Author Topic: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy  (Read 9061 times)

Offline davidw

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #75 on: December 09, 2009, 02:29:40 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?  

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #76 on: December 09, 2009, 02:41:29 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.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #77 on: December 09, 2009, 02:55:20 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.
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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #78 on: December 09, 2009, 02:57:07 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.
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Offline davidw

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #79 on: December 09, 2009, 03:04:25 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.    

Offline ndcube

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #80 on: December 09, 2009, 04:47:28 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.

Online narcout

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #81 on: December 11, 2009, 05:32:12 PM »
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?

Offline ndcube

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #82 on: December 12, 2009, 04:34:23 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.

Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #83 on: December 12, 2009, 08:15:48 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.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #84 on: December 12, 2009, 07:33:27 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.

This is what I believe to be the optimum method based on feedback from fellow brewers.
Ron Price

Offline ndcube

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #85 on: December 21, 2009, 12:06:10 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.

Offline akr71

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #86 on: December 21, 2009, 12:43:31 PM »
About how long did it take you to get to the syrupy stage?
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Offline ndcube

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #87 on: December 21, 2009, 01:12:58 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.

Offline coypoo

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #88 on: December 22, 2009, 09:09:29 AM »
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

Offline ndcube

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Re: Kettle Caramelization for a Wee Heavy
« Reply #89 on: December 22, 2009, 09:23:21 AM »
I'm not sure but I didn't risk it.  As soon as things started to gum up I shut 'er down.