Electric stove vs darkest color

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Electric stove vs darkest color

Postby djavet » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:54 am

Hello

After a 10 batchs (with extracts and specials grains) on electric stoves, I notice my beers colors are always darker as expected.

How may I improve my boild without this problem?
Must I use a gaz stove?

Thx in advance for your feedback.
Dominique
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Postby slothrob » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:33 am

The common way to deal with this problem is to do late extract additions.

Add only enough extract at the beginning of the boil as would be appropriate for the volume you expect at the end of the boil, then add the remaining extract about 15 minutes from the end of the boil. Some people add it as late as at the end of the boil, but this will pasteurize, not sterilize the wort, which is a slight risk.

Take the example where you boil 3.5 gallons down to 2.5 gallons, then dilute to 5 gallons. You are boiling to half your final volume, so add half your extract early and half at the end.

Also, be careful to remove the pot from the heat when adding extract, so that it doesnt scortch on the bottom of the pot. Be careful to fully disolve the extract before returning the pot to the heat.

A thick bottomed pan or a heat diffuser can reduce the chance that areas of the bottom of the pot will be extra hot and darken the wort during a normal boil.

Some people will alter recipes with lighter Crystal Malts to decrease the final target color, but you could well change the flavor by doing this, so it's an experiment.
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Postby djavet » Mon Jan 15, 2007 10:37 am

Thx for your comments.
I've all what you said expect the late addition.

If I do that, I must crosscheck my biterness no? Because the boild gravity are not the same?

If I boild the whole extract, will my flavor change with this little color problem?

Regards, Dom
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Postby slothrob » Mon Jan 15, 2007 11:35 am

Your bitterness will change. Depending on the recipe this change could be insignificant or enough to ruin a batch. I would definately use BeerToolsPro to check the effect of late addition. If you are following a recipe designed for a full boil, like an all-grain recipe adapted for extract, you will more closely approximate that IBU contribution with a late extract addition.

You can probably just look to see how the IBU's change with full addition or half addition, as adding the extract late won't change the utilization much from never adding it at all (for calculation purposes). Use a utilization formula other than Tinseth, which I normally use for full boils, as it is not designed to calculate partial boils.

The color darkening is due to greater carmelization of the sugars when they are concentrated in the partial boil. This carmelization also changes the flavor, but it depends on the recipe whether you will notice the flavor difference. This type of concentrated boil is used to give some beers (Scotish Ales, in particular) their distinct flavor. I think I can taste this carmelization in some extract beer that people give me to taste, but without a controlled experiment it's hard to say for sure.

The only potential issue (which I believe was raised on this board?) is that shorter boiling of the extract will drive off less DMS. As extract has, apparently, been treated to remove DMS, this shouldn't be a problem, but it is one to watch for. Many people use this technique, however.
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