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Extract Kit Question - Palmer Brewing Method

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Brews and Blues

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I am getting ready to brew a Brewer's Best Belgian Golden Ale kit. If you aren't familiar with those kits, they usually have you add all of the LME/DME for the entire boil. I am currently reading How To Brew by John Palmer, and his method is to boil half of the LME/DME, and add the other half right at the termination of the boil to better control Maillard reactions that can create off flavors.
I usually like to stick to the recipe considering it came in a kit, BUT, would you guys recommend adapting that Palmer Brewing Method to this extract kit? I didn't know if anyone has had much experience with these kits or this method.
 

NGD

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I’m not familiar with the Brewers Best kits in particular but I primarily brew with extract. I usually go with Palmers method. This method will give you fewer off flavors and result in a lighter color.
Using this method there are a few things to note.
  • If taking a gravity reading do not be surprised if its low. Even with vigorous stirring there will be stratification of the extract to the bottom
  • One of the tricks to the late addition method is to kill the flame, add your extract while stirring like crazy with a sanitized spoon for several minutes prior to cooling.
Make sure to stir vigorously again with a sanitized spoon or whisk after cooling to help with aeration prior to adding yeast.

I’m sure Palmer covers this in detail. I have the 3rd ed. but glanced at the 4th ed in a bookstore and it appeared to cover extract in more detail

Whatever method you choose, your brewin beer. Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.
 
OP
Brews and Blues

Brews and Blues

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I’m not familiar with the Brewers Best kits in particular but I primarily brew with extract. I usually go with Palmers method. This method will give you fewer off flavors and result in a lighter color.
Using this method there are a few things to note.
  • If taking a gravity reading do not be surprised if its low. Even with vigorous stirring there will be stratification of the extract to the bottom
  • One of the tricks to the late addition method is to kill the flame, add your extract while stirring like crazy with a sanitized spoon for several minutes prior to cooling.
Make sure to stir vigorously again with a sanitized spoon or whisk after cooling to help with aeration prior to adding yeast.

I’m sure Palmer covers this in detail. I have the 3rd ed. but glanced at the 4th ed in a bookstore and it appeared to cover extract in more detail

Whatever method you choose, your brewin beer. Best of luck and let us know how it turns out.
Thanks! I've had great results with these kits actually. Sometimes I wonder if there is a tiny bit of "extract twang" which John Palmer attributes to those Maillard reactions, though. I think I am going to give it a shot. I'm looking at brewing in about a week or so. I will report back!
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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It's possible that off flavors, including extract "twang" (licorice, molasses, ink aroma), in extract are mostly related to improperly stored liquid extract. Concentrated boils (2x the OG because all the extract is boiled with half the water) are likely to produce some undesired flavors as well.

When you report back, please note if the packaging on the DME/LME contains dates of any type.

There are two Basic Brewing Radio podcasts that may be worth a listen:
  • August 25, 2005 - Making Malt Extract with ...
  • November 17, 2005 - Hard Beers and Extract Advice (2nd half of show)
 
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Brews and Blues

Brews and Blues

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It's possible that off flavors, including extract "twang" (licorice, molasses, ink aroma), in extract are mostly related to improperly stored liquid extract. Concentrated boils (2x the OG because all the extract is boiled with half the water) are likely to produce some undesired flavors as well.

When you report back, please note if the packaging on the DME/LME contains dates of any type.

There are two Basic Brewing Radio podcasts that may be worth a listen:
  • August 25, 2005 - Making Malt Extract with ...
  • November 17, 2005 - Hard Beers and Extract Advice (2nd half of show)
Will do. I know that is another possibility as the malt extras can be sitting on the shelf for a while, thus effecting the flavors.
Thanks for the podcasts as well!

I'm not even positive that it has that twang... somehow I am both super critical and super forgiving of the beer I brew. It's like I am trying to find off flavors so that I can make the beer better, while at the same time loving every sip 😂
 

Dinadan

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I boil all the extract for about ten minutes or a little more. Off flavors - how would I know? It tastes like it tastes, and usually pretty darn good!

I have noticed that Munton kits instructions are to just mix the extract with water, no boiling at all. I ignore those instructions and boil for ten minutes. Invariably it makes good beer. If everything is properly sanitized and the yeast and extract are decent, beer is really pretty forgiving.
 

D.B.Moody

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My problem with late addition is that I prefer DME and adding it to hot wort tends to result in a fine coating of powder all around the area. I brew in the kitchen, so I don't do that. I am not familiar with kits, but I've been an extract brewer since 1994. I boil 1 1/2 gallons and then add 4 gallons of cold water. You can be happy with concentrated boils. It could be that I don't notice Maillard effects, or, perhaps, I actually expect and like them.:) BTW, I don't know anything about Palmer; he wrote after I started brewing, and I was already happy with my results.
 
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Dinadan

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You can be happy with concentrated boils. It could be that I don't notice Maillard effects, or, perhaps, I actually expect and like them.:)
That is pretty much the way I feel. Clearly, my taste in beer is not like most folks here. I do not care at all for the super high IBU IPAs. Anyway, I think that the OP will be just fine either way. For me, tasting a new batch is like opening a present: maybe it will be great, maybe not so much.
 

