What happens with no boil?

I shouldn’t admit I did this, but what the heck. I am just starting to do all-grain brews and did something really dumb the other night. Made a kit of Hefeweizen from Northern Brew, followed the traditional multi step process, which was new to me. I was confused at the end and after such a long slow heating up process, I went straight from the boiling pot to the fermenter - I didn’t do a 60 minute boil at the end. Yes, pretty dumb. I ran the grain through the mash ton, cooled it way down and pitched yeast. It has a good level of activity through the air lock. So now what? Have I created a new form of life that should be put down? Will this turn out? Dump it? I should have said a friend of mine said they did this, but I can live with my mistakes. It just seemed like 2 1/2 hours time in the kettle was excessive. Guess that’s why there is the single infusion method. Thanks, Johnhttp://forum.northernbrewer.com/pos … 3385d1a1a#

?So you did not boil your beer at ANY point? If so, then it will almost certainly be infected.

What did you do for process - if it was taking that long, there must be something you could have done differently.

1.) Heat mash water to 165-167ish
2.) stir in crushed grain, temp. settles at 150-155.
3.) Let it sit 60 min.
4.) Sparge and collect boil kettle full of wort.(this need only take 15-20 minutes or so)
5.) as wort collects in boil kettle you can turn on flame to get wort heating as collecting.
6.) Bring to a boil, boil for 60 minutes.
7.) Chill to 65ish degrees
8.) Put in fermenter and pitch yeast.

I take it you did a step mash where you rested at various temps, heating or decocting in between each step? Did you do any boil at all?

It’ll just be a sour beer.

It’s worth waiting to see what happens. Don’t dump it. For science!

Yeah, don’t dump it. It might turn out to have no infection - I’ll bet plenty of the early historic brews never got infected, so luck may be with you.
If it turns out to be a sour, you’ll have to reserve that fermenter strictly for sours after that.

I followed the directions for the Bavarian Hefe all grain kit. The hottest the grain ever got was 170 degrees. As many impatient and lazy types, I just jumped in and started this brew. I confused myself because I started off with all the grain in the kettle at the low temp of the recipe, and then let it sit for the designated time, then I would all some heat to the next temp, letting it sit for that amount of time - through the process. So in the end the grain had been in the kettle the entire time - actually started with hot water about 150 degrees. I guess if it turns out sour it will just taste - sour?
I guess I was supposed to just keep adding hot water to the mash tun and bring to each stage of temperature, but I clearly wasn’t thinking, but I was drinking beer - which has to count for something. Thanks, Duckydoo

Did you add hops at any point? If not, thats a bigger issue than no boil. It is possible that this beer could turn out to be a decent Berliner Weiss if the natural lacto on the grain has a chance to take off or if you add a lacto culture. It will not “definitely” be sour (but it could be), depending on the time spent at the higher temps you may have pasturized (using that term loosely) the wort and killed any bugs on it.

Also, hops can help to act as a preservative and if you didn’t add any the beer won’t have much of a shelf life.

Hope this is not too dumb a question, but how did you separate the liquid from the grains?

So what I did was add hops at about the 60 minute point in the process, instead of during the 60 minute boil. So I was just being dumb and I get it now. As far as getting the liquid off the grains, as I did this whole thing sort of backwards, the grain spent the entire time in the kettle with all the water at very controlled heat, following the traditional multi step process. I mixed the grain throughout so at the end it was very well blended. So one I hit 170 degrees, I drained the kettle into the mash tun and began to drain and sparge. As you can imagine, the liquid was pretty tough to drain. Once in the mash tun - into the fermentor and cooled down to about 70 degrees, pitched yeast and here we are. Sorry to bug everyone here, I should have read and understood the traditional multi step methodology before I did this. I plan to let it go for a couple of weeks and then see if it can be bottle conditioned or not. Probably need to do a two stage fermentation since this is going to turn into a STRANGE BREW (yes I did intend the reference to the great movie). I guess I was excited to get two batches of beer going at once - I have a porter fermenting as well. I guess single infusion is better for a novice like me. Thanks, duckydoo

Well you should have something interesting. You will have a lower SG higher volume if you pulled off the right volume of mash/sparge. The hop flavoring should actually turn out nice its a sort of first wort hopping so reduced harshness more of the hops natural flavor. What was your SG before you pitched, just out of curiosity?

As for the SG reading, I generally don’t take one. Call it lazy, but I am more interested in the end products taste. I know, pretty lame on my part, I am sure I will become more interested and document better in time. As you can see by this post, I am challenged by following a simple recipe. I am going to let this batch run for a couple of weeks and then see if it’s worth bottling. I am sure a lot of folks are out there and shaking your heads thinking I am an idiot here; and that’s OK, I have lots to learn and in time I may actually know what I am doing. Thanks, duckydoo

[quote=“duckydoo”]As for the SG reading, I generally don’t take one. Call it lazy, but I am more interested in the end products taste.[/quote]Gravity readings thoughout the process are a very helpful tool to figuring out many common problems. Say your fermentation looks like it’s not going anywhere - just take a reading and compare to the OG. “Is this ready to bottle?” is very easy to answer if you take a couple of readings over a couple of days.

Thanks. I didn’t think about using gravity during the process to see when it was done, which is a pretty basic skill. I have been reluctant to disturb the beer while in the fermentor, I am aways concerned about opening up the environment and having contamination issues. But I guess as long as things are sanitized there should be no issues. Just letting it sit for a specific amount of time - like 2 weeks is very general I know and it could be ready much sooner - I will have to start using my hydrometer and recording info. The one time I tried to use it I had a difficult time really reading it. Thanks, duckydoo

If you held it above 160 F for a few minutes you pasteurized and should have killed most of the bugs.
If you added hops - the hops act as a preservative. If the yeast ferments - once the alcohol gets above 2-3% it tends to kill bacteria. Remember - people made beer as a way to make the water safer to drink.

this is a joke right??? :roll:

Im not poking at you if it isn’t as beginners we all have to learn and make mistakes but…
no boil??? Im still scratching my head over that one :slight_smile:

Good luck with this one.

My recommendation is if you keg, go ahead let it finish and keg it. If you bottle, just dump it. Not worth the risk of bottle bombs IMO.

[quote=“Mike_”]this is a joke right??? :roll:

Im not poking at you if it isn’t as beginners we all have to learn and make mistakes but…
no boil??? Im still scratching my head over that one :slight_smile: [/quote]

I can see this happening. Especially when it’s a newer brewer. I get pretty hyped up on details when I brew, but with a little time pressure I could see something slipping by me. ESPECIALLY with a multi-step mash - I haven’t tried that because it just seems too fussy.

I guess the whole thing started off backwards, instead of starting in the mash tun and bringing up the temp as the multi step indicates, I did it all in the kettle and on the burner? It just seemed like a silly amount of time to go through the multi step and then another hour boiling - but that was just my ignorance. Maybe this would be a good time to go to a corney keg setup and let this be my test, bottle bombs don’t sound so great. Duckydoo
I am impressed how many folks are interested in my stupidity, but I appreciate all the attention.

Actually it is a REALLY INTERESTING experiment. I am really curious what you end up with.

That’s what I’m thinking too. Think about the mistakes that originally lead to fermented grain water, and the methods used along the way. I’m thinking this will be an interesting and drinkable brew.