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Old 07-28-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
BillyVegas
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Default Late Addition/Hop Utilization

So... I've been adopting the concept of late addition of LMEs/DMEs. I started a little at a time, and now Im fully embracing the concept due to the better color I notice in my beers.

I have noticed, however, a greater hop presence in these beers. The more I read it seems the late additions of the extracts show that perhaps I'm getting a greater hop utilization? Is this true? Is there any tried and true numbers behind this or testing I can get to iron out my process so my brews arent hoppier than expected? I'm still following basic/online/prepack recipies for the most part...

Now I think about it... maybe this has effect on final ABVs as well? I noticed this last American Amber I brewed had an OG of 1.042 and a FG of 1.014... giving me about 3.6%abv from my calculations. Perhaps this is related to my 1/2 // 1/2 approach (1/2 @ Boil, 1/2 @ last 15m)?

Suggestions? Numbers? Rules of thumbs?

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Old 07-28-2010, 06:17 PM   #2
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You definitely get better hop utilization with late extract addition. I use BeerSmith to compute it. I start with the standard recipe, switch the extract to late add, then adjust the hops down to get to the original IBUs. I don't know the formula if you don't use software but I think I've seen it out there before.

Regarding the ABV, I don't think it affects that - or at least I have never seen it in my brewing with late extract add.

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Old 07-28-2010, 06:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by secinarot View Post
You definitely get better hop utilization with late extract addition. I use BeerSmith to compute it. I start with the standard recipe, switch the extract to late add, then adjust the hops down to get to the original IBUs. I don't know the formula if you don't use software but I think I've seen it out there before.
Beersmith (and pretty much all homebrewing software) gets this wrong pretty dramatically. The formulas used by software are based on the old, mistaken belief that hop utilization is affected by wort gravity (pretty much all home brewing texts convey that myth too, though I'd expect it to be corrected in forthcoming additions of How to Brew and others).

Hop utilization is independent of wort gravity, and the impact (if any) of late extract addition on IBUs is much, much smaller than what software will calculate.

The most recent test on this was Basic Brewing Radio's experiment where they brewed the same recipe (same hop schedule) as a full boil, partial boil, and partial boil with late extract additions, then measured the IBUs of the 3 beers in the lab. Hop utilization was essentially identical (the three came out with nearly the same IBUs).
March 4, 2010 - BYO-BBR Experiment III:
http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=radio

You can listen to John Palmer's "What is an IBU, Really?" from 20 March 2008 where he discusses the issue in some depth (including apologizing for getting this wrong in the most recent edition of How to Brew):
http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.ph...ing-radio-2008

Now, there are some effects that often correlate with wort gravity that can impact final utilization--e.g. isomerized alpha acids can adsorb to break material. Those are much smaller effects than what brewing software calculates, though, and are pretty minimal in extract brewing (see the test above).

More discussion here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f128/est...te-art-109681/
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f14/hop-utilization-178668/
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Old 07-28-2010, 06:39 PM   #4
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secinarot:
I always viewed BrewSmith as a AG tool - I suppose I should get my hands on it and import my recipes I purchase and see what it tells me. Even if the calculations are old, knowledge is power... allegedly.

SumnerH :
I'll definitely look into those links and read/listen up a bit. I do find it strange however that since I've started doing the late additions, I've noticed all my brews having significant more hop flavor than the previous. Of course, this could be for a number of reasons (none of which I'm aware of), but this 'seemed' to sound right to me.

For the record, I'm using 'proven' recipe kits from LHBS, Northern Brewer, and AHS -- all with pretty consistent reviews on flavor profiles and such. Mine, generally, are showing more a more pronounced hop profile than one would gather from the consensus.

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Old 07-28-2010, 06:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
The most recent test on this was Basic Brewing Radio's experiment where they brewed the same recipe (same hop schedule) as a full boil, partial boil, and partial boil with late extract additions, then measured the IBUs of the 3 beers in the lab. Hop utilization was essentially identical (the three came out with nearly the same IBUs).
March 4, 2010 - BYO-BBR Experiment III:
http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=radio
Interesting.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:36 AM   #6
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SumnerH :
I'll definitely look into those links and read/listen up a bit. I do find it strange however that since I've started doing the late additions, I've noticed all my brews having significant more hop flavor than the previous. Of course, this could be for a number of reasons (none of which I'm aware of), but this 'seemed' to sound right to me.
I agree. When I first did late extract addition, I didn't know much about IBUs at all. But I remember saying, "This beer is almost twice as bitter as the original recipe!". The only thing that changed was doing late extract addition (and later, full boil). When I added it into Beersmith quite a while later, sure enough the IBUs went from 15 to about 27!