RM-MN

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That is pretty much the way I feel. Clearly, my taste in beer is not like most folks here. I do not care at all for the super high IBU IPAs. Anyway, I think that the OP will be just fine either way. For me, tasting a new batch is like opening a present: maybe it will be great, maybe not so much.
I don't either or at least I didn't. Keep brewing and drinking and your taste will likely change.

Do a search for "lupulin shift".
 
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NSMikeD

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I think these things about extract will help


1. The only thing you need to do with extract is sanitize it and that gets done in 10 minutes of a boil.

2. Long boils tend to darken extract beers so short boils are preferred for lighter color beers (plus the possible undesirable flavors which is debatable)


3. Hops need to be boiled in wort. If the extract has the hops added into the wort, then follow the directions to ensure the correct balance of bitter, flavor and aroma.

If you are adding hops separately, then the practice of half extract at the start of boil to ensure the desired bitter, flavor and aroma, the last addition sanitizer without changing the profile is generally accepted as a best practice.
 

NGD

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I don't either or at least I didn't. Keep brewing and drinking and your taste will likely change.

Do a search for "lupulin shift".
Before I knew "lupulin shift" was a term, I certainly experienced this with west coast IPA craze. I went from barely tolerating ipa's, to loving bitter hop bombs, then back to not wanting them at all. Now days I'm somewhere in between. I've always enjoyed a good belgian, stout or hef though.

@Dinadan You may already know this already but I came back to mention this to @Brews and Blues. I took a look at the Brewers best kit and noticed they use a fair amount of DME. There are a few tricks that make DME easier to work with if you haven't already tried them. I realize you already have several brews under your belt so I'm mainly mentioning this to any newcomers that may want to try this recipe at a later date.

  • Adding DME to lukewarm water and mixing before adding to the boil can help avoid clumping. This is particularly helpful for end of boil additions. Just don't forget to adjust for the added water.
  • If adding to the start of your brew day, add around 100F.
  • Don't let it sit out for very long. This is particularly important if you brew in a humid environment.
  • A wire whisk is much better than a spoon at breaking up the clumps. Some use a wine degasser or paint mixer hooked to a drill to mix while adding.
  • If you want to add DME dry, putting your DME in a stainless or glass bowl will make it easier to control. If you use a large pyrex measuring cup you can dip the whole thing into the hot wort without fear of breaking.
  • If you add an immersion chiller at the 15 minute mark to sterilize; add and dissolve DME/LME before adding the chiller. I'm not sure anyone else would make this DA mistake, but speaking from experience it's adds an extra bit of work.


@Brews and Blues Curious what yeast this kit came with or does Brewers Best rebrand and repackage?
 

Jag75

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When I first started brewing my go to was Brewersbest kits . I never got a bad one that I can recall. I did move LME to the end of the boil . It helps with the color as well .
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I did move LME to the end of the boil . It helps with the color as well .
visual +1!

With kits, it's reasonable to convert them from concentrated boil (which may lead to off flavors) to ""partial boil with late extract additions" / "stove top brewing" / Palmer Brewing Method (wort a/b)".

Shorter boils (like @NSMikeD mentioned above) also help, but often require more experience to adjust the kit recipe.

With extract-based recipes, there are a lot of interesting ideas that can be found in the "no boil" NEIPA topics and the "bottling NEIPAs" (good for 45+ days) topic(s).
 

kartracer2

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Hi all !
AS an extract brewer (+steeping grains usualy) I also run my recipies through BeerSmith 2. One thing that changes a lot is hop utilization with PLETO. (Partial boil. Late Extract addition, Top Off)
Example: 3 gal boil, same hop additions at same time. (60 & 10 min). 6.5 lbs DME total.
@ start of boil all extract - 11.8 IBU - .216 IBU/SG ratio.
@ start 3.5 lbs extract - 3 lbs. at 10 min left. 15.2 IBU - .279 IBU/SG ratio.
@ start 3.5 lbs. extract - 3 lbs. at flame out 18.9 IBU - 346 IBU/SG ratio
It's a thing I guess. Late addition extract helps one problem (color etc.) and causes/changes another.
I have yet to make the same 2 beers back to back changing only malt timing additions for a good glass to glass comparison so this is just a numbers thing. I just put this out there for thought.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I have yet to make the same 2 beers back to back changing only malt timing additions for a good glass to glass comparison so this is just a numbers thing. I just put this out there for thought.
Back when I was brewing DME with 30 min & 15 min boils, I did "side-by-side" 30 min boils (one was full volume, one used a late addition). The results were essentially what was mentioned in the Nov 15, 2005 BBR episode (see below). I don't have the "color is darker than expected" problem when I brew with DME.

Basic Brewing Nov 15, 2005 (starting @ 46:30) discusses boil duration, late extract additions, concentrated boils, and the impact of these on color. An estimate for the amount of darkening for a 45 min boil is mentioned @ 49:15.

For those brewing with LME who are interested in investigating "color darker than expected", BBR episodes on Aug 18, 2005 & Nov 15, 2005 would be a good starting point.

eta: Oh, and be sure to measure SRM properly (not in the kettle, not in the fermenter, ...). Don't be "that guy" who says: "The wort for my pale ale in the fermenter looked to be 18 SRM" :eek:.
 
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