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Old 12-10-2009, 09:14 PM   #1
MattStanley
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Default Beginner ?s- Adding extract late in a boil

New to the forum and yet to brew my first extract batch (tomorrow night is looking good). Trying to iron out a few questions in my head before I get to the actual process.

1) I have seen 'adding extract late in a boil' mentioned here. Is there a consensus opinion on this, and how much of your extract should you wait to add?

2) For now I am going to go with a partial boil (plan on moving to full once I can get some different equipment). Thinking that the IPA I am going to brew shouldn't be light on IBUs and have read that this would be the case for partial boils (2.5 gal. in my case). Would boiling some of the bittering hops into the water that I will eventually use to bring the volume in my fermenter up to 5 gal. do anything to help this? I saw this mentioned in passing in a different thread.

Thanks in advance; looking forward to joining the club...



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Old 12-10-2009, 09:53 PM   #2
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You need to use some software (free or paid-for) OR do some math...

Most software will calculate your expected IBU level based on the gravity of the wort you boil. How much extract you wait to add should be based on what gravity during the boil will give you your ideal IBU level. Since late hop additions add very little bitterness, it doesn't really matter how much you add. The question isn't how much to hold out on, but instead how much do I add to start .



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Old 12-10-2009, 11:58 PM   #3
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So you are going to brew your first extract batch w/out a kit or known recipe? If no, you are using a kit then: aren't there directions?

I wouldn't recommend brewing your first beer w/out a kit or w/out a known recipe. But, if you really want to I would then purchase BeerSmith software. Rebel Brewer has it for under 18 bucks and it is very worth that.

Most kits are formulated for less than full boil worts so they plan that when they put x amount of hops with the kit. The less amount of water the less hops utilization but they have formulated their kit to compensate. They want the kit to turn out excellent so you buy more kits.

If you want a hoppier beer you can add more hops but again, I strongly caution trying to improvise on your first brew.

As for 'late extract additions', extracts have already had a hot break so they don't need to be boiled for 60 min. IMHO, first brew, add the extract when the boiling starts. Stop the flame or bring it WAY down so as not to burn the extract (if it hits the bottom of the pot with the flame on it can sit right there and form an interesting but not desireable black spot on the bottom of your brew kettle). Add all the extract right then and stir until it is well mixed then put the flame back on and once the boil begins, now with the extract in, add the hops and stir. The hops will foam up, just stir for a few minutes and it will settle down.

If you decide to use a recipe from the recipe forum you can always ask the creator of the recipe if their formulation is for a full or partial boil.

Also if you want to post a recipe you think would work people here will help you out.

IMHO, start with a kit and follow the directions as best you can. Read them over, ask questions here, get answers and brew...

Good Luck!

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Old 12-11-2009, 12:12 AM   #4
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I have deviated from almost every recipe, and still get great results. Looking back at some of the kits I bought when I first started, I wonder what the hell the inventor was thinking.

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Old 12-11-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Thanks, probably getting ahead of myself. Directions it is, at least for now...

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Old 12-11-2009, 11:47 PM   #6
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don't be discouraged... Just read up a little on how the different variables affect qualities of your finished product and just go from there.

The better notes and records you keep, the better you can identify opportunities to improve your brew. I brewed two kits in college 8 years ago and everything else has been my own creation. If you are going this route, I would recommend "Designing Great Beers" by Ray Daniels. Not only will you learn alot of intermediate beer science, but also what characteristics are desirable in particular styles.

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Old 12-12-2009, 10:14 AM   #7
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Probably most of us homebrewers are incurable tinkerers (I know I am), so we understand the desire to get into it and start playing with the recipes. But following the instructions for your first few batches will help familiarize you with the procedure, let you concentrate on things like sanitizing, timing, sanitizing, setting things up for good workflow and sanitizing. It doesn't matter how much you read, you're not a brewer until you brew.

Plus, sticking with the kit an following the instructions makes it more likely that your beer will come out good!

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Old 12-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Something else I am a proponent of (although I know it's boring when you forst begin) is brewing the same beer several times in a row to make sure you have the process down and work out any kinks. It's also important to get someone with some knowledge to try your beers.

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself, but I think there are alot of people that grow accustomed to the off flavors in the self-produced beers and never learn to get away from it.

Again, maybe a little early... Just brew and have fun for now - following directions to a tee is a pretty safe bet to get a decent beer.

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Old 12-12-2009, 12:32 PM   #9
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Like the others said, it's probably best to do your first few beers by the numbers so you have some sort of baseline to work from before you tinker.

http://menuinprogress.com/2007/08/on-importance-of-late-extract-addition.html

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Old 12-12-2009, 02:41 PM   #10
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I've been doing small boils and "Late Addition" brewing since I started in 1994.

Officially (according to BYO Magazine), the LA method wasn't "created" until 2002...so much for that...

What I do is based upon Papazian's TCJOHB book. In it is a Hops Utilization chart (for when using DME). It basically states that in order to achieve the maximum hop bitterness extraction (which is 30%) your boil needs are 1 gal of water with 1 lb of DME boiled for 1 hour which gives you a gravity of 1.040.

The only reason one has to boil wort for 60 mins is for hop bitterness extraction. For All Grainers it's also for water reduction and a few other matters.

After I read that I digested it and "realized" that DME was once alredy cooked. And if I "recooked" it it would carmelize and make my brews darker than I anticipated. Right then I stopped adding all the DME into the pot.

So the "secret" to hop utilization is a ratio of 1:1. 1 gal water and 1# DME, 2 gals:2 lbs, etc. Anything more/higher or less/lower affects the gravity of the wort. A higher gravity will extract less bitterness and a lower gravity will make it more bitter which results in a harsh bitterness.

As with any recipe just follow the hopping schedule.

Before brewing I place 3-4 gal water jugs of PUR filtered tap water in the deep freezer for 4-5 hours to get cold and icy.

Although I say I do a 60 min boil this is what I really do: I boil for 30 mins then add the Irish Moss; boil another 15 mins; remove the pot from the heat; stir in and dissolve the remaining DME; let sit for the remaining 15 mins.

Still adding any hops per the recipe.

I pour 1 gal of the freezer water into the primary and place a nylon net over it(held on w/sanitized plastic clothes pins) through which I pour my hot wort.

The net strains any solids from getting into the primary. Then I top it off to 5.5 gals with the freezer water and stir it in before taking my measurements.

Since this water was not boiled it helps aerate the wort. It also drops the temperature down into the 64-75F range. Which is great for pitching yeast right away and not using 5-10 gals of water that a wort chiller uses. It really depends on how much you use to offset the boiled wort.

The resulting beer is always lighter (in color) than any LME recipe.

I've been happy with my brews ever since. There are a number of people on this forum who have had my brews and commented on the lighter color also.

So, there it is in a nutshell...I'm going to cut and paste this into a word doc now so I won't have to re-type it.



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