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Old 01-14-2007, 07:03 AM   #1
digdan's Avatar
Aug 2005
Pasadena, CA
Posts: 494
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I was a dumb ass and poured 12lbs of Pilsen Liquid Malt Extract straight into 8 gallons of boiling water. The dumb part was it sank straight to my 150k BTU burner and scortched it heavily.

The beer color has turned from a golden Pilsner lager into a brown ale, and even went a bit opaque.

What am I to expect? I mean, from experiance... what happens to a batch that has heavily scortched extract?

From stirring I found large strips of black from the burnt layer on the bottom.

I used to do AG and went backto Partial Mash becuase I hated battling my efficiency, and I've noticed that extract is much darker than anticipated... is this normal, I don't remember this from my kit days.

Fill me in my brothers.

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Old 01-14-2007, 08:14 AM   #2
simzy's Avatar
Aug 2006
Walla Walla, Wa
Posts: 86

I can't speak from experience about the scorched wort, but I would assume a caramel tasting brew? I do know that it is hard to get a true pale-looking brew from using malt extract.

If you're worried about color, here are some methods to help brew lighter colored ales.
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Old 01-14-2007, 08:47 AM   #3
SwAMi75's Avatar
Mar 2005
Midwest City, OK
Posts: 2,478
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At best, it will have a caramel flavor. At worst, it will taste burnt/scorched.

As I'm sure you know, always remove your pot from the heat before adding extract, esp. LME. Second, you can keep you beer lighter in color by adding a good chunk of your extract later in the boil. I'm sure the article above goes into that.

Brain farts'll still be beer. Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:34 PM   #4
Jul 2006
Posts: 156
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I used to do AG and went backto Partial Mash becuase I hated battling my efficiency

Just curious ... but do you use a refractometer? I used to battle my efficiency doing AG til I got one. It makes it really easy to hit your gravity.

On topic ... on my second brew, a red ale, I also scorched the hell out of my extract. The beer was awful. But the lesson will never be forgotten. BTW, pbw works really well cleaning the bottom of the pot.

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Old 01-14-2007, 09:06 PM   #5
trinitone's Avatar
Sep 2006
Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 417

My first batch was a brown ale. Got a bit of the scorched extract myself. It was certainly drinkable, but there was definitely a bit of an off flavor.
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Old 01-15-2007, 12:15 AM   #6
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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I've scorched a few batches. Sometimes it was noticeable and other times I couldn't tell. A Pilsner is certainly the worst case. How does it taste right now? Caramel flavors will stick around, but burnt can fade.

Did you have a 150,000 BTU burner before? Might be the problem right there, just too much concentrated heat. Mine tended to scorch in a pattern of the cast iron pot supports.
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Old 01-15-2007, 03:02 AM   #7
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Hopfan's Avatar
Sep 2006
Lincoln University, PA
Posts: 658
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Your brew will be much darker in color and it will taste "scorchy" for a while, but that will dissipate. I've got some in bottles now, that I did that to about 3 months ago, and it tastes fine.
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Old 01-15-2007, 02:48 PM   #8
Feb 2006
Posts: 901
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It has become a Scottish Ale.


What happens during that "scorch" is what is called Malliard Reactions - this is the darkening and caramelizing of the wort. This will create a distinct flavor profile associated with Scottish ales. Some brewers actually try to achieve this with extra long boiling of the first wort runnings (the highest concentration of sugars). You did it by accident.

Unless you got too much Malliard reaction, your beer should be fine - just not what you were going for.

If you are interested, you could do some research on using hot stones to make beer. Back in the day, brewers would take some stones and put them into the coals of a fire to get them extremely hot. They would then put these stones directly into the wort to create the boil. Obviously, this resulted in a lot of scorching/malliard reactions/etc.

A while back, the brewer at America's Brewpub in Aurora, Illinois revived this tradition. He brewed a beer using hemp seeds and heated stones in the boil - I think he called it Hemp Seed Stoned Ale.

Anyway, if you don't like what you brewed, you could always send it to me.

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Old 01-15-2007, 06:38 PM   #9
digdan's Avatar
Aug 2005
Pasadena, CA
Posts: 494
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There they sit.

As you can tell they are much darker than they should be.

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Old 01-16-2007, 12:49 AM   #10
Sir Humpsalot
Sir Humpsalot's Avatar
Nov 2006
Posts: 4,005
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I am amazed at how much lighter a beer looks after it's out of the carboy and into a glass. The "thickness" of the liquid makes it appear darker than it will in the glass- like the middle of the ocean looks darker than near the shore. Still, it's a bit too dark... however, I'm sitting here drinking some apfelwein which was just slightly darker than the carboy in the left of your picture.

The end result? A straw-colored liquid when poured into a glass. I bet you're obsesssing, and I bet it's not as dark as you think it's going to be... even though it probably will be a bit too dark.


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