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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: ndcube on December 07, 2009, 08:14:20 PM

Title: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 07, 2009, 08:14:20 PM
If you do a 2.5-3 hour boil for a Wee Heavy should you still boil a gallon of the first runnings down?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: blatz on December 07, 2009, 08:33:46 PM
If you do a 2.5-3 hour boil for a Wee Heavy should you still boil a gallon of the first runnings down?

personally, I wouldn't - the 'mini' boil down is to avoid that, IMO.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on December 07, 2009, 08:34:33 PM
I don't think I would.  IMO the 1 gallon to 1 quart boil reduction/caramelization replaces the loooong boil.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on December 07, 2009, 08:35:36 PM
My understanding is YES based on the the percentage of reduction between the boiled down first runnings and the percentage of  reduction in the balance of the kettle volume. There is no way you can achieve the same caramelization/ maillard reactions in the BK as you can boiling down the first runnings.

Hamiltont and Blatz . . I think he was asking if he should boil the first runnings . . I think!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: blatz on December 07, 2009, 08:36:27 PM
I don't think I would.  IMO the 1 gallon to 1 quart boil reduction/caramelization replaces the loooong boil.

is that so???  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 07, 2009, 08:41:32 PM
I plan on boiling 9 gal down to 3.75-4gal in 2.5-3hours.

I was just going to mash & sparge like normal.  Should I not do this and just use first runnings?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on December 07, 2009, 08:44:36 PM
Hmmm . . I think you'll end up with something the consistency of molasses!    :)
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 07, 2009, 08:48:31 PM
Hmmm . . I think you'll end up with something the consistency of molasses!    :)

I usually start off with 9gal for a 5.75 gal batch.  I'd just take it further.

My pot's pretty wide and I boil-off about a gallon every half hour.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on December 07, 2009, 08:50:22 PM
Molasses was an exaggeration, but another two gallons of water gone is gonna thicken it up!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 07, 2009, 08:55:07 PM
Molasses was an exaggeration, but another two gallons of water gone is gonna thicken it up!

I was shooting for 1.100.  Is that too high for a Wee Heavy?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 07, 2009, 08:58:57 PM
Molasses was an exaggeration, but another two gallons of water gone is gonna thicken it up!

I was shooting for 1.100.  Is that too high for a Wee Heavy?
You are asking me that question?     Of course not,  My Wee Heavy's are on the heavy side, typically starting between 1.120 and 1.150.  I boil 9 - 10 gallons down to about 5.5 in two turkey fryers, over 2.5 to 4 hrs depending.  Make for an awesome brew.

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on December 07, 2009, 09:01:21 PM
I don't think I would.  IMO the 1 gallon to 1 quart boil reduction/caramelization replaces the loooong boil.

is that so???  ;D ;D
You turkey, you beat me to it!!   ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on December 07, 2009, 09:12:58 PM
You are asking me that question?     Of course not,  My Wee Heavy's are on the heavy side, typically starting between 1.120 and 1.150.  I boil 9 - 10 gallons down to about 5.5 in two turkey fryers, over 2.5 to 4 hrs depending.  Make for an awesome brew.
Fred

Zoinks Scoobs!!

Never made anything that heavy!. What's the FG end up?

You drink it with a spoon??!   :o   :D
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on December 07, 2009, 09:21:02 PM
You are asking me that question?     Of course not,  My Wee Heavy's are on the heavy side, typically starting between 1.120 and 1.150.  I boil 9 - 10 gallons down to about 5.5 in two turkey fryers, over 2.5 to 4 hrs depending.  Make for an awesome brew.
Fred

Zoinks Scoobs!!

Never made anything that heavy!. What's the FG end up?

You drink it with a spoon??!   :o   :D

Not with a spoon but with a whiskey backer....  I actually have a Strong Scotch going right now.  It started at 1.142.  After a week & a half it was down to 1.044.  It will go to a secondary Saturday.  I'm hoping it will get down to the 1.030's.  Should be in the 14% range which is pushing it for Wyeast 1728.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 07, 2009, 09:29:42 PM
I'm known to push

typical FGs are upper 1.020's to abour 1.035 usually 13%+  15% is not uncommon.

I've got a 20% BW I need to keg right now.


Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on December 07, 2009, 09:34:18 PM
I'm known to push

typical FGs are upper 1.020's to abour 1.035 usually 13%+  15% is not uncommon.

I've got a 20% BW I need to keg right now.


Fred
What ale yeast did you use to get to 20%?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 07, 2009, 09:37:01 PM
Nottingham dry yeast.

