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With regard to cold steeping both crystal and roasted malts, especially in the context making all-grain works, there are insights sprinkled though-out the books Brewing Better Beer and Modern Home Brew Recipes.

Another pair of books, with discussion on both extract-based and all-grain based wort, are Methods of Modern Home Brewing and Home Brew Recipe Bible.

The crystal / caramel malts really need to see some heat to get the sugars they contain to dissolve.
A couple of years ago, I did (and repeated) an 'experiment': cold steep Briess Crystal 60L overnight, bring the wort to a quick boil, chilled and fermented. Measured OG and FG fell within the estimates for steeping and for the yeast used. Fermentability of Crystal Malt (link) suggests that, when mashing, one may get additional efficiency when mashing crystal malts.

For my recent question, I'm willing to exchange efficiency (cold steep may result in lower extract efficiency vs a hot steep or mash) for a more flexible brew day (pause and then continue the process at any point along with way). Cold steeping in a side pot may be one way to do that. BBR's 'Hop Sampler' process, combined with specialty LME could be another.
 
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This was inspired by a current reply (or two) over in "I brewed a favorite recipe today (link)". +1 to @D.B.Moody for starting that topic!

An outline for thinking about water adjustments (aka "water chemistry") for extra+steep (and partial mash) brewing.

A couple of years ago, after reading too much on 'all-grain' water chemistry, I had that "aha moment" that has worked well for me. I started seeing water as adjustments during the brewing process:
  1. what adjustments are needed to start with quality water?
  2. what adjustments are needed for a quality mash?
  3. what adjustments can be made to enhance flavors?
  4. what adjustments may be needed for a quality fermentation?
(Note that I brew with RO/distilled water which simplifies the adjustment process).

When I brew with extract, there is a similar outline that I use for water adjustments:
  1. what adjustments are needed to start with quality water?
  2. (skip - as there is no mash)
  3. what adjustments can be made to enhance flavors?
  4. what adjustments may be needed for a quality fermentation?
Because I brew with RO/distilled water, adjustments needed for steps 1 and 2.

Up next: "what adjustments can be made to enhance flavors?".
 
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My process to "season to taste" with either gypsum (CaS04) or Calcium Choloride (CaCl) flavor salts:
  1. Create a 100ml solution using 100ml of water and 0.2 gram of either CaS04 or CaCl.
  2. Pour a full bottle (12 oz) of beer.
  3. Add a tablespoon (or a teaspoon) of the solution to the glass. Stir and taste. Repeat until desired flavor is reached.
Each tablespoon of solution translates to roughly 0.3 grams of that salt in 1 gal of wort (and each teaspoon is roughly 0.1 grams in 1 gal of wort).



Anticipate that the 'best' amount of CaS04 or CaCl is brand specific.



I haven't explored the use of table salt (NaCl) with Muntons DME. From the late 2010s, there were a couple of people who reported that a small amount cleaned up some 'extract twang'-ish flavors.

The BrunWater spreadsheets explains why I won't add NaCl to Briess DME.



The amounts that I currently use with Briess DME are small - around 0.3 grams per gallon of either CaCl or CaS04 - and never both.

These amounts seem to be small relative to other recipes I have seen (e.g. the "no boil" recipes from 2019-2020). Recipe and style may be a factor - my DME recipes tend to be APAs / IPAs (and hop forward).
 
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A couple of random ideas



There's an interesting BYO July 2022 "Mr Wizard" Q&A (link, paywall) on honey malt and steeping.



For those not following "I brewed a favorite recipe today", check out #122 (link) for some ideas on matching DME brand with style of beer.



It's often stated that one shouldn't brew malty styles with DME. It's good to see some exceptions to that idea (including this link).
 
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I've been looking for the chart (below) for a number of years. Note that the article is focused on HSI so may not apply to the hop oils that made hazies hazy.

Understanding the importance of the Hop Storage Index (link)

[...]
Because harvest timing, temperature, oxygen, and storage duration all affect HSI, quality control during harvest, drying, baling, processing, packaging, and storage is imperative. Hops should be pelletized as soon as possible after harvest and stored frozen in vacuum sealed, oxygen-free bags. As demonstrated below (Figure 5), even after 24 months HSI remains stable when hops are properly handled and stored (Van Holle, 2017).

