Author Topic: Late extract add and measuring boil gravity  (Read 2057 times)

Offline bbshopplf

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Late extract add and measuring boil gravity
« on: April 16, 2019, 02:51:58 PM »
Just curious how people do a late extract addition when it comes to the Session tab and the "Volume and Gravity in Boiler" block.

I use DME, and I add only part of the water along with the first DME addition. I withhold the rest of the water to make a slurry with the remaining DME.

For example, I'll start with 25% of the DME and 25% of the water, do most of the boil (30-60 min, depending upon the hop schedule), then use 75% of the water to with the remaining 75% of the DME. I make the slurry, then heat that up separately to get it at/near boil before adding it to the main boil with 10 or so minutes left to go.

I'm convinced all of these shenanigans throws a bit of BS's calculations out of whack, at least as far as this "Volume and Gravity in Boiler" block on the Sessions tab is concerned (since my pre-boil gravity will be different than my..."mid-boil" gravity?, after I've added the rest of the DME).

It's not a huge deal, but I guess if Brad and the team could account for this somehow (perhaps associating water addition with fermentable additions, or adding space to add "mid boil" gravity, maybe?), it would help certain personality types feel better.  ;D

Or, if anyone has insight about why it doesn't matter or some other approach I could use, I'd welcome the feedback.

Offline BOB357

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Re: Late extract add and measuring boil gravity
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2019, 04:39:50 PM »
Perhaps you can enlighten us as to exactly what advantage you see in the procedure you describe.

I've been brewing and communicating with other home brewers for more than 11 years, and have never heard of anyone using the procedure you describe. Normally with a late extract addition, the only thing added later in the boil than normal would be the extract. If you were simply doing a 15 minute boil, I could understand. Save 45 minutes and use some extra hops. For many this would be a good tradeoff.   
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Offline Oginme

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Re: Late extract add and measuring boil gravity
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2019, 04:57:02 PM »
I know a number of people who do split additions of extract.  Given your split of the water, it seems like it would be hard to figure your boil off rate for the program to give you an estimate of gravity at the end of the boil.  Not sure how you account for that.  It also tosses out any hopes of a bitterness model being anywhere near close.

Neither of these is a reason not to brew as you are doing, but would make it hard for the program to give you any firm repeatable estimates on gravity, or repeatable benchmarks for bitterness numbers. 

Generally, most people don't measure or fret over the gravity reading mid-boil, with the idea that boil off is a constant rate so the gravity is a pretty linear increase from beginning of boil to the end of boil if no other sugars are added. When I add late boil sugars (extract or straight fermentables), I zero them out once the recipe is set and note the gravity readings without the sugar adds in the brew notes and then add the sugar back in to get the final figures that I will be targeting.

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Offline frankvw

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Re: Late extract add and measuring boil gravity
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2019, 09:16:32 AM »
While my approach is not entirely the same as what the OP describes, partial boils and late additions of fermentables have been giving me headaches, too.

I've been brewing a few heavy-weight Belgians lately (a dubbel in the mid 1.070s and a tripel in the mid 1.080s, the latter with a very highly attenuating yeast) and both use the traditional adjuncts of refiner's syrup and various types of sugar to lighten the body and push the ABV up without making the beer cloying and overly satiating. Being fairly new to BS and having just bought BS3, I made the mistake of including those with the other fermentables. Firstly, BS3 told me that the amount of grains would max out my mash tun capacity which caused me to reduce the batch size, until I realized (too late) that BS3 adds the weight of the golden syrup and sugar to the total amount of grains calculated in the recipe design window. There would have been room for a larger batch, especially with the tripel which uses 1lb of Lyle's Golden Syrup and 1.65lb of sugar.

But more importantly, I could have saved myself a tonne and a half of hops by adding the syrup and sugars at the end of the boil. I didn't, because BS3 has no provisions for it and I never thought of it. If I had, the boil gravity would have been significantly lower and not thrown my hop utilization out the window.

Both are good arguments for adding provisions for late sugar additions, IMO.

« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 09:26:06 AM by frankvw »

Offline dtapke

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Re: Late extract add and measuring boil gravity
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »
as far as hop utilization, it seems there's multiple views, backsteps, then side steps, and then forward opinions on this, but I've never found any direct info. Hopefully someone has some research they can provide for me.... BUT, I do not believe hop utilization is drastically effected by gravity, more so by the amount of solids in the kettle, and the amount of liquid using for the boil. So as far as saving a ton of hops, I'm guessing that since both beers mentioned use small amounts of hops anyways, it probably didn't effect it that drastically.

 
Firstly, BS3 told me that the amount of grains would max out my mash tun capacity which caused me to reduce the batch size, until I realized (too late) that BS3 adds the weight of the golden syrup and sugar to the total amount of grains calculated in the recipe design window. There would have been room for a larger batch, especially with the tripel which uses 1lb of Lyle's Golden Syrup and 1.65lb of sugar.

To fix this, when you add the fermentable "Lyle's Golden Syrup and 1.65lb of sugar" select "Boil" from the "use in" drop down list. You'll note there's even a "late extract boil time" selection there. I'm unsure what this does as I've never used it and don't brew with extracts.
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