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on December 07, 2009, 09:40:28 PM
Those little notty boogers.  I woulda never thunk it!  # of packs per 5 gallons?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 07, 2009, 09:43:06 PM
persistence and multiple pitches,  started with 3 packs of rehydrated and repeated that twice.

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 07, 2009, 09:59:35 PM
I am debating this issue myself. I was planning to boil down only the first runnings, but now I'm thinking about boiling the first and second runnings together for a few hours. I think it would be easier and I also beleive the beer would benefit from it in that the entire wort would carmelize instead of just the first runnings.

Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 07, 2009, 10:06:59 PM
I am debating this issue myself. I was planning to boil down only the first runnings, but now I'm thinking about boiling the first and second runnings together for a few hours. I think it would be easier and I also beleive the beer would benefit from it in that the entire wort would carmelize instead of just the first runnings.
Which method is better is up to the taster,  The more traditional method is to boil the whole wort. 

Just be sure to target your FG on these beers, that makes much more difference than the OG.

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: blatz on December 07, 2009, 10:07:16 PM
I am debating this issue myself. I was planning to boil down only the first runnings, but now I'm thinking about boiling the first and second runnings together for a few hours. I think it would be easier and I also beleive the beer would benefit from it in that the entire wort would carmelize instead of just the first runnings.



I don't follow this logic here bud.

The idea of boiling down the first gallon is to concentrate the richness.  The richest, highest quality wort is the first running.  

Unless you mean skipping boiling on the 1st gallon and you mean boiling the entire wort, together, for a longer period.  Hard to decipher which you mean.

FWIW, when I made skotrat's recipe, doing the boil down, it was the most malty result I'd ever gotten.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 07, 2009, 10:10:00 PM
I am debating this issue myself. I was planning to boil down only the first runnings, but now I'm thinking about boiling the first and second runnings together for a few hours. I think it would be easier and I also beleive the beer would benefit from it in that the entire wort would carmelize instead of just the first runnings.



I don't follow this logic here bud.

The idea of boiling down the first gallon is to concentrate the richness.  The richest, highest quality wort is the first running.  

Unless you mean skipping boiling on the 1st gallon and you mean boiling the entire wort, together, for a longer period.  Hard to decipher which you mean.

FWIW, when I made skotrat's recipe, doing the boil down, it was the most malty result I'd ever gotten.

I'm talking about boiling the whole wort instead of the first runnings. I will need to target the gravity as Fred suggested.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dbeechum on December 07, 2009, 11:42:32 PM
Whatever you do.. don't do what I did and boil it for 19 hours. :)
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on December 07, 2009, 11:49:26 PM
Whatever you do.. don't do what I did and boil it for 19 hours. :)
Ummmm. Butter Brickle Strong Scotch Ale???   :o
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dbeechum on December 08, 2009, 12:14:06 AM
Ummmm. Butter Brickle Strong Scotch Ale???   :o

Nope.. it was Damn Heavy (http://archive.maltosefalcons.com/recipes/20030601.php).

Turned out to be damn near impossible to ferment from all the long sugar!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: MDixon on December 08, 2009, 01:10:37 AM
Let's be somewhat clear, until you boil off the water the temp is not high enough to caramelize the sugars. So darkening occurs (maillard reactions), but not caramelization...

I like to boil my first runnings down to soft ball candy stage...
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: tom on December 08, 2009, 02:19:14 AM
Caramelization happens within a temperature range. Has anybody checked their temperatures when boiling down the first runnings?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: a10t2 on December 08, 2009, 02:50:19 AM
persistence and multiple pitches,  started with 3 packs of rehydrated and repeated that twice.

Was that all in one shot or did you do incremental feedings? (Can't imagine it's the former, just curious.)

Caramelization happens within a temperature range. Has anybody checked their temperatures when boiling down the first runnings?

My money's on 212°F.  ;D
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 08, 2009, 02:52:06 AM
Whatever you do.. don't do what I did and boil it for 19 hours. :)

Wow...that's a long brew day.  :o
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: tygo on December 08, 2009, 02:55:46 AM

Caramelization happens within a temperature range. Has anybody checked their temperatures when boiling down the first runnings?

My money's on 212°F.  ;D

Haha, good bet.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 08, 2009, 02:57:37 AM
Here's some info on caramelization and malliard reactions taken from Wikipedia.

Caramelization doesn't begin until 230F.

Caramelization (British English: caramelisation) is the oxidation of sugar, a process used extensively in cooking for the resulting nutty flavor and brown color. As the process occurs, volatile chemicals are released, producing the characteristic caramel flavor.

