Author Topic: Percentage Based Extract Method  (Read 1387 times)

RPIScotty

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Percentage Based Extract Method
« on: October 11, 2015, 04:02:30 PM »
Probably not breaking any new ground here but here goes:

I'm moving back to Extract brews for a bit. I have my second child on the way and if I want to keep the hobby and not remove myself from the fold for hours on end, it will be a necessity.

My typical method involves my Excel sheet and Briess extract. My LHBS carries very fresh Briess extracts and since Briess lists the percentages of their malts that go into the extract I use some basic algebra to output a table of the various malted grain percentages.

I stick with the Pilsen light, Golden light, Bavarian wheat, Munich and Goldpils Vienna extracts. They are all comprised, in one form or another of Pilsen, Pale, Carapils, Wheat, Munich and Vienna malts in known percentages.

Given the weight of the extra used and the composition of each extract, I calculate a percentage of each of those 6 malts and output that percentage to a table. I can then mimic AG recipes using those percentages.

Typically I do short boils (~20 mins) and increase hops as necessary.


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Offline santoch

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2015, 04:07:35 AM »
Nothing wrong with your approach at all.  You can make GREAT beer that wins medals using extract.
IMO, once you get beyond sanitation, it's much more about the fermentation anyways.  The vast majority of the flaws I encounter when judging are fermentation related.  Treat your yeast well and you will be rewarded.

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RPIScotty

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2015, 08:39:11 PM »
I have found that I can approximate many of the AG recipes I brew with this method in a fraction of the time and effort. I enjoy AG and the control it gives but need to save all the time I can on brew day. My last BDSA used this extract method and came out great.


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S. cerevisiae

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2015, 03:40:04 PM »
Have you considered going to BIAB?  Your batch size is so small that BIAB should not be much more work than extract.

RPIScotty

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 03:47:49 PM »
Have you considered going to BIAB?  Your batch size is so small that BIAB should not be much more work than extract.

My thing is that I am limiting boil times to as low as 20 minutes to expedite the process. I just add more hops to adjust IBUs.

BIAB, while less work than AG, would still be limiting time-wise after the baby comes.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2015, 03:48:39 PM »
The vast majority of the flaws I encounter when judging are fermentation related.

Yes, almost all of the less than stellar beer that I have judged can be summed up as poor yeast management (includes the entire life cycle) and/or poor sanitation.  Master those two subprocesses, and brewing consistently decent beer is a relatively easy task.  Some beers will be better than others, but there will be far fewer true stinkers.  In my humble opinion, far too many beginning and intermediate brewers place emphasis on recipe design.  Brewing is not cooking.  Brewing is mostly controlled spoilage.  Some of the best beers in the world are almost trivial from a recipe point of view.

Offline pete b

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 03:50:25 PM »
Have you considered going to BIAB?  Your batch size is so small that BIAB should not be much more work than extract.
I'm not knocking extract brewing, and it sounds like you are doing it especially well, but I BIAB when I don't have time for a batch sparge brew day, which is more often than not because of time constraints. I can get home at 5:30 and have wort in the fermenter (2.5-3 gallon) and be cleaned up by 9:00 and eat supper during the mash or boil.
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RPIScotty

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 03:52:53 PM »
Have you considered going to BIAB?  Your batch size is so small that BIAB should not be much more work than extract.
I'm not knocking extract brewing, and it sounds like you are doing it especially well, but I BIAB when I don't have time for a batch sparge brew day, which is more often than not because of time constraints. I can get home at 5:30 and have wort in the fermenter (2.5-3 gallon) and be cleaned up by 9:00 and eat supper during the mash or boil.

I've been AG brewing. I'm switching back to my old method when the baby comes and for the foreseeable future until things equalize.

I can have a batch in the fermentor in ~1 hour with this method.

Offline pete b

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 04:02:09 PM »
The vast majority of the flaws I encounter when judging are fermentation related.

  Brewing is not cooking.

Excellent point. I had decades of professional cooking experience when I began home brewing. I expected that to make for a very short learning curve but, except for being comfortable working with boiling pots etc. it really didn't. Only now that I'm competent with the process am I starting to use my cooking talents, like being able to match flavors and predict how an ingredient will taste in the final product.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 04:04:59 PM »
Have you considered going to BIAB?  Your batch size is so small that BIAB should not be much more work than extract.
I'm not knocking extract brewing, and it sounds like you are doing it especially well, but I BIAB when I don't have time for a batch sparge brew day, which is more often than not because of time constraints. I can get home at 5:30 and have wort in the fermenter (2.5-3 gallon) and be cleaned up by 9:00 and eat supper during the mash or boil.

