Author Topic: Late Extract Additions  (Read 13511 times)

Offline BeerSmith

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Late Extract Additions
« on: December 03, 2003, 12:25:30 PM »
Anyone out there have experience with late extract additions?

I was thinking it would be a useful feature for a later version of BeerSmith but wanted to get some opinions first.

Cheers!
Brad
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Offline ibrewalot

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2003, 01:37:39 AM »
Brad, I think you're gonna have to define "late extract additions".  I had a few late extract additions to the recipe list.  ;D  Do you mean adding extract partially thru the boil or even after the boil?

Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2003, 11:30:19 AM »
I was thinking of extract added partway through the boil.  You can already account for post-boil additions using the "Add after boil" flag.

The reason it becomes important is that adding extracts part way through the boil affects the hop utilization which must be calculated based on the gravity of the boil.

Cheers!
Brad
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Offline cmbrougham

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2003, 01:48:21 PM »
I've brought this up before on another forum--I might have even talked to you about it, Brad. I think it's definitely an important factor to consider. I've done the late extract addition since my second brew, and I've been extremely pleased with it, but I have noticed that hop utilization differs based on what you would expect in tasting, versus what BeerSmith, or another program for that matter, indicates should be the result. Simply by clicking the "Add After Boil" flag for extract (which I really don't--I add the extract with 15 minutes left in the boil), IBUs can change from 5-20 points. That's a pretty significant difference, and can really throw off the balance that you think you've created in a recipe.

Here's something else to complicate matters: I'm not doing just extract batches, or just AG batches at this point. I'm doing partial mashes, usually with 2 to 4 pounds of grain, and 4 to 6 pounds of extract. I do my partial mash, sparge and collect 1.5-2 gallons of wort, add this and the balance of my batch water to my brew kettle, and boil. Then, with 15 minutes to go, I add the extract. So, I'm really messing with the system! I'm sure it's difficult enough just accounting for the late extract addition, without factoring in the partial mash. However, there's been some discussion amongst late extract addition brewers who think that splitting up the extract into two additions, one early and one late, delivers the best of both worlds. In some respects, doing partial mash batches the way I have takes that track.

Anyway, that's a lot of blather for me just to say that I firmly believe in the late addition, and I think it would be a great feature to include in the program.

Phew!

Offline ibrewalot

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2003, 01:18:41 AM »
Ok, so for the uninitiated, what does it buy you?  How does it affect the taste?  Does it make the OG higher or just leave the batch sweeter?  CM, you said it affected your hops utilization by 5-20 points, but does it make the hops "more" or "less" effective?

Sorry for all the questions, but I've not known anyone to have done this and if you've been doing it since your second batch there must be some merit.

Thanx!

Offline cmbrougham

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2003, 02:07:01 AM »
Well, here's my take on the late addition--bear in mind that this is not substantiated with any sort of scientific, empirical evidence. This is all merely my observations that have been more or less backed up by other people I've talked to who do the late extract addition.

I should clarify that I use light or extra-light DME, sometimes Muntons and sometimes Laaglander, though when I do wheat beers I use wheat LME (usually a 60% wheat/40% barley blend). I either steep specialty grains, or more often these days, do a mini or partial mash in order to impart the color, flavor, and other characteristics I want. I don't use any sort of "colored" extract, or hopped extract, for that matter.

Tastewise, I think the late addition leads to a much cleaner taste in a beer. You might have read or even experienced the phenomenon of "extract twang". Generally, the theory is that the lengthy boiling of extract--which has already been boiled once--leads to carmelization of the wort, along with some other state changes. You can end up with the metallic or sometimes cidery taste that is most often considered to be extract "twang". I've found that the late addition generally eliminates this. You may not notice it in your brews now, as I can see you've brewed quite a bit more than I have, but as soon as you do this, you'll immediately notice a difference.