1655640975166.png


[...]
 
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Pellet hops, IBUs, hop stands, and shorter boils: a couple of links with data:
  • BBR Nov 1, 2018 (link)
  • IBUs and the SMPH Model (link)
(these links have been mentioned in various other topics. I'm adding them here as part of an occasional effort to put links of interest, related to advanced extract brewing, in this topic).
 
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Bringing this over from a different topic as it may be something that I look into this fall. It's from the 2014 conference (and the audio contains additional information).

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/attachments/presentations/pdf/2014/No Boil Hop Beer.pdf


I tried another 30 min cold steep as part of a test batch a couple of weeks ago (cold steep in side pot while heating the water / wort; then add the cold steep wort at the start of the boil). Color and SG measurements were reasonable. I'll probably bottle it some time this week.
 

jpitz31

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Advanced Extract Brewing “AEB”

I introduce my self as a extract brewer of about 3 years. My hope is to give extract brewers an outlet to move there skill forward without making the big jump to all grain. Small space brewers might also gain a little knowledge in what I'm writing. We don't have the time ,space or money to go into a all grain setup. Yes i said that.

From here forward i assume most brewers have a couple of brews under there belt. You got the gist of how to brew an extract beer and your RLHAHB is well settled. For a long time extract brewing was called a stepping stone to all grain. Today many AG brewers are revisiting extract brewing. Be it to fill the gap in a pipeline or the fact they can not devote a full off day to brewing.

Ingredients: Pro extract brewers are not using pre hopped kits in a can. nor are they using the commercial pre boxed kits found in most LHBS “Brewers Best” True Brew” I'm looking at you ! When we get our ingredients or kits. They are made at the time the order is filled and shipped to us. Not pre packaged and sitting in a warehouse until your LHBS makes the order. Then its sitting on there shelves for god knows how long. This is just a start to what i want to write, If i get enough response i will write further.


Malt extract: Its the base of our soon to be beer. I often find its one of the most over looked ingredients that we use. If a all grain brewers mash temps are off so is the beer. This relates to us as extract brewers. If the company producing the extract is inconsistent. Then our beer is going to be inconsistent. Our soon to be beers outcome is in the hands of the company making our malt extract. As well as the packaging and handling to our door.

The great thing we have on our side is rather large companies who's sole business is grain and malting. We have pro mashers in our pocket. Today we now have a large verity of base malts to chose from over what was out there 5-10 years ago.

Just like a loaf of bread from the store. Extract can and will go bad. Light, heat,age and oxygen will deteriorate extract very fast. How is your extract packaged ? In a can, in a jug or container ? Can you see light or air through the container holding the extract ? All grain brewers would never pre crush 100 lbs of base malt and then let it sit for a month or more.

Take great care that you are getting the freshest extract possible. Refrigeration will go a long way in making sure it stays fresh until brew day.

A different way of brewing extract beer.
One of the biggest improvements I've made to my brewing thats not really talked about a lot. Is using a ultra light extract as your base and use the steeping grains for the color and flavor. 90% of the beers i make today are done this way. Porters,stouts,ambers and pales. The reason behind this is that i could never get fermentation consistency between the same batches with flavored extracts. I don't blame that on the company producing the malt. I blame the handling in between.

Steeping grains.
Because i depend on steeping grains to give me the color and flavor. Make sure your grains have a good crush. If not use a mill or place them in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin. There shouldn't be whole kernels in your steeping grains. Water measurements are a little lass than 1 gallon per pound for steeping. I bring the steeping water up 170, turn off the heat and steep for 30 minutes using a timer. I even go so far as to sparge out the steeping grains to get as much out of them as I can.

Doing this allows us to experiment a bit. The flavor and color out come of our beer is now in our hands.

About SG and FG readings:
One of the most important and often over looked parts of brewing is taking readings. Some of this could be because the brewer doesn’t understand completely of what and why. The “why” is because of consistency. Brewers know all to well that consistency is the name of the game to great beer. There are many parts of a brew day that needs to be consistent, taking gravity readings during the boil and after fermentation are important.

Before I go on I want to make sure everyone understands one important thing. “Not all sugar is fermentable” “All sugar both fermentable and non-fermentable is read”. Taking a gravity reading shows all sugars.

