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I made beer from malt extract a couple of times with satisfying results. I had been reading a lot about it upfront and practiced what I had learned. This meant ignoring the instructions that came with my malt extract kits though. I was convinced I needed to cook that stuff to get rid of substances that do not taste well. So I did each time. I also made sure to cool quickly using a self-made cooler.

Now what puzzles me is the instructions that come with the kit. These tell you to dissolve the extract in a bucket of warm water and just put the bucket away until it is time to bottle. No cooking, no avoiding temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius for an extended period of time.

Is this just a trade-off to make it as easy as possible, likely resulting in a sub-par beer or do these malt extract suppliers pre-process the stuff in such a way that there is indeed no added value in cooking?

I have been using the sirup kind of extract. There is also the solid grained type. I would like to know how each is produced and how, if this were the case, this removes the need to cook the wort.

There is another question asking about whether wort should be boiled or not here but this is different because I want to know more than a simple yes or no, I want to understand what the extract producers do to make boiling less of a necessity.

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In the process of making extract, the wort was already boiled for the most part (or very close to it). Hence any chemistry that may be necessary in wort boiling to make beer is already done. Extracts generally come out of the manufacturing process sanitized if not close to sterile. So if your process is clean it really doesn't need to be boiled.

The reason to boil is mainly for hop isomerization (making bitterness) and sanitation. I also think from a legacy standpoint learning to boil extract for 60minutes is getting you already in the mindset of boiling wort made straight from all-grain. Boiling for 60minutes is also mimicking what happens at the pro level. (Which I think as the hobby has matured the mindset of doing exactly what the pros need to do has changed quite a bit.)

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  • Okay... I do add hops when cooking because I do not get much hops with the kit and I like hops. So it may be good for just that. But I guess I could also cold-hop. I should try a couple of liters doing it according to the instructions just to see how that turns out and if I notice any difference. – Martin Maat Dec 9 '19 at 13:55
  • One thing that makes me think they did not cook it properly is that I do get a serious breakout when I boil it myself. I would imagine that should not happen anymore if this has already occurred before. Something with proteins evaporating, you can only have this once, right? I may have the wrong idea. – Martin Maat Dec 9 '19 at 13:59

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