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Old 01-23-2006, 12:03 PM   #1
Tybo
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Default Brownish belgian wit !?!

My last brew was a Belgian wit made from wheat liquid extract. It ended up brown instead of white ?! At this point, it smell and taste more like barley malt rather than malted wheat... I need to try another sample of fermented beer to confirm this.

Did anybody ever bought a can of malt extract with the wrong label on it ? As you can see on the picture, the left sample is the wheat extract and the right sample is pale malt extract. I would have expected the wheat extract to be lighter in color. Am I right ?

By the way, I used Coopers wheat extract (50%/50%).

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Old 01-23-2006, 02:02 PM   #2
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OK, as far as your color is concerned...DON'T USE CANNED MALT.

Liquid malt has already been cooked and some water removed. If you cook it another hour you are carmelizing it more and making it darker.

For a lighter colored brew use dry malt extract. I use mostly DMEs and add some grains (sometimes).

For the lightest you can get use grain.

If you like the canned stuff learn to use it for bocks and stouts since the color is already determined.

Lately I've moved over to what's called a "Late Brew". I just boil 1.5 gals of Extra Light DME (and hops per the recipe) for 45 mins then add the remaining malts and boil another 15. Total boil is still 1 hour, but less chance of carmelization. Then top off the water to 5.25 gals in the primary...but that's my method.

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Old 01-23-2006, 05:03 PM   #3
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Even using DME won't guarantee a correctly coloured beer. DME is nothing more than dried LME, so if the basic LME is too dark, the DME will be dark too.

You can try getting the freshest possible LME (It darkens with age) and do a full volume short duration boil. Long, concentrated boils will darken any extract beer.

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Old 01-24-2006, 02:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99
Lately I've moved over to what's called a "Late Brew". I just boil 1.5 gals of Extra Light DME (and hops per the recipe) for 45 mins then add the remaining malts and boil another 15. Total boil is still 1 hour, but less chance of carmelization. Then top off the water to 5.25 gals in the primary...but that's my method.
That's a great idea HB. I'm going to try that soon.

One question though. Don't you need the malt to help emulsify the hops, which are oils into the water? It is my understanding that the hop oils bond to the sugars (or proteins) in the malt and otherwise it wouldn't blend in with the water at all.

If I'm wrong, then this sounds like a good option.
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Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:23 AM   #5
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I know what you mean about the hop utilization with the malt, da da da..., but I've never had any problem. I mean if the goal is bitter - it's there. If the goal is aroma, well, you are adding the aroma hops during the last 15 mins which is usually the schedule for aroma hops. I'm not a real hop head for IPAs and such.

NOTE: Earlier I mentioned that I boil 1.5 gals of water, but I forgot to say that I add 1 to 1.5 lbs of Extra Light DME to the pot. Equal measurements 1:1 or 1.5:1.5 works. Sorry, My bad.

I use whole hops and up the quantity by the recommended 10% over the recipes recommendation. This is a nice balance just on the sweet side (I like sweeter Hefe Weizens). Upping your hops a bit more will give you more bitterness.

Getting back to the theory of hop utilization, I'm not certain where I stand on that.

I think whatever the "utilization" results may be I can still produce a (bitter) hop tea just by boiling it in plain water for 1 hour with no malt.

I added some hop tea to a batch I thought was a tad too sweet and it ended up nicely balanced. I was very pleased.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just some experiment I did and I am satisfied with the results. I still consider every batch an experiment. As long as you are tweaking a known recipe it is an experiment as far as I am concerned. Others may not agree, but that's OK.

I can vouch that my brews have been lighter for it.


Mikey: I know where you're coming from. Don't you think I started out with cans? I consider myself a pretty logical person. If you DON'T re-cook your malt for an hour it can't get any darker. That's one of the reasons I recommend using the lightest malt possible, whenever possible. IMO, using canned malt is not the way to go for lighter brews. I think they are best reserved for bocks and stouts where the darkness is desired.

If it's not grain then it's already been cooked. Why overcook it?

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Old 01-25-2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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I got an answer from Coopers. They told me that the extract I used was nearly 2 years old (by the numbers under the can) and they were not surprise of the color it came out.

I guess next time I will use fresh extract and give a try with the "Late brew" method.

Thanks for your answers

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Old 01-25-2006, 12:35 PM   #7
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They mentioned these "Late Brews" on the Brewing Network a few shows ago. They actually talked about Better hop utilization from this method. Their reason; the alpha acids desolve better in the thinner liquid.

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Old 01-26-2006, 06:36 AM   #8
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Good thread. Thanks for the late brew knowledge. I'm going to tweak it around a bit and see what I think sounds like a good way to use it. I'm thinking start with two gal.'s water, steep specialty grains, sparge with one gal., end up with around 2.5, add 1.5-2 lbs. DME, and proceed from there. Meanwhile, boil a separate pot of water, add it to the wort at 15 mins along with the rest of the DME, then aroma hops, etc..

Awesome. Always learning, always learning.

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Up next: Big Brew Off competition between me and Kaptain Karma as one team, and my two roommates as another--We'll be brewing Pale Ales with specifications on malts, hops, and total yeild to see who's version is better (and to end up with ten total gallons of great beer).
Also up soon: Belgian Dubbel
Primary: Grampa's Woodshed Apple Smoked Porter
Secondary: Zombiefoot California Common, Chocolate Strong Porter
Drinking: Seamus O'Drunkagan Irish Red, Humble Pie Imperial Stout, Capricorn IPA
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