Adding DME after steeping but before boiling

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jwic

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I use DME because it's easy to store and measure out at brew time. I, however, HATE how DME clumps at the edge of the bag because of the steam rising off the boil. I've even tried adding the DME after the boil and - again, because of the steam - it still clumps at the edge of the bag.

So, I'm wondering: is there a problem with adding the DME after the grains have steeped but before bringing the wort up to a boil for the hop additions?

I did read one post which said that adding all ME at the beginning of the boil burns off all the proteins related to head retention. Any other problems adding all DME pre-boil?

Cheers,
JWiC
 

McGarnigle

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I haven't heard the head retention thing. I think in How to Brew, Palmer gives an example batch using DME in which he adds it early, before the boil, for the same reasons you want to. But I may be misremembering and can't find it in the online book.
 

Germelli1

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No problems at all. I usually pour the DME out into a big bowl, then dump it in as the water is heating, if any of it clumps to the bowl, just rinse it gently as to collect the water in the bowl, then pour it into the pot. I do this more so to avoid having to remove the pot as it begins to boil, add the DME then babysit it for a boilover. It helps getting the adding DME, aproaching boil, avoiding hot break mess done in one step
 
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jwic

jwic

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Excellent. Thanks for the replies! Just wanted to make sure it wasn't some crack-pot idea...
 

nefarious_1_

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I use DME because it's easy to store and measure out at brew time. I, however, HATE how DME clumps at the edge of the bag because of the steam rising off the boil. I've even tried adding the DME after the boil and - again, because of the steam - it still clumps at the edge of the bag.

So, I'm wondering: is there a problem with adding the DME after the grains have steeped but before bringing the wort up to a boil for the hop additions?

I did read one post which said that adding all ME at the beginning of the boil burns off all the proteins related to head retention. Any other problems adding all DME pre-boil?

Cheers,
JWiC

Hah, I feel your frustration there with the clumping. I usually just dunk the top of the bag into the water until the extract dissolves, or if I had to measure it in a bowl I dunk the bowl.

I've definitely read discussions regarding head retention and full extract addition at the beginning of the boil. It's my understanding that the late addition allows some protein to remain in the beer, improving body and head retention. I highly doubt adding the extract just a few minutes before the boil will cause much variation. The head retention and body improvement mostly applies to late extract additions.

I'm sure someone else will be on here in a minute to fully explain.
 

unionrdr

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Adding all the malt at the beginning will darken the beer some,not to mention when it caramelizes,it changes the flavor a little as well. No sense boiling something that's already been through it all.
Having said that,Using half the DME in the boil to do hop additions,helps utilization of the hop oils,do to a lighter gravity wort. But my wife did one with steeping grains,& got through the crazy hot break before adding the DME's. She saved the LME's for the end. That keeps them from caramelizing.
I've even gotten small protein breaks with DME in the boil,along with the mini hot break. I just deal with the clumping,I don't think there is a way to avoid it. I think the late addition does have some effect on head retention/quality. But I think bulk priming has a lot to do wit aiding that,since it seems to be better than bottle priming. It gives finer bubbles,thereby giving a finer head. They seem to go hand in hand.
 

logan3825

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I always add malt extract after steeping. Always. Some people will add some at the start and some at the end which is called late extract addition.
 

dcp27

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i have no evidence to disprove it, but the late addition effecting head retention makes no sense to me. if it were true, then extended boil AG beers would have poor head/body which just isn't true.
 

unionrdr

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It seems like it has something to do with not getting too much of the proteins settling out. The method I described works for me. Just trying to explain it. I'm not so much a tech head brewer,just learn what works & what doesn't.
 

hairy

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As all other DME users, I also have this frustration of having the damn thing stuck and clamped together.

To go around this problem, I have added in the DME before the heating up of the brewpot and water. You will see the hot protein break which you won't normally see if you do not boil the DME. As for head retention, I have never got such issues. I don't think the boiling harms it in anyway.
 

logan3825

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The only problems I have had with head retention was in higher ABV beers. Probably in part because they needed more bottle conditioning.
 

greenfrog5

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I'd like to toss two things I've found to be a huge help in my late-DME addition quest:

1-gallon Pyrex Measuring Cup
Large Whisk

Weighing out DME into the measuring cup, pouring and whisking. A good whisk is key, and a stout handle on the measuring cup (with 2-3 lbs DME in it). It pours well, scoop a bit of water up with it to pour it clean and whisk away.

For late-DME I do put the 2nd DME into another 1.25 gallons of hot water before I add it, but again, the whisk does wonders there too.

Aaron
 
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jwic

jwic

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I'm glad you mentioned putting the 2nd DME into another 1.25 gallons of hot water. It jogged my memory that I was wondering about pre-dissolving all the DME into a determined quantity of water before ANY addition. If one were to dissolve all the DME into, say, 1.5 gallons of water and then pour it in pre-boil, would there be an deleterious effects?
 
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jwic

jwic

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Yeah, you're right. I like GreenFrog5's idea of measuring it out before hand. I think part of my problem is a small pot. I put 4 gallons into it this past brew and had only a couple of inches left at the top. Which meant I was slowly - VERY slowly - pouring the DME into the boil. If I had more head space at the top of my pot, I would just throw the whole 3 lbs. in there in one fell swoop rather than stand there and shake out a little DME at a time...
 

unionrdr

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I use a 5G ss stock pot with 3G boiling down to 2.5G by the time it does boil. Then I use half the DME to do my hop additions.
 

LiquidAthlete

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if it helps, another thing I like to do is while i'm steeping grains. I start my boil in another pot and add all my DME. I Have an electric wisk that I use and just go to town. I also add before the water boils for similar reasons. I find it saves me about 1/2 an hour of time also. I have never had a problem with head retention either. For what it is worth, at the end of process, I love my beers. My friends like them also and never complain. If you like what you are making and you are not competing with them enjoy the process and the end result.
 
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