For this post, I’m relying completely on two experiments done by the greatest homebrew blogger of all time: the Brulosopher at Brulosophy.com. I consider my blog to be an unscientific version of his (if that’s even possible). Anyway, What he found was that you can made a delicious, hoppy beer with only a 30 minute boil – no off-flavors whatsoever. Furthermore, the same recipe boiled for 60 and 30 minutes are virtually indistinguishable from each other (statistically speaking, it was a null hypothesis). He did the same exact thing with a 30 minute mash, compared to a 60 minute mash, with the same results (null hypothesis…they are basically the same). It turns out that most of the starch-to-sugar conversion happens in the first 15 minutes.
Now this is only one experiment. But needless to say, I cannot wait to test this myself. I plan on brewing my next few batches using both a 30 minute mash and a 30 minute boil. The time-savings would be tremendous.
Update: This weekend, using a 30 minute mash/boil, as well as my usual One Pot Brewing method, I brewed a beer in 1 hour and 47 minutes! I started the clock at the very beginning (getting my equipment from the basement), and ended at the very end (placing fermenter in closet; everything cleaned). Let me just say it was very gratifying to start brewing at 8pm on a Saturday night and be done before 10pm, enough time to watch an episode of Breaking Bad. I also recently brewed an English IPA in roughly the same time (I didn’t use a stop watch, but did keep my eyes on the clock). We shall see how they turned out.
Also, keep in mind that if you boil, say, a Double IPA for only 30 minutes, you will need to add more hops to hit your desired bitterness. For example, in my last Grapefruit DIPA, I used 2 ounces of high-alpha hops for 60 minutes (First Wort Hop). In a 30 minute boil, I would have to use a little more. Is the time-savings worth the cost increase? Good question.