multiple times in this thread which is the bitterness contribution of your hops. The longer you boil your hops the more bittering they will add. So if you take an extract recipe designed for 60 minutes and boil it for 30 minutes, you will end up with a much less bitter beer than the recipe was designed for. This would result in a lower BU/GU ratio and your beer would probably taste overly sweet without the bitterness to balance it out.[/quote]

I think you may have misunderstood. I am not talking about changing the boil times for ANY of the hop additions, but for the extract. I never mentioned changing boil times for the hops.

Sorry if I added confusion.

gotcha that makes sense.

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