Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

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Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

Post by gobuchul » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:58 pm

I know it's not all grain if it's got extract in it!

However, when I bought a job lot of gear a while ago, it include some extract based kits.

Now they have been sitting in the cupboard for a while, I'm not that interested in brewing them as just extract but I was wondering if I could add them to the boil to up the gravity on a bigger IPA or similar? Say add 500g or 1kg to the boil after mashing 5kg for a 23l batch? According to a recipe program, it adds about 1.5% to the ABV.

Will it make much difference to the flavour?

It just seems a shame to waste it.

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Re: Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

Post by Trefoyl » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:49 pm

It was recommended to me that the more you can add to a kit: grains and hops, can only improve them.
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Re: Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

Post by Kev888 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:07 pm

It isn't uncommon to use extract to tweak gravity by adding a bit of extract to grain brews, or more easily make high gravity brews (especially if vessel size is a limitation). But if these are ready-made kits, it'll presumably be hopped extract, probably based on more than pale malt too, so they would change the taste and bitterness somewhat. Plus liquid extract can age faster than dried, and may not taste so fresh if they're quite old.

So I'd perhaps not want to bung too much of them in a hard won AG brew, but it would be a shame to waste them. I might try just making them as kits but with some better late hops (if appropriate to the style) and perhaps extra grains (and fresher yeast). If you wanted to mix with AG, it may be safer to blend beers after they're done, which will allow a bit of testing with small amounts before committing the whole lot.

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Re: Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

Post by sandimas » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:16 pm

I do this all the time. I usually size my recipes to take a full 1kg bag of DME and then do a partial AG with around 1-2 kg of grain.

Why do I do it? It allows me to use my current setup (15L stockpot on the hob), reduced time in volume of water to heat up and cool. I've gone back to this method after being fully AG, I found AG brewing was consuming huge amounts of time, doing it this way I can normally get a brew done in 3.5 hours for no discernible (to me) reduction in quality.

I usually start with an AG recipe in Brewmate, then add 1kg DME and then reduce the amount of base malt until I end up with the original ABV. Or you could just add DME to the original recipe to up the ABV, but that would of course change the recipe.

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Re: Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

Post by Rookie » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:27 pm

Adding extract to an all grain batch, especially high IBU batches, is best done near the end of the boil.
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Re: Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

Post by Robwalkeragain » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:35 am

Are you talking about dry/liquid extract kits with malt extract, hops yeast etc, or a canned beer kit? If it's just extract then just sub the pale malt with it as you please.

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Re: Using extract in an "all grain" brew?

Post by Dave S » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:04 pm

If I'm brewing 20 odd litres a high gravity beer I will usually add some DME late in the boil as a wort extension since with a limited boiler size such as the GF you won't get enough Sparge water to fully rinse the grains, unless you are doing a parti-gyle or have more than one boiler to split the wort.
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