Chapter 10

Wort Boiling

(book excerpts)

Following wort separation and extraction of the carbohydrates, proteins, and yeast nutrients from the mash, the clear wort must be conditioned by boiling in the wort kettle, also known as a wort copper. Many complex reactions take place during wort boiling including volatile removal, hop isomerization, protein denaturing and flocculation, sterilization, enzyme inactivation, flavor formation, and concentration by evaporation. Typically, wort is boiled for 60 to 120 minutes with the addition of hops at various points during boiling. Following boiling, the solid materials (e.g., hop debris, grain materials, and hot break or trub) are removed and the clear wort is cooled ready for fermentation. Wort boiling is a major usage of energy in the brewery and can account for 40 percent of the brewery’s total energy.

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