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Temperature questions

BrewingBad

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I've been using a little specialty grains to start, then adding LME and DME at the halfway point.  I use an outdoor gas burner that doesn't generate a lot of heat, so I never get the pot to the boiling point.  Is that a problem, do  I need to get it to a real boil?  In case it matters, my latest 3 gallon recipe was:

0.3 lb Vienna grains & 0.6 lb Crystal 60L grains steeped for 30 minutes at 150-165 F
3.3 lb Pilsen light LME & 0.53 lb DME added at the 30 minute mark, cooked for 30 minutes more, around 200 F
Added Cascade, Simcoe, Citra & Perle hops at various times


 

Ck27

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BrewingBad said:
I've been using a little specialty grains to start, then adding LME and DME at the halfway point.  I use an outdoor gas burner that doesn't generate a lot of heat, so I never get the pot to the boiling point.  Is that a problem, do  I need to get it to a real boil?  In case it matters, my latest 3 gallon recipe was:

0.3 lb Vienna grains & 0.6 lb Crystal 60L grains steeped for 30 minutes at 150-165 F
3.3 lb Pilsen light LME & 0.53 lb DME added at the 30 minute mark, cooked for 30 minutes more, around 200 F
Added Cascade, Simcoe, Citra & Perle hops at various times
You really need to get it to a good boil. Boiling reduces compounds that can negatively impact beer and you need boiling to get the full effect from your hops.
 

Oginme

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Since you are using mostly DME and LME for the bulk of your fermentables and they have already been through the boiling process, you should have very little to worry about there. 

At 200F, you will get some isomerization from your hops, but it will be reduced from the utilization rate you would get if you were to get to boiling.  You may get more hop character but less actual bitterness from your hops.

Since you are above minimum temperature and time duration for pasteurization, you should be OK on any bacteria or wild yeasts brought in with your water or grains.

Given you situation, have you tried doing a partial boil?  Instead of putting in all your water into the boil kettle, use about 2/3 of the water you need.  Without the added mass of all the water and the heat loss associated from being outdoors, you may be able to reach boil temperatures.  Then you can top off to your fermenter volume using pre-boiled and chilled water (this can also give you the added benefit of cooling down your wort faster.)  You should also look into shielding around your boil kettle and burner to minimize the effect of breezes and wind from stealing away your heat.

 
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