No Boil Experiment

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Dr.Reddog's picture
No Boil Experiment

Inspired by my tasty berliner weisse experiences, in January I decided to try a no-boil experiment applied to one of my standard recipes. I scaled it down to one gallon, and altered it for the no-boil experience. This was a BIAB/No-chill/No-boil.

Anticipated issues to overcome, and how I resolved them
1) No-boil = DMS
Not necessarily. My understanding is that DMS is produced at 180 degrees, which explains why true no-boil berliner's don't have a DMS profile. As long as the mash and mashout stay below 180, it won't be a problem.

2) No-boil = no sanitation
Again, not necessarily. Pasteurization occurs at 160 degrees in just a few seconds, so as long as the mashout is above 160, no problems.

3) No-boil = low hop utilization
This is the one true dilemma with no-boil, in my mind anyway. Hop isomerization is greatest at boiling temperatures, but does occur to some extent at sub-boiling temps. I decided to use a 15-minute Cascade recipe for this, since there aren't bittering additions and it's more-or-less hop bursted. I moved all hop additions to the mash, since this is the one and only step in the brew day. Since this was no-chill, the hoppy goodness is exposed to the hot wort for an extended period of time, which may also help with hop utilization.

Original Recipe (5-gal)
9# 2-row
1# crystal 60
3oz Cascade 15min
1oz Cascade 5min

No-Boil Recipe (1-gal)
2# 2-row (since there's no volume loss with boiling, I bumped this up to maintain OG of 1.055)
0.2# crystal 60
0.5oz Cascade mash hop

BIAB mash (including grain and hops) 60 minutes at 152 degrees
Mashout at 170 degrees for 10 minutes
Transfer to 1 gallon container, sealed up
Yeast pitched the next morning at 60 degrees
Primary for 2 weeks at 60 degrees
Bottle and condition at 60 degrees for 3 weeks

I seriously regret not taking pictures of this one, as it was surprisingly and unexpectedly clear; crystal clear. At least with the bottles I cold crashed for a day. I did open two bottles at room temperature, and these were slightly hazy. I was expecting it to be cloudy due to lack of hot break and cold break, and because I'm used to cloudy no-boil berliners. It was not sour like a berliner, but of course I didn't add lacto.

Surprising factor #2 was how similar to the original recipe it was. The no-boil had 'different' bitterness (see below), but otherwise tasted the same. It did have a thicker mouthfeel, perhaps because proteins/etc aren't lost to hot break? That's the best explanation I can conjure.

Surprising factor #3 was how bitter it actually was. Not as bitter as the original recipe, but it definitely had a hop presence. The original recipe had 36 IBU's. If I had to guess, I'd say the no-boil was in the low-to-mid twenties. In addition to the mash hops, you could also do a pseudo FWH addition by adding to the no-chill container, and you could always dry hop as well.

All in all, it turned out really good. However, there's still more experimentation to be done, and for my 5+ gallon batches I'm still doing my standard boil process, but I may soon make the leap and try a no-boil full batch. After reading Dave's post about his mash experiments I might try this again with a 40 minute mash. That would make for a really short brew day!

Dr.Reddog's picture
Addendum to the above...

Addendum to the above... future experiments I'll try to figure out the clarity issue, because in my mind it should have been cloudier. If/when I do a full batch I'll probably do a wheat or rye, or something that I don't mind being cloudy, just in case.

denny's picture
Wow! Very interesting!

Wow! Very interesting! Please keep us informed of any further experiments with this.

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

Super interesting! This makes

Super interesting! This makes all-grain test batches a really simple proposition. Although if I were doing a 1-gallon BIAB, I'd be tempted to at least bring it to a boil (since it wouldn't take that long to get from mash to boil temp if I use my 5 gallon kettle). But then I'd probably just put a lid on my kettle and let it sit in the basement overnight, then pitch in the morning. Probably not the best method for super hoppy beers, and you'd have to make a guesstimate on hop utilization if you wanted to scale up to a full-volume/full-boil batch.

Please keep us posted on further experiments!

