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Late extract addition

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So, I have all of my ingredients for a couple partial mash batches. I just need to make some time to brew them.

Here's my question: If I'm using 4 to 5 lbs. of grain, can I wait to add my extract until near the end of the boil? Or should I still add some of the extract at the beginning?

If I understand correctly, there needs to be something (either from the grains or the extract) in the boil in order to get proper hop utilization.
 

allenH

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Every time I did a PM, I added the DME/LME at flameout. No worries.
 

Seedly

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A lower boil gravity will lead to higher hop utilization. If you want a hoppier beer, I say go for it!
 

mabrungard

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Yes you can add the extract near the end of the boil, but you won't get the same degree of protein coagulation and removal. Additionally, the bittering utilization will be altered. You can work around the bittering utilization discrepancy by reducing the bittering additions a bit. Recalulate the bittering contributions assuming the lower wort gravity due to the lack of the extract.

Overall, I don't see a good reason to not add the extract earlier in the boil.
 
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So, the more advice I get, the more confusing this is getting.

First, the reason I am thinking about the late addition is to avoid caramelization or other alterations in the flavor of the extract. I'm not worried about it getting darker, because it is a porter recipe. But I'm using Northern Brewer's new Marris Otter LME and I want to get the flavor from the extract as it is intended without any 'cooked extract' flavors. I am more vulnerable to these flavor alterations, because I don't have a big enough kettle to do a full volume boil. My low volume boil has seemed to equal more caramelization in some of my other batches.

Secondly, the hops utilization question. A couple of you have said that I'll get more hop utilization/isomerization if I do the late LME addition. Others haven't said anything specific about that, but just that the late addition should be fine. I've read about people that do late additions in extract+steeping grains recipes, but can't remember ever seeing anything about adjusting hop additions to account for higher isomerization rates.

Anybody got some clarity on this question?
 
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Apology accepted.

For this batch, I'll be mashing 3 lbs. Marris Otter, 1 lb. Amber & 10 oz. Chocolate and then adding 6 lbs. of Marris Otter LME at some point. I don't see the point in stirring during the boil, although I still do it occasionally to make sure the hops aren't just sitting on top of the wort and because I get bored just standing there watching the wort boil.

An example: I brewed NB's Dead Ringer a few months ago and the final product turned out darker than it should have been. And it has a somewhat sweet caramelized flavor to it as well. The sweetness is not from under-attenuation. It came from cooking the extract in a partial volume boil. I am convinced that adding the LME late in the boil (10 min. or less left in the boil), this problem will be resolved.

At this point, I'm not worried about the color of the finished product, but I am curious about how this might effect the hop utilization.
 

Yooper

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At this point, I'm not worried about the color of the finished product, but I am curious about how this might effect the hop utilization.
In short, it really won't.

In my experience, adding the extract late DOES avoid excess maillard reactions (very similar to caramelization type of reactions), regardless of stirring during the boil. (someone mentioned stirring as a fix to overcooked extract).
 

mabrungard

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If excessive darkening of the wort is a problem, it is more likely a problem with the alkalinity of the makeup water. Even when using extract, the water used in brewing needs to be relatively low in alkalinity to avoid excessive darkening and harsh notes in the beer flavor. Find out about the water and make adjustments if its alkalinity is over 50 ppm (as CaCO3).
 
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In short, it really won't.

In my experience, adding the extract late DOES avoid excess maillard reactions (very similar to caramelization type of reactions), regardless of stirring during the boil. (someone mentioned stirring as a fix to overcooked extract).
Thanks, Yooper. Based on the numerous other posts I've seen from you (and the join dates listed for some of the others giving advice), I think I will choose to trust you on this one.
 
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