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Old 10-28-2012, 03:06 AM   #1
TYGR
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Default Help me brew better extract beers!

Hey guys, im an apartment brewer with two batches under my belt. The first was a NB mild ale and the second is a recently completed, still very green NB American Amber ale. Both were drinkable but i still feel like i can/need to do better.

I just ordered the blue moon clone from Austin Hombrew because i love blue moon and most wheat beers. I know blue moon is BMC but i dont care its tasty haha. Anyways, i want to try new techniques with this brew. I read this thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/10-t...rewing-100861/ which was very interesting but i need clarifications on a couple things so here we go:

3. Other Dark Forces
Boil volume is not the only factor in wort darkening. Another problem is the potential to caramelize partially dissolved malt extract. When you stir malt extract into hot water, it does not dissolve instantly or evenly. Little “blobs” of extract can remain intact for quite awhile, even when everything looks dissolved. These “blobs” will sink to the bottom of your brewpot and can caramelize there. So, whenever you stir in extract, turn off the heat and stir until you don’t see any undissolved bits of extract — then stir for another minute or so.


When it says this i understand what it means, turn off heat, add extract, stir, resume heating. But im wondering do you include this "stir time" in your total boil time or are we only counting the time where the wort is actually boiling?

5. Got Grains?
In order to get the colors and flavors you want from your specialty grains, without extracting excess tannins, you need to do one of two things — either steep in a small amount of water or in weak wort. A small amount of water means 1–3 qts. of water per pound of grains (2.1–6.3 L/kg). If you steep in a larger volume than that, add malt extract until the specific gravity is over 1.010 before adding the grains. And finally, rinse with a very small amount of water — 0.5–1 qts. of water per pound of grain steeped (1–2 L/kg) works well (see “Steeping,” in the May–June 2005 issue of BYO for more on this topic).


Alright, for this part i understand what steeping in a small amount of water means. Do i heat the water im steeping in? If so to what temp and for how long? Then when im done steeping the grains i can just add this solution to my brew pot and top up with water to whatever my boil volume is?

The longer you boil your wort, the darker it gets. So, boil your wort only as long as the longest hop addition requires. And, keep in mind that some liquid extracts have already been boiled (although others have only been evaporated). Liquid malt extract only needs to boil (or steep at temperatures over 160 °F/71 °C) for 15 minutes to sanitize it.

Does this mean i should add my extract when i do my first hop addition? Or add it all as a late(15min) addition? Or some combination of the two? So far i have just been following the directions which normally means adding the extract at the start of a 60 min boil.

Thanks in advance for the help, i have learned so much just browsing and reading but i felt it was time to ask some things for myself. Help me brew better beer! i told myself once i brew something good enough to be worth kegging i can get myself a keg system

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Old 10-28-2012, 03:50 AM   #2
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Yes, include as boil time.

I steep at 150-155 degrees for 30 min in about 1/2 gal of water on my stove while my brew pot is heating 5 gal of water In my garage. When the steep is over just add it to the brew pot. If doing partial boil I would still do it this way to save time.

You can add the lme to the boil at the end to pasteurized it and it will keep the beer lighter. You could also use half at beginning of boil and the rest at flame out.

Enjoy

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:31 AM   #3
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Before I add the malt extract I always bring to a boil then remove the pot, add malt and any sugars, so as not to flash burn either to the bottom of the pot. Then return the pot back to the burner and resume boil. I had trouble with the flash burn my first couple brews but figured this trick out and it helps.

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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I occasionally burn extract on the bottom of my pot. I doesn't seem to have affected the flavor any. I do a good job in dissolving the LME, so it's not much. I would not frett too much about it if it does happen.

I do partial mash, and add the extract immediately before the finishing hops (at 15 to 20 minutes to go). I stop the clock until the wort returns to the boil.

Steep around 155 to 160F. I'm not sure if the tannin extraction is true, but since I partial mash, I never steep. Follow what others advise.

I'm assuming you do not do a full boil. I'd suggest you add a third to half your extract at the start, and the rest as a late addition. Get the boil to a similar gravity as the final beer.

All you need to do is pasteurize it (145 F for 20 mins, or 160 F for 10 seconds), but I like to always boil extract. Boiling helps to separate break material to give a cleaner beer.

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies!

So is it safe to say its always better to follow these tips even if the supplied kit instructions tell you to add all the extract at the start ect?

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:01 PM   #6
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Those kit instructions are usually shady and not very detailed. I have pulled a wealth of info from here, but everyone's method and style are different.

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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I still extract brew and had bad luck with kit beers. They all came out ok but the quality doesn't seem to be there. As soon as I started putting together my own recipes the quality skyrocketed

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:47 PM   #8
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Yeah most kit instructions are almost worthless. Whenever I use extract I've started adding it all at flameout. It has already been boiled when it's being processed so it doesn't have any break material. Your wort is over 200F at flameout which is hot enough to pasteurize it almost instantly. Plus adding the cool extract will help start the process of cooling the wort. Also, no matter how careful you are to fully mix the extract in, boiling it is going to make it darker than you want.

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Old 10-30-2012, 02:06 AM   #9
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You can't pasturize instantly. I believe it is over 180 for at least 20 minutes. More importantly, extract doesn't need to be pasturized. Adding it at the end will speed up the process and help cool the wort quicker. Just make sure you havent over diluted. Leave room for the extract.

Forrest

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Old 10-30-2012, 04:42 AM   #10
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So, if you don't have steeping grains, do you need to start with some extract for your hops? Or do you just boil the hops? Wow this sounds like a dumb question!

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