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Old 03-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #1
J0hn
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Question Boiling Hops Only?

Hi. I've lurked around these parts for quite a while now trying to absorb as much info as possible but being new to brewing generally (not just gluten free) I have a question about why syrups are boiled and if they need to be?

I've seen a few times people suggest adding half the sorghum extract at flameout to reduce the 'tang/twang' but does it need to be boiled at all? what about if I'm using 1/2 BRS and 1/2 Sorghum could I add the BRS at the beginning and the sorghum at flameout? Or could I just boil the hops and add all the syrups at flameout? It looks like honey (I'm particularly interested in buckwheat honey) is also normally added at flameout? again, does anyone know if there is any reason for this?

My guess is that you could just boil the hops and all the syrups at flameout but does anyone know if there is any reason why this could cause problems? Thanks in advance!

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Old 03-01-2013, 12:37 PM   #2
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The late additions for the syrups are fine. You will want to add about 1/2 of the fermentables at the beginning of the boil to help with alpha acid extraction from your bittering hops. The reason for a fifteen minute minimum is for sanitary reasons, in that it'll help sterilize any additions to prevent the growth of any bacteria that may have been introduced into them. Even the edges of containers and lids harbor a certain amount of bacteria that can infect your wort. Not to mention hops or any other adjuncts you'll add to the wort.

DMS (dimethyl sufide) is also a byproduct of the malting process and can cause a rotten egg off flavor in the finished beer. If you're using extracts though, most of these will have been boiled off. I'm not sure if the sorghum extract goes through the same reactions as malt extracts but it's probably safe to presume that it does, and therefore doesn't need to be boiled for any other reason than sanitary reasons.

Adding honey to your beer is a mixed bag. Honey is nearly 100% fermentable and actually can dry out your beer without leaving a lot of honey flavor behind. Yeast prefers to consume the glucose sugars in honey over other sugars (like malt sugars) so the yeast can stress when they start consuming honey and then are forced to switch over to other more complex sugars. This means they can produce off phelonic flavors (banana, clove, etc.) and a very dry alcoholic taste if used during the boil or at flameout. If you're looking for that honey flavor, a lot of brewers have switched over to using honey malt. If malt isn't an option, you can try to add your honey additions after primary fermentation has ended or substitute honey for your usual priming sugar.

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Thanks aiptasia for a really complete answer!

I thought I was missing something and I didn't realize the fermentables were required for the aplha acid extraction from the bittering hops.

I think I may have confused things by using BRS. I meant it as an acronym for Brown Rice Syrup. But the DMS info is useful none the less.

Also using the Buckwheat honey is not so much for a honey flavour but for a more 'malt like' flavour. Various other people on the GF forum seem to have good success with it for adding a more malty flavour to their GF beer.

Based on your info would the following work (for 3 Gallon batch)?

0.75Kg Brown rice syrup at 60mins
0.75Kg Sorghum syrup at flameout
0.25Kg Buckwheat Honey at flameout

Would 0.75Kg of brown rice syrup be enough for the bittering hops to do their stuff?

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:46 PM   #4
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If you are looking for honey flavors in beer I recommend adding .5-1oz per 5 gallons of chamomile in the last 15 minutes of your boil. Most of the flavor in honey comes from the pollen in flowers, hence the addition of dried chamomile flowers producing a rich honey-like flavor.

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Old 03-01-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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I do not understand why everyone seems to think adding honey dries the beer out and leaves no honey flavor. Maybe they're using commodity honey that's been filtered and pasteurized? Either way, my experience has been so completely opposite that that I have to wonder if we share the same reality. Any time I've added more than 8 oz of (raw, unfiltered, varietal) honey at flame-out to a 3-gallon batch, I get a strong honey flavor and sweetness that usually takes two to four months of bottle conditioning to dry out, even after a 2-week primary and 2-week secondary fermentation. Especially when I'm doing extract-only beers. Some varieties of honey--chestnut honey, for example--leave a flavor that remains in the beer permanently; I did a chestnut honey beer as my first gluten-free brew, granted I used a lb of the stuff, but when I cracked the last bottle after over a year of aging, it still tasted strongly of chestnut honey.

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Old 03-01-2013, 08:47 PM   #6
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igliashon, I get mixed results with honey. In my experience, the overwhelming majority of the honey flavor and aroma disappear in primary. It makes my fermentation chamber smell fantastic, but most of the time doesn't do much for the beer. Sometimes if I use a decent amount I feel like I get honey flavor, but most of the time it just seems to disappear.

For my fruit wines I boost my gravities exclusively with either fruit concentrate or honey. As much as honey does tend to dry things out, I feel it also adds body that other simple sugars can't provide. It could just be the placebo effect, in which case my ignorance is bliss.

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Old 03-02-2013, 03:43 PM   #7
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What kind of honey do you use? I've been accused of making a braggot or a hopped mead before, with beers that had no more than 12 oz of honey per 3 gallons...that's how strong the flavor and aroma were! I usually use honey from Amen Bee Products....

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