Originally Posted by Student7
Another thing you could consider since hop utilization is your main concern would be to hold back a portion of your extract and add it at the end of the boil.
Since you are boiling 2 gallons for a 5 gallon batch, add 2/5ths of your extract at the beginning of the boil and hop as usual. The remaining extract would be added to the boil the last 5 or 10 minutes, just long enough to make sure it gets well disolved/distributed and anything that might have been introduced with the extract is killed.
With this method, for the majority of the boil you are at your normal gravity so hop utilization should be normal.
Well, hop utilization is one goal, but as a whole the goal is to simulate a full volume boil without having to boil 5 gallons all at once but instead boiling smaller amounts one after the other. I'll be moving to full boils soon, but I've spent a bunch on gear lately so I need to slow down my beer spending for a bit. So the burner and pot to boil 5 gallons is going to have to wait a bit while I spend some cash on some other things to make sure the rest of the family stays happy.
I know a lot of people are big fans of the late extract addition, but it's never worked out for me. Maybe I'm doing it wrong but I'm convinced that it's because I'm missing the hot break on half of the fermentables. I've been brewing extracts for 6 years now and I never knew what people meant by "extract twang" until I tried a few batches with the late addition. Maybe it's not even extract twang that I'm tasting, but every batch that I've done with a late addition was just not something that I'd be proud to serve to a guest. Drinkable enough that my record of never having dumped a batch remains intact, but definitely nothing special. In fact I'm working on finishing off a keg of a wheat right now where I did a late addition, and while it's not a "dumper", I'm in a hurry to get it finished to free up the keg so I can have a better option on tap. There are some extra flavors in it, inappropriate to the style. In fact, the extra flavors are very similar to what wheat lme tastes like straight out of the canister (just diluted a bit).
I've read a LOT about doing the late addition, and the benefits, but in my experience it just leaves me with a finished product that I know isn't what it could have been.
So part of my reason for wanting to do two seperate boils for one batch is to make sure everything gets the full boiling time that it should. Both hops and malts. Basically I'm wondering if I can trade in time for spending cash on equipment. I'll spend twice the time (or maybe a little more) as I would to just do a full boil all at once. I know all about the "nothing comes for free" principle, but since I'm spending twice the time, I don't think "free" applies.
My big unknown, is if there is any significant interaction between the hops and the malt during the boil that I would be missing out on by taking this approach.