Like the Maillard reaction, caramelization is a type of non-enzymatic browning. However, unlike the Maillard reaction, caramelization is pyrolysis, as opposed to reaction with amino acids.

When caramelization involves the disaccharide sucrose, it is broken down into the monosaccharides fructose and glucose.

Sugar   Temperature   
Fructose 110°C, 230°F
Galactose 160°C, 320°F
Glucose 160°C, 320°F
Sucrose 160°C, 320°F
Maltose 180°C, 356°F
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 08, 2009, 01:11:18 PM
I am debating this issue myself. I was planning to boil down only the first runnings, but now I'm thinking about boiling the first and second runnings together for a few hours. I think it would be easier and I also beleive the beer would benefit from it in that the entire wort would carmelize instead of just the first runnings.



I don't follow this logic here bud.

The idea of boiling down the first gallon is to concentrate the richness.  The richest, highest quality wort is the first running.  

Unless you mean skipping boiling on the 1st gallon and you mean boiling the entire wort, together, for a longer period.  Hard to decipher which you mean.

FWIW, when I made skotrat's recipe, doing the boil down, it was the most malty result I'd ever gotten.

I think he means whether or not to only take the first runnings and boil ALL of them or collect the second runnings as well.

Traditionally, are you supposed to only use the first runnings for a Wee Heavy and use the second runnings for something else?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: MDixon on December 08, 2009, 01:53:12 PM
My money's on 212°F.  ;D

I'll take that action!

Thanks for posting the temps blues. I researched this long ago when Randy Mosher pointed it out to me. All we see in the boil is darkening which can lead to caramel flavors, but it is not caramelization, it is maillard reactions until the water is gone.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 08, 2009, 04:37:15 PM
Let's be somewhat clear, until you boil off the water the temp is not high enough to caramelize the sugars. So darkening occurs (maillard reactions), but not caramelization...

Once again, Dixon saves me from being the only pedant here!  :)
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 08, 2009, 04:42:42 PM
Let's be somewhat clear, until you boil off the water the temp is not high enough to caramelize the sugars. So darkening occurs (maillard reactions), but not caramelization...

Once again, Dixon saves me from being the only pedant here!  :)

I think you meant us Denny.  ;)
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 08, 2009, 04:45:03 PM
Let's be somewhat clear, until you boil off the water the temp is not high enough to caramelize the sugars. So darkening occurs (maillard reactions), but not caramelization...

Once again, Dixon saves me from being the only pedant here!  :)

So a separate mini-boil down is still preferred with a long boil?

My wife isn't gonna like that.  She hates it when I boil wort on the stove.  'Course she doesn't complain about the finished  product!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 08, 2009, 04:45:32 PM
Let's be somewhat clear, until you boil off the water the temp is not high enough to caramelize the sugars. So darkening occurs (maillard reactions), but not caramelization...

Once again, Dixon saves me from being the only pedant here!  :)

I think you meant us Denny.  ;)

Indeed!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 08, 2009, 04:46:08 PM
So a separate mini-boil down is still preferred with a long boil?

IMO, yes.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 08, 2009, 04:52:00 PM
After further consideration, I am going to take a gallon or two of the first runnings and boil it down about 75%. I will then do my standard batch sparge and boil everything together for a couple of hours. At least this is the plan for now.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 08, 2009, 04:58:43 PM
After further consideration, I am going to take a gallon or two of the first runnings and boil it down about 75%. I will then do my standard batch sparge and boil everything together for a couple of hours. At least this is the plan for now.

That sounds like a good plan.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: tom on December 08, 2009, 05:52:06 PM
My money's on 212°F.  ;D
I'll take that action!

Thanks for posting the temps blues. I researched this long ago when Randy Mosher pointed it out to me. All we see in the boil is darkening which can lead to caramel flavors, but it is not caramelization, it is maillard reactions until the water is gone.
But when you are boiling only a gallon, the water will evaporate and then the caramelization begins at about 320F (not at 212F). Heck I can't even get my regular wort to boil at 212 (at a mile high it boils around 203F  ;) ).
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: blatz on December 08, 2009, 05:56:41 PM
After further consideration, I am going to take a gallon or two of the first runnings and boil it down about 75%. I will then do my standard batch sparge and boil everything together for a couple of hours. At least this is the plan for now.

be sure to either add water or sparge more to get your volume and OG correct.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 08, 2009, 06:11:44 PM
My money's on 212°F.  ;D
I'll take that action!