Now, I realize that they are finding out that IBUs are independent of wort gravity. But John Palmer says that break material has much to do with it.

I don't know the "real" reason and why the BYO experiment was so different than my own experiences, but in my own experience the late extract addition does impact the bittering level of the beer in low IBU beers. I never did it with beers like IPAs, so maybe it's not so pronounced in higher IBU beers but with my lower hopped beers (like the Dead Guy clone), it was definitely more bitter to my taste buds and quite a bit so.


I'm enjoying the new information coming out on "what is an IBU?" and will continue to read new studies and experiments.
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Old 07-29-2010, 04:39 AM   #7
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I agree. When I first did late extract addition, I didn't know much about IBUs at all. But I remember saying, "This beer is almost twice as bitter as the original recipe!". The only thing that changed was doing late extract addition (and later, full boil). When I added it into Beersmith quite a while later, sure enough the IBUs went from 15 to about 27!

Now, I realize that they are finding out that IBUs are independent of wort gravity. But John Palmer says that break material has much to do with it.

I don't know the "real" reason and why the BYO experiment was so different than my own experiences, but in my own experience the late extract addition does impact the bittering level of the beer.
I have a guess that perhaps the compounds that affect hop flavor and aroma are physically larger in size than isoalphas, hence their solubility is more affected by the gravity of the wort. That'd mean that the absolute bittering was less affected by gravity, but flavor and aroma (and hence perceived bittering) are somewhat more affected. It's just a guess, though.

But I also don't think that partial boil vs. full boil has nearly a "twice as bitter" effect, personally; subjectively, it seems like a full boil is maybe slightly more bitter, but not a whole lot. That's why I got interested in the topic to begin with.

It may be that the effect varies to the taster; e.g. some people may perceive higher bitterness based on flavor/aroma and less on isomerized AA% than others, or some may perceive oxidized betas more than isoalphas, or something. I have no evidence for any particular mechanism (all of those "somethings" could easily be wrong), but it seems like to some people the bitterness is way off from the measured IBUs in one way or another--this could also explain why some people taste, for instance, Dogfish Head 120 minute and view it as pretty hoppy while others taste it as a hopless syrup bomb (or whatever).

I'm not really sure how to isolate and measure that. I do know that throwing curacao peel, quinine, or unsweetened cocoa into a beverage won't raise the measured IBUs, but will certainly change how bitter it tastes, so IBUs certainly aren't an absolute measure of bitterness. But I also think that subjectively, the gravity adjustments for hop utilization are _way_ over the top to me, while to other people (e.g. Yooper) who I believe are absolutely forthright and well informed they seem fairly accurate. So there's probably some personal variance in play, too.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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But I also don't think that partial boil vs. full boil has nearly a "twice as bitter" effect, personally; subjectively, it seems like a full boil is maybe slightly more bitter, but not a whole lot. That's why I got interested in the topic to begin with.
But here's why I think it WAS "twice as bitter"- it was a 15 IBU beer. The original was always a malt bomb, with barely enough bittering to balance it. It ended up tasting more like a 30 IBU beer (calculated at 27 by Beersmith, though). That's a huge difference. It was a high OG/low IBU beer.

But, if you do the same exact thing with an APA or a higher IBU beer to begin with, a difference of 10 IBUs is really not much. That's why I'm thinking it was SO noticeable in that beer, but not other beers that BBR did or even in my other more highly hopped beers. Does that make sense?

I've always heard that late extract (or full boil) give about 20% greater hops utilization. (It's not linear, but a decent guestimate). I would say that could be true, based on my experiences. Now, the WHY is the big question. I love your theories, and I'm very interested in following this subject. Thanks for all of your input on this.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:19 PM   #9
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I'm glad we have some conversation flowing on this... my initial thought is seeming to hash itself out into something other people have encountered and have thoughts on.

Love this forum -- why the hell haven't I subscribed yet?

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Old 07-30-2010, 12:46 AM   #10
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Very interesting - I'll have to read up on those articles. I guess that I've always believed BeerSmith was accurate because any beer that I brewed using their late add formula was right on with regards to hoppiness.

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