Boil DME or no?

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mr_javi

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I picked up stuff for an American Hoppy Wheat today. It's just Wheat DME for the grain. My Homebrew store is now advising not to boil the DME. He says just do your boil with water and the hops and add the DME at the end? Does anyone do this? He says there's less caramelizarion. Is there a downside? Is contamination an issue doing this?
 

slym2none

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You won't get as effective utilization of your hops if you just boil them in water. You need some grain or extract in the water to get all you can out of the hops, if you are following a recipe, else it won't be "right".
 

AZBeer

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For extract brews I usually add a 1/2 cup or so (for a 1.25g batch) at boil. The rest I add at flameout. I've read that there as some off flavors that you can get if you just add hops to boiling water...can't say for sure about that.

But there really is no need to boil DME.
 

flars

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Add enough DME at the beginning of the boil for a 1.040 SG wort to get close to optimum for hop oil isomerization.
 
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mr_javi

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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll go with the 1.040 preboil, and add the rest.
 

ncbrewer

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This BYO article should help: http://byo.com/stories/wizard/artic...d/1582-upping-ibus-stopping-enzymes-mr-wizard
Mr. Wizard answers "Since hop utilization decreases as wort gravity increases it seems logical that one solution to the dilemma faced by extract brewers who boil concentrated wort is to boil the hops separately. This may sound attractive but one downside to this is that the quality of the bitterness and the extraction of plant substances from the hops are reportedly different when hops are boiled in water compared to boiling in wort, and the differences are not for the better."
He goes on to give more detailed advice - similar to what flars suggests.
 
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mr_javi

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This BYO article should help: http://byo.com/stories/wizard/artic...d/1582-upping-ibus-stopping-enzymes-mr-wizard
Mr. Wizard answers "Since hop utilization decreases as wort gravity increases it seems logical that one solution to the dilemma faced by extract brewers who boil concentrated wort is to boil the hops separately. This may sound attractive but one downside to this is that the quality of the bitterness and the extraction of plant substances from the hops are reportedly different when hops are boiled in water compared to boiling in wort, and the differences are not for the better."
He goes on to give more detailed advice - similar to what flars suggests.

Awesome. I will check out the article. Amazing how wort and hops work together, almost like it was "meant to be".
 

chickypad

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The article gives no references or evidence though. Below is a link to the very first basic brewing video episode where they do a side by side taste of a small extract batch - one with hops boiled in water only and one with hops boiled with all the DME (sounds like they did a full boil as it was a small batch). They mention that they were testing the theory that boiling in water would make it taste grassy, something that John Palmer had brought to them as a concern. Turns out they both ended up preferring the one boiled only in water, it had better bitterness and no grassy flavor. About 7 min in is where they start tasting the beers and then describe the experiment.

Both of these references are 10+ yrs old so don't know if there is more work on this since then, and I stopped following as it's been a long times since I've worked with extract. Of note they didn't do a batch with just a small portion of extract and the rest late, which as above still sounds like the most common procedure. I suspect that would come out similar to boiling in water alone.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/radio/mp4/bbv12-15-05m02.mp4
 

ncbrewer

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Off flavors from boiling hops in plain water might be another brewing myth. But maybe not - results could vary depending on recipe, etc. To be on the safe side, it's probably best to boil at least some of the extract with the hops.
 

marjen

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I am getting ready to brew my first extract brew next week. It calls for 7 lb of DME it says to add it after getting boil after seeping in the specialty grains and before boiling and starting 60 minute timer for the hops. Are there other thoughts to this process?
 

McGarnigle

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I am getting ready to brew my first extract brew next week. It calls for 7 lb of DME it says to add it after getting boil after seeping in the specialty grains and before boiling and starting 60 minute timer for the hops. Are there other thoughts to this process?
You could hold half of the DME back and add it late, maybe 5 minutes from the end of the boil.

But this is has an impact on hop utilization, and it may be that your recipe takes that into account already. So holding back the DME could screw it up.

Other than that, you look fine. DME clumps a lot when added to boiling liquid, so you could pour it into a large bowl or pot with warm water and dissolve it first. I'm not sure you actually need the 'double boil.' I.e., you could add DME to the post-steeping grain wort before bringing that to the boil. But make sure it's all boiling when hops are added.
 

