Raw Ale No Boil Brewing Method

Raw Ale is essentially a beer that hasn’t been boiled. We don’t have to always boil our wort. As long as you’re mashing at high enough temperatures then there really is no need to actually boil your wort. As what you have already done is pasteurize your wort. The milk you buy in the supermarket has never been boiled, just pasteurized. Also, this style of brewing dates all of the other methods, and it’s still practiced today in many countries.

And to learn more about mashing in the beer brewing process check our new article Mash Steps in Beer Brewing Process.

A little about the history

A glass of Raw Ale beer place on a mound in a forest.
Credit: https://www.brewingnordic.com/new-nordic-beer/raw-ale/

Raw Ale has been made for hundreds of years and originates it is believed in Northern Europe. It actually brewed in many countries still today like Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Russia, and more.

Beer originates from a time when pots suitable to boil in were not commonplace and were out of reach for the common folk. The first thing to realize about raw beer is that it’s actually a method, not a style. As such the grain bill is actually completely wide open because the hop addition is not boiled. There is a limitation on beer styles that you can brew if you just use the traditional method. However, there are various methods that can be employed to brew it.

Adding the hops without a boil

A clay pot filled with herbs and plants put on the open fire.
Credit: https://www.cronachedibirra.it/cultura-birraria/29514/la-rinascita-delle-raw-ale-la-tipica-birra-cruda-priva-di-bollitura-del-nord-europa/

The first method is to add your hops to the mash and keep them in the mash and throughout the sparge. This will give you a small bump in the IBU compared to simply just doing the wort first.

Secondly, you can add the hops before you start your sparge.

Thirdly you can make a hop tea. Which is essentially a concentrate by adding the hops to boiling water. The longer you boil them for the more IBU you will extract. To keep this IBU just make sure as little water as possible. Once you made this up you need to let it cool some and then drain the hop tea into your wort in the early stages. This will allow you to gain even more IBU.

Finally, you can make hop tea with water heated between 140 to 158 degrees F, and leave it for an hour or more. It’s really best to add this after the fermentation process is finished and you’ll get all those flavors nicely.

Raw beer certainly contributes more flavor by the malt than a beer that has been boiled. The main difference being that a boil will actually drive off the protein. A raw beer retains this protein meaning more flavor and a fuller body. You will also notice more of a grain, straw-like flavor. Because generally, these beers are not bitter they give a nice balance to all the flavors.

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