Dr.Reddog's picture
I actually wanted to avoid

I actually wanted to avoid bringing it to a boil for the sake of reducing DMS. If I understand correctly, DMS is converted above 180 degrees, and eliminated through boiling. By mashing out at 170, it's above the pasteurization temp (160) but below the DMS production temp. If you brought it to a boil for a few minutes just for the sake of bringing it to a boil, I believe you'd be producing a lot of DMS from 180-212 that you wouldn't be eliminating due to the lack of a full hour boil.

Dr.Reddog's picture
I'm thinking of running

I'm thinking of running another experiment on this, but tweaked to increase hop efficiency. The idea is to pull out a small amount of wort halfway into the mash in order to boil the hops in a "hop decoction". Since this is a hop-bursted recipe you wouldn't need a long boil for the hops. Since it's such a small volume hopefully the short boil would be enough to knock out any DMS that's produced by bringing the volume above 180 deg. The side-boil would be occurring at the same time as the mash is completing, the whole process is still only one hour. You could in theory do an IPA by hop mashing, "hop decoction", and dry hopping, but I'll save that for later. Here's my plan:

No-Boil Recipe (1-gal)
2# 2-row
0.2# crystal 60
0.3oz Cascade 15min
0.2oz Cascade 5 min

BIAB mash 60 minutes at 152 degrees
30 minutes into mash, draw off 15-25% of wort, boil on the side for hop schedule
At 60 minutes mash (30 minutes boil), return boil volume to mash kettle for mashout
Transfer to 1 gallon container, sealed up
Pitch yeast the next morning

If it works well, I may try repeating it with Dave's 40-minute mash, so 20-min into mash draw off and side boil for 20-min.

Thoughts? Criticisms? Anybody want to label me a heretic?

I like this idea. My only

I like this idea. My only concern is that there is supposedly a ceiling on how high you can get IBU's in a beer (the number I hear is ~100 IBU, but Mikkeller had one measure ~150 IBU at White Labs). So if you have 100 IBU in the side boil, but dilute that 400%, it would seem that you would max out at 25 IBU's.

Still, there's so much different going on in your process, this is definitely a worthwhile experiment.

cmoon's picture
So many cool ideas in this

So many cool ideas in this thread! A friend of mine just made a 0 IBU beer (all hop bursting, no bittering) which he said is fantastic. Another friend rescued a beer he forgot to add the bittering hops to by making a mini-beer, using the bittering hops he forgot, and adding the mini-beer back to the original beer. Since this latter process worked, I don't see why adding hops during a decoction wouldn't work, or just not bittering at all.

The biggest problem I see with having no boil (or a very short boil) would be DMS.

cmoon's picture
Ugh, see no way to delete or

Ugh, see no way to delete or edit my last post. I can see you covered the DMS problem above. I think my friend's idea of making a mini-beer and adding it back to the original beer is a step in the right direction (not too far from your hop decoction idea.) One step better though, could you just boil a small volume of water (no risk of DMS) with your hops and add it at the end to hit your mash-out temperature?

When racking a rye ipa (my

Forgot the bittering hops! When racking a rye ipa (my first all grain) into cornys I took a gravity and tasted it--way sweet, good aroma but almost no bitterness--and realized where those extra hops in the freezer were from!

It was a 10 gal batch split into 2-5 gal using different yeasts. Seems to me I've read that wort is required for good isomerization, so I made ~2.2 L @1.040 using DME and 4 oz of summit with a 60 min boil in a erlenmyer flask--final vol was 2 L. Cooled it and added it to the 2 cornys, which I left at room temp for a week. Dry hopped with 1 oz amarillo. It turned out really well, quite drinkable.

The side boil of hops comment

The side boil of hops comment reminded me of something that Mitch Steele either wrote about or talked about at NHC (my memory is treasonous). Here's a link to the article, it may come in handy here.

kellyjp's picture
What a great conversation!

What a great conversation! Am I glad I joined this. Just followed one of your FB posts, Denny, thanks a lot!


denny's picture
So, Dr. reddog, any follow up

So, Dr. reddog, any follow up on this?

