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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Do I adjust grain with more water?
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:05 AM   #1
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Default Do I adjust grain with more water?

Ok, I am wanting to make a beer from a recipe out of the Clone Brews book (5 gallons, extract). The book calls for steeping 1lb. crystal, 12 oz. black malt, 6oz chocolate malt in 1 gallon of water for 20 minutes. Then, sparge grains with 1/2 gallon for 1.5 gallons total volume. My question is this: I have a 60 quart kettle that I can steep these grains in all 5 gallons (or more). Do I need to adjust my grains down since the efficiency will be better with more water? Will I need to adjust my hops down as well during the boil? Am I even on the right track with this logic? Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-10-2009, 03:29 AM   #2
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You won't get many gravity points out of those grains anyways, so efficiency isn't an issue. Some grains can be converted a tiny bit during steeping if you steep them long enough (45-60min). The time this recipe calls for is not long enough for converstion. It's strictly for gaining flavor and color from the grains. Also, because you don't have any base malt in the kettle, you won't have enough enzymes to fully convert the black malt and chocolate.

I'd stick with the recipe.

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Old 11-10-2009, 01:47 PM   #3
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I would go with the lower amount of water, steeping in too much water can pull out some harshness from grains. Dark roasted grains and crystal are esentially converted by the maltster, so there is no issue not having any enzymes. So I would steep in 1 gallon, sparge, then top off with more water for the boil.

You should adjust your hops down to match the IBUs of the recipe. Just lower the initial hop charge leaving any later boil additions the same.

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Old 11-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #4
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Dark roasted grains and crystal are esentially converted by the maltster, so there is no issue not having any enzymes.
I understand what you're trying to say here, but you can't tell me that the addition of another malt like 2 or 6-row won't convert these grains even further. If I mash a pound of chocolate with 6lbs of 2-row, I'm going to get extra gravity points with the addition of extra enzymes. Basically, as I said... if he wants gravity additions from these grains, he needs a base malt.
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Old 11-10-2009, 03:56 PM   #5
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I understand what you're trying to say here, but you can't tell me that the addition of another malt like 2 or 6-row won't convert these grains even further. If I mash a pound of chocolate with 6lbs of 2-row, I'm going to get extra gravity points with the addition of extra enzymes. Basically, as I said... if he wants gravity additions from these grains, he needs a base malt.
I think a full mash might extract more from "steepable" grains, but that is more a result of the longer period of time spent in the mash than in a steep and the more efficient sparging. There simply is no starch left to convert after a grain is heated to the temperatures necessary to get that sort of color/flavor.

How To Brew suggests that some lighter colored crystals (<20L) do have some starches/dextrins that could benefit from mashing, but the rest don't sound like mashing would improve conversion: http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter13-2.html

You certainly will get plenty of gravity from just steeping, the same How to Brew Chart expects close to 75% extraction from steeping some of the dark/crystal malts.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:51 AM   #6
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I would go with the lower amount of water, steeping in too much water can pull out some harshness from grains. Dark roasted grains and crystal are esentially converted by the maltster, so there is no issue not having any enzymes. So I would steep in 1 gallon, sparge, then top off with more water for the boil.

You should adjust your hops down to match the IBUs of the recipe. Just lower the initial hop charge leaving any later boil additions the same.
Ok, so less water for steeping. But I would like to boil enough water after steepage so that I will have 5 gallons for the carboy when its all said and done. Since I will have more water during the initial hop charge, it will be more efficient at extracting the bitterness, right? Where can I find a recipe calculator to convert this so I keep my IBU at 33. Thanks
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