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Old 06-21-2013, 02:09 AM   #1
jperry
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Jun 2012
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1. When I first started brewing, I picked up a kit from my LHBS, and followed the directions and ended up with beer. I thought the beer tasted okay, but it was very dark and ugly, for an IPA. This had me scrambling for answers, most of which led me here to homebrewtalk.com

2. I wanted to know how to make better looking beer. I saw a trend, in adding the extract later in the boil. The reason given was simple, the longer sugar is boiled, the darker it gets, and less cooked it tastes. Over the next few batches, I added the majority of the extract, at the end of the boil, which is often referred to as Flameout. Since then, I have noticed a dramatically better increase, in the appearance of my beer. I still add a small amount of extract, at the beginning of the boil, but always have the flame off, when adding extract.

3. There are many other factor's, that may attribute to better looking beer. For example:

A) How fresh is the liquid extract you are purchasing? -Even with full boils, a light liquid extract, thats been sitting on a shelf, in a container for a couple weeks, leads to a poor looking beer, in my experience. Many brew shops, pre pour common amounts needed for a recipe.

B) Are you able to stir in the extract, well enough to not clump up? -If the extract, is not properly mixed, it may fall to the bottom and scorch the extract, leading to an unpleasant cooked taste. Again, I always turn the flame off, before adding any extract, and steadily pour out a constant amount, while stirring it vigorously in a whirlpool.

C) Are you able to cool the wort down quick enough, to get a cold break? -I started out with ice baths, and after almost dropping 6 gallons of hot wort, lugging it to my ice bath, I said never again and bought a copper immersion chiller. What took an ice bath four hours to cool, now takes an immersion chiller 15-25 mins, to cool properly. And a lot less work, I should mention...

These are some things to think about, when getting serious about brewing.

4. Feel free, to share any questions, comments, or suggestions to this thread. As I'm attempting to edit, my absurdly drunken grammar mistakes, and make this more comprehendible to the new brewers, whom this is meant to help...

5. These Pictures are of two different recipes, but both are IPA's and should look similar in color. I thought, I'd share a pic, from my first home brew, to my most recent. You can tell how dark the beer in the first picture is, and in the last picture, see the improvements.


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Old 06-21-2013, 04:23 PM   #2
inflictor-of-grimness
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Jan 2013
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Making sure to stir the extract in well is also important to avoid scorching, which will darken the worth.
For lighter beers, i also add in some corn sugar to lighten it.
Also, i definitely recommend everyone use whirfloc for clarity.
I did all of this for a recent extract pale ale and it turned out very nice looking. Definitely better in appearance than all my previous beers



 
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Old 06-21-2013, 05:07 PM   #3
jperry
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Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflictor-of-grimness View Post
Making sure to stir the extract in well is also important to avoid scorching, which will darken the worth.
Thanks for adding to the thread... Very true, I forgot to add that, I completely shut-off the flame, before adding any extract dry or liquid. And yes, Whirlfloc / irish moss, work miracles for clearing beer. I also cold crash, a couple days prior, to transferring the beer.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:10 PM   #4
xxcommxx
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Jun 2013
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Hi there. When you say flame out, do you mean after you have boiled the hops and right before you intend to cool the wort? Or in between when you steep the specialty grains and bring it up to a boil for the hops.

I guess my question is when specifically is flame out?

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 08:16 PM   #5
boydster
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Apr 2013
, Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxcommxx View Post
Hi there. When you say flame out, do you mean after you have boiled the hops and right before you intend to cool the wort? Or in between when you steep the specialty grains and bring it up to a boil for the hops.

I guess my question is when specifically is flame out?
It is when you turn off the burner at the very end of your boil, before cooling.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:08 PM   #6
xxcommxx
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Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boydsbitchinbrews

It is when you turn off the burner at the very end of your boil, before cooling.
That makes sense. But why do most kits have you put the malt extract in and then bring it to a boil to cook the hops? The kit I have is the following:

1-steep specialty grains for 30 minutes
2- remove grains and bring to a boil
3-cut the heat and then pour in lme, stir
4-bring back to a boil and add hops for an hour
5-flame out
6-rapidly chill wort

So are you saying its ok to do the following:

1-steep specialty grains for 30 minutes then remove grains
2-bring to a boil and add hops for an hour
3-flame out
4-add lme
5-rapidly chill wort

Obviously I am new to brewing but will it make a big difference if I do the latter?

Thanks for your help

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:35 PM   #7
boydster
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Most kits a) give crappy advice, and b) try to simplify things for beginners.

You need some extract in the beginning to help with hop utilization. I don't have my brewing software out to get an exact amount but if you put half of it in at the beginning, you'll have more than enough. If you are using software to make your recipes, you want a boil gravity greater than 1.035 I think it is.

 
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Old 06-21-2013, 11:42 PM   #8
boydster
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Apr 2013
, Maine
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OK, on my PC now and not the cell phone Much easier to communicate this way. If you are boiling 2 liters, adding 7 oz of dry extract hits a boil gravity of 1.036. If it's liquid extract in 2 liters of water, 8 oz puts you at 1.034.

This should be your process:

1-steep specialty grains for 30 minutes then remove grains
2-add 8 oz LME, stir VERY VERY VERY VERY well
3-bring to a boil and add hops for an hour
4-flame out
5-add ramaining lme, stir very well again
6-rapidly chill wort

Edit: Well I seem to have really gotten my posts confused This definitely isn't the one with the 2 liter brew. For a 5 gallon batch, assuming you are boiling 6.5 gallons, you'll want to boil about 6 pounds of extract.

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Old 06-22-2013, 12:18 AM   #9
drainbamage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inflictor-of-grimness
Making sure to stir the extract in well is also important to avoid scorching, which will darken the worth.
For lighter beers, i also add in some corn sugar to lighten it.
Also, i definitely recommend everyone use whirfloc for clarity.
I did all of this for a recent extract pale ale and it turned out very nice looking. Definitely better in appearance than all my previous beers
I would add that Whirlfloc isn't as necessary if you plan on dry-hopping, because you'll lose some clarity from the hop sediment anyway.

 
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Old 06-22-2013, 04:49 AM   #10
inflictor-of-grimness
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drainbamage View Post
I would add that Whirlfloc isn't as necessary if you plan on dry-hopping, because you'll lose some clarity from the hop sediment anyway.
The pale ale I used it in turned out fairly clear, even with two ounces of dry hops. It definitely helps keep excessive yeast out of the bottles, and the majority of the hops as well. Whirfloc is a pretty inexpensive addition anyway.



 
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