Originally Posted by skitter
All the recipes I have been using are all extract in after water comes to a boil. I know this darkens the beer a bit, but it's got a good color to it. I'm trying to think of how adding it later in the game would affect the gravity? Isn't the gravity affected by the sugars?
Adding some of the extract near the end of the boil has two main purposes:
1) one issue with extracts is that they can caramelize in the boil and create more unfermentable sugar compounds. This is more likely to happen with an extract-based wort and more likely to happen with a partial-volume boil. This caramelization also adds to the darker color of extract batches, so adding some later on can help with that, too.
2) hop utilization. The bitterness extracted from hops goes down as the gravity of the boil wort goes up. Saving some of the extract until the end means the wort you're boiling in is lower gravity, and you can have higher hop utilization. Many extract recipes assume you are doing a partial-volume boil (and therefore will have a higher-than-normal boil gravity) and are somewhat calibrated to account for the lower utilization but saving some extract until the end can increase the hop utilization.
Either way the OG should be the same, but the final product can be greatly manipulated with your boil methods.
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