Weezy

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The relationship between boil gravity and hop utilization has largely been downplayed in recent years, by Palmer and others. I have technical research paper somewhere, where they were investigating the efficiency and quality of making prehopped water for professional brewers. I.e. hop utilization is not very gravity dependent.

However, boiling hops in only water can cause tannin extraction from the hops due to high pH. I've done a couple hop teas and haven't noticed any but it's a valid, documented concern.
 
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mr_javi

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Here's what I did. I changed my recipenin BeerSmith so that it reflected boiling about half the DME for the full 60 min and added the second half late in the boil. That increases bitterness, so the hops were adjusted so I hit my targeted IBU. Hope it turns out good. It's fermenting well right now, and the airlock smells great.
 

ncbrewer

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The relationship between boil gravity and hop utilization has largely been downplayed in recent years, by Palmer and others. I have technical research paper somewhere, where they were investigating the efficiency and quality of making prehopped water for professional brewers. I.e. hop utilization is not very gravity dependent.
I've seen info from several qualified sources about hop utilization vs boil gravity, and there seems to be a real difference in opinion. I'd like to read the paper you found if you could post a link. Here's a summary of the opinions I've found:

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Hop_utilization (On website - impact)

http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/basic-brewing-radio/id75092679 (2008 - No direct affect, but relationship)

http://hw.libsyn.com/p/3/0/4/30433c...31834041&hwt=a1babd357d2d091bbf481fb8c715d1b4 (2008 - Affect, but lower magnitude) [NOTE: THIS LINK NO LONGER WORKS]

http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2011/02/10/beer-bitterness-and-ibus-with-glenn-tinseth-bshb-podcast-9/ (2011 - no direct affect, but strong correlation)

e-mail from Glenn Tinseth in 2012: “There is really no question about whether alpha acid utilization is related to wort gravity.”

http://beersmith.com/blog/2012/02/2...-beers-with-john-palmer-beersmith-podcast-33/ (2012 – Correlation, but not due to solubility)

http://byo.com/stories/article/indices/37-hops/867-how-can-i-get-better-hop-utilization (2012 - Correlation)

http://www.basicbrewing.com/index.php?page=basic-brewing-radio-2010 - BYO-BBR Experiment III - (2010 – No correlation)

http://realbeer.com/hops/FAQ.html#units (2013 on website today - Correlation)
“The Brewer’s Apprentice” by Greg Koch and Matt Allyn states that hop utilization decreases with wort boil gravity.
 

Weezy

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Gents. This is nothing new. This has been hashed out again, and again, and again, and again, for years, here on this site and elsewhere. It really does deserve some sort of sticky since it inevitably keeps coming up.

I will do my very best to compile a list of links.

Here's some quick for your information:

There is one real important ant distinction to note: professional brewing vs. home brewing. The concept of hop utilization being related to or dependent on boil gravity is a non starter in the professional community. It's not a thing. This is strictly something that cropss up in home brewing circles, thanks largely to home brewing texts which still wrongly note it and long standing, repeating discussions on web forums.

Like the paper I mentioned that I'll try to find, which isn't dissimilar to this presentation, which both discuss the value of creating pre-hopped water for efficiency reasons and reading quality.
http://www.mbaa.com/meetings/archive/2012/Proceedings/pages/11.aspx.


As far as the home brewing community, here are links:
More info:
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=109681

Denny quoting John Palmer (not boil gravity dependant but hot break/proteins can pull out isoalphaacids):
https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=28094.msg366444#msg366444
 

ncbrewer

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Weezy: Some good reading there - thanks. Been reading as I got time since you posted. But I don't see the issue as being settled. There's still serious discussion about break material affecting utilization, and some work suggesting no relationship. And I haven't seen any of the "no relationship" people proposing a replacement formula to use for the calculations. Extract brewing might have less gravity effect than all-grain. We all adjust to get the final results we like, but it would be really nice to be able to get closer on the first try.
 

Weezy

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This thread started about about needing some DME in the boil to properly utilize hops. This is patently incorrect. Regardless, there is a lot out there to read and digest, and experience yourself through experiment.

TBH, I'm done trying to chip in around here. It's not worth my time anymore. I'm just going back to brewing and enjoying beer.
 
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