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Old 11-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
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Default Too Dark and High OG

I've been making extract brews and I seem to always end up with an original gravity that's up in the 1.065 range and the colors always seem to be way too dark. I boil my grains for about 30 minutes. Could I be boiling for too long?

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Old 11-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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Well,first off,the grains are to be steeped at say 155F or so for 30 minutes. Drain/sparge into BK then toss grains aside. THEN boil. Never boil the grains themselves. Also adding all the LME at the beginning of the boil will caramelize it (mailard reactions) & cause darkening and the extract twang. Try late additions of extract & proper steeping techniques.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #3
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This is the first I have heard of not boiling all of LME for the one hour duration. Can you reference me to directions to boil less than 100% of LME?

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Old 11-25-2012, 02:46 PM   #4
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You can check out my recipies for ideas on how I do it. Then there are a ton of threads about late extract additions on here. So search for those,& you'll be busy for awhile. You basically use 1/4 to maybe 1/3 of the total extract malts at the begining of the boil. The remainder at flame out. Cover & steep 15 minutes or so. It'll still be plenty hot enough to pasteurize at 180F+,since pasteurization happens about 162F.
This cuts a lot of the mailard reactions that darken the beer & cause extract twang.
Also,when I did my first partial mash (biab,partial boil) I also saved the lil jug of Briesse gold LME for flame out & it tastes great with an amber orange color. So this late extract addition method can carry over to different brewing styles.
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:02 PM   #5
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Sorry, that was the wrong use of terminology. I steep the grains for 30 minutes at 160*-165*. Maybe I'm steeping too hot as well. I'll try your suggestion for a late edition. Thanks for the advice!

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Old 11-26-2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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1) Extract beers tend to be darker than their all grain counterparts, even when doing late extract addition. It helps, but because by it's very nature extract is boiled ahead of time, and therefore some caramelization already happens before we even get to brew with it, it's going to be darker.

2) As to your issues with Gravity, we get this question 10 times or more a day. Read this for an explanation of why your initial gravity always seems to appear off.

Attention new brewers, yes your original gravity reading is wrong. Don't panic.

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Old 11-26-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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That's why I always add LME at flame out. I get the lightest possible color that way. Not to mention better flavor.
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