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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Adding extract
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:55 AM   #1
whitmorr86
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Default Adding extract

Can anyone shed some light on the differences between adding prior to boil vs mid-boil or flameout? I understand it can change color but I'm wondering if there are any effects on body or flavor.

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Old 04-07-2010, 09:03 AM   #2
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No flavor or body difference... unless you have a Really BAD scorching problem with 1 hour boil. I've gone to last 15 min on my partial mashes. working out great!

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Old 04-07-2010, 04:14 PM   #3
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It can also affect how many IBUs you get out of your hops. A lower gravity boil, even for a bit, means the hops will contribute more IBUs.

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Old 04-07-2010, 04:26 PM   #4
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You want your boil gravity to match the gravity of the expected boil in the recipe. For example, if you are working from a 5 gallon boil recipe and you are only boiling 2.5 gallons then you want to add 1/2 the extract at the beginning in order to keep the boil gravity the same. You then add the other half near the end or at flameout (once you turn the heat source off). This ensures your hop utilization is the same as expected in the recipe.

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Old 04-07-2010, 04:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojotele View Post
It can also affect how many IBUs you get out of your hops. A lower gravity boil, even for a bit, means the hops will contribute more IBUs.
That's not exactly true.

From the Journal of the American Society of Brewing Chemists:
"In the range 10.5-13.5° P, no relationship between hop utilization and original gravity was found."

From March 20, 2008 - What Is an IBU . . . Really? at http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.ph...ing-radio-2008

Quote:
Question: We have been trained through reading literature of all kinds that alpha acid isomerization is affected by wort gravity?

John Palmer: Yeah we have haven't we. Yeah, and like I said this seminar, this conference was a real eye opener for me. Made me realize that I had been, you know, following the same assumptions as everyone else for a long time. But, yeah, it turns out that isomerization kinetics--that is the rate at which alpha acid will isomerize into isoalpha and become soluble--that's pretty constant. The amount of wort gravity really doesn't affect that, you know hardly at all.
Now, the amount of break material that precipitates out can actually affect the IBUs you get; if all other factors are equal, an all-malted-barley 1.030 wort will have less break material than an all-malted-barley 1.050 wort, so will maintain more IBUs. But that's not a function of boil gravity, and just shifting the addition to the end won't make there be any less break material.

Really it's a pretty complicated situation, though as Palmer notes in that interview there are still good reasons--mainly color and avoiding any unwanted caramelization--to do late extract additions. But the exact extent of the impact on final IBUs is pretty muddy:

Quote:
John Palmer: I think the spirit of the advice is still sound. I think maybe the magnitude of the advice is reduced because if you go into the fact that extract has already been boiled once and a lot of the hot break material has already come out--now, hot break coagulation or precipitation in the boil is a function of the total amount of protein present and the temperature you reach during the boil (which really doesn't change very much, it shifts maybe a half a degree because we're not talking really high gravities when we brew even when you do a concentrated boil like 1.100 the boiling point doesn't change appreciably, maybe it'll go up to 100.5C or 101, but I mean it's small).

So there's a solubility limit of protein at boiling point, and, so you've got a supersaturated solution, hot break comes out, when you take that extract and you do a normal gravity boil, say a 1.040 boil, well most of that protein has already come out. You're not going to get much hot break in a 1.040 boil. You're probably giong to get less alpha taken out of solution then. If you do a concentrated boil, this 1.100 that we're talking about when you put all this extract in the pot and boil it for an hour, you get a lot of hot break then because you've gotten a higher concentration of protein that's going to precipitate out. And that's going to carry off a percentage of the isoalpha.

But kind of the unknown here is, is the amount of hot break from a concentrated malt extract boil of 1.100, is that the same amount of hot break you would get from an all-grain mash boil of 1.100--probably not.
The whole interview is worth listening to, really; it doesn't reach any cut-and-dry guidelines for home brewers, but gives you a lot of stuff to consider when thinking about hop utilization in different kinds of beers.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:32 PM   #6
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Wow, that's a lot of info! I'll have to give that interview a listen and stop repeating that old mantra, then. Thanks!

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Old 04-07-2010, 06:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
it doesn't reach any cut-and-dry guidelines for home brewers, but gives you a lot of stuff to consider when thinking about hop utilization in different kinds of beers.
So the entire discussion is pointless for most brewers then. If these very technical discussions don't result in applications then what is the point? I think Jamil Z and John Palmer's recommendation to keep boil gravity the same as recipe gravity is still the most sound advice I've read/heard regarding extract addition.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
it doesn't reach any cut-and-dry guidelines for home brewers, but gives you a lot of stuff to consider when thinking about hop utilization in different kinds of beers.
So the entire discussion is pointless for most casual brewers then. If these very technical discussions don't result in applications then what is the point? I think Jamil Z and John Palmer's recommendation to keep boil gravity the same as recipe gravity is still the most sound advice I've read/heard regarding extract addition.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:08 PM   #9
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So the entire discussion is pointless for most casual brewers then. If these very technical discussions don't result in applications then what is the point?
They do reach actionable conclusions, just no bright-line rules. A few of the takeaways I got were:
1. When calculating IBUs, a beer with lots of simple sugar (cane/dextrose/candi syrup/etc) is going to have higher utilization than most formulas predict.
2. Wheat, rye, and other grains with a lot of break material are going to cause lower than expected utilization.
3. Hops with a more balanced alpha:beta ratio are going to lose bittering capability more slowly than alpha-centric hops. A high-alpha hop like Galena which has a ~1.5 alpha:beta ratio is going to lose less bittering capability sitting in your freezer for a few months than one like Chinook that has a alpha:beta ratio in the realm of 3.5 (that doesn't mean the flavor won't shift some as the proportion of oxidized betas rises, but the overall bittering ability will be lost less quickly).

There's plenty more--it's a fascinating and informative show.

None of these are "plug number X into the equation" kinds of cut-and-dried rules, but that doesn't mean that they don't help you with recipe formulation when home brewing.

I mean, most people totally guess at adjustments when faced with aging hops; having a little more info to inform those guesses is useful.

Quote:
I think Jamil Z and John Palmer's recommendation to keep boil gravity the same as recipe gravity is still the most sound advice I've read/heard regarding extract addition.
Yeah, it seems to make sense.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:26 PM   #10
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It doesn't make sense that just keeping the boil gravity the same as the final gravity will keep the hop utilization the same.

If you're doing a 2.5 gallon boil for a 5 gallon batch you're putting in the full amount of hops in half as much water. Won't you reach a point where the acid from the hops won't dissolve as readily due to the high concentration of hop acid in the wort? Maybe this is only an issue for the most bitter beers or maybe it isn't an issue at all.

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