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LME late addition techniques?

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RudeLead

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I do partial mashes and I usually add my LME with 15 minutes left of the boil. But since I don't do a full boil, the gravity is very high the last 15 mins and I get lousy hop utilisation. When hoppy pale ales and IPAs are what I brew most often, this calls for huge amounts of finishing hops, which bumps up the cost of the brew pretty radically.

When I brewed up my last APA, I figured out that I just might boil the LME for 15 mins in a second kettle, cool it separarately and add it to the fermenter and do all the hopping in the main kettle.

Have anyone else got any experience with this?

Hope it turns out well as it's fermenting by now... :p I'll tell you how it went when i taste the results.
 

ifishsum

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Sounds like you brew very similarly to myself. I typically mash 4.5-5 lbs of grain and boil 3 gallons of wort then add extract at the end and top off to 5.5 gallons, using AG recipes and adapting them to my technique. I also noticed that many of my first brews seemed a little too light on the hops.

Utilization as I understand it typically refers to extracting the IBUs from the bittering hops, which is not really a factor in the last 15 minutes of the boil. Flavor additions should be less affected by gravity, but I have also noticed that I have to increase the hops additions to get the flavors I want. I don't have to increase the hops amounts a lot, maybe 20% to get where I want.

Do you add any extract at all at the beginning of the boil? One thing that helped me is to start the boil with only the mash runnings (3 gallons) then add all of the extract at 10 minutes. That way only the very last additions are in the high gravity wort. I've also started leaving the finishing hops in during the cooling process so they are in contact with the wort a bit longer. I also dry hop many of my beers for 7 days right before bottling - not a lot (.5 oz or so) but enough to get that little extra kick. I do use some extra hops, but not what I'd call huge amounts. For the most part this has solved my perceived problem and I've been happier with the hop balance in my beers.
 

BuzzCraft

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IWhen I brewed up my last APA, I figured out that I just might boil the LME for 15 mins in a second kettle, cool it separarately and add it to the fermenter and do all the hopping in the main kettle.

Have anyone else got any experience with this?
I asked about a similar process a couple of weeks ago and didn't get many opinions, so went ahead and did it. Only difference was that I was using DME. Still in the fermenter, but it's going to be fine.

I'll be doing my brews this way from now on (until I get set up with a different system, that is). There should be no downside to this approach. In fact, if you get 5 gallons going between the pots, it's essentially the equivalent of a full boil (with a couple of caveats). The other thing I like about it is that I don't have to screw with trying to dissolve DME (or LME in your case) into my batch at the end of the boil, killing the boil for a period, etc.
 

Cugel

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I go a step further and add the DME at the end of the boil, stir it in thoroughly and then chuck the pot into an ice bath.
I only boil the wort extracted from the partial mash, or if I'm just using extract I only add a pound at the beginning of the boil and the remainder after 60 mins.

Never had a problem with it. Get good hop utilization, color and taste! So far, so good... <fingerscrossedgraemlin>
 
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RudeLead

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The other thing I like about it is that I don't have to screw with trying to dissolve DME (or LME in your case) into my batch at the end of the boil, killing the boil for a period, etc.
Yeah, that´s another thing that has bothered me as well...

And HUGE amounts was maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but I definitely got a lot less hop aroma from the last 15 mins of hop additions on my last brew than I would expect.

But so far everything smells great from the fermenter, but thats my only reference point for now. I´ll keep you posted...
 
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