Noob Clarification

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Chugs13, Feb 26, 2012.

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  1. Chugs13

    Chugs13 Zealot (599) Dec 11, 2011 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Okay, so I brewed my first extract homebrew about a week and a half ago, currently in secondary.

    Now I was watching videos on YouTube on brewing processes and immersion chillers and the such, and I noticed that a lot of guys had there boils going at over 200 degrees. For some reason I thought I read somewhere to boil at 155-165 degrees, which is what I did.

    Is this true? Do you guys maintain a steady boil temp for the hour, or do you just let the boil keep rolling and progressively get hotter over the hour past 200 degrees?
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,343) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Sounds like you got boil temp confused with steeping temp. Steeping is what you do (at about 155F) to get flavor, color, and/or body from specialty grains (if any). Then you boil at 212F (at sea level) for the full hour (or whatever the recipe calls for), along with the extract and hops, added at the beginning of the boil (and/or other times) according to the recipe.

    Edit: I'd recommend reading this excellent free online book before brewing another batch...
    jpbebeau likes this.
  3. DNuggs

    DNuggs Aspirant (281) Apr 13, 2006 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    Boiling happens at 212 degrees and is necessary to isomerize the hops to obtain their bittering/flavor/aroma compounds. The lower temps you're referring to are mash temperatures used in all-grain or partial mash brewing to convert the grain starches to sugar. Mash temps usually fall anywhere between 145 and 158 degrees.
  4. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    What you likely read is that you should mash or steep at 155-165, there's no such thing as boiling at 155-165, boiling occurs at the boiling point, which is generally at or around 212 depending on your location and the composition of the liquid you're boiling.
  5. Chugs13

    Chugs13 Zealot (599) Dec 11, 2011 New Jersey
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Wow, I was definitely confusing steeping temps with boiling. I DID boil over 212, for some reason when I saw this video I panicked and thought I was boiling at 165, but I was thinking of steeping. I've gotta stop over thinking this stuff haha.
  6. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,305) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Boiling happens at 212F at sea level at standard pressure. Where I live it is 210F, at 900 Ft above sea level. At the Coors brewery it is a lower temp, too lazy to look that up.

    Isomorization happens above 150F, but maximum utilization rate is when boiling. Some breweries use the whirlpool to get a large part of the IBU's.

    You can get more flavor from a hot steep at the end, or more hops in the whirlpool.

    The maximum aroma comes from dry hopping. Though you can get a fair amount by adding a dose of hops at knockout.
  7. MontpelierArtie

    MontpelierArtie Initiate (21) Jun 23, 2010 Vermont

    Welcome to the hobby. Don't rush your beer, however. 1.5 weeks in primary is not enough time to allow fermentation and post-fermentation activity to complete. I second Vikeman's recommendation on How to Brew. Great resource.
  8. circlenine

    circlenine Initiate (0) Mar 27, 2010 Connecticut

    Wow... Palmer's book is free? I bought the print version and read it cover to cover (great stuff by the way), had no idea it was indexed online. Oh well. To the author goes minimal spoils and to the publisher the majority.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,343) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    The online version is not the current edition. I read the online version a while back, then bought the newer hard copy.
  10. Swim424

    Swim424 Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2011 Florida

    Its not boiling unless its at 212 degrees. So there is no way to boil it at 155-165.
  11. rhoadsrage

    rhoadsrage Poo-Bah (3,695) Jun 23, 2004 Illinois

    Also, when you boil make sure to keep your lid off. That will let other chemicals escape that you don't want in your finished beer. Mainly, Dimethyl sulfide (DMS) or cooked corn/ creamed corn flavor.
  12. raffels

    raffels Initiate (168) Dec 12, 2009 West Virginia

    I thought DMS wasn't all that big an issue with extract? Every so often in the old forum there was a discussion about this.
  13. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    That is not strictly true. Lots of beers can be transferred to secondary after a week. If anything, leaving dying yeast in for too long can give you nasty flavors. Not to mention which, clarification becomes more and more of a bitch the longer you wait to transfer to another vessel. I've never made a single beer (all of them partial mash) that stayed in primary longer than 8 days.
  14. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,343) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Potentially true, but under homebrew conditions, with good yeast health, it would take some combination of very long time/high temps/high pressure to happen.

  15. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,305) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    This is not true unless you are at sea level and standard pressure. In Denver Co the boiling point is about 203F due to the altitude. You can look this up.

    I will admit that you would have to be really really high to boil at 155F.

    Higher than mount Everest, boiling there is about 160F, just to give some framework for this.
  16. drgarage

    drgarage Initiate (0) Aug 19, 2008 California

    Not always necessary, but every transfer is another chance to get more sediment out of the brew prior to bottling. It doesn't necessarily get harder, but the need doesn't go away through a longer primary. This is of less consequence, but it's still there. It's also way more important of mashing than for extract with steeping.
  17. VikeMan

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,343) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    With careful racking from primary to keg or bottling bucket, I'd argue that the beer can be just as clear as any secondary, given equal amounts of total fermenter time. Gravity and time work the same way in either case.

    I'm confused by your statement that it's more important for mashing (all grain brewing) than for extract/steeping. Why do you say that?
  18. Homebrew42

    Homebrew42 Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2006 New York

    Yes it does, if you let a beer sit in primary for 2 weeks the same amount of sediment will settle out when compared to a beer that spent 1 week in primary and 1 week in secondary.
  19. MontpelierArtie

    MontpelierArtie Initiate (21) Jun 23, 2010 Vermont

    I agree that it is not strictly true. I should have added a qualifier to my statement. However, as the OP is an admitted noob, I wanted to plant the seed that it is okay to leave beer longer in primary. Sort of a "we report, you decide" approach to disseminating information. Since switching to AG I have not used a secondary yet. My beers show no lack of clarity as judged by me and others.
  20. delapowicz

    delapowicz Initiate (0) May 21, 2009 Virginia

    OK guys,
    balance this when talking about transfers. Every time you transfer you open the beer to bactierial elements. If the temp is over 70F then take concern to transfer as bacteria will gain advantage in the solution. If it is colder there is less concern to transfer. If you want to be scientific, check out job applications to BUD. I have left beer on the lees (primary or yeast) for 1 month and bottled it and drank it and it was wonderful to my friends and myself. Charlie Papazian, godfather of 1990s homebrewing said it best. Relax, dont worry and have a homebrew. Everytime i think about something too much I always go back to this adage. If your beer has scum on the top after 2 weeks of fermentation, keg it and drink it fast. It will not kill you and will probably taste as good as some slop hocked as PRO. Believe me, if you are lookiing for refinement, go after the nitty gritty. But it will be drinkable. If you dont like it give it to friends. Start again. do it better next time. It is all about doing it yourself. Experience will help everything. You will do fine. Get some one at your local brew club to help you with a batch. Buy him a six pack or offer him a bit of the spoils and he will be happy. He will guide you to the basics and put to bed some of the overwhelming nature of our beautiful craft. Just remember, English folks in Dickens time used to drink over a gallon a day. Your beer would have been elixir
  21. Swim424

    Swim424 Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2011 Florida

    good point. I did know that i just live in florida so not used to thinking like that. But yeah either way noone here can "boil" at 155, and not many people here can boil anywhere close to that.
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