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

Dr.Reddog's picture
Sadly no. I've been busy with

Sadly no. I've been busy with other projects, so I haven't brewed in almost two months :(

This is still on my to-do list though when I have a day to myself.

Hey that is very cool,I

Hey that is very cool,I recently bough isomerised liquid hop extract,that stuff is really potent,1 ml in 20 l resulting in 11 ibu ,and for the clarity issue for no boil beer ,if that should happen there is new enzyme called clarity ferm from white labs,maybe this will help?does anyone know how to use beersmith to calc.the grain for non boil batch? Is it like BIAB?

This thread turned up on a

This thread turned up on a Google search, causing me to join this group as I am planning a 20 minute inline mash, no boil, no chill pseudo cream ale for the middle of this week.
My plan is to decoct some of the wort for a 15 minute "hop decoction" boil, returning it to the remainder of the wort, which by this time will have drained out of the bag well. The returning boiling hot wort will hopefully raise the temp of the remaining wort to between 160 and 180 for sterilization purposes, at which time I will toss in my whirlpool / hop stand hops, cover it and forget it until the next morning when I put it in the fermenter and pitch.

2.5 gallon brew OG 1.042 ABV 4.5 IBU 23 SRM 2.4

2.5 lbs two row and 1 pound minute rice

1oz Willamette @ 15 1/2 oz Crystal @ 5 1/2 oz Crystal hop stand (Willamette pellet, Crystal Leaf)

US-05 yeast

.75 gallon hop decoction


I went ahead with this

I went ahead with this procedure last evening, allowing the wort to cool over night. The Hops Decoction seems to have worked very well, and I was able to complete the entire brew including crushing grain and clean up in a mere 78 minutes including the work this morning. In two weeks, I hope to try this again and with some procedure modification including a 10 minute mash (which I've done before), and some heat under the main wort while boiling my hop decoction, I hope to see brew day time of under one hour. Amylase AG 300 will be added to the fermenter to break down the complex sugars to achieve decent attenuation.


drew's picture
Sounds very cool - do you

Sounds very cool - do you have pics? We could put this up as an article on the main website.

I never take brewing photos.

I never take brewing photos.......... not much to photograph on a BIAB process. This brew should be on deck in about a month, and is my first "raw ale". I'll shoot a photo of the product for better or for worse, put it on dropbox and paste a link.

If you want, I can do a detailed write up including photos and a time table in a few weeks when I do my next brew of this kind. My target is to do it in under one hour from crushing grain to clean up, including the time the next day pitching yeast. My inclination is to leave it in the boil kettle to ferment.


Tonight, I broke an elusive

Tonight, I broke an elusive time target........ I have a passion for seeing how fast I can brew an all grain brew. I didn't film it as I was unable to do it with a friend. I hit 44 minutes for an all grain no/boil no/chill brew including getting equipment out which I did while filling my brew kettle, and all clean up. Actual time will end up being about another minute as I have to pitch yeast tomorrow. The dry yeast was set to rehydrate during the process, so pitch will be virtually no time at all. I did NOT include weigh and crush time, as many home brewers have grain weighed and crushed at the LHBS.

The process was a 20 minute BIAB mash in which I started with hot tap water, rapid heated to 145, and spent 20 minutes heating to 155. I hit my conversion efficiency target, though attenuation remains to be seen. 10 minutes into the mash (temp 150), I pulled a real decoction.... with significant grain, and boiled it with the hops, returning it as the bag was draining (I squeeze the bag). The lid was put on the wort, and the brew kettle will be the fermenter.

It was a very fast process, but actually not rushed except toward the end. This should be a moderately bitter very hoppy / punchy red beer with a sort of IPA character, as I hopped it at over an ounce per gallon. It is also a light bodied, lower gravity beer that should be an easy drinker.


What water type do you use to

What water type do you use to make your wort? I mean do you have hard or soft water locally - or do you use bottled water? I ask becasue I am interested in the calcium content of the water you use to brew you "no boil" method. I am investigating if the calcium ion level assists flocculation and precipitation of proteins in the wort - and that might have an effect on the beer taste/mouth feel and so on.

Its beer Jim, but not as we know it...