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Old 11-27-2012, 11:47 PM   #1
lejohnnyc
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Default Late Malt Extract Addition and Gravity Correction

Hello! I am a long time reader and a first time poster. I do partial mash brews, and during my last brew I added my DME fairly late (at 30 min. out of a 90 min. boil). My purpose for doing late extract additions in general is to minimize Maillard reactions and get more style-appropriate colors.

I added my DME at 30 min. because my process prior to this was to add my DME as I begin my boil, take a gravity reading, do the gravity correction equation, adjust if necessary, and continue. I chose 30 min. as the time because I figured I would need that time to do my gravity correction. Sure enough, I found that trying to add pounds and pounds of DME, dissolve, take a reading, do gravity correction math, weigh more DME, etc. was too hectic to do within the last 30 min., especially while juggling late hops additions, getting everything prepped and sanitized, etc.

On to my questions!

1) Does anyone see a problem with using a gravity correction equation to calculate the total DME I would add to my brew? Basically this would mean taking a gravity reading after I'm done with my grains to see how much good stuff I got out of them, then plugging THAT number into my equation to determine 100% of the DME I would need at flameout to hit target gravity.

2) To date I've been hand-writing recipes using research on styles for grain/hops bills and OGs instead of using a program like BeerSmith. Would gravity correction be less of an issue if I just bit the bullet and got BeerSmith? I'm thinking I have to do this anyway because I can't calculate the increased hops utilization associated with late extract additions by hand...

Many thanks, and I hope to post/comment more on this wonderful forum!

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Old 11-28-2012, 05:14 AM   #2
45_70sharps
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Are you using a refractometer to measure the gravity?
Using a hydrometer you need to cool the wort before you take a reading. Hot wort will not read correctly.
When I did extract brewing, I added the extract at the beginning of the boil. When I do another extract batch sometime, I'm going to add the extract very near the end of the boil. It dissolves into the water fine, everything is sterile and you don't caramelize the sugars. Like you said, not changing the color is one of the benefits of adding late.

As for your software question, yes beersmith takes the guess work out of your gravity with extract brewing.
With all grain there is still some adjustments to be made based on the efficiency of your equipment, but it's pretty good right out the gate.
You also get rid of the hand written notes. Beersmith will keep your recipe and all your notes on brewing it.

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Old 11-28-2012, 10:38 AM   #3
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I took the amounts from my 1st partial mash kit to put together a pm version of my Sunset Gold APA I do with extracts. I recombine them to get the color/flavors I want.
So I'm basically going to try & convert those qualities to pm. Here's how I'm going to do it;
Cascade kit grains-
4lb American 2-row
.5lb crystal 10L
.5lb carapils
3.3lb Briesse Gold LME
For the initial go on my APA conversion;
2lb Rahr 2-row
2lb Marris Otter (crisp)
.5lb crystal 20L
.5lb carapils
Munton's plain light DME/ I think it's .75lb DME to 1lb LME? Gotta find the # again. Anyway,this is how I initially figured how to make a couple changes & still get within the about same gravity range as the cascade pale ale kit for a starting point. Not like using beersmith,but viable. Should only add a couple gravity points.
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Old 11-28-2012, 05:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_70sharps View Post
Are you using a refractometer to measure the gravity?
Using a hydrometer you need to cool the wort before you take a reading. Hot wort will not read correctly.
True, but Ray Daniels' Designing Great Beers has a temperature adjustment table. You measure the temperature, take a gravity reading, take the temperature again, average your 2 temperature readings, refer to the table, and you adjust your gravity reading accordingly. I have got some great results with this method, including getting within 1.001 of my target gravity on a session bitter a few weeks back.

I think I'm going to try BeerSmith. I'm getting to the point where I need more control over my recipes, primarily in the hops arena where it is harder to control in my average homebrew kitchen setting.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lejohnnyc View Post
1) Does anyone see a problem with using a gravity correction equation to calculate the total DME I would add to my brew? Basically this would mean taking a gravity reading after I'm done with my grains to see how much good stuff I got out of them, then plugging THAT number into my equation to determine 100% of the DME I would need at flameout to hit target gravity.
I'm not sure why you would ever do it any other way

(Target OG * Target Volume - Current OG * Current Volume) / 45 = lbs DME needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by lejohnnyc View Post
True, but Ray Daniels' Designing Great Beers has a temperature adjustment table. You measure the temperature, take a gravity reading, take the temperature again, average your 2 temperature readings, refer to the table, and you adjust your gravity reading accordingly. I have got some great results with this method, including getting within 1.001 of my target gravity on a session bitter a few weeks back.
typically the scales don't work so well over 90F or so, but good to hear you're getting good results still
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