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Old 01-07-2012, 07:45 AM   #1
endorphines
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Default Will this grain bill self convert?

I'm reposting this thread because its old title was misleading.
So my brewing buddy and i wanted to make a porter, so we looked through our tub of specialty grains and came up with some ideas. Basicly, we want to make a smoked porter, that's rather potent, with a definite biscuit taste to it. We figure it'd make a great beer for while we're out camping and feel at home in that environment. We wrote up a recipe, and whittled down the base malt every time we added a specialty malt. Eventually, we found that we had no base malt left.
Here's my question, I looked up the diastatic power of all of the grains below, and they are very low for the most part. I'm worried that this grain bill will not self convert during the mash. Is that a concern? or am I over thinking this? We wanted it big bodied, so i was thinking 156 for 60, but if it will have issues converting, should we stretch that to 90?
Feel free to critique it on it's other aspects too if you wish.

Camp Fire Porter
Baltic Porter
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal Brewer:
Boil Size: 7.48 gal
Boil Time: 90 min
End of Boil Volume 5.98 gal
Est Original Gravity: 1.072 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.021 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 6.8 %
Bitterness: 57.9 IBUs Calories: 34.4 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 40.6 SRM


Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
4 lbs Smoked Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 1 25.0 %
2 lbs Biscuit Malt (23.0 SRM) Grain 2 12.5 %
2 lbs Brown Malt (65.0 SRM) Grain 3 12.5 %
2 lbs Carafoam (2.0 SRM) Grain 4 12.5 %
2 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5 12.5 %
2 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 6 12.5 %
1 lbs Melanoiden Malt (20.0 SRM) Grain 7 6.3 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 8 3.1 %
8.0 oz Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 9 3.1 %
0.75 oz Simcoe [10.00 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 10 27.6 IBUs
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 11 14.2 IBUs
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 12 10.2 IBUs
0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 13 1.4 IBUs
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 14 2.7 IBUs
0.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 15 1.7 IBUs

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:01 AM   #2
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Default Converting your mash

I looked up a few of the malts diastatic power (DP) and added it to the receipe for discussion.

QTY MALT DIAST. TYPE . %
4 lbs Smoked Malt (140 DP) Grain 1 25.0 %
2 lbs Biscuit Malt (?) Grain 2 12.5 %
2 lbs Brown Malt (0 DP) Grain 3 12.5 %
2 lbs Carafoam (0 DP) Grain 4 12.5 %
2 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (0 DP) Grain 5 12.5 %
2 lbs Vienna Malt (130 DP) Grain 6 12.5 %
1 lbs Melanoiden Malt (? low ?) Grain 7 6.3 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (0 DP) Grain 8 3.1 %
8.0 oz Rye Malt (105 DP) Grain 9 3.1 %

Let us know if you had different numbers, etc. I found most of them on Breiss' website.

Looks like just over 40% of your bill has base malts (Vienna, Smoked & Rye) .. with diastatics over 100 litner.

Will that be enough to convert your mash? I dont' know.... Most of my mashes are 60%-80% base malts.

I would advise to maybe replace some of these specialties with some base malt. Too many specialty grains can make for a muddy flavor profile. I always try to ask myself, "Why is this malt in here? What does it give the beer?"

For example, Biscuit malt and Brown malt are both lend biscuit flavor & dark color. I would drop the biscuit malt and replace it with more base malt, either Vienna, Maris Otter or UK Pale Malt.

That alone may get your Diastatic where it needs to be...

Also to consider. Vienna & Melanoidin both give malty flavor & aroma... maybe drop the Melanoidin for more Vienna? And, you have a lot of crystal malt going in here... 25%, plus you plan to mash high? Perhaps drop the CaraFoam and replace with base malts.