Refractometer and Hydrometer:
Most brewers only use or own a refractometer. The problem with using refractometer is taking a SG reading is done after the wort is chilled and in the fermenter. By then is too late to try and adjust the gravity of the wort . AEB brewing is being able to check and adjust your gravity on the fly. This is where a refractometer comes into play. Not only do you not lose a vile of wort when measuring but you can take a reading during the boil. I always bump my SG up by adding some DME to compensate for the fact that the LME sugars are not fully fermentable. Refractometers can be had for cheap if you look around. The one I use reads both Brix and Gravity. A good high quality hydrometer should also be part of you brew equipment. The one I use also have a thermometer built in to compensate the readings.





More to come........
I am very interested in learning more about advanced extract brewing. Especially your information on boiling/heating or just warming up the extract and pitching yeast.
 
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It's been about a month - so let's give this topic a "bump".

I did another batch with a short (30 - 60 min) cold steep during the brew day. Color and OG contribution from the steep are reasonable. And the beer is enjoyable (I double crush the grains and stir the steeped grains periodically). Is it a useful process? Time will tell ...

A while back, I BIAB'd an amber ale with an OG 70-ish wort, 'diluted' to OG 50 with good results. Recently, I tried a couple of OG 90-ish DME-based worts where the wort was split the wort into two fermenters. One fermenter was OG 90-ish, the other was OG 60-ish. The results were 'encouraging' - over time I'll come back to this idea. If you (reader) decide to try this, consider starting with extra light / pilsen DME/LME.

Finally, FWIW, I have some new equipment that will be my focus over the next couple of batches / months. :mug:
 
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draft: a troubleshooters guide to "darker than expected" extract-based beer
  • is a sufficiently compelete recipe, process, and brew day notes available?
  • If there is LME in the recipe, is the pre-boil color of the LME known [3]?
  • was the extract added to the kettle using technique(s) to avoid scorching, incomplete or slow dissolving, ... ? [6]
  • Is the recipe able to deliver the estimated SRM [4]?
  • is the data used for the estimate accurate [5]?
  • Is the beer being evaluated properly?
    • comparing to another beer of known color using the same glass style, light, ... ?
    • appropriately estimating SRM?
  • Is the beer clear? [7]
  • ...
For most steps, if the answer to the question is "no", troubleshooting probably ends and speculation probably begins.


Statements that can be considered 'facts' when troubleshooting:
  • during the boil, wort will darken about 1 SRM [1]
  • with DME/LME, as SG goes up, SRM goes up. [2]
  • ...
and some statements that are believed to be correct
  • concentrated boils produce darker wort
  • ...


[1] BBR podcasts Aug 25, 2005 / Nov 17 2005
[2] Briess DME/LME product information sheets
[3] one way to measure it: BYO Big Book of Homebrewing, 1e, p 19 (?).
[4] mistakes in recipe conversion, very light colors (SRM 3) are 'challenging', concentrated boil (?), ...
[5] Why is My Homebrewed Beer Too Dark? - Beer Maverick
[6] consider making a slurry
[7] haze will impact color



edit: added question about 'sufficiently complete recipe'
edit: added [5]
edit: added [6]
edit: changed the order of some questions
 
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this was posted a couple of pages ago. Giving it a 'bump' as there has been some recent discussion in other topics on flavor salt additions in DME/LME based recipes.

For those adding (or considering adding) minerals to extract based recipes, this may be of interest (link).

Also, in some of my early experiments with Muntons DME and CaCl, I tentatively found that I preferred the beer with a small addition of NaCl.
 
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BeerSmith podcast #261 (with James Spencer of Basic Brewing Radio) at around minute 47 talks about a DME based 'hop steep' at 165F.

It's a delightful listen.



As a related comment, wort volume (like mash volume) is a factor in holding temperature. With my 3 gal worts in a double wrapped / covered kettle, temperature drops only a couple of degrees over 20 minutes. On the other hand, with a 1 gal wort and kettle not insulated, the temperature drop 15-20 degrees over that same period.
 
