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Old 01-30-2014, 10:25 PM   #1
petrolSpice
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Default Late malt addition question

On my last two batches I have done late malt additions where I would add a small portion ~25% of the malt at the beginning, and the rest with 10 minutes or so remaining (have not yet tried these beers). According to the Brewer's Friend recipe calculator, late malt addition improves hop utilization. So is there any need to add any malt at the beginning of the boil, or can it all be added near the end to maximize hop utilization?

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Old 01-30-2014, 10:42 PM   #2
fearwig
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<deletion>

Maximizing utilization (isomerization--bittering efficiency) is not something to fret about in homebrewing, anyway, if you find you need more you can just use more. It's mostly a "thing" because people ape the concerns and terminology of commercial brewers who are worried about squeezing 5% more ibus from bittering hops to cut costs.

(edit to remove bad information about gravity/ph/utilization, but I'll stand by the rest!)

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:55 AM   #3
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From Midwest Supplies...

"Another result out of the late extract method is increased hop utilization. Using the late extract method, you will get a more bitter beer than you would if you were added 100% of the malt at the beginning of the boil. This may be a good or bad thing. The upside is that you get better efficiency in terms of bitterness extraction from your hops. The possible drawback is that you may create a beer that is more bitter than you’d like. Many brewers choose to use about 20% less bittering hops to compensate for the increased hop utilization. This saves you hops!"

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Old 01-31-2014, 01:58 AM   #4
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That Midwest quote is correct. Higher gravity/increased sugar content decreases hop utilization. This is because the increased sugar content makes it harder for isomerized alpha acids to dissolve in solution.

That said, is it possible to just add all the malt extract at the last 10 minutes? Good question. There are some issues beyond hop utilization. For example, if you don't get a hot break there will be clarity issues. Also, if there is a large degree of proteins left in the wort from a lack of hot break/coagulation of proteins this can lead to a higher degree of fusel alcohol production and unwanted esters which may or may not be a problem.

Also DMS might be an issue without a 60 min boil for at least a portion of your extract. However, DMS and extract is something that is debated about given that the sugary solution is already pre-boiled to concentrate it down to extract. I have to admit I have no personal experience so I'll let others chime in on the subject.

If asking for advice I would just say from anecdotal evidence, there's probably a reason most (if not all) people don't add 100% of the malt in the last 10 minutes. Considering its not that really much more work involved i would just be satisfied with that. Just my 2 cents.

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Old 01-31-2014, 02:12 AM   #5
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Hop utilization goes up with increasing pH and down with increasing wort gravity. Adding malt to water lowers the pH (unless your water is acidic), but your hop utilization goes up with late extract extract additions because you don't boil the hops in extremely high gravity wort.
If you boiled the hops in just water (and added all your malt extract at the end of the boil), the pH would be higher and your hop utilization would go up even more. However, the character of the bitterness would be very coarse. You need a little malt extract in the mix when you boil the hops.


Chris Colby
Editor
beerandwinejournal.com

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Old 01-31-2014, 12:12 PM   #6
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My bad, misunderstood the mechanism then! Always good to learn something.

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