Just a few ideas... overall like the campfire porter theme! Hope it comes out great!
--LexusChris

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Old 01-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endorphines View Post
I'm worried that this grain bill will not self convert during the mash. Is that a concern? or am I over thinking this? We wanted it big bodied, so i was thinking 156 for 60,
Issues with that grain bill extend far beyond any possible conversion problems. It is much too heavy in specialty malts and lacking in base malt. Beyond that it's just too busy and some of those malts are just going to get in the way (like 2 lbs of CaraFoam and 120 crystal) and some won't make any difference ( like 8 oz of rye).

Some general suggestions would be to simplify, consolidate and add more fermentables to the list. Here is a start:

7 lbs Pale malt
5 lbs Smoked malt
1 lb Biscuit malt
2 lbs Brown malt
1/2 lb Chocolate malt
1/2 lb Crystal 120
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexusChris View Post
I looked up a few of the malts diastatic power (DP) and added it to the receipe for discussion.

QTY MALT DIAST. TYPE . %
4 lbs Smoked Malt (140 DP) Grain 1 25.0 %
2 lbs Biscuit Malt (?) Grain 2 12.5 %
2 lbs Brown Malt (0 DP) Grain 3 12.5 %
2 lbs Carafoam (0 DP) Grain 4 12.5 %
2 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (0 DP) Grain 5 12.5 %
2 lbs Vienna Malt (130 DP) Grain 6 12.5 %
1 lbs Melanoiden Malt (? low ?) Grain 7 6.3 %
8.0 oz Chocolate Malt (0 DP) Grain 8 3.1 %
8.0 oz Rye Malt (105 DP) Grain 9 3.1 %

Let us know if you had different numbers, etc. I found most of them on Breiss' website.

Looks like just over 40% of your bill has base malts (Vienna, Smoked & Rye) .. with diastatics over 100 litner.

Will that be enough to convert your mash? I dont' know.... Most of my mashes are 60%-80% base malts.

I would advise to maybe replace some of these specialties with some base malt. Too many specialty grains can make for a muddy flavor profile. I always try to ask myself, "Why is this malt in here? What does it give the beer?"

For example, Biscuit malt and Brown malt are both lend biscuit flavor & dark color. I would drop the biscuit malt and replace it with more base malt, either Vienna, Maris Otter or UK Pale Malt.

That alone may get your Diastatic where it needs to be...

Also to consider. Vienna & Melanoidin both give malty flavor & aroma... maybe drop the Melanoidin for more Vienna? And, you have a lot of crystal malt going in here... 25%, plus you plan to mash high? Perhaps drop the CaraFoam and replace with base malts.

Just a few ideas... overall like the campfire porter theme! Hope it comes out great!
--LexusChris
Thanks for all that research! It's especially helpful that you give the reasoning behind those changes.
I have one questoin though, and that is to do with the Crystal and the CaraFoam. We had the crystal in because of it's flavour and it's effect on the body of the beer, and the carafoam for its head retention. We're picturing this with in a pint glass with a huge frothy head on it. Would dropping the carafoam not work against that? or does crystal also contribute to head retention?
I have some golden promise that I'll be swapping some of the redundant specialty grains for.
So far I have this:

Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 46.2 %
4 lbs Smoked Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 23.1 %
2 lbs Carafoam (2.0 SRM) Grain 3 11.6 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 4 8.7 %
1 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 5 5.8 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 6 4.3 %

I'm using vienna becuase it will self convert, and it has the biscuity flavour that we were shooting for. I kept the carafoam in for its head retention, but i dropped the crystal to 1 pound, I kept it because I wanted the color above 30 srm, but I figured if I'd added any more chocolate malt it would have been overkill. I upped the rye because I think the flavour from it would be right at home in this beer.
Thoughts?
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:35 PM   #5
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Default Crystal malts

I know everybody has a slightly different take on using crystal malts, so its really up to your preferences.

As I understand it, the idea behind crystal malts (cara-pils through crystal 150L, etc.) is to add color, sweet-to-carmel-to-raisin/plum flavors & to improve body & head retention. They all do those things by adding un-fermentable malto-dextrins to the wort.