You'll also see a color difference, though this is most detectable in lighter brews. Again, it has to do with the carmelization of the wort. It's like toasting a marshmallow, or searing a piece of meat. The more heat you apply, the darker the target food becomes. Extract has both sugars (like the marshmallow) and proteins (like the meat), so you get carmelization of sugars and the Maillard reaction with the proteins.

Specific gravity will not change with the late addition--you're still adding the same amount of sugar to the same volume of water. However, I have noticed--and this has been backed up by some other late adders--that the beer seems drier, and the hops more pronounced, with the late addition. The theory here is that the longer boiling of the extract again carmelizes the wort, which leads to some unfermentable sugars that leave the batch tasting sweeter. In fact, I posted on the board here a while back about noticing how my beers were more bitter than I would have expected based on the recipe. This is easy to compensate for by doing one or two things--either you can decrease your hops by about 10-15%, or add some extract at the beginning of the boil.

(continued in the next post)

Offline cmbrougham

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2003, 02:07:40 AM »
(continued from previous post--software wouldn't let me post!)

This leads to the hops utilization question, regarding which I've not found anything definitive backing up my thoughts here. When I use the "Add After Boil" flag in BeerSmith, depending on the base IBUs, they can increase by 5 points, or up to about 15 or 20 points. This halfway supports my above point, that the late addition leads to moderately more bitter brews. However, it's not clear why they are more bitter--is the carmelization creating unfermentable sugars that balance out the hops (like you'd experience in an AG full wort boil), or is hop utilization itself actually changing? Another brewer over at HBA's BrewBoard cited some research that without sugars in the boil, hop utilization actually goes down. I'll see if I can find that research and post it here.

At any rate, it may be either of those factors at work, both of them, or something else entirely. This is where I think the most difficulty comes in working this feature into the program, because I don't know if there has been any concrete proof that sugars are needed for hops utilization or not. Suffice it to say, with the late extract addition, beer seem more bitter, so adjust your hops to account for this. At present, I don't think that BeerSmith, or any other program for that matter, adequately accounts for the late addition--that's not really a fault of anyone, as this is a fairly recent innovation in homebrewing. I wish I was a scientist and had the resources, because I'd love to conduct such experiments!

While I think the late addition leads to some wonderful benefits in a completed brew, it does create some havoc on brew day. I generally add my extract with 15 minutes remaining in the boil. As an extract brewer, you're well aware of extract's propensity to kill a boil and then really foam like crazy once you get back to a boil. Basically, I go throughout the first 75% of the boil adding my hops at the proper intervals, then turn off the heat (I use a turker fryer with a 7.5 gallon kettle, so I can do full boils--another great boon to better tasting brew), dump in the extract and mix it up, add 15 minute hops if there are some, add my WhirlFloc/Irish Moss, and put in my immersion chiller. I throw the pot back on the heat at full blast, and get it back to a boil. It takes a minute or three to get it boiling again, and usually once it does, the extract begins to foam. I usually stop my timer until the wort starts boiling again. So, you can see how it can create a little extra work, and extra mess, if you're not careful. However, my opinion is that the payoff is definitely worth the slight inconveniences.

Alright, at this point, I've written a book, so I'm going to shut my trap. Let me know if you have any questions, as I'm glad to help out. I think if you give it a shot once or twice, you'll find that the late extract addition is a fairly painless way to really bump up the quality of your beers.

Brew on!

colin

Offline ibrewalot

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2003, 06:18:19 AM »
Geez, Colin...nice writeup!  I'll try it in my next batch.  I do have one question though.  I usually steep .5 to 1 pound of adjunct grains before the boil, then add 6-8 pounds of extract.  If I were to do the late addition, how much should I boil for my usual 45 minutes and how much should I hold back for late addition?  

