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The Significance of Wort Boiling

May. 07, 2022

Wort boiling is a necessary part of beer brewing, and a series of changes occur during the process that has an important impact on the brewing process.

1. Contributes to the dissolution and conversion of hop components and the formation and separation of protein-polyphenol complexes

The polyphenols in hops and malt are completely dissolved in the wort and bound to the proteins. Proteins and polyphenols as well as complexes formed by proteins and post-oxidized polyphenols are insoluble when heated and precipitate as coagulants (flocculants) when boiled and should be separated from the wort as much as possible. If the boiling time is not sufficient, there are residues in the wort that will precipitate during the fermentation of the beer and lead to cloudy beer.

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Killing microbes in the wort

Wort is essentially a nutrient-rich sugar solution that is an ideal environment for microorganisms to live in, and allowing them to grow can lead to beer spoilage and affect flavor.


Destroying the enzymes in the wort

Boiling will end the saccharification process that converts starch into sugar. Perhaps the most important function of boiling wort is to inhibit the activity of enzymes that remain after the saccharification process. Inhibition of enzyme activity maintains the desired sugar/mash ratio. If the enzyme-catalyzed process continues, it will produce a poor-tasting "thin" beer.

2. Evaporation of water to achieve the desired range of sugar content and improve wort color

A 10% to 15% wort evaporation has long been the hallmark of a good kettle. Today, evaporation strength (i.e., total evaporation rate) is used instead.

The formula is.

= evaporated water/whole keg of wort before boiling X 100%

The entire boiling process will last 1-2 hours. Steam heating equipment is generally from the beginning of the heating to boiling stage is to open the sidewall jacket and bottom jacket at the same time to ensure the shortest time to reach the boiling state; in the continuous boiling stage, it is necessary to reduce or close the sidewall jacket pressure to continuously heat the boiling at the bottom, which can achieve the effect of tumbling and accelerate the mixing of auxiliary materials. At the same time, it prevents the material from drying out due to the high temperature of the sidewall, which eventually leads to the problem of difficult cleaning.

3. Promote the formation of partially reduced substances

During the process of wort boiling, reducing substances that can combine with oxygen in the wort, such as melanin-like substances, are formed.

4. Reduces the content of substances that are detrimental to the flavor of beer, such as dimethyl sulfide (DMS)

DMS is a volatile sulfur-containing compound with an unpleasant odor and taste that can affect the taste and flavor of beer. The half-life of the DMS precursor SMM is about 40 minutes at boiling temperature. The precursor of DMS can be decomposed into free dimethyl sulfide during boiling and dissipated with the evaporation of water.


ZYBREW has been engaged in the consultation, design and manufacture of professional beer brewing equipment. And we are actively sharing our expertise in more brewing and equipment. If you have any questions or requirements about brewing equipment, you can contact our professional technical engineers to find the answers. Contact us!


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