Originally Posted by Kidagora
I'm very eager to start this as my official second batch. Total noob here. I'm still reading through several beginner books (The Joy of Brewing). Had a few questions about IBU calculations, boil volumes, and extract addition.
I found a program that I've been using to keep track of recipes (Beer Alchemy) and I attempted to enter all ingredients and times as mentioned but the calculated IBU comes off as short. I entered a boil volume of 2.5gal as I didn't want to take as much time to get to a boil (BB blonde ale kit recommended vol.) and I entered the hop recommendations on here (GHM 2, Styrian 1, Saaz 1) and even lower recommendations (1.8/0.8/0.4) and the calculations for IBU came out no higher than 15 and as low as 11. Do I need to adjust for the lower boil volume? Do I have to add more volume to get 5 gallons? The boil volume seemed to affect it the most which I understand is related to viscosity and dissolution of alpha acids? Can I just add more hops evenly till it calculates an IBU of 20-25? Is the app reliable or did I mis-enter something somewhere?
And as far as extract additions, can they all be mixed in the boil initially? Do they need to be added every 10-20 minutes? Is time a factor when adding the extracts?
Any help is greatly appreciated. If all goes well with the first few brews I can see this turning into an obsession
Most people add extract at the beginning after you hit initial boil. Turn off heat, then add extract so it doesn't burn to bottom, then turn heat back on.
But extract can be added later, and a lot of people do that at well. Some people add some up front and some later.
The longer the extract is in the boil, the darker the finished product will be. So for people specifically shooting for a lighter color beer, they will probably add it later.
There's probably some disagreement about how much this matters.