Thanx again for the writeup.   :)

Offline cmbrougham

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2003, 08:34:52 AM »
Well, you could do it in a number of ways, actually. The only way I've ever done the late addition is to add it all with about 15 minutes left in the boil. But, in my novel up above :D, you can see how there's been some talk of beers seeming more bitter when all the extract is added later. So, try splitting it up, if you want. Add 3-4 pounds at the beginning of the boil, and add the rest with 15 minutes to go. Again, I've never done this, so you're on your own there... but do report back if you go this route. I'd say, for your first attempt at this, add it all with 15 minutes to go, and none at the beginning. This will give you both extremes. Brew a recipe you know well. Test its outcome against the methods you've always used, and then adjust the time of the addition to suit your tastes. This would be a great experiment. I've haven't done this, and probably won't, because I'm going to be brewing AG fairly soon.

Let me know what you decide to do. I'm very interested in the results. Good luck!

Offline BeerSmith

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2003, 03:37:58 PM »
OK,
 Based on what I've gleaned so far I need to add a "Late Extract Addition" checkbox as well as a "Boil Time" for the extract when it is a late addition.  That way I can also adjust the IBU calculations to account for the hop utilization changes.

 Sound OK?

Brad
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Tom

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2003, 09:01:39 PM »
I hope the extract is being added to a couple of litres of wort OFF HEAT?

last 5 mins is the time to add LME, methinks, precisely because of hop utilisation

Offline cmbrougham

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2003, 12:53:55 AM »
Quote
OK,
 Based on what I've gleaned so far I need to add a "Late Extract Addition" checkbox as well as a "Boil Time" for the extract when it is a late addition.  That way I can also adjust the IBU calculations to account for the hop utilization changes.

 Sound OK?

Brad


Exactly. Once again, I don't know if there's been any research or experimentation done that will help you put this calculations in. I couldn't find any, at least--doesn't mean it doesn't exist, of course. Another thing to consider is color differences when adding the extract late. At least with lighter beers, you can end up with some moderately paler wort, versus if you were to add the extract for the full length of the boil.

This would be awesome, though :)

Offline ibrewalot

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2003, 06:01:33 AM »
And if you could have it available as an update this week before I brew my next batch, it'd be great too!  ;D   No, I'll just keep notes and add it in whenever it makes it into the program.  No rush.  

Offline cmbrougham

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2003, 06:08:16 AM »
ibrewalot--Check out this thread for a sorta/kinda hack to the program that will compensate for the late addition. I'm using it currently... it works, but I'm not sure how accurate it is.

Offline ibrewalot

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Re: Late Extract Additions
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2004, 02:20:27 PM »
Ok, with the holidays now officially over, I finally had time to get caught up brewing.  I tried the "late addition" with this batch and had some interesting results...it's been a long time since brewing any recipe has caught me off-guard, but this one almost succeeded when I added the DME with 15 minutes to go.  I added 4 lbs Ex. Light DME in the beginning of my 45 minute boil and added another 3 lbs. with 15 minutes to go.  I was about to go downstairs to get my primary fermenter to get started cleaning it up and luckily I didn't...after I added the late 3lbs, I got a HUGE amount of boil foam.  If I'd have walked away then, I'd still be cleaning the stove!  It stayed there until I stirred it and it went back down to the normal rolling boil I usually have once things settle down.  It was really weird, but it's keeping brewing interesting!

Also, Brad, I have a suggestion for how to deal with the late addition concept in BeerSmith.  When I was entering in the recipe I used Colin's idea of checking the "after boil" box, but there may be an easier solution.  If you added a column to ingredients for "time to boil" (or even just had it display-able if you double-click the ingredient after adding it to the recipe) and if you defaulted all ingredients to the already selected boil-time (like it already works), a user could change the boil-time for the late addition ingredients to be whatever they wanted.  Users already have this option with hops only in that I can select hops to go for the whole boil, or for just the last 15 minutes or whatever I want.  And if you only had it display-able with the double-click it would be unobtrusive to your average user that doesn't care about late addition DME in the first place.

Anyway...I'll let you know how the batch turns out since it's my first late addition and my first non-stout on my nitrogen keg.  How can it be bad?  ;D
« Last Edit: January 01, 2004, 02:21:55 PM by ibrewalot »