Thanks for posting the temps blues. I researched this long ago when Randy Mosher pointed it out to me. All we see in the boil is darkening which can lead to caramel flavors, but it is not caramelization, it is maillard reactions until the water is gone.
But when you are boiling only a gallon, the water will evaporate and then the caramelization begins at about 320F (not at 212F). Heck I can't even get my regular wort to boil at 212 (at a mile high it boils around 203F  ;) ).

Don't quote me on this but I believe that there is some caramelization that occurs in the kettle. As the wort thickens to a syrup type consistently it caramelizes through condensation reactions.

As Wikipedia explains:

"A condensation reaction is a chemical reaction in which two molecules or moieties (functional groups) combine to form one single molecule, together with the loss of a small molecule.[1] When this small molecule is water, it is known as a dehydration reaction; other possible small molecules lost are hydrogen chloride, methanol, or acetic acid. The word "condensation" suggests a process in which something is lost; for reactions a small molecule is lost."

"When two separate molecules react, the condensation is termed intermolecular. A simple example is the condensation of two amino acids to form the peptide bond characteristic of proteins. This reaction example is the opposite of hydrolysis, which splits a chemical entity into two parts through the action of the polar water molecule, which itself splits into hydroxide and hydrogen ions."

The bottom line is that this process is still today poorly understood and the jury is still out on this.



 
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dbeechum on December 08, 2009, 06:59:14 PM
Wow...that's a long brew day.  :o

Yeah total brew day was about 27 hours from measuring out the water to cleanup. Of course we just threw a party, smoked a crap ton of ribs and enjoyed a few brews. I went home and slept for my usual few and then went back the next morning. The thing that killed us was that we didn't top up enough over the course of the boil and ended with a lot of darkening, big caramel flavor and I'm fairly certain a number of longer less fermentable sugars.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: MDixon on December 08, 2009, 10:12:45 PM
But when you are boiling only a gallon, the water will evaporate and then the caramelization begins at about 320F (not at 212F). Heck I can't even get my regular wort to boil at 212 (at a mile high it boils around 203F  ;) ).

As soon as you go above 212F (at sea level) the water is gone  ;)

Caramelization of the sugars begins at 230F for fructose and a standard grist wort is about 9.5% glucose & fructose so some wort sugars would begin to caramelize at 230F, but the majority above 300F.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on December 08, 2009, 10:25:01 PM

Don't quote me on this but I believe that there is some caramelization that occurs in the kettle. As the wort thickens to a syrup type consistently it caramelizes through condensation reactions.

Sorry bluesman . . I'm quoting you!  ;)

I agree that some caramelization takes place in the kettle. If for no other reason than the temp figures quoted. I suspect the wort in direct contact with the bottom of the boil kettle is at a temp substantially higher than 212. Who hasn't observed some burnt wort on the bottom of our BKs at one time or another? It stands to reason then that some caramelization is taking place in the furthest depths of the BK!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 08, 2009, 11:00:29 PM
I suspect the wort in direct contact with the bottom of the boil kettle is at a temp substantially higher than 212.

When I boil wort for a starter, I put a thermometer in it to sanitize the thermometer.  The probe extends to the bottom of the kettle.  It never gets hotter than 212.  I don't see how it could...the boiling wort is homogeneous.  It doesn't just sit there getting hotter at the bottom then it is on top.  It is continually mixing as it boils.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: tom on December 08, 2009, 11:29:39 PM
But when you are boiling only a gallon, the water will evaporate and then the caramelization begins at about 320F (not at 212F). Heck I can't even get my regular wort to boil at 212 (at a mile high it boils around 203F  ;) ).

As soon as you go above 212F (at sea level) the water is gone  ;)
Well, not exactly. When solutes are dissolved in water, the boiling temperature will increase. But, I looked it up and I was surprised that a 1.100 solution will only increase the boiling temperature by 0.4C.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on December 08, 2009, 11:58:19 PM
When I boil wort for a starter, I put a thermometer in it to sanitize the thermometer.  The probe extends to the bottom of the kettle.  It never gets hotter than 212.  I don't see how it could...the boiling wort is homogeneous.  It doesn't just sit there getting hotter at the bottom then it is on top.  It is continually mixing as it boils.

I would agree with you except for the wort in direct contact with the kettle's bottom. (call it a nanometer layer)  Otherwise, how could you explain scorching?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 08, 2009, 11:59:30 PM
I agree that some caramelization takes place in the kettle. . . . . . Who hasn't observed some burnt wort on the bottom of our BKs at one time or another? It stands to reason then that some caramelization is taking place in the furthest depths of the BK!
This is my thought.   If the temp of the metal never gets above 212 (+/- a little) we would never scoarch the bottom of our pots.  We would never see a pattern on the bottom from the stand.  This IMHO is a big difference between homebrewers and commercial brewers, we put 1500-1800F on the undersides of the kettle.  I have no doubt that immediately above the bottom the wort is near 212.   If the temp is the same throughout the wort, why do all the "bubbles? form on/near the bottom?

