Boil

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pyrosx

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So.... I was a cook (not a chef, they get paid), before I was a homebrewer... and there's one thing I haven't seen mentioned on these forums:

In the "boil" phase of any good recipe: How intense is that boil?

To me with the cooking background, a wort seems very similar to a stock..... and generally stocks involves "bring to the boil, then simmer for X mins"

So when beer recipes say "60 min boil".... should that involve some discretion ala most stock recipes?

Or should I be boiling the tits off the queen for a full 60 mins?
 

barls

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its not quite a simmer and not quite off its tits. i boil so i get a nice rolling boil.
 

katzke

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Actually been talked about quite a lot. Just hard to find anything using the forum search.

What the last person said. My idea of a rolling boil is just enough to keep things moving. If you are adding hops the bag or loose hops should be able to move around. If you are using a hop bag, it usually gets stuck on the off side of the boil. If you poke it down it will move around till it gets stuck again by the force of the moving wort. One other indication is any foam should just float over the moving wort. Too hard a boil will break it up.

Too much boil just waists energy as well as causing other problems.
 

radearling

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Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer do a pod cast on all things brewing (LINK) brew strong , I am slowly listening to them but I have not got up to "the boil" yet, but on there "chill haze" talk I got the impression a more vigorous boil was better.
 

Andyd

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Last time I spoke with JZ he was advocating the idea of a "moving" boil rather than a rolling boil.

Three of the main things happening in the boil are sterilisation of the wort (which starts happening around 78 degrees, so a boil isn't strictly necessary for this, but is recommended), isomerisation of the hop alpha acids and driving off unwanted elements like SMM (the precursor to DMS)- it's these last two that need the "movement".

For isomerisation you're just looking for a motion in the wort to move those a-acids around and provide a catalyst for the isomerization process.

For SMM elimination you're looking to provide a large surface area that's exposed to the air. The rolling boil ensures that different parts of the liquid "touch" the air during the boil, meaning more of those nasties are driven into the atmosphere.

So all you need is movement, and enough evaporation to reach your spec. gravity target.

Andy
 

stux

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One other thing that happens is protein coagulation. Whether this works better in a violent boil or a moving boil is debated

And the other effect is to concentrate the wort and provide browning reactions
 

Truman42

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I've noticed with my urn you can't control the boil. I end up with a fairly vigorous boil.
Is this okay or do I need to somehow try and tone it down a notch?
 

benno1973

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I tend to offset my burner from the centre of my pot, so the boil rolls up one side of the pot, over the top and down the other side. You can watch the hops circulate through the boil which is ideal. Personally, it's too intense a boil when it boils over... <_<
 

pimpsqueak

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I tend to offset my burner from the centre of my pot, so the boil rolls up one side of the pot, over the top and down the other side. You can watch the hops circulate through the boil which is ideal. Personally, it's too intense a boil when it boils over... <_<
Same here. Vigorous boil FTW!
 

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