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LME addition

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by tngolfer, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (225) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012

    New to home brewing so this may be a pretty basic question. All 3 of my batches thus far have been Brewer's Best extract kits. The most recent one (APA) had me add 3.3 lbs of LME to the wort with 20 minutes left in the boil. What affect does adding half of the the LME later in the boil do?
  2. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    Less carmelization and better hop utilization.
  3. Especially important if not doing full boils (more concentrated to begin with)...most kits take this into account, so if you DON'T add the LME/DME late, you will probably be underhopping and have a slightly more carmelly/darker beer than what the recipe creator intended...important for something like an APA.
  4. I just finished listening to a BBR podcast from 2010 where they conducted an experiment regarding full volume boils vs. partial boils vs. partial boil with late LME addition. Basically they did not find a significant difference with the late LME addition vs. the other methods for their hop utilization. There was some slight color variation. Of course those results are for that particular recipe, etc. and your mileage may vary. I would say try different LME boil additions and see what method you prefer. An interesting listen for sure.

    But conventional wisdom does indeed say you will get better utilization with a late LME addition, in the end its up to you.
  5. I've found that the color variations drastically depend on the type of kettle you're using. Naturally if your pot tends to scorch you end up with a darker beer. Likewise, if you have a pot that scorches a lot, I've heard of people who add all the extract with 20 min left to boil but boil the hops for a full 60. I've never done it, but it sort of reinforces what was said above because, supposedly, there is no significant hop loss.

    To the OP: Playing around with lme addition times is a great way to get the most from extract brewing.
  6. I would agree with this. Your heat source and kettle will likely contribute to the darkening to the wort more which in turn would impact how much of a difference an early or late DME/LME addition would make. For me personally when I am using extracts I like to add a portion of my DME late because I can get to a boil quicker with less DME added at the beginning of the boil. I also do not have the capability to do a full volume boil, about 3.5 to 4 gal at most.

    Maybe make a batch with all the extract at the beginning and one with some of the extract added late, do you own little experiment. I think I may try this myself...

  7. Was the podcast the Brewing Network podcast of 2/7/11 entitled Hop Utilization and Water?


    There was a lot of discussion between John Palmer and Jamil Zainasheff.

    I think the important quote from the podcast was that recent scientific studies “…measured the amount of alpha (acids) going into solution and it does not depend on wort gravity.”

    So, if you are solely concerned about hop utilization there is no need to add extract later in the boil.

    I do believe that late addition of malt extract will result in a lighter color than if you added all of the extract for the full boil.


    Edit: I did a web search and found the 2010 podcast: March 4, 2010 entitled BYO-BBR Experiment III. I will listen to it later today.
  8. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    Do you think the additional color (carmelization, which affects flavor) could get in the way of the hop flavors? Or, balance out the bitterness at all (for better or worse)?

  9. Do you think the additional color (carmelization, which affects flavor) could get in the way of the hop flavors?

    I suppose it could for a lightly hopped beer but that could potentially be a good thing if you are brewing a ‘balanced’ beer. For the lightly hopped beers that I brew I would not find carmelization flavors to be objectionable. For highly hopped beers (e.g., IPAs) I personally don’t think you would notice the carmelization since the hops flavors dominate; at least they do in my homebrewed IPAs

    Or, balance out the bitterness at all (for better or worse)?

    I only think you would notice a ‘balancing out’ in lightly hopped beers. See my comments above.

  10. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    Fair enough, I couldn't tell you hear nor there. I had no idea about the extract late method until I was brewing all-grain.
  11. Yeah sorry about that, I was referring to Basic Brewing Radio (BBR) but it looks like you found it. They measured the IBU's in their particular experiment as well and found no appreciable difference in hop utilization between the boil methods further confirming that wort gravity does not effect hop utilization (in terms of IBUs).
  12. tngolfer

    tngolfer Aficionado (225) Tennessee Feb 16, 2012


    Kind of O/T - Are the 1-2 lbs of grains that are included with extract kits for color mainly?
  13. VikeMan

    VikeMan Champion (820) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Depends on the grains, but generally they are also for flavor and/or body/head retention.