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Basic Brewing Video (Sept 15, 2022) brewed a DME-based recipe with an unique combination of techniques.
  • crushed steeping grains with rolling pin
  • steep from flame-on to 160F using a hop spider for steeping
  • add all DME before heating to boil
  • 15 min boil of 2 gal wort
  • "no-chill" (but 3 gal 'top-up' water)
  • Kveik yeast
From what I saw, color was in range for the style of beer despite being a 'concentrated' 15 min boil.

Is the conventional wisdom wrong about concentrated boils darkening wort excessively? 🤷‍♂️

If a 15 minute concentrated boil doesn't darken the wort excessively, the approach appears to be useful for shortening brew days (less water/wort to heat / chill).

If a 15 minute concentrated boil works, what about a 30 min concentrated boil? 🤷‍♂️
 

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Okay, I watched that. Here are some thoughts:
1) I have to admit that I use a beer bottle and a cookie sheet to crush grains. :)
2) I have to like a guy that transfers to a secondary; I'm not sure there are many of us left. :)
3) I don't like adding DME to hot water as it creates a mess. This guy added the DME to 160 degree water from the steep. You cannot tell me that that didn't create a DME dust cloud.
4) The 15 minute boil and the concentrated boil will dramatically cut into hop utilization. They felt the beer was hoppy, but I did't get any alpha acid information, or what the intention/expectation was. I feel that doing a late addition would make sense and costs no time.
5) A 30 minute boil will get about 90% of the hop utilization that a 60 minute boil gets. Adding half the DME as a late additions gives about a 20% boost. (I may be biased because I do 1.5 gallon partial boils and late additions for 5 gallon batches this way.)
6) I can't speak to color as I pay little attention to it. I'm pretty much color blind.
 
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kartracer2

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Basic Brewing Video (Sept 15, 2022) brewed a DME-based recipe with an unique combination of techniques. (Expand to see my comments.)

  • crushed steeping grains with rolling pin (Use what ya got LOL)
  • steep from flame-on to 160F using a hop spider for steeping (I have done that but used a nylon bag)
  • add all DME before heating to boil (DME gets added pre or post boil, no sense stopping the boil adding extract and restart the boil as some recipes suggest.)
  • 15 min boil of 2 gal wort (30 min boils have become my norm, 2.5 gal +/- )
  • "no-chill" (but 3 gal 'top-up' water) (yep,again the norm, +/-)
  • Kveik yeast (yep again, dry Lutra lately but also Lallermand Voss)
From what I saw, color was in range for the style of beer despite being a 'concentrated' 15 min boil.

Is the conventional wisdom wrong about concentrated boils darkening wort excessively? 🤷‍♂️
(15/30 min boils are short enough that mallard reaction is much? less.? JMHO)
If a 15 minute concentrated boil doesn't darken the wort excessively, the approach appears to be useful for shortening brew days (less water/wort to heat / chill).

If a 15 minute concentrated boil works, what about a 30 min concentrated boil? 🤷‍♂️
All said, I basically brew as above, give or take. I don't use secondary, or should say, have not in a long time. In my opinion he could have saved an ounce of hops if he only added 2.5 lbs. extract pre boil, the rest after flame out. IBU/SG ratio aprox .225 vs. .235. (This is according to my Beersmith)
All opinions are my own, based solely on my hap-hazard brewing method. (LOL) YMMV.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 
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Is the conventional wisdom wrong about concentrated boils darkening wort excessively? 🤷‍♂️
(15/30 min boils are short enough that mallard reaction is much? less.? JMHO)
Certainly a possibility.

I've done some 'partially concentrated' 30 min boils (using either BIAB or DME) going from OG 75-ish to OG 50-ish with red beer styles. The beer color came in the estimated range (red, not dark red, brown).

Maybe the 'breaking' point (where color estimates go bad) is a 2x (OG 100-ish to OG 50-ish) wort that's boiled for 30 or 45 min .

4. [...] I feel that doing a late addition would make sense and costs no time.
Agreed. (Although it was just a 15 min boil, so there's not much time left for a late addition).



Overall, the video was an interesting combination of techniques. I would have expected the beer to be much darker (red, brown, black), assuming the conventional wisdom on concentrated boils.

I would need to see more anecdotal stories / videos before trying a 2x (OG 100-ish to 50-ish) wort boiled for 30 minutes.

But in the 15 min range, it looks like one can get color appropriate to style.



eta: summary.
 
