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Old 05-23-2010, 04:08 AM   #1
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Default Full Boil with extract kit

I know this has been addressed before, but I can't seem to figure out (confidently) the questions I have. This will be my first time brewing and I've decided to jump ahead to full boil and then try to go AG soon. I have an 8 gallon brewpot, chiller, etc and my extract kit is a True Brew Bavarian Hefeweizen. It has two cans of malt extract, and two 1oz packets of hops pellets (3%au) - the recipe targets 5 bitterness units and calls for me to add 1oz of hops for a 30 minute boil, and the second oz of hops for another 15 minute boil.

I know I need to reduce the hops used in the recipe because of better utilization, but here are my questions:

  • If I'm calculating in BeerSmith correctly, a single 5 gallon boil for 50 minutes with only .5oz hops will give me the 5 bitterness that the original recipe calls for. Am I doing that right?!?
  • Alternatively if I use .5oz hops for 20 minutes, and then add .5oz hops for another 10 minutes it still gets me 5 bitterness units, but at two different stages in time as the recipe calls for. What's the advantage of doing it this way, other than saving 20 minutes and not being able to save the extra .5oz hops?
  • What about the malt extract... Do I still need to put one can in at the beginning, and the second can in later as the recipe calls for, just adjusted for a shorter boil? Or can I do it all at once? Again - why or why not?
  • Do I need to use less of the extract as well? I gather the rules don't bend as they do with hops - or do they?
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Old 05-23-2010, 05:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxx233 View Post
I know this has been addressed before, but I can't seem to figure out (confidently) the questions I have. This will be my first time brewing and I've decided to jump ahead to full boil and then try to go AG soon. I have an 8 gallon brewpot, chiller, etc and my extract kit is a True Brew Bavarian Hefeweizen. It has two cans of malt extract, and two 1oz packets of hops pellets (3%au) - the recipe targets 5 bitterness units and calls for me to add 1oz of hops for a 30 minute boil, and the second oz of hops for another 15 minute boil.

I know I need to reduce the hops used in the recipe because of better utilization, but here are my questions:
  • If I'm calculating in BeerSmith correctly, a single 5 gallon boil for 50 minutes with only .5oz hops will give me the 5 bitterness that the original recipe calls for. Am I doing that right?!?
  • Alternatively if I use .5oz hops for 20 minutes, and then add .5oz hops for another 10 minutes it still gets me 5 bitterness units, but at two different stages in time as the recipe calls for. What's the advantage of doing it this way, other than saving 20 minutes and not being able to save the extra .5oz hops?
  • What about the malt extract... Do I still need to put one can in at the beginning, and the second can in later as the recipe calls for, just adjusted for a shorter boil? Or can I do it all at once? Again - why or why not?
  • Do I need to use less of the extract as well? I gather the rules don't bend as they do with hops - or do they?
You should use the same amount of extract as you would use for your partial boils. As far as hops are I'm not sure about the conversion, although I thought BeerSmith let you enter your pot and the amount of water into it and the top of water estimate, which should help with the calculations. I have my 8 gallon brewpot setup in beer smith with the amount of boil off. i usually boil 6 gallons and then top off with 1/2 to 1 gallon of distilled water(which is recorded for the pot in BrewSmith) and so far it's estimates for FG and OG have been extremely close to what I actually get. i'm not sure how I would calculate IBU's to test beerSmith's estimates there, but my beers come out delicious either way

I'm pretty sure there's an equation for converting hops from partial boil to full boil, but I have no idea what it is, however, I STRONGLY recommend the full boils....you'll understand after you get to drink the first one
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Old 05-23-2010, 08:21 AM   #3
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First off, I wouldn't modify the extract addition. The reason for boiling extract for a specified period of time (at least 60 minutes) is to get out certain undesirable compounds (DMS at least, though there may be more). Though there are implications between boiling of the wort and hops, they're minimal - to the point of insignificance - for a first-time brewer.

Second, the "5 bitterness units" seems a little low, but assuming it's correct, what you'll notice from boiling hops for a shorter period of time is that you'll get more flavor and aroma (and less bittering, as you've noticed in BeerSmith). The end result will be a beer with more hop flavor and aroma than intended (not something that BeerSmith can quantify). If you're into that sort of thing, that shouldn't be a problem, but know that you won't end up with exactly the same beer that way.

Honestly - for a first time brew - I wouldn't modify the recipe based solely on full wort vs. partial wort.

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Old 05-23-2010, 08:36 AM   #4
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So then would the best solution be to do a single application of .5oz hops, and boil for 50 minutes (which is close to the total number of minutes the original recipe calls for?) That way the bitterness comes out the same. Or would that then mean that the bitterness would come out the same, but because I used less hops, and because I only used one application of hops instead of two - that the aroma and flavoring would be weak?

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Old 05-23-2010, 08:47 AM   #5
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First off, I wouldn't modify the extract addition. The reason for boiling extract for a specified period of time (at least 60 minutes) is to get out certain undesirable compounds (DMS at least, though there may be more).
I am under the impression that for extracts, these compounds are already driven off by the boiling process required to create the extract in the first place.

Late addition of a large portion of the extract is a method that is quite common. I did it on the single full boil extract brew I made.
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Old 05-23-2010, 09:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by maxx233 View Post
It has two cans of malt extract, and two 1oz packets of hops pellets (3%au) - the recipe targets 5 bitterness units and calls for me to add 1oz of hops for a 30 minute boil, and the second oz of hops for another 15 minute boil.

