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Old 02-16-2007, 11:07 PM   #1
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Default Keeping beer light (in color)

Probably going to fire up and brew a NW pale ale next week, and I was hoping for some advice.

I've read on here about keeping some of the extract in reserve, adding it during the last 10 or 15 minutes of the boil in order to avoid carmelization. Supposedly this keeps the beer from getting a dark red color. This was not an issue with my first beer experiment, and my current porter.

So, how do you get a nice, pale yellow color from an extract brew?

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Old 02-16-2007, 11:28 PM   #2
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Do your 1 hour boil as normal, but only add a little (less than a lb) DME in the boil.

I turn the heat off at 45 mins and steep the DME for 15.

That's about as light as you can get it.

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Old 02-16-2007, 11:32 PM   #3
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Sounds good. What if I'm using LME?

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Old 02-17-2007, 12:29 AM   #4
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You might also think about doing full boils at some point. There is much less darkening of the wort when all 5 or 6 gallons of wort are boiled.

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Old 02-17-2007, 12:50 AM   #5
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I'm a recent convert to late boil extract additions and I exclusively use LME.

I generally get pale or light LME and add only half of it when the wort starts to boil. I add the rest with 15 mins. left.

I've had great results with this method and have made some amazingly bitter and hoppy beers this way.

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Old 02-17-2007, 02:32 AM   #6
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I can see where this late boil addition trick can prevent caramelizing of the DME. However, your going to need to adjust your hop bill because you just changed the gravity of your boil.
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:35 AM   #7
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You'll actually use a little less hops.

If you are doing IPAs then you're already a hophead and instead of adjusting 1 oz to .9 oz is not necessary.

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Old 02-17-2007, 02:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orpheus
I'm a recent convert to late boil extract additions and I exclusively use LME.

I generally get pale or light LME and add only half of it when the wort starts to boil. I add the rest with 15 mins. left.

I've had great results with this method and have made some amazingly bitter and hoppy beers this way.
IMO, and others, if you are using LME then your malt is already too dark to start with if making something pale.

Granted, what you're doing now makes it lighter than a full malt addition.

RichBrewer: That's true, but most of us that do partial boils do not have a wort chiller. All I do is top off with PUR filtered tap water that I've had in the freezer for 4-5 hours. Since it is straight out of the tap it is full of oxygen and a built-in aeration when added to the primary with the wort.

As long as we all make great tasting beer...the means justify the ends.
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:29 AM   #9
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In my opinion and experience (which i understand that there will be a thousand diferent opinions out there) You souldn't have to add any of your extract untill about 20 min left in the boil. I add DME with 20 min left because it takes longer to redisolve back into solution in the wort. Where as LME has a much higher moisture content (20%) and takes less time to redisolve back in to the the wort. I add it at 15 minutes, just for sanitization reasons. I have noticed conciderable differences in my brews since I have started this.

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Old 02-17-2007, 12:23 PM   #10
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There are many ways to skin this cat. I am a 100% extract brewer and I have made some very light colored ales without difficulty.

There are a few things I have done. First, use the lightest malt extract you can find. This one is obvious. Also, I've substituted rice solids for half of my fermentables. They have no color at all but they tend to be a bit cloudy. Third, use the lightest steeping grains you can find and keep them in for a shorter than normal time, or skip them altogether.

Note that getting a nice clarity with a light colored brew takes longer - the light color really accentuates any cloudiness you have. And any of the above steps have a price to pay. I try for light color only with a specific end in mind (like making a fruit beer, for example), not just because I want light color.

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