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D.B.Moody

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Agreed. (Although it was just a 15 min boil, so there's not much time left for a late addition).
Well, I actually do my "late additions" after the boil is finished in enough water to get the wort to about 175 F and then steep my aroma hops during a cool down. My late additions aren't boiled, just pasteurized. Doing this cool down steep does add some time, but, if there are no aroma hops as was the case in the video, this could be cut.

I suppose I could move to a 15 minute boil. but it would require using more hops, and, as I mentioned, I don't much care about color. Also, I think this would throw off what become flavor hops. At 30 minutes, bittering hops will have most flavor boiled off, but not so much at 15 minutes. I don't think I care to rethink all my favotite recipes for this, and I certainly don't have the years left to work it out over time. :)
 
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I suppose I could move to a 15 minute boil. but it would require using more hops, and, as I mentioned, I don't much care about color. Also, I think this would throw off what become flavor hops. At 30 minutes, bittering hops will have most flavor boiled off, but not so much at 15 minutes. I don't think I care to rethink all my favotite recipes for this, and I certainly don't have the years left to work it out over time.
I think this is an important point when brewing styles that don't (shouldn't) have hop aroma. Sometimes the hop aroma is completely out of place, or just not what you want.
 

kartracer2

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Just spit-balling here,,,Would a more dense wort suffer more Mallard Reaction than one less dense? My logic is, is a thicker liquid would not circulate as "quickly/freely" as a thinner one, thusly spending more time closer to the heat source. Yes I know boiling is boiling but,,,
Again, just my idle mind overthinking something maybe. 🤔
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 
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Would a more dense wort suffer more Mallard Reaction than one less dense?
Seems reasonable.

It would be interesting to have something measurable. A 45 minute boil of adds 1 to color (BBR Aug 25 / Nov 17, 2015). If I concentrate the wort (2x, 3x?) and boil for 60 min, how much would it add to color?

A while back, I read (then lost the link to) an article where they did a multi-hour boil, collecting samples along the way. Dilluting the wort to original OG did not restore the color. Unfortunately, I did not see any color samples in the 1 hour range.

There are combinations of boil time and concentration that result in beer color that's in style. And combinations that result in beer color that's out of style.

Maybe the limit is something less than 2x concentration with a 60 min boil (a process found in some kit instructions).

Given the results from my shorter / lower concentrated boils with DME (or BIAB), I wonder if that 2x / 60 min limit has some "stale" LME (initially darker than intended) in the mix.

Eventually, I may brew a batch with DME to find out.
 

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Lot's of interesting angles here. I guess trying to figure all the variables that are,,, are ah,,,variable somewhat within themselves, makes it hard to come up with firm "best practices".
If I make a boxed kit beer and it has both DME & LME, I plan it using the DME in the boil (dissolved pre boil) and LME late (post boil). Does it make a difference? I dunno, I have no proof, it's just my method. I guess I should take better notes and take pictures, other wise it's just me making wind.
I know what it takes to make my beer drinkable,,,at least to me. Color is less important than flavor but it's on the list just the same.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 
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I suppose I could move to a 15 minute boil. but it would require using more hops, and, as I mentioned, I don't much care about color. Also, I think this would throw off what become flavor hops. At 30 minutes, bittering hops will have most flavor boiled off, but not so much at 15 minutes. I don't think I care to rethink all my favotite recipes for this, and I certainly don't have the years left to work it out over time. :)

I think this is an important point when brewing styles that don't (shouldn't) have hop aroma. Sometimes the hop aroma is completely out of place, or just not what you want

Which may explain why there is a 15 Minute Cascade Pale Ale recipe [1] but not a "15 Minute Moose Drool" recipe [2].

@D.B.Moody : A number of years ago, I worked on shortening boil times for my DME-based recipes. Shortening to 30 minutes was adjusting hop weights. With a couple of recipes, I got "meh" results when shortening to 15 minutes by adjusting weights - so I gave up.

Perhaps this is confirmation that we boil to remove things as well as to create things.



[1] original recipe was posted on Dec 6, 2010.

[2] the two "no boil" recipe threads here at HomeBrewTalk from late 2019 plus a couple of Zymurgy magazine recipes from the same time period may be the inspiration for a curated set of short/no boil recipes.
 
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