Extract Brewing - late malt addition question

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pdm1982

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I'm planning to make a Brewer's Best Milk Stout kit using a full boil. It calls for 3.3lbs Special Dark LME, 3.3lbs Pilsen LME, .5lb lactose, and .5lb maltodextrin. Like all of their recipes, they call for all of these ingredients to be added at the beginning of the boil in 2-2.5 gallons of water. I plan to only put about 25% of the LME in at the beginning and add the rest in later. My question is when I should add in the lactose and the maltodextrin. Would it be beneficial to add these in later or at the beginning? Does it matter?


I recently made the Brewer's Best Russian Imperial Stout in a partial boil and followed the instructions to the letter. The result was a "tangy" beer that I didn't really enjoy. I'm trying new ways to avoid that this time. Any advice is appreciated.
 

unionrdr

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I still say late extract additions work well in giving lighter color & cleaner flavor. Add the maltodextrin & lactose in the last 10 minutes or so of the boil.
 
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pdm1982

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Sounds good and thanks for the input. That's what I was leaning towards but wasn't sure. I've made 4 extract brews by following the instructions and, so far, they've all had that same off flavor. I'm hoping the full boil and late additions help to curb that.
 

unionrdr

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If you can do the full boil,go ahead,but it isn't necessary to get good beer. The late extract additions will take care of that. Along with temps staying within range of the yeasts' happy zone.
 
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pdm1982

pdm1982

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Right on. I've recently built a fermentation chamber to control my temps so I will hopefully be able to rule out any off flavors from that. Still need to get my temperature control device and some trial runs. Also, I've been eyeing a wort chiller. Full boil pot = too big for ice bath in my sink.

Going to get this thing dialed in. Who knows, maybe even made a respectable batch of beer for once.
 

BigFloyd

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Sounds good and thanks for the input. That's what I was leaning towards but wasn't sure. I've made 4 extract brews by following the instructions and, so far, they've all had that same off flavor. I'm hoping the full boil and late additions help to curb that.
+1 on adding the rest of the malt and malto later.

More likely your off-flavors are because of temperature issues - either pitching into wort that's too warm (64-66*F is good), not attemperating the yeast slurry to the wort (if you rehydrate dry), and/or fermenting too warmly (or with too much temp fluctuation). Remember that, at the peak of fermentation activity, it can get as much as 8-10*F higher inside the bucket than the air temp.


Right on. I've recently built a fermentation chamber to control my temps so I will hopefully be able to rule out any off flavors from that. Still need to get my temperature control device and some trial runs. Also, I've been eyeing a wort chiller. Full boil pot = too big for ice bath in my sink.

Going to get this thing dialed in. Who knows, maybe even made a respectable batch of beer for once.
Now you're talkin. Check out the threads on using an STC-1000 dual controller to operate a freezer/fridge. Lots of good info there.

Also, thumbs up on the wort chiller. One of the best bits of brew gear that I've ever made. Mine is 22 ft of 1/2" inside diameter copper coil with 1/2" copper hard pipe for the straight parts with slip joints and hose connections. That thing flows lots of hose water very nicely.

 

unionrdr

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I'd like to build a dual coil myself,so I can pre-chill the incoming coil first to keep temps down in summer when the tap water hits 80F. But any kind of temp control willl be good for the beer,so do what you can.
I kept the man cave chilly since fat Tuesday with the German hybrid kolsh yeast I'm using atm,WL029. It has a narrow happy zone of 65-69F. Kept it at 68F or a tiny hair more for initial fermentation.
 
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pdm1982

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Yeah I'm definitely going dual stage on the temp controller. I want to brew year 'round so having a heat element and cooling element will enable me to do that. I will check out those threads. Hope to have the money to buy the that and the wort chiller soon.

The end game is to get the right set up so I can move on to all grain. I thought I at least need to make one good extract brew first. Didn't want to move on without figuring it out first.
 

unionrdr

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They say only fools go where angels fear to tread. Don't be in an all guns blazing hurry to get into AG. Take your time & learn all you can first. Get a good brewing process down that you'll know from experience works the best for you. Don't feel that you need to hurry up & join the cool crowd that brews AG & kegs their beer. That's BS. Patience,imagination,& learning will get you farther.
 
