Boil the hops, not the Malt Extract!
By Steve Bader, Bader Beer & Wine Supply, Inc.
Summary of article published, October 2002 Brew Your Own Magazine
When making extract beer and boiling hops, you can improve your beer by making some minor changes to the traditional brewing methods that have been commonplace in USA homebrewing for the past 24 years. This handout simplifies the Brew Your Own article.
The change in your brewing method is simple, and it is only one change that is necessary.
You do not boil all of the malt sugar (both in powder and syrup form) or other sugars like honey, candi sugar, etc. You simply steep the sugars in the hot wort at the end of the boil.
The advantages to this method are that you can:
1) Make a beer with a lighter color.
2) Make a beer with higher levels of hop bitterness.
3) Minimize the carmelization of the malt extract sugars, giving you more appropriate flavors. Some brewers call this carmelization ¡§malt extract taste¡¨
Below is the outline of your new brewing method.
1) Steep the crushed grains in 2-3 gallons of 150„a water for 30 minutes.
2) Remove the grain from the water (Wort)
3) Heat wort to boiling.
4) Add Irish moss and bittering (or boiling) hops, 1 cup of your malt extract (syrup or powder) and boil for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Wait until the end of the boil to add the remainder of the malt sugar.
5) Add any other hops during the boil as per your beer recipe.
6) Remove your pot from your heat source, and add your malt sugars to the wort. Stir the sugars to dissolve into the beer. The temperature of your wort will drop to about 170„a.
7) Let the beer sit at this high temperature for 10 minutes to sanitize the malt sugars you just added to the beer.
8) Cool your wort with a wort chiller or by adding it to cold water.
9) Add yeast when the temperature of your beer is 80„a or less.
10) Ferment your beer as you normally would from this point on.
There is one very important thing to remember with this method. Your hop extraction will increase by about 25%, so reduce your boiling hops accordingly.