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Old 07-12-2008, 02:10 AM   #1
FSBrewer's Avatar
Jun 2008
SE Asia
Posts: 191
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I've been reading the thread in here about the effects of boil times and adding some of the extract in later, however I don't really know what caramelization is: is it good or bad?

I'm fixin' to brew a Belgian Tripel. It calls for ~6 lb. LME and 2 lb. DME to be boiled for 60 minutes. What benefit, if any, would I see from boiling it less, or adding some of the extract later in the boil?

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Old 07-12-2008, 03:35 AM   #2
Reno Homebrewer
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Dec 2007
Reno, NV
Posts: 183

Boil it for the hour it calls for. Adding some of the extract late in the boil will help to keep the beer closer to the color for the type of beer you are brewing. A Belgian Tripel's SRM is between 3.5 and 5.5. To put that into perspective, an American Lager, such as Coor's, is between 2 to 4 SRM.
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Old 07-12-2008, 01:56 PM   #3
The Blow Leprechaun
Jun 2008
Rockville, MD
Posts: 601
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Light colored beers are pretty much the only time I'd even consider a late extract addition.

Caramelization is both good and bad (sidenote: I think in beer it's not actually caramelization, but a maillard reaction... not sure, though!). It provides much more complexity to the flavor of the beer, but it also darkens it up. It really just depends on what your goal is.

In a beer like a barleywine, you want to boil for a long time so you get those reactions - pretty much all the complexity of a barleywine is produced by melanoidins and a long aging time.

In a beer like a tripel, you probably don't want that. I think nearly every tripel I've ever seen was too dark.

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Old 07-12-2008, 10:14 PM   #4
Sep 2007
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Yeah, go for the late extract addition, say the last 15-30 minutes of the boil. Caramelization is where you take about 4 cups or so of wort and boil it down to about 1-2 cups with vigorous stirring. You will change the way the sugars taste (basically scorching them to somewhat burn them) and this will impart more complexity to the beer.

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