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: davidw on December 09, 2009, 12:04:25 AM
Somebody with one of those fancy, laser guided temp-reader thingies should point it at the skirt of their converted keg while boiling and report back with the temp!

I have this inkling it will be higher than 212.


Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 09, 2009, 02:11:56 AM
I found an interesting bit of info on the science of caramelization which as we all know is the reduction and stages of water and sugar into caramel or caramelization. I still have not found any convincing data that suggests the temp of the bottom of the kettle to be much above 212F if any at all. Although I have a sneaking suspicion the bottom surface is slightly above 212F.

The following info was taken from this link.

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook:Caramel

The Science of Caramel
Essentially, caramel is melted sugar. As sugar increases in temperature, it reacts in a process similar to burning that results in the creation of a wide variety of complex molecules. These molecules provide the deep, rich flavors and colors that make caramel so special.

There are two basic ways to make caramel: the dry method and the wet method. The dry method, which involves slowly heating sugar until it melts, is more difficult. The more commonly used wet method is easier and does not require any special tools.

In the wet method, granulated sugar is dissolved in water, then boiled until the water starts to evaporate. As the water escapes, the solution passes through a series of stages that indicates the ratio of water and sugar. This ratio is directly proportionate to the temperature so if you understand the stages, you do not need a candy thermometer. Nevertheless, use of a thermometer minimizes the handling of the (very) hot mixture.

The stages of a sugar solution are generally described by the solution's behavior when dropped into cold water:

Thread Stage (230°F) - the solution thickens into syrupy threads when you pull a spoon out.
Soft Ball Stage (234°F) - the solution can be pressed into a soft gooey ball. Used to make soft chewy candies like taffy.
Hard Ball Stage (250°F) - the solution can be pressed into a dense, slightly malleable ball. Used to make harder chewy candies.
Soft Crack Stage (270°F) - the solution solidifies into a glass-like solid that slowly bends under light pressure.
Hard Crack Stage (300°F) - the solution solidifies into a hard glass-like solid that breaks or cracks under pressure. Used to make hard candies and brittles.
Caramel Stage (310°F) - An advanced crack stage, defined by the development of an amber color that becomes tan, brown and eventually dark brown as the temperature continues to rise. Also defined by the development of caramel flavors which becomes deeper, less sweet and more bitter as it darkens.
Burned Stage (350°F) - The sugar is completely oxidized (burned) and turns black. It is inedible.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 09, 2009, 02:22:33 AM
Everything I've read and heard says that's the case,  my gut says on a micro level that reaction is occurring and improving the flavor of my beer.

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: MDixon on December 09, 2009, 01:20:35 PM
Everything I've read and heard says that's the case,  my gut says on a micro level that reaction is occurring and improving the flavor of my beer.

Don't listen to the gut Fred, those things lie...  :D

It's Maillard Reactions which cause browning and that magical browning derives a myriad of aroma and flavor components AND color components such as melanoidins. Of course not all MR are magical, but most that happen in the brew kettle are!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 04:26:53 PM
Somebody with one of those fancy, laser guided temp-reader thingies should point it at the skirt of their converted keg while boiling and report back with the temp!

I have this inkling it will be higher than 212.




Probably so, but that surface isn't under liquid like the bottom of the kettle is.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: davidw on December 09, 2009, 07:48:19 PM
Understood, Denny, but where do you think all the heat from the flame goes? It is absorbed by the bottom of the kettle, the skirt (if you use a converted keg), and is also transmitted up through the wort. Yes, wort boils at ~ 212 degrees, but there is a considerable amount of "excess" heat also present on the bottom of the kettle and it gets transmitted via conduction to the inside of the kettle. We are talking about just a few mm thick, after all. And just because the wort is at 212 degrees and is in contact with the kettle doesn't mean the bottom of the kettle stays at 212 degrees. On the contrary, it is constantly being heated by a propane flame that, IIRC, burns at around 3500 degrees F. Seems like plenty of heat to generate some caramelization on the bottom of a kettle to me! Otherwise, where *does* that brown patena on the bottom of the kettle come from?   

Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 07:54:37 PM
Otherwise, where *does* that brown patena on the bottom of the kettle come from?

I think it's Maillard reaction byproducts like melanoidins, not caramelization.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 09, 2009, 08:22:14 PM
Let's assume that wort temperature gets super hot a few nm from the bottom of the kettle.  Not saying that's true.

