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Old 03-26-2008, 02:51 PM   #1
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Default Hop Utilization Improvement via Secondary Boil

When extract brewing, one of the "problems" is poor hop utilization rates. Higher gravity and low volume of the smaller boil are cited as the main problems. To get better utilization, use more water in the boil or lower the gravity.

So my question today is:

Can a secondary (parallel) boil be used to boost utilization rate?

That is, boil ~90% of your extract with some of your hops and then, in a separate pot, boil a good portion of your brewing water with just a little bit of extract and the majority of your hops. Upon mixing later as it goes into primary, you're able to take advantage of the better utilization rate from the lower-gravity boil.

Is that silly or should one just stick to a single pot and use more hops to get the desired bitterness?

FWIW, this is is anticipation of brewing an imperial pilsner in the near future.

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Old 03-26-2008, 03:26 PM   #2
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If you have large enough pots, try splitting the wort and hops evenly and doing a full volume boil.

Too much too fast to keep track of...
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:37 PM   #4
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I would recommend "late extract addition" if you want to get more out of your hops. At the beginning of the boil, I add enough extract to get the boil gravity to about 1.040. Either just one 3.3 lb can of liquid malt extract or 2 pounds of dried malt extract.

Then I put the rest of the extract 10 minutes before the end of the boil to allow it sanitize. The lower boil gravity allows you to increase utilization from your bittering hops. I've been using this for my past few batches with excellent results. I heard this even cuts down on extract twang by doing a less concentrated boil.

People add the late extract add different times. I like to give it some time to sanitize, but some people add it closer to flame out or around 15 minutes.



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Old 03-26-2008, 05:18 PM   #5
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When I do late additions - I add about 15 minutes before end of boil and have never had any problems. (Knock on wood)

I find that it improves the hop utilization quite a bit, in fact, the first late addition I did the recipe was formulated for concentrated gravity and I did not adjust the amounts - the beer ended up more bitter than intended but was a good lesson.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:45 PM   #7
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Beersmith has the option.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:22 AM   #8
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:48 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dstar26t
Beersmith has the option.

I just posted in the full boil thread on how I downloaded the Beersmith software and found that doing a full boil I was able to eliminate an ounce of bittering hops. (1oz vs 2oz)

On my first batch of beer I split the boil into two pots each with 3 gallons and split all ingredients between the two pots. The beer tastes very good ice cold, but until I chill it severely it is extremely bitter. I'm working on the program right now to see how much I increased the bitterness vs the partial boil. Using the software is showing me how to save hops $ using a full boil. (I use a commercial stove and don't pay for propane)

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