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JLScar

Full Boil for LME

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I am preparing to brew my first batch using additional LME.  It is my understanding I need to boil the LME because it is not "hopped."  Is this true?  Is it a full 60 minute boil?

Thanks in advance.

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Not correct, the reasoning at least.

If you're adding Mr. Beer's LME pouches, you can just pour then in to the hot water just as you pour the Mr. Beer HME in.

If you're adding LME purchased in a can, read the can.  It's likely the same.

If you're using bulk LME purchased at your LHBS, which they put into a container, you DO want to boil it - but NOT because it isn't hopped.  You want to boil it to ensure that any "bugs" that are in it are killed and you don't get an infection.  I boil mine for 15 minutes, I've read that 5 is enough but I do 15.  Make sure to add the LME when the water is OFF the burner so it doesn't scorch, then put the pot back on.

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What RickBeer said.

All your doing is "sanitizing" that additional LME.

The "Hops" have nothing to do with this part.

The only need for a 60 min boil is to do a Bittering Boil.

You only do that if you are working with just LME/DME which has not hops added to the wort yet

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So I don't have to worry about the "hot break" or any of that?  If I am adding hops for bittering, flavor or aroma, then do I need to boil the LME and the HME for the appropriate amount of time and add the hops? Or do I just boil the hops in water for the appropriate amount of time?

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You may have a secondary hot break with the LME, and definately will with the DME. That will happen once you hit 212*F at sea level...adjust for your altitude. I keep a spray bottle with water in it handy, and once the hot break starts, I just spray it. The Hot Break doesn't normally last long.

Now for that other part of your question.

The Bitter Boil requires you to add the Hops for bittereing and THEN start the timer for the boil. So, for a bittering boil, you'd bring the wort to a boil, add the bittering hops and start the 60 min count down.

When you have about 20 min left in THAT bittering boil, add your flavoring hops...

I find that the suggested 5~7 min Aroma boil, is better done by turning off the flame and just prior to cooling your wort, put in the aroma hops. But then, I'm doing a 5 gallon batch, and using a cooling coil to cool my wort.

that method will also work for doing a 2.5 sized batch.

you won't get the proper oils from the hops if you just boil them in water. They need the malt to bind too for them to work better.

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I've boiled the HME's before, sometimes I do, Sometimes I don't. I always add additional hops to my brews though. I've never noticed any major differences between boiled and not boiled.

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I have never boiled an HME, I have boiled DME but not HME. From what I heard when you boil an HME it can darken the color and alter the taste a little bit. I am with the rest of the borg here no boil of HME.

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it does darken the color a bit, but I've never had a problem with flavor, especially since I tend to supplement the hops in the HME, because I usually find them a little light on flavor.

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Unless you've compared the unboiled HME to the boiled, you can't make a statement that you haven't affected the flavor...

Boiling HME cooks the hops more than was intended.  If the hops were for flavor, and you boil them for 15 minutes, there goes all your flavor as you noted.   

If you're going to boil HME, you should just buy DME/LME and hops and make your own brew.  Makes no sense to me.  

Hop additions to Mr. Beer HMEs should be boiled in DME/LME for the proper period, then the pot removed from the stove and the HME added.

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I always do my own hop additions with my boils. After my first few Mr. Beer recipes brewed by the book, and finding them lacking in flavor, I always supplement my brews with hops of my own. And those first brews, I didn't boil, I always added the HME after flameout, and I didn't like the flavor. After I started boiling I noticed better brews coming out.

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Buy LME and hops, save your money.  Your boiling the HME is counterproductive.  Look at the hops chart below.  Assume that Mr. Beer put in a specific hops for FLAVOR, boiling it for 20 minutes to hit peak impact.  You then boil for another 20 or more minutes.  Look at the curve - you just zapped the flavor.  While you may not impact bitterness, you will impact flavor and aroma.

3824d1199021766-better-hop-utilization-d

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