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I'm making a late hopped extract beer later tonight. (Jamil's Evil Twin as posted http://www.mrmalty.com/late_hopping.htm) He suggests at 90 minute boil with the first hop addition coming 20 minutes before the end of boil. Since I'm doing the extract plus grains version of it, is boiling for that long necessary? Why or why not?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Typically, the long boil is intended to increase melanoidin formation ("kettle carmelization") and decrease DMS in wort with a lot of pilsener malt. The former appears to be the case, here:

"While you could go with a shorter boil, the 90 minute boil enhances the blood-red color. It also adds a touch more melanoidin and caramel notes."

It's not necessary, but it will add some nice flavor and color characteristics that you might not get otherwise. The sugars in the extract will still darken and go through the maillard reactions, just the same as an all grain version.

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"Kettle caramelization" can't happen. You need contact with O2 and temps over 360F for that to occur, neither of which takes place in a kettle. And melanoidins are colors, not flavors. – Denny Conn Dec 27 '10 at 17:39
I agree with the kettle caramelization part, but melanoidins from the maillard reaction are sources of flavor. Its the difference between bread and the crust, big difference in flavor. – brewchez Dec 29 '10 at 14:30
i know "kettle caramelization" is technically wrong, but it does explain what goes on with the flavors pretty well to someone who thinks the "maillard reaction" might have something to do with ducks. most of us have little to no context for how experienced or technical the people reading are. – baka Dec 29 '10 at 20:36

Boiling longer than 60 min. is generally not necessary for extract beers. Hot break occurred when the extract was produced, so break in the kettle will be little to none. Buit a 60 min. boil makes sure you get the maximum utilization from your bittering hops.

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If I did the 90 min boil, there'd be 70 minutes without any hops. Doesn't call for hops until 20 minutes before the end. – Bill Goetz Dec 27 '10 at 21:17
Missed that...I thought it was 20 min. into the boil. In that case you could probably get by with a 30 min. total boil. – Denny Conn Dec 27 '10 at 21:38

I always did at least a 1hr boil when doing an extract brew (with various hop additions). It can take ~20min. for the hot break to occur, depending on the amount of protein in your extract. It is recommended that you wait until the hot break occurs before doing your first hop addition and timing an hour. In your case you should be safe adding your hops after the hot break, boiling for 20 additional minutes, then cooling, etc.

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According to How to Brew, the 1 hour boil is really just for the purpose of the hop editions, and you wouldn't need to boil at all if you're using pasteurized hopped extract, because the boiling is just for pasteurization in that case. My guess is that the 90 minute boil is for the hops, just as Dogfish Head makes 60, 90 and 120 minute versions of their IPA. You need the longer times to get more hop bitterness and flavor - but those beers are all "continuously hopped".

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