These dextrins add body becuase they will not ferment and remain suspended in the beer. That is the heavier mouthfeel ...which when done to high %'s can leave the beer too chewy and/or too sweet (e.g. it raises the FG you can expect)

You can also contribute unfermentable dextrins to your beer by mashing at higher temps. (see Palmer's description here) Basically, the alpha amylase enzyme in the malt become active at the higher temps, and converts the starches to unfermentable dextrins, which also adds to body & head retention.

Another way to add a foamy head to your beers is with wheat malt. The extra protein in the wheat malt gives the head a pillowy & lasting character. The protein also makes the beer hazy, but in a dark beer like this .. no problem! I am not sure if Rye has the same property as I have not used it.... but it might.

So for me, I would reduce the CaraFoam which is basically a very light crystal malt. If you plan to mash high (155-156-F), then I would keep your total crystal around 10% ... again, its a bit of a personal choice.

I also like a bit more roasty in my porters, so would consider uping the chocolate... at least a full pound...

Hope some other folks chime in with some thoughts too!
--LexusChris

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Old 01-08-2012, 12:01 AM   #6
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Well here's where I ended up. I'm thinking I'll mash lower so that I can keep the Crystal 120 in. I'm thinking 152 for 60. I'm going pitch wyeast 1450, Denny's Favorite 50.

Camp Fire Porter
Robust Porter
Type: All Grain
Batch Size (fermenter): 5.00 gal
Boil Size: 7.48 gal
Boil Time: 90 min Equipment:
End of Boil Volume 5.98 gal Brewhouse Efficiency: 65.00 %
Final Bottling Volume: 4.60 gal Est Mash Efficiency 74.8 %


Ingredients
Amt Name Type # %/IBU
8 lbs Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM) Grain 1 49.2 %
4 lbs Smoked Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 2 24.6 %
2 lbs Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 3 12.3 %
1 lbs 8.0 oz Rye Malt (4.7 SRM) Grain 4 9.2 %
12.0 oz Chocolate Malt (450.0 SRM) Grain 5 4.6 %
0.75 oz Simcoe [10.00 %] - First Wort 90.0 min Hop 6 27.3 IBUs
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 90.0 min Hop 7 14.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min Hop 8 10.1 IBUs
0.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 9 1.4 IBUs
0.50 oz Northern Brewer [8.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 10 2.6 IBUs
0.50 oz Willamette [5.50 %] - Boil 5.0 min Hop 11 1.7 IBUs

Beer Profile

Est Original Gravity: 1.074 SG
Est Final Gravity: 1.018 SG
Estimated Alcohol by Vol: 7.5 %
Bitterness: 57.2 IBUs Calories: 34.4 kcal/12oz
Est Color: 38.1 SRM

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Old 01-08-2012, 12:13 AM   #7
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4 lbs of smoked? Can't say I've used smoked but that seems really high. Well, it'll definitely be smokey!

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Old 01-08-2012, 12:21 AM   #8
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4 lbs of smoked? Can't say I've used smoked but that seems really high. Well, it'll definitely be smokey!
Depends on type of smoked malts, if peat smoked yes, If german smoked your ok.

I havent used vienna as a base yet but I THINK It has enough power to convert up to 40% specialty malts. I have read where german smoked malt converts like a base 2-row so you should be fine.

I used 3lbs last time and will be upping to 4lbs next time in my smoked imperial porter. Smoke does fade pretty quickly, so If you over do it it will age down.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:42 AM   #9
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If it's just Weyermann Rauch malt, 4 pounds isn't all that much. I've used 40% in smoked porters where the smoke flavor was just about gone 3 months later.

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Old 01-08-2012, 09:01 PM   #10
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It is the german smoked malt. Maybe I should up it if it fades quickly?
It looks now like getting this to self convert isn't going to be an issue. Between the 8 lb of vienna, and the smoked malt, there is a lot of diastatic power in this...

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