The idea is pretty simple: bittering due to alpha acid isomerization is a function of boil time and quantity of bittering hops. Hence, it's quoted that from an alpha acid standpoint, a 15 minute boil with twice the quantity of bittering hops is fairly equivalent to a 60-minute hop addition.

I'm a bit lazy, and I'd rather not steam up the house any more than I need to, so a shorter boil time definitely has an appeal. Plus, it seems like more of the nice aromatics would be retained, which sounds like a win-win.

Doing a little research, I'm noticing that I see a decent amount of 15-minute American pale ale recipes popping up, almost at the exclusion of other, more malt-forward styles. That's got me curious:

Is there a benefit to a full-length boil, other than saving a few bucks on hops? Is there something that happens on the malt side that takes time?

  • 3
    I dont have time for a full answer, but you may want to look at this brulosophy.com/projects/short-shoddy These brews are tested and tasted for a quicker brew day.
    – jsolarski
    Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 18:39
  • @jsolarski That looks super helpful - thanks! Commented Oct 31, 2018 at 18:44
  • Short and shoddy is the way to go. Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


Yes your brew day can be shortened, using the methods here

Summary of method:

1) Mash for 30 mins, but times may vary

2) Boil for 20 to 30 mins

3) standard procedure from here.

But some styles require a longer boil, due to Maillard reaction and Caramelization. one that comes to mind is barley wines and old ales.

My suggestion is to use the short and shoddy method for less boozy brews, and the standard or longer boils for strong beers, or specialty brews that require the complexity that Maillard reaction and Caramelization add to the beer.

  • Awesome, sounds like good advice. Good to know about Maillard reactions & caramelization on the malt side, exactly what I was curious about. Commented Nov 1, 2018 at 20:33
  • Agree 100%. I have used the Short and Shoddy method for a while now with great results & awards. I haven't found a style that is not compatible.
    – RAReed
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 14:30

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