The next question would be how long does it take to caramelize sugar?

If it takes any amount of time then it would probably mix with the rest of the wort too fast for this to happen.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: davidw on December 09, 2009, 08:39:18 PM
My boils are anywhere from 60-90 minutes, so over that period of time it's consistantly happening to the wort in contact with the bottom of the kettle. Plently of time.

I guess an experiment is in order! (going to dig out my physical chemistry text book)
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 09, 2009, 08:41:51 PM
The hard part to measure is the boundary layer temp in a VERY small area.

Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 09, 2009, 08:43:34 PM
My boils are anywhere from 60-90 minutes, so over that period of time it's consistantly happening to the wort in contact with the bottom of the kettle. Plently of time.

My guess is that wort on the bottom isn't exposed to it for more than a fraction of a second before it is circulated elsewhere.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 08:48:41 PM
Let's assume that wort temperature gets super hot a few nm from the bottom of the kettle.  Not saying that's true.

The next question would be how long does it take to caramelize sugar?

If it takes any amount of time then it would probably mix with the rest of the wort too fast for this to happen.

Based on my experience making caramel in cooking, it takes more than a few seconds.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 09, 2009, 08:50:18 PM
Based on my experience making caramel in cooking, it takes more than a few seconds.
  How long would it take for 1 drop Denny?

Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 08:50:49 PM
I guess an experiment is in order! (going to dig out my physical chemistry text book)

I checked in McGee's "On Food and Cooking" (pretty much the premier food science book) and that's what I'm basing my opinion on.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 08:53:20 PM
Based on my experience making caramel in cooking, it takes more than a few seconds.
  How long would it take for 1 drop Denny?



Not exactly sure what you mean Fred, but assuming you mean 1 drop of wort, if I was to put that into an otherwise empty superheated pan I'd guess it would caramelize quickly, if not almost instantly.  But that's a very different circumstance than in a kettle of liquid.  Also, IIRC, you need exposure to O2 in order for things to caramelize.  If I'm remembering correctly, that's a condition that won't be met in the bottom of a kettle of liquid.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on December 09, 2009, 08:59:25 PM
That's where I was going Denny,  There are lot's of 'drops' of wort flashing to steam, removing heat from the kettle.  Needing O2, I don't know, never thought of that.

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 09, 2009, 09:03:05 PM
So what are we, as homebrewers, trying to emulate by doing a separate caramel boil?  Is this how scottish beers have traditionally been made or is there something that we can't acheive that commercial scottsh brewers can?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 09:04:39 PM
That's where I was going Denny,  There are lot's of 'drops' of wort flashing to steam, removing heat from the kettle.  Needing O2, I don't know, never thought of that.

Fred

IIRC, for caramelization to occur, you need heat, protein, and O2.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 09:06:36 PM
So what are we, as homebrewers, trying to emulate by doing a separate caramel boil?  Is this how scottish beers have traditionally been made or is there something that we can't acheive that commercial scottsh brewers can?

The purpose is to emulate (not recreate) a long kettle boil.  Even if caramelization can't take place in the kettle (and we still haven't settled that), by boiling down wort we can mimic some of the long boil flavors through caramelizing the wort in a separate, smaller kettle.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 09, 2009, 09:11:59 PM
So what are we, as homebrewers, trying to emulate by doing a separate caramel boil?  Is this how scottish beers have traditionally been made or is there something that we can't acheive that commercial scottsh brewers can?

The purpose is to emulate (not recreate) a long kettle boil.  Even if caramelization can't take place in the kettle (and we still haven't settled that), by boiling down wort we can mimic some of the long boil flavors through caramelizing the wort in a separate, smaller kettle.

Ah.  So how long of a boil are we talking about before we don't need the separate boil-down?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 09:15:31 PM
Good question....I've done a 5 hour boil and gotten some of those flavors.  I don't know how long of a boil Traquair House does.  Maybe Skotrat knows....he's the one who pretty much came up with the technique and popularized it.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: blatz on December 09, 2009, 09:17:22 PM
Ah.  So how long of a boil are we talking about before we don't need the separate boil-down?

a lot of hours, I'd guesstimate at least 4.

nd - you seem rather averse to doing the gallon boil down, but I'm not sure why?  It works very, very well.  Just keep an eye on it - amazingly, 2 gallons can boil over a 5gal pot when you turn your back  :o :-[
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 09, 2009, 09:23:02 PM
I'm not averse to it at all.  I aleady used the technique at a smaller scale on a 60 that I'm fermenting right now.

I just like to understand what's going on in the brew and the differences in techniques.  This has been a good discussion for me.

Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: blatz on December 09, 2009, 09:27:41 PM
I'm not averse to it at all.  I aleady used the technique at a smaller scale on a 60 that I'm fermenting right now.

I just like to understand what's going on in the brew and the differences in techniques.  This has been a good discussion for me.



gotcha - agreed - it has been a very informative discussion.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: davidw on December 09, 2009, 09:29:40 PM
And that's the problem, the only way we would ever know what exactly occured in a boil is to have the wort analyzed. Anyone have a lab setup in their basement? Still, there are all the elements necessary to produce caramelization. Heat on the bottom of the kettle, (which I'm going to create an experiment to attempt and get a good reading on), sugar(s) in the wort, oxygen from H2O as steam is generated at the bottom of the kettle and rises. What's missing?  
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 09:41:29 PM
It just seems counter intuitive to me, as well as being counter to the science as I understand it (which may not count for much!).  When I make caramel using the sugar and water technique, the caramel doesn't form til the water's boiled off.  I'll re-consult McGee.  My guess is that the science has already been done.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 09, 2009, 09:55:20 PM
It's Mallard reactions that are dominant in the kettle. Like caramelization, it's a form of non-enzymatic browning that is acheived.

There is not enough heat in the kettle for classic caramelization.

The process of caramelization starts with the melting of the sugar at high temperatures, followed by foaming or boiling. At this stage saccharose (sugar) decomposes into glucose and fructose. This is followed by a condensation step, in which the individual sugars lose water and react with each other. In other words it's the breaking down of sugar.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: denny on December 09, 2009, 09:57:07 PM
It's Mallard reactions that are dominant in the kettle. Like caramelization, it's a form of non-enzymatic browning that is acheived.

There is not enough heat in the kettle for classic caramelization.

The process of caramelization starts with the melting of the sugar at high temperatures, followed by foaming or boiling. At this stage saccharose (sugar) decomposes into glucose and fructose. This is followed by a condensation step, in which the individual sugars lose water and react with each other. In other words it's the breaking down of sugar.

This is my understanding as well.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: davidw on December 09, 2009, 10:04:25 PM
My focus regarding this question is mainly that it is happening on a rather minute level in the wort. But it is happening. Whether or not it is at a level that can be detected by taste, again, may be something that only a lab analysis could confirm or disprove. Still, if conditions and necessary elements are present a particular reaction is going to occur. And it seems obvious to me that they are present in this scenario.    
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 09, 2009, 11:47:28 PM
And that's the problem, the only way we would ever know what exactly occured in a boil is to have the wort analyzed. Anyone have a lab setup in their basement? Still, there are all the elements necessary to produce caramelization. Heat on the bottom of the kettle, (which I'm going to create an experiment to attempt and get a good reading on), sugar(s) in the wort, oxygen from H2O as steam is generated at the bottom of the kettle and rises. What's missing?  

I wouldn't think the O2 in H2O would be available to the sugar w/o something to break the molecular bond of the water vapor.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: narcout on December 12, 2009, 12:32:12 AM
The purpose is to emulate (not recreate) a long kettle boil.  Even if caramelization can't take place in the kettle (and we still haven't settled that), by boiling down wort we can mimic some of the long boil flavors through caramelizing the wort in a separate, smaller kettle.

By how much do you want to reduce the wort you are boiling down in the second kettle?

Assuming that caramelization does not occur during the traditional long boil, and assuming that the goal is to emulate the traditional long boil, do you want to boil the wort in the second kettle down to the point where caramelization occurs or do you just want to reduce the wort down a bit and get some maillard reactions happening?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 12, 2009, 11:34:23 AM
The general consensus has been to take a gallon of first runnings, reduce it to a quart and add it back to the boil.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: corkybstewart on December 12, 2009, 03:15:48 PM
The general consensus has been to take a gallon of first runnings, reduce it to a quart and add it back to the boil.
I did a 10 gallon batch and turned 2 gallons of first runnings into a little less than a quart, it had the consistency of LME.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on December 13, 2009, 02:33:27 AM
The general consensus has been to take a gallon of first runnings, reduce it to a quart and add it back to the boil.
I did a 10 gallon batch and turned 2 gallons of first runnings into a little less than a quart, it had the consistency of LME.

This is what I believe to be the optimum method based on feedback from fellow brewers.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 21, 2009, 07:06:10 PM
My Wee Heavy is chilling right now.  Turned about 1.25 gallons of first runnings into a syrup.  Boil was 135 minutes.

You really gotta watch the mini-boil.  I started stirring some towards the end.  One minute it was pretty liquidy and foamy and the next the evaporation stopped and it was syrup.