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pdm1982

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I think that's good advice. I've got the patience and I'm stubborn enough to not give up. I think that a lot of people would quit if they put the time, money, and effort in and got the results I have. It's frustrating but motivating. Troubleshooting makes me tick.

I've been doing a lot more reading this time around. Calling the LHBS. Creating an account on here to ask questions. Doing what I can.

Oh and doing a lot of.. um... hands on research :mug:
 

TheBS19

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PDM, Its reassuring to hear someone having the same issues with the same kits, and to hear what you think the problem is!

We're about to do our 4th BB kit batch, and the 2nd and 3rd BOTH have had that tangy taste to them. Up until yesterday, I just lurked on these boards - but decided to take a more active approach in gathering feedback and best practices, as well as researching, to correct these issues!

Our last 2 batches have been an American Pale and the Milk Stout you are about to try, so obviously varied styles with that consistent "tang" - while we don't have a sophisticated temp control chamber, I do use a temp controlled (on own thermo) room in our basement to store the fermenting batches so I don't think wild temp swings have been an issue. The 2nd batch was fermented at a bit higher than ideal (~70 or so) just b/c that was room temp in September when we did it - but this latest was just fermented in January and stayed a consistent 64. Certainly pitching at too high a temp could be an issue as we don't have a wort chiller and cooling our brew kettle timely has posed issues, and I'm definitely going to be more attentive to that this time around.

But in trying to isolate the issue, and/or the "off" flavor, the late-add of extract was where I was thinking we could definitely adjust and see the results. Our coloring and haze has been a bit dark too so that seems to validate that issue. Again, nice to see someone else experiencing similar issues and thinking the same fix might be it!!

Anyway, let me know how your Milk Stout turns out with the late addition adjustment, and I'll do the same on our next batch!! Hopefully this is the "big fix" I've been hoping for so I can start being proud of our batches, and not just distribute them to loved ones with the caveats of off-taste that I've had to so far!
 

unionrdr

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Keep yeast temps in it's happy zone,late extract additions & Chilling the wort down to pitch temp in 20 minutes or less will go a long way toward better beer. Lighter color,cleaner flavor,& little or no chill haze to wait out come fridge time. Not to mention,happy zone temps keeping off flavor producing chemicals at a minimum.
 

BigGoat

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My first extract had a terrible "twang" to it. Probably fermented to warm, but also probably didn't stir extract in well enough and probably scorched it. I do full 5gal boil with less than half extract added at boil and the rest at the end. Since then my beer has been lighter and clearer and without "twang" Make sure the extract is well stirred. I use a tote to do an ice bath instead of a sink and it works fine. Someday I'll get a chiller.
 

unionrdr

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Stirring thoroughly just gives a more accurate OG reading. It won't help get rid of twang. Good ferment temps & late extract additions do that. Not to mention,lighter,cleaner flavored & clearer.
 
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pdm1982

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You sound like you've experienced exactly the same things I have been. And while that sucks for both of us, it's very reassuring. At least we know we aren't totally lost. My first instincts went to the fermentation temps and pitching temps. The last batch I was as carefull about the temps as I could be but my house kinda sucks for stable temps. Then I read about the late addition. Going to continue to address all of the temp issues and try the late addition on the next batch.

Most people seem to agree that the Brewer's Best kits make good beer so I was pretty sure I was doing something wrong.

Heh and when I give my beers out to friends and family I usually give the disclaimer of getting a chaser first.
 
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pdm1982

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BigGoat, it's funny that you posted that link. I came across that last week and that's what clued me in to the late addition and full boil, among other ideas. It's definitely a good read.
 

TheBS19

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Keep yeast temps in it's happy zone,late extract additions & Chilling the wort down to pitch temp in 20 minutes or less will go a long way toward better beer. Lighter color,cleaner flavor,& little or no chill haze to wait out come fridge time. Not to mention,happy zone temps keeping off flavor producing chemicals at a minimum.
20 minutes or less is a great goal for us on this next batch. Our most recent batch, we tried just utilizing the natural cold night temperatures and a snow pile and it took well over an hour - knew that was too long, but didn't realize HOW much over the proper time we were!