I've been AG brewing. I'm switching back to my old method when the baby comes and for the foreseeable future until things equalize.

I can have a batch in the fermentor in ~1 hour with this method.

True, I can't beat that with BIAB. I do plan on experimenting with how short a time I can do BIAB though. I think I can get to 2 hours with short boils and short mashes for some styles which will mean more batches.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

RPIScotty

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 04:13:13 PM »
Have you considered going to BIAB?  Your batch size is so small that BIAB should not be much more work than extract.
I'm not knocking extract brewing, and it sounds like you are doing it especially well, but I BIAB when I don't have time for a batch sparge brew day, which is more often than not because of time constraints. I can get home at 5:30 and have wort in the fermenter (2.5-3 gallon) and be cleaned up by 9:00 and eat supper during the mash or boil.

I've been AG brewing. I'm switching back to my old method when the baby comes and for the foreseeable future until things equalize.

I can have a batch in the fermentor in ~1 hour with this method.

True, I can't beat that with BIAB. I do plan on experimenting with how short a time I can do BIAB though. I think I can get to 2 hours with short boils and short mashes for some styles which will mean more batches.

Even if I do a steep I can usually keep it at or below an hour. It isn't perfect and doesnt offer the control of AG or BIAB, but using the percentages lets me at least approximate AG/BIAB recipes.

My one concern was and will still be the levels of attenuation I get using extract.

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 04:56:12 PM »
Even if I do a steep I can usually keep it at or below an hour. It isn't perfect and doesnt offer the control of AG or BIAB, but using the percentages lets me at least approximate AG/BIAB recipes.

My one concern was and will still be the levels of attenuation I get using extract.
That can be managed using some simple sugar if needed and sticking to Pilsen or Extra Light DME as the bulk of your base extract (those are the most fermentable, in my experience).

Extract beers are best suited to beers that rely on hops, yeast, and/or specialty grains for the bulk of their flavor. A beer such as a Dunkel or Märzen that gets the bulk of its flavor from base malt won't have as rich of a base malt character compared to using all-grain.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 05:01:22 PM »
Even if I do a steep I can usually keep it at or below an hour. It isn't perfect and doesnt offer the control of AG or BIAB, but using the percentages lets me at least approximate AG/BIAB recipes.

My one concern was and will still be the levels of attenuation I get using extract.


Extract beers are best suited to beers that rely on hops, yeast, and/or specialty grains for the bulk of their flavor. A beer such as a Dunkel or Märzen that gets the bulk of its flavor from base malt won't have as rich of a base malt character compared to using all-grain.
+1 Not sure my AG stouts are any better than the extract stouts I made.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

RPIScotty

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 05:16:43 PM »

Even if I do a steep I can usually keep it at or below an hour. It isn't perfect and doesnt offer the control of AG or BIAB, but using the percentages lets me at least approximate AG/BIAB recipes.

My one concern was and will still be the levels of attenuation I get using extract.
That can be managed using some simple sugar if needed and sticking to Pilsen or Extra Light DME as the bulk of your base extract (those are the most fermentable, in my experience).

Extract beers are best suited to beers that rely on hops, yeast, and/or specialty grains for the bulk of their flavor. A beer such as a Dunkel or Märzen that gets the bulk of its flavor from base malt won't have as rich of a base malt character compared to using all-grain.

What about Munich extract?

My extra Belgians have been solid too.


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RPIScotty

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Re: Percentage Based Extract Method
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2015, 05:17:29 PM »


Even if I do a steep I can usually keep it at or below an hour. It isn't perfect and doesnt offer the control of AG or BIAB, but using the percentages lets me at least approximate AG/BIAB recipes.

My one concern was and will still be the levels of attenuation I get using extract.
That can be managed using some simple sugar if needed and sticking to Pilsen or Extra Light DME as the bulk of your base extract (those are the most fermentable, in my experience).

Extract beers are best suited to beers that rely on hops, yeast, and/or specialty grains for the bulk of their flavor. A beer such as a Dunkel or Märzen that gets the bulk of its flavor from base malt won't have as rich of a base malt character compared to using all-grain.

What about Munich extract?

My extract Belgians have been solid too.


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