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Old 11-15-2012, 05:22 PM   #1
Husher
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I'm looking at trying an extract brew with just pale LME (all I have a available) and selected hops, whatever. And maybe some Crystal.

I'll be doing it outdoors so I'm thinking of the springtime. And rather than buying equipment I don't have (huge boil pay, burner that can support it), I'm wondering if I can get away with using my current technique with prehopped kits.

Basically, Can I dissolve and boil all my LME into say, 1 or 2 gallons of water. Add my hops or whatever, and then add to 3-4 gallons of cooled water to bring to pitching temp.

If so I could just use my current pot and the burner on my barbeque. It's more of an experiment so I'd hope to avoid expenses until I get the hang of it. Plus if I chill the wort by adding to cold water (which seems to work really well for me using 1 gallon and 4 gallons of cold with pre-hopped kits), do I need a wort chiller?

Can I get away with just boiling with 1 gallon of water and then dilute? I tried looking this up but I didn't get a definitive answer.

Thanks

 
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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On my 1st brew,I didn't have my SS stock pots just yet. So I boiled 1.5 gallons of water to dissolve the Cooper's can & BE1 into. Added cold water in the fermenter. Didn't get it cool enough though. The top off water should at least be in the fridge overnight to get good & cold. I think I'd still ice bath the small amount of hot wort looking back though. 2 gallons would be better imo.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:51 PM   #3
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You should be fine.
Basic extract brewing method is about what you are doing except you aren't any specialty grains.
The water is a little on the light side, but two gallons is probably good.
How much extract is it?
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #4
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My LHB shop sells Malt by the liter, which if I google is around 3 Lbs, so I'm gonna find a recipe that calls for 2 liters/6 Lbs, or something like that. But somewhere between 2 and 2.5 liters of malt.

Now I basically boil 1 liter of malt with another liter of water, and then once I reach a boil I cut the heat and add a pre-hopped beer kit plus another liter of hot water from the kettle to melt whatever's stuck to the can. It works well. I've had two boil-overs when boiling all at once in the past so keeping the volume LOW is important to me, and boiling for an hour seems intimidating which is why this is an outdoor project. And the wife hates the smell of malt. And sticky floors.

I'm thinking all future brewing should be in the backyard and I'll just have to have 4 fermenters started by October to run me until March/April. This takes into account I'll have stuff bottled and ready to drink in October, so really I'm aging and after 2 months i can bottle as needed.

FYI, I use 15 liters (4 gallons?) of bottled water from costco at room temperature, and about 3 liters of Iced bottled water (in the freezer, but not yet frozen). Adding that mix to a recently boiled brew seems to drop the temperature down to exactly where I need to to pitch. Though I do cover the pot and dump in the kitchen sink with cold water for 10 minutes to drop more heat before diluting in the fermenter.

If I exclude the specialty grains, will it be worst than using kilo kits? Gawd I hope not! Please let me know.

 
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:46 PM   #5
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Based on the advice I've received for doing near full boils (~5 gallons starting), I would not add all the LME up front. I'd only add a part of it, maybe 1/3, at the start of the boil for your hop extraction, then add the remaining LME with maybe 10 or 15 min left.

Two liters of LME in a gallon or two of water will be some pretty thick stuff and quite easy to scorch, I'd think, trying to boil it all up front.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:34 AM   #6
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but doesn't the malt need to be present for the hops to do their stuff during the 60 minute boil?

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:42 AM   #7
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Yes, that's why the ~1/3 addition up front. Apparently that's enough to get the hops extraction.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:25 PM   #8
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That's why I use 1.5lb of plain DME in at least 2.5 gallons of boiling water for hop additions. works pretty good for good hop flavors.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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Are you starting with a prehopped kit and then adding additional LME and hops? I don't think you will like your end result with that, since you have no idea what the hops level is of the prehopped kit.
Find one of the extract recipes on the site and use all unhopped LME and hops from your LHBS. That will work out to give you much cleaner tasting brew than adding stuff to an existing kit.
I would add 25% of the total LME at the start of the boil and the balance at 10 minutes before flame out. You probably want at least 3 times the amount of water as LME in your boil pot or you will have a pretty viscous glue to try to boil.

 
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Husher View Post
but doesn't the malt need to be present for the hops to do their stuff during the 60 minute boil?
No. You can get hops oils isomerized in plain water.

Many people do use a bit of extract in the boil from the beginning, and often 1 pound of extract per gallon of water is a good number, but it's not necessary for isomerization. It does more closely simulate an AG batch composition and that's why it's typically done that way.
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