Also, since you seem to definitely be an advocate for the late addition process, our next batch or the one after is going to be an attempt at a Tripel (yes, I know this is ambitious, but I figure its going to take so long to properly get its character that if we brew it soon, it could be ready for those lazy summer nights) - with all the fermentables in the kit, including over 6 lbs of LME, 3 lbs of DME, 1 lb of Candi Sugar and 1/2 lb of Maltodextrin, how should I split the full 60 min boil vs the late adds? Should all of the DME/Candi Sugar and Malto go in for the full 60 and all of the LME at flameout?

EDIT: Union, I just saw your response to my question in the other thread!! Thanks!! I'll plan on doing 1.5 lbs of DME at the top of the boil, the Candi Sugar and Malto with 10-15 mins left and the remainder of the DME and all 6.6 lbs of LME at flameout!

I'm excited to attack this issue that was frustrating us.
 

grem135

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I had the same problems my first 3 batches. The first 2 were definitely fermented to warm. The 3rd I used a swamp cooler and used 1 Lb DME for full 60 minutes and the rest of the extract at 15 minutes and it was definitely better but not great. The 4th batch (a scotch ale that turned out FANTASTIC!) I added 1 Lb DME for 60 minutes and 6 LB LME and the rest of DME at flame out. But I think the big difference in my case was I used Campden to treat my water. It turns out they use chloromine in my water and while the water tastes good it does not make good beer unless treated. My patersbier that I brewed with late addition LME turned out a beautiful clear golden color. cant wait to drink it.
 

unionrdr

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20 minutes or less is a great goal for us on this next batch. Our most recent batch, we tried just utilizing the natural cold night temperatures and a snow pile and it took well over an hour - knew that was too long, but didn't realize HOW much over the proper time we were!

Also, since you seem to definitely be an advocate for the late addition process, our next batch or the one after is going to be an attempt at a Tripel (yes, I know this is ambitious, but I figure its going to take so long to properly get its character that if we brew it soon, it could be ready for those lazy summer nights) - with all the fermentables in the kit, including over 6 lbs of LME, 3 lbs of DME, 1 lb of Candi Sugar and 1/2 lb of Maltodextrin, how should I split the full 60 min boil vs the late adds? Should all of the DME/Candi Sugar and Malto go in for the full 60 and all of the LME at flameout?

EDIT: Union, I just saw your response to my question in the other thread!! Thanks!! I'll plan on doing 1.5 lbs of DME at the top of the boil, the Candi Sugar and Malto with 10-15 mins left and the remainder of the DME and all 6.6 lbs of LME at flameout!

I'm excited to attack this issue that was frustrating us.
Try it,I think you'll agree the beer is better. hope it cures your problems. It did for me.
I found that Artisian Springs sells local spring water for 10c per gallon vs 79c in the store. No tap water worries,especially with my partial mash beers. The lil yeasties seem to like it.
 

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To get my wort temps. down in 10 minutes or less. I freeze water on a 2 liter pop bottle. And use it as a cooling paddle. Stiring the wort with it. While sitting in an ice bath.
Works awesome!! And is waaaayyyy cheaper than a wort chiller.
 
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pdm1982

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Bni, that sounds like a good idea even in addition to using a wort chiller. Probably would help speed up the process even faster. Not to mention if there are additions put in at flameout that might need to be swirled a bit.
 

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Here's another question in regards to late additions. I did some more research on the subject and found you should decrease your bittering hops by 20% if you do a late addition of your malt extract.

Is that accurate? I read it in several times and just read it again on Midwest Supplies' site.
 

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Your doing a stout, correct? Darkening should not be a factor then, eh? I would add everything up front because the resultant IBUs of the beer depend on wort gravity. If you leave them until later in the boil, the gravity will be less and the IBUs higher (theoretically). And in a Milk Stout you prolly don't want to emphasize the hops.

Cheers!

