Re: [Distillers] Re: Boiling your mash/wort?
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From: "waljaco" <waljaco@...>
I am not convinced that applying excessive heat to the wort is
necessary or beneficial. This point is important for both the brewer
and distiller who is going for maximum flavor.
Boiling hops in the open will drive off volatile oils so it would be
better to boil them separately (in a bag) in a pressure cooker where
the B.P. temperature is below that of atmospheric.
I tried reply to this yesterday but the message seemd to get lost somewhere. Without the
prolonged boil, you don't get conversion of the hop alpha acids into a soluble bittering form.
True, you drive off a lot of the volatile aromatics but you also drive off a lot agents present in
the malt that can give off flavours in an ale. The lighter essential oils - which give a hoppy
aroma rather than a bitter flavour are traditionaly replace by dry hopping - the addition of dry
hops to the cask whilst the ale is maturing, a lot of recipies these days add hops at 60mins
into the boil or just before the wort if cooled for much the same effect. Incidentaly, the BP in a
pressure cooker is above that at atmospheric pressure.
Boiling also cause precipitation of proteins that would lead to a haze in the finished product,
and yes this includes the amylase systems that are utilised in mashing but then, once the
wort has been run off from the mash tun, these enzymes have done their job. This isn't so
critical when malt extract is used but it really is important if you have any proportion of
genuine malt present.
As for head formation - it does work perfectly well with plain malt extract recipies, the
simplest addition if you want a really thick head is a small amount of roasted barley,
chocolate malt or black malt ( none of which require mashing ). I brewed with malt extract and
hops for many years before making the conversion to full grain, and even these days I tend to
used half and half malt grain to malt extract. Granted, you have no control over the dextrin
content of malt extract - which is usualy low as the mash is done for maximum conversion but
that's compensated for by mashing the grain at a higher temperature to encourage dextrin
formation over simple sugar formation. The higher the dextrin levels, the sweeter the finished
product. Dextrin is fermentable by the yeast but only at a slow rate - it's what allows the head
of CO2 to build up in the cask when you don't prime ( which I never do for any ale over
4%ABV - which is pretty much all of my brews ). Stupidly strong ales like some of my stock
ales ( 9% and above ) start out extremely cloying when fresh but 'dry out' after a couple of
years in the cask or bottle ( I admit I've never managed to keep a bottle past three years ).
By the way, I've come across one reference to an Eau de Vie produced from well hopped ale (
in Belgium I think), has anyone here experience of distillation from a hopped ferment?
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