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Old 01-05-2009, 09:08 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
Show me on this chart where starch is converted to sugar (simple or complex) using cold (70F?) water. If you can do that, I will agree that cold steeping actually contributes gravity points.

I'm only going to comment on the chart and peoples interpretation of it. What is shown is the range for OPTIMAL activity. This does not mean that these enzymes don't work at lower temperatures. In fact it is a happy coincidence for us that they even work at these temperatures. The enzymes are produced by the germinating barley seed. When was the last time you saw barley growing in a field at 140F? In fact these enzymes all work perfectly well (albeit slower) at 50 F. Many varieties are fall planted with soil temps of 50F or lower yet all of the enzymes in the chart function just fine allowing the seed to break down the stored starch and proteins to allow the seed to germinate and grow. Granted, it probably takes 3-7 days for the embryo to totally convert all of the starch etc. compared to 30 min at 150F. Actually barley likes to grow in cooler climates, that's probably part of why Italy is a wine culture, vs the beer culture of Germany.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:21 PM   #22
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what is this about carafa and chocolate?

carafa and chocolate are two completely different malts. chocolate malt will impart a chocolatey flavor while carafa will impart very little flavor (roasted if used in large quantities) and a lot of color.

i don't see how they could possibly be substitutes for each other.
Well, the logic was guided by two (possibly wrong) assumptions. 1) Cold steeping roasted grains results in a smoother and less astringent taste. 2) Carafa is dehusked or whatever to add more color without adding much flavor. The conclusion I drew was that, since I don't have access to carafa at my LHBS and don't feel inclined to order it online, I could cold brew dark grains like a chocolate malt to better reflect the color addition of carafa while minimizing certain flavor contributions, namely the astringency, for a more appropriately substitution. I'm not saying it's spot on by any means, just that it's better than what I'd settled for in the past, especially since I normally use carafa in such small amounts. In any case, I only brought this up in relation to my main point about being interested in cold brewing and was just thinking about when I could use this technique. I'm not advising anyone to do this. Thanks for the clarification though DeathBrewer.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:24 PM   #23
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i see. i think it would still have plenty of chocolately flavor, it would just be smoother.

i think the cold steep is definitely worth a shot. may try it myself...hmm...maybe i'll brew a breakfast stout with my dad this week

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Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
I'm only going to comment on the chart and peoples interpretation of it. What is shown is the range for OPTIMAL activity. This does not mean that these enzymes don't work at lower temperatures. In fact it is a happy coincidence for us that they even work at these temperatures. The enzymes are produced by the germinating barley seed. When was the last time you saw barley growing in a field at 140F? In fact these enzymes all work perfectly well (albeit slower) at 50 F. Many varieties are fall planted with soil temps of 50F or lower yet all of the enzymes in the chart function just fine allowing the seed to break down the stored starch and proteins to allow the seed to germinate and grow. Granted, it probably takes 3-7 days for the embryo to totally convert all of the starch etc. compared to 30 min at 150F. Actually barley likes to grow in cooler climates, that's probably part of why Italy is a wine culture, vs the beer culture of Germany.
especially since you could do the cold steep during your entire mash, or even before you get your water up to temp for the mash, i think it will let out a small amount of sugar. crystal malts contribute small amounts of sugar when steeped WITHOUT mashing, too.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
Show me on this chart where starch is converted to sugar (simple or complex) using cold (70F?) water. If you can do that, I will agree that cold steeping actually contributes gravity points.



Allow me to restate my original point - Cold steeping only extracts color/flavor and doesn't contribute gravity points (dissolved sugars) to the wort.
Are you saying that if I take a gravity reading of 3lbs. of cold-steeped chocolate malt and roasted barley for my stout that it would be 1.000? If so, you would be wrong, because I have and it clearly wasn't the same gravity of water. It doesn't add much dissolved fermentable sugars, however, it does add unfermentable sugar and proteins, which is what adds the color, flavor and mouthfeel you were speaking of. Besides that, you're not going to get much, if any, fermentables from chocolate or roasted barley in the first place ... hence the argument in efficiency is negligable.

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So, there is a tradeoff - Cold steeping may result in a less acrid taste but it comes at the expense of efficiency. Choose your poison?
Umm, yeah, of course, no one said there wasn't a bit of a trade off. There's a bit of a trade off with all of homebrewing. We trade our time, money and energy for flavor and quality of product ... that's the whole point of homebrewing.


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That's not the point. Chocolate malt was just an example of a "darker specialty grain". You could throw in 80L+ Caramel, Special B, etc.
Ummm, no you really don't understand the point, do you? Cold-steeping is only used for the darkest of malts such as roasted barley, chocolate malt, etc. where you're deriving very little in the way of "fermentables" from them in the first place. Hence the point everyone is making that you loose very little in terms of efficiency regardless.

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i thought we were discussing doing this for roasted grains so that we wouldn't get that bitterness and astringency from them. that would not include crystal malts.

and even so it would normally be a very small portion of your grist.

yes, you will lose a small amount of extract potential, but if you want a cleaner, smoother flavor than the option is there.

as this is a hobby, and most of us do not own a company that has to watch it's bottom line, i'll vote for flavor any day of the week, especially when the cost is so low.
YES, exactly. I think our friend is confusing this as something you would do with any specialty grain, which isn't the case. It's typically only used for the darkest of malts.

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Agreed. I'm all for experimentation but, at the same time, one should be aware there is a tradeoff. Nothing is free, not even beer.
Like I said above, there is a trade off, but that is what everyone here is doing. I can go buy a 30-pack of natty light cheaper and easier than I can brew, factoring in my time and energy, my cheapest recipe, but it's not as good and as satisfying.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:32 PM   #25
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especially since you could do the cold steep during your entire mash, or even before you get your water up to temp for the mash, i think it will let out a small amount of sugar. crystal malts contribute small amounts of sugar when steeped WITHOUT mashing, too.
A couple of things about cold-steeping:

1. Like Lamar likes to point out, it's not terribly efficient, so you should double or even triple your dark grains.

2. You should use water below the 80° mark and preferrably round 50-60°

3. You should steep it for at least 18 hours and 24hrs+ is optimal.

4. Add the final product to the kettle at knockout or even a bit thereafter. If you feel the need, the last 2 min of the boil at the earliest.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:43 PM   #26
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srm775, this is going to be my last post on this 'cause you're clearly taking my statements out of context and responding with vague generalities about homebrewing. I feel like I'm watching a bad Daily Show interview...

If you scroll back up to my original post (below), I made it clear that, IMHO, it's a waste of barley because you're not getting any extract efficiency from cold steeping. I brew a lot of porters so dark grain efficiency is important to me. Again, this is my belief. I don't expect you to share it.

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Cold steeping grains will provide some flavor and color but you won't get any fermentables from it. So, to me, this is a waste of barley.
Then you responded that you do get extract efficiency from cold steeping and I showed you the enzyme activity chart which clearly shows you don't. The bottom line is you get < 1% efficiency from cold steeping malted barley. This is the tradeoff of which I spoke; not some vague generality about homebrewing.

Moving on...
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:58 PM   #27
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Okay, this reminds me of two related questions I've had about cold steeping. How likely is it that a sanitation problem arises when doing a post-boil grain addition before the yeast has taken? Hypothetically, if you do cold steep and do the addition earlier in the boil for the sake of sanitation, do you undo most of what you initially hoped to achieve? I was thinking of doing what you suggested and adding in at the end of the boil, but wasn't sure when to do it. I assume this is why srm775 suggests 2 minutes at the earliest. Probably another trade-off question, but I'm just curious.

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Old