I know I need to reduce the hops used in the recipe because of better utilization, but here are my questions:
  • If I'm calculating in BeerSmith correctly, a single 5 gallon boil for 50 minutes with only .5oz hops will give me the 5 bitterness that the original recipe calls for. Am I doing that right?!?
Sounds about right for bitterness alone, BUT you'd be affecting the taste (especially) and aroma (slightly) aspects from the hops that you'd be getting from the 30 minute addition (mostly bittering but maybe a little bit of taste) and especially from the 15 minute addition (mostly taste but maybe a little bit of aroma). Basically, to get hop aroma you boil for a very short time (or add hops at flameout and let them steep while the wort cools), and to get hop taste you generally add them no more that 15 minutes or so left in the boil. To preserve the hop taste and aroma aspects of the recipe, you should stick to the timelines that the recipe prescribes.

Frankly I would just forget about changing the amounts or timing of the hop additions too much and go with what the recipe says, despite the fact that you're doing a full boil. I've seen some recent discussion that hop utilization isn't actually affected nearly as much by boil volume as was thought previously. There are many variables in determining hop utilization, and I just don't think the boil volume is the most important of those. Yeah, it might have some impact, but how much? Who knows. Other more important variables start with how old the hops are and what conditions they've been stored in.


Quote:
Originally Posted by maxx233 View Post
  • Alternatively if I use .5oz hops for 20 minutes, and then add .5oz hops for another 10 minutes it still gets me 5 bitterness units, but at two different stages in time as the recipe calls for. What's the advantage of doing it this way, other than saving 20 minutes and not being able to save the extra .5oz hops?
Refer to the above answer. The recipe's 30 minute addition would be primarily for bittering, and the 15 minute addition would be primarily for hop taste. A 10 minute addition would probably get you a bit more aroma from the hops compared to the 15 minutes, but probably not a big deal. Changing it by 5 minutes would probably start to change the character of the recipe a little bit.


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Originally Posted by maxx233 View Post
  • What about the malt extract... Do I still need to put one can in at the beginning, and the second can in later as the recipe calls for, just adjusted for a shorter boil? Or can I do it all at once? Again - why or why not?
You could do it either way. In general it's considered "better" to boil for longer, but it's not necessary with extract. The stuff (like DMS) that needs to get boiled off has already been boiled off when the company made the extract, and that's why it's not necessary to boil liquid or dry extract for a long time. You do want to boil for 10 minutes or so to kill anything though, maybe 15 minutes since you're at 7,000 feet. I think most of the time the late additions of extract are to keep the density of the boil lower for longer to maximize hop utilization. Since you're doing a full boil, your wort density will be lower than was expected by the recipe-maker so you could probably add both cans of extract at the beginning, and do your hop additions the same amounts and times as they prescribe.


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Originally Posted by maxx233 View Post
  • Do I need to use less of the extract as well? I gather the rules don't bend as they do with hops - or do they?
NO. The amount of extract is how much sugar you're giving the yeast to ferment in a given volume of wort. Sugar doesn't evaporate like water, so the absolute amount of sugar in your wort won't change during boiling, despite the fact that you might lose 1.5 gallons of water from a full boil. As water evaporates during the boil, the density of the wort gets higher. But in the end all of that sugar will go into the fermenter. Then you can top off to whatever volume of wort that you're supposed to be starting with.
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:27 AM   #7
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My only major concern at this point is that if I don't change times or hop amounts from the recipe, then according to BeerSmith I'm going to have over 300% of the target IBU... That seems a bit extreme even if I do get flavor and aroma right?

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Old 05-23-2010, 11:39 AM   #8
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I've got a similar question, so I won't start a new thread. I'm brewing NB bourbon barrel porter today from an extract kit, and for the first time I have access to a 7.5 gal pot. Should I go for a full boil, or just keep with the partial boil? If I go full boil should I just keep it how it is? What if I were doing a IIPA later? Surely the hop utilization would be significant then right?

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Old 05-23-2010, 12:53 PM   #9
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My only major concern at this point is that if I don't change times or hop amounts from the recipe, then according to BeerSmith I'm going to have over 300% of the target IBU... That seems a bit extreme even if I do get flavor and aroma right?
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I've got a similar question, so I won't start a new thread. I'm brewing NB bourbon barrel porter today from an extract kit, and for the first time I have access to a 7.5 gal pot. Should I go for a full boil, or just keep with the partial boil? If I go full boil should I just keep it how it is? What if I were doing a IIPA later? Surely the hop utilization would be significant then right?
You don't have to boil extract, period! So, don't worry about driving off DMS and all that other stuff. You DO have to boil the hops, though.

I don't know what a True Brew kit is, and I don't have my Beersmith on this computer. But if you're using Beersmith, put the recipe in as written. Use the partial boil amount for the "boil amount". The IBUs will be in there. Then, simply change the boil volume to your full boil. The IBUs should jump. Lower the first addition (the longest one) by about 1/2 and see where you are. Then adjust up or town to get the target IBUs. Don't change the flavoring hops- those stay the same.

Let me know if you need any other help!

A full boil is always preferable in my opinion. However, you have to have a stove that can boil it (most people don't have a powerful enough stove) as well as a way to chill it down. It's tough to chill 5 gallons of boiling wort, especially if you're used to chilling half that much! But if you can do it, I recommend it!

The only ajustment that you have to worry about (well, worry's not really the right word- maybe concern yourself with is a better way to say it) is the increased hops utilization. You can generally reduce bittering hops by 25% in a 60 minute boil. But Beersmith is far more accurate, and in the first example it's a 30 minute boil and I have no idea how to figure that out without some software!
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Old 05-23-2010, 01:17 PM   #10
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Thanks yooper. I am cooking outside on a burner this time, so I can do it. Pluss I have a small IC chiller. I guess a better way to ask my question is, I don't have beersmith, so would my beer turn out better by doing a full boil even though the kit was made for partial. Or should I just do it how it's supposed to be done?

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