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Old 08-17-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
Unferth
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Hop oils bind to molecules in the water, right?

Therefore, if I add extract after I do a mini mash (5lbs grain) there should be more particles for the oils to bind to and thus more hop bitterness and flavor, right?

But, I have had much better success at adding extract late, like at flameout, to prevent excess darkening of beer and adding more unfermentable sugars.

Or, do hops absorb better in water without extract?

 
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Old 08-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
Trail
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My grasp of the chemistry involved is limited, but:

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Originally Posted by Unferth View Post
Hop oils bind to molecules in the water, right
No, man. Oil doesn't bind to water. That's why it floats.The oils bind to particles of yeast in suspension, and either drop out when the yeast flocculates or floats on the surface to provide hop aroma.

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Originally Posted by Unferth View Post
Therefore, if I add extract after I do a mini mash (5lbs grain) there should be more particles for the oils to bind to and thus more hop bitterness and flavor, right?
Yes, but nor for the reason you think. Due to complicated sciencey stuff, you need a certain amount of malt in order to extract the desired alpha acids from your hops. Past a certain point, though, more malt means there's less room for hop extraction to take place.

This means that doing most of your boil with a thinner wort will result in higher hop utilization, which means more bitterness. It's not going to provide as much benefit to flavor because the flavor compounds are more volatile and boil off the longer they're in the wort.

What does this mean, practically? Well, if you're doing a 60-minute boil, don't add your extract until the 10-minute mark, five minutes or so after you add your flavor hops.
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