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Old 12-19-2012, 06:11 PM   #11
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With the 1-1/2 lbs. of 2-row included, the kit you have is a Partial Mash kit, not an Extract kit. Unconverted, starchy base malt needs to be mashed. Usually Extract kits contain DME/LME, some crystal, and maybe some sugar. That's it for the fermentables. None of that needs to be mashed. Crystal is steeped.

Extract beers do not usually have a problem in terms of "body"... especially Amber extract. It's riddled with a slew of various malts. And the pre-determined mash temperature that the maltster used to create the extract was probably around 153-156 F anyway.

Mashing something like 40% 2-row with 60% extra light extract can benefit your beer because you now have control over some of that mash temp. At 40% of the grist, this can help to make your beer slightly more fermentable if you choose to mash it at say 147 F. The flavor is usually the same since they are made from the same product. Unless you are mashing with English 2-row and using American extract, or vice versa... Then the flavor will be slightly different.

The flavor complexity of the mashed malt will be even more apparent if you're using a portion of Munich, Victory, Vienna, or the like. Again, you can make it easier and get some Munich LME, but the downside is that you still have no control over the mash temp. Low mash temps. are critical when it comes to attaining dryness and fermentability of pale, hoppy ales. You'll be hard-pressed to get an Extract IPA under 1.015 FG.

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Old 12-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #12
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Thank you, I guess I just figured it was a extract kit bc it came with a starter package brewing kit I got. In the recipe kit I got 6.6lbs of lme and 1lbs of 2 row along with yeast and 1.5oz of cascade hops.

How can u tell it's a mini mash kit? Is it bc it comes with crystal grains? And the last question I think I have for now is how do you know what grains to steep and what grains to mash?

Thanks a lot for all the info, I appreciate it.

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Old 12-19-2012, 06:41 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
And time... And proper water to grain ratios... And the amount of diastatic power the particular grain has... And how you can't just mash low diastatic malt without a good portion of enzyme rich, high diastatic base malt.

So it's not only about temperature. But I guess mashing can loosely be described as a very, very strict type of steep.
You're making it sound a lot more complicated than it is, especially for the purposes of getting something other than starch out of a pound and a half of 2-row in an otherwise extract batch. You've got about a 15°F window where conversion of some sort will occur, and in this case you don't care much about controlling the fermentability because it's such a small fraction of the "grain" (really, malt extract) bill.

In terms of process, ok, add using a reasonable ratio (i.e., somewhere between 1 and 2 quarts per pound), so there are two differences. (Diastatic power concerns are recipe planning issues, not "process" differences.) Most steeps are half an hour or so, which will give you nearly complete conversion in most cases.
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Old 12-19-2012, 06:46 PM   #14
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You're making it sound a lot more complicated than it is
You do realize that other new brewers will be reading this thread, and seeing your information about how mashing is exactly the same as steeping except for how much you care about the temperature, and possibly believing that's all there is to it?

Just wanted to point out the falsities of that statement for anyone truly interested in brewing via partial mash or all grain... and possibly using a bit more than a 1-1/2 lbs. of base malt, or thinking they can just mash something like Oats on it's own with no base malt.

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You've got about a 15°F window where conversion of some sort will occur
Key term: "conversion of some sort"... that could be 50% conversion, leaving you with 50% starch.

6.6 lbs. Extract + 1.5 lbs. 2-row = 8.1 lbs. total fermentables. That is approx. 19% 2-row... I would say that is a decent amount of 2-row to mash.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:00 PM   #15
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I know the kit instructions that come with recipies r more or less useless but they said to steep the 2 row for 10min and discard. It didn't say anywhere this was a partial mash kit. I guess another reason I thought it was a extract kit is bc it only came with 1 lb of grain and 6.6 lbs of lme.

How do I learn what to steep and what to mash?

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:02 PM   #16
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You'll find that most basic kit instructions do a piss poor job of explaining the best brewing processes to follow. They're usually quite basic.

Most of the darker grains, like chocolate, carafa, brown, black, etc. can be steeped... along with anything with cara- in front of it, or crystal. Base malt should be mashed. Homebrewer supply shops and online stores make a clear distinction between base malt and specialty grains. There are also a number of excel spreadsheets, PDFs, etc. floating around on the net which tell you what malts requires a mash, and which do not.

Here's one:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Malts_Chart

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:08 PM   #17
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Thanks I'll look into it. I appreciate the help. I'm still a little confused but I'll see what I can figure out b4 wasting anyone's time.

Thanks!

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:23 PM   #18
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You do realize that other new brewers will be reading this thread, and seeing your information about how mashing is exactly the same as steeping except for how much you care about the temperature, and possibly believing that's all there is to it?

Just wanted to point out the falsities of that statement for anyone truly interested in brewing via partial mash or all grain... and possibly using a bit more than a 1-1/2 lbs. of base malt, or thinking they can just mash something like Oats on it's own with no base malt.



Key term: "conversion of some sort"... that could be 50% conversion, leaving you with 50% starch.

6.6 lbs. Extract + 1.5 lbs. 2-row = 8.1 lbs. total fermentables. That is approx. 19% 2-row... I would say that is a decent amount of 2-row to mash.
Bob, if you insist that it's necessary to give a full treatise on the details of mashing every time you write about it, have fun with that.

As for my comments, I stand by them. If you can explain how steeping his 2-row in 2-3 quarts of 150-154°F water for 30 minutes differs from mashing, please do so. Otherwise, my statement is simply not false.

Good luck with your crusade on behalf of new brewers.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:24 PM   #19
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I think I added some unintended confusion in this thread, sorry. The 1lb bag of grains I have says crystal on it but it also says 2 row. That's what I was getting confused by. I'm supposed to steep crystal but mash 2 row? Right? Does this mean this bag has a mix of crystal and 2 row? I can post a pic if this needs to be seen.

Thanks again for all the info guys.

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Old 12-19-2012, 08:28 PM   #20
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zeg, it's okay if you didn't know what mashing was fully defined as. Just say so. No need to stand behind your false statement that the only factor is temperature control.

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