Everything went pretty smooth except for a small burn from the IC.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: akr71 on December 21, 2009, 07:43:31 PM
About how long did it take you to get to the syrupy stage?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 21, 2009, 08:12:58 PM
I boiled it on the stove pretty hard for about 90 minutes until it started to foam up and it was pretty thick.  I then turned down the heat and kept it boiling for about 20 more minutes while I stirred until it stopped foaming and there was very little evaporation.  At this point it was like syrup so I added it to the kettle.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: coypoo on December 22, 2009, 04:09:29 PM
I boiled it on the stove pretty hard for about 90 minutes until it started to foam up and it was pretty thick.  I then turned down the heat and kept it boiling for about 20 more minutes while I stirred until it stopped foaming and there was very little evaporation.  At this point it was like syrup so I added it to the kettle.

Is there a fine line between having a good carmelization/browning and burning the boil down portion? Im nowhere near a good cook, and I would be worried that I would burn it, and therefore not be able to use it
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on December 22, 2009, 04:23:21 PM
I'm not sure but I didn't risk it.  As soon as things started to gum up I shut 'er down.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: tom on December 22, 2009, 07:47:44 PM
I boiled it on the stove pretty hard for about 90 minutes until it started to foam up and it was pretty thick.  I then turned down the heat and kept it boiling for about 20 more minutes while I stirred until it stopped foaming and there was very little evaporation.  At this point it was like syrup so I added it to the kettle.

Is there a fine line between having a good carmelization/browning and burning the boil down portion? Im nowhere near a good cook, and I would be worried that I would burn it, and therefore not be able to use it
I boil it until it's foaming up and I get scared. Someone could measure the temperature with a candy thermometer.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ken on December 23, 2009, 01:15:04 PM
I find that a heavy bottom pan works well for heating things that will scorch.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: coypoo on January 12, 2010, 01:36:44 AM
i am going to make this recipe within the next two weeks, and i am wondering what the carmelization does to the final color? is it pretty accurate w/ what is predicted by the brewing softwares? thanks
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bonjour on January 12, 2010, 04:36:19 AM
it will darken somewhat.  How much depends on you setup, power of your burner, intensity of the boil, and length of time.  Don't worry about it, just go for it

Fred
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on January 12, 2010, 04:55:01 PM
The caramelization does darken the  color some but the real purpose IMO is for flavor, and it's amazing what it adds!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: coypoo on January 13, 2010, 03:11:58 PM
it will darken somewhat.  How much depends on you setup, power of your burner, intensity of the boil, and length of time.  Don't worry about it, just go for it

Fred

would an inside electric range not be enough power? should i just do it on my burner outside?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on January 13, 2010, 03:17:51 PM
I used my indoor gas range and it worked fine.  I think it took me 90 minutes get it to the caramelizing stage.

If you can boil a gallon and a half or so of water on it vigorously then you should be good to go.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: bluesman on January 13, 2010, 05:32:33 PM
I used my indoor gas range and it worked fine.  I think it took me 90 minutes get it to the caramelizing stage.

If you can boil a gallon and a half or so of water on it vigorously then you should be good to go.

+1

I boiled down 5 quarts to almost a pint in about the same time. Go for it... just keep a very close eye on it. You don't want any boil-overs. It should finish with the consistency of molasses.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on January 13, 2010, 05:44:56 PM
Get it poured into your kettle quick too.  It gets real sluggish as it cools.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on January 13, 2010, 05:58:02 PM
I usually drain some of the boiling wort from the BK into the caramelized first runnings vessel just to thin the viscosity before dumping it all back into the BK. Sure makes it easier! 
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: hamiltont on January 13, 2010, 06:33:21 PM
I usually drain some of the boiling wort from the BK into the caramelized first runnings vessel just to thin the viscosity before dumping it all back into the BK. Sure makes it easier! 
Ditto!!
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: coypoo on January 13, 2010, 10:20:29 PM
are you boiling both simultaneously? or do you start carmelizing and when you are getting close to being finished, do you fire up the burners for the rest of the wort?
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: ndcube on January 13, 2010, 10:55:19 PM
Simultaneously.
Title: Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
Post by: dhacker on January 13, 2010, 10:59:59 PM
I certainly don't wait for the 1st runnings to boil down. The time line works out pretty good with a 90 minute + boil in the main BK. And you can start heating up the first runnings immediately. Takes awhile to gather the remainder of the mash wort and sparge (batch in my case) anyway, so by the time you start the timer on the BK, you're every bit of 30 minutes into the boil down of the 1st runnings.