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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > i haven't brewed an extract beer in 4 years...
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default i haven't brewed an extract beer in 4 years...

first one will be friday. how much extract do you add at the beginning? i plan on adding all the water, bringing up to heat, then adding extract and sugars, boiling, then adding the rest of the extract at the end.

what should the process look like? i feel like a total n00b.

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Old 08-24-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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first one will be friday. how much extract do you add at the beginning? i plan on adding all the water, bringing up to heat, then adding extract and sugars, boiling, then adding the rest of the extract at the end.

what should the process look like? i feel like a total n00b.
You're doing a full 5 gallon boil? If so, there's no need for a late extract addition. Add it all at the beginning of the boil.

If you're doing a partial boil and adding water to the wort in the fermenter, then add 20% of the extract at the beginning of the boil and the remaining amount of extract when there's 20 minutes left in the boil.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:15 PM   #3
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I've recently become a fan of adding the majority of the extract at flame out. I know that some people say 15 minutes, but in my experience that stops the boil and it takes a few minutes to bring it back up to boil while making sure it's dissolved and not stuck to the bottom.

If there was 6 pounds of extract, I'd had 1/2 at the beginning and 1/2 at flame out.

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Old 08-24-2010, 03:53 PM   #4
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this is actually a 10 gallon batch, so 12# of extract.

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Old 09-15-2010, 02:55 AM   #5
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Correct me if I am wrong. But shouldn't you boil all of the extract? If you add part of it late in the boil, the added portion won't go through the protein break and coagulate the proteins out of the wort. If I remember correctly, this helps prevent chill haze.

I may be off base. But I don't understand why you wouldn't boil all of the extract.

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Old 09-15-2010, 03:05 AM   #6
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Correct me if I am wrong. But shouldn't you boil all of the extract? If you add part of it late in the boil, the added portion won't go through the protein break and coagulate the proteins out of the wort. If I remember correctly, this helps prevent chill haze.

I may be off base. But I don't understand why you wouldn't boil all of the extract.

they make the extract by boiling down wort to syrup...its already been through all that. you may get some break material but its nothing like all grain egg drop soup, at least in my experience.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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they make the extract by boiling down wort to syrup...its already been through all that. you may get some break material but its nothing like all grain egg drop soup, at least in my experience.
+1 on extract having been boiled already. That having been said, I do get a decent amount of break material from extracts, especially since I have gone to full wort boils. I think the advantage of late extract additions is primarily a color control thing. I've heard some pretty convincing arguments against the idea of lower wort sugar concentration correlating to increased hop utilization in the boil kettle (I think even John Palmer has changed his stance on that issue; I could be wrong on that). The purpose of boiling the remaining extract for the final 15 minutes is to sanitize it before fermentation.

When I was doing concentrated wort boils (3 gallon boil for a 5 gallon batch) I was doing a 50/50 late extract addition in beers that were intended to be on the lighter side of the color scale. I would add, for example, 3lb of DME at 60 minutes and 3lb at 15 minutes with the Irish Moss or Whirlfloc addition. With darker beers (dünkelweizen, brown ale, stout, etc.) I didn't have any issues with putting all of the extract in at the beginning of the boil.

Looking back on it, my process has changed so much in the past year or two! Keep searching for answers to your questions. It can only improve your brewing process and, therefore, the quality of your finished product!
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:39 PM   #8
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One thing that always throws me for a loop when brewing extract these days is adjusting boil-off calcs. Extract has significant volume. I keep forgetting that and starting with as much water as I would for an AG batch. That brings me way over on expected volume.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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One thing that always throws me for a loop when brewing extract these days is adjusting boil-off calcs. Extract has significant volume. I keep forgetting that and starting with as much water as I would for an AG batch. That brings me way over on expected volume.
I can see how that would be an issue. A lot of folks on HBT want to quantify boil-off as a percentage, which would mean that the amount of boil-off would change relative to the amount of wort being boiled. I don't find that to be the case.

Given the same atmospheric conditions, equipment, and process, you will boil off the same volume of liquid whether you are boiling 2 gallons or 10. Variations in boil-off volumes are determined by the aforementioned factors of atmospheric conditions (ambient temp, barometric pressure, wind, etc.) , equipment (wort surface area in your boil kettle, lid or not, etc.), and process (duration to get wort to boil, duration of boil, boil vigor, etc.) and maybe a few others I haven't considered like a leaky weldless kettle spigot or something stupid like that. I'm sure that there is or could be a mathematical calculation that takes all of these factors into account to give you the beginning boil volume to absolutely nail your post boil volume, but I believe that most of us without a doctorate in quantum physics and brain surgery initially make an educated guess on what our boil-off volume will be for the duration of our boil and the equipment we are using and adjust from there with a little R&D (trial and error).

I would suggest this as a starting point...

1. Fill your kettle with water (and grain steeping liquid, if applicable) to the volume that you intend to put in your fermenter.
2. Bring that volume of water to a boil and turn off the flame.
3. Add your extract and more water, if necessary, to bring you pre-boil volume to 1.25 gallons more than your intended fermenter volume. Record these volumes for future reference.
4. Bring that to a boil and proceed with your recipe as usual.
5. Every 10-15 minutes, check your kettle volume and record the remaining boil time and volume.
6. If you haven't already, fill your fermenter with water to the volume that you intend to fill with wort and mark a fill line with tape or sharpie. (You could really mark graduations in quarts +/- 1 gallon of your target fermenter volume. That will help you determine how close you came over or under your target.)
7. At the end of your boil, measure and record your post-boil volume.
8. Cool and transfer your wort as usual. Be sure to transfer the entire contents of the kettle; of course minus trub/hops that you may normally leave behind if that is a part of your process.
9. Record the final volume collected in the fermenter.

Use the amount +/- that you missed your target volume in the fermenter (unless you nailed it the first time) to adjust, up or down, the initial 1.25 gallons added to the kettle beyond the target volume.

It will take some experimentation to home in on the beginning volume you will need to start with to get consistently near your target volume with your equipment and process, since those are the two factors of the three that you can control. In my brewery I've found that if I start with 7 gallons in my kettle, I finish the boil with 6 gallons in the kettle, and transfer approximately 5.5 gallons of cooled wort into the fermenter. Good luck!!!
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Old 09-15-2010, 05:57 PM   #10
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@headfullahops, while everything you said is true, all I meant by "adjusting boil-off calcs" is that I usually expect to lose about 1 gallon/hr in my setup (slightly more in the winter). I have to remind myself that since 6lbs of LME is roughly 1/2 gallon, I need to take that 1/2 gallon of water out of my pre-boil volume when using extract.

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