Late Extract Method and IBU's

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Late Extract Method and IBU's

Postby Legman » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:33 pm

If using the Late Extract Method when boiling the wort, does the IBU calculations from Beer Tools become incorrect?
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Re: Late Extract Method and IBU's

Postby jeff » Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:20 pm

Legman wrote:If using the Late Extract Method when boiling the wort, does the IBU calculations from Beer Tools become incorrect?


It depends which formula you choose for %utilization. Some methods ignore gravity when calculating %u while others apply correction factors for boil gravity. For those methods that consider boil gravity, it is assumed the extract is added at the beginning of the boil.
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Postby Legman » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:56 am

I'm using the Beer Tools online calculator.......so, which one is that using?
What value does the IBU's really have on there?
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Postby jeff » Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:48 am

Legman wrote:I'm using the Beer Tools online calculator.......so, which one is that using?
What value does the IBU's really have on there?


If you are using the trial version, the formula is the "BeerTools" method which uses a gravity correction factor. The GOLD version allows you to choose up to 8 formulas including Tinseth, Daniels, Mosher, etc. The one formula that ignores gravity is the "Basic" formula. Several others only correct for gravity if it exceeds 1.050, and the rest gradually increase the correction with increased gravity.

If you are boiling your hops in plain water, adding 15-20% less hops may give you bitterness values closer to the predicted values. However, the formulas used for calculating bitterness all vary significantly. This means that lab testing is the only reliable way to know the true IBU level in the finished beer.

There are other variables that the formulas don't consider such as trub removal, hop age and storage that can have an impact on bitterness. In fact, our own tongue can fool us when the beer contains roasted malts, hard water, or other compounds that influence the perception of bitterness.

While the calculators are helpful when roughing out a recipe, making the beer truly great is where the art of brewing takes over.
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Postby Legman » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:41 am

Ok. Thanks man. I'm still pretty new at this, but I'm soakin' up all I can.
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:31 am

Legman wrote:...the formulas used for calculating bitterness all vary significantly. This means that lab testing is the only reliable way to know the true IBU level in the finished beer.

Bingo! About all we can do is to choose a formula, stick with it, and develop a perception for the bitterness it calculates. As a sanity check, a commercial beer of known bitterness can be compared to one of your homebrews of the same or approximate bitterness to see if the calculation is in the ballpark.

There are places that will analyze your beer. I think Fresh Hops and Seibel will do it. Ralph Olsen (Fresh Hops) said on a recent podcast that they charge about $40 for an IBU test.
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Postby just-cj » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:59 am

ColoradoBrewer wrote:There are places that will analyze your beer. I think Fresh Hops and Seibel will do it. Ralph Olsen (Fresh Hops) said on a recent podcast that they charge about $40 for an IBU test.
Ralph is at Hop Union, not Freshops. I don't think Freshops does hop analysis, but I'm pretty sure Hop Union will do it, like you said for a fee. 8)
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Postby ColoradoBrewer » Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:32 pm

My error. Thanks for the correction, cj. Ralph is indeed at Hop Union.
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Postby Legman » Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:43 am

That's pretty much what I've been doing....let your tongue do the testing. :lol:
For rough IBU calculations, using the recipe calculator, I used only the ingredience for the amount of time it's actually being boiled then added the 2 figures together.

For instance, if adding exctract last 15 min. of boil, I put the grains and hops that would be boiled for the first 45 min. ran the calculator, then put in the grains, extracts and hops that would be in the last 15 min. of boil and ran the calculator again. I took the 2 IBU calculations and added them together to get the approx. total IBU.
So far, I think this gets it pretty close.

I've done 5 batches using the late extract method with good success. It does make the beer lighter in color, usually about 4 to 7 SMR lighter than the full boil SMR calculations. And it does seem to get rid of that scorched extract flavor.

Anyone else using late extract method? And what are your thoughts on IBU's?
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What is "the late extract method"?

Postby billvelek » Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:27 pm

What is "the late extract method"? Are you boiling a weak wort and then adding either DME or LME late in the boil to increase gravity?

If so, and if that results in better hop utilization, then I suppose it would also make sense to do a split boil with one pot containing first runnings (higher gravity) but NO hops ... with all of the hops going only into the second pot with last runnings (weaker gravity).

Any thoughts.

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late eatract

Postby slothrob » Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:49 pm

Yes, Bill, that's the late extract method.
I suppose it would work with wort as well to increase utilization, as you describe, as long as the IBU's don't exceed 100 IBU or so in the small volume boil.

Also, one of the other reasons for late extract addition is to decrease wort "carmelization" from the concentrated boil. I would guess that that would be increased in the second, concentrated, wort pot. So, I guess it depends on what you're looking for in the beer.
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