NanoMan
 

NanoMan

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You might want to consider using brewing software. You can play with the timing of the additions and change the hopping if necessary....

Cheers!
 

unionrdr

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In my experience,a lighter wort in the boil has the opposite effect. To heavy a wort seems to work against the hops after a certain point.
 

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RE: the use of the frozen bottle as a "paddle" - I thought that playing too much with cooling wort (over ~80 degrees) was a potential pitfall and cause of some oxidation? I was going to try to leave mine alone as much as possible on this next batch while in an icebath outside in the cold night, but if something like that would get it chilled even quicker and is safe, I'd be interested.
 

bni

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I find that it does a great job oxygenating the wort for piching also.
 

TheBS19

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Hmm, I definitely read somewhere about the dangers of messing with cooling wort, noting that I had definitely stirred my cooling wort in my previous batches and to make sure I didn't do that again.

Yeah, here it is:

6.9.3 Aeration is Good, Oxidation is Bad

The yeast is the most significant factor in determining the quality of a fermentation. Oxygen can be the most significant factor in determining the quality of the yeast. Oxygen is both your friend and your enemy. It is important to understand when which is which.

You should not aerate when the wort is hot, or even warm. Aeration of hot wort will cause the oxygen to chemically bind to various wort compounds. Over time, these compounds will break down, freeing atomic oxygen back into the beer where it can oxidize the alcohols and hop compounds producing off-flavors and aromas like wet cardboard or sherry-like flavors. The generally accepted temperature cutoff for preventing hot wort oxidation is 80°F.
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-9-3.html

Is that not true?
 

NanoMan

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I have noticed that recipes with higher IBU's tend to have you add some malt or other fermentables toward the end if the boil. Like this dogfish clone www.boomchugalug.com/downloadables/recipes/catbird_5400.pdf
Do they do this to use less hops or boil volume?
I'd love to know because I am always afraid to change boil volume or adjust when I add malt.
First, I think you should consider either brewing software or learn the manual calculations (Designing Great Beers is a good reference). The software is nice 'cause you can do things on the fly (except that it won't account for different timing additons of malt, only hops).

Second, I posit a guess. One factor contributing to IBUs is wort density. The lower the density the higher the IBU, and vice versa. If I'm selling kits, I could use less hop if the majority of the boil is done with a lower wort density (less malt), and then I get the correct starting gravity by adding malt at the end where it's impact on IBUs will be minimized. Make sense?

Cheers!

NanoMan
 
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Thanks for the help. Going to purchase some brewing software before next batch. This way I can play with the recipes and still get a good final beer.
 
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pdm1982

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TheBS19, you've got me wondering now. It's been a while since I last brewed so I don't specifically remember the temp of my wort when I aerated it and pitched the yeast. I know it was below 70 but maybe not cool enough... I'd like to believe I got the temp down enough. I use an aerating wand attached to an electric drill then I aerate in the carboy just before pitching the yeast. If my temps were too high still then that could explain an off flavor as well. I will have to be more certain in future batches that my temps are low enough prior to aeration and pitching.
 

unionrdr

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I stir the wort whil boiling & when chilling. But not roughly,just enough to stir it up. I save the rough stirring for mixing the wort/top off water after straining into the FV. Works better toward not oxygenating at the wrong time.
 

TheBS19

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I stir the wort whil boiling & when chilling. But not roughly,just enough to stir it up. I save the rough stirring for mixing the wort/top off water after straining into the FV. Works better toward not oxygenating at the wrong time.
Fair enough - is there any advantage to doing that gentle stirring? Obviously I guess it would promote cooling if you were using cold air to get the wort off the bottom of the kettle swished around, but in an ice bath, is any advantage seen from that stir?

Would simply dropping a sanitized frozen bottle like the other poster suggested (as a type of home-made wort chiller) be just as effective without the danger of disturbing the wort?

Just trying to get myself a best practice to adhere to this time around to see about improvements in taste without necessarily deviating from kit ingredients (yet) - want to get my process down.
 

BigGoat

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I gently stir in the ice bath. Cuts cooling time a lot. I can cool two batches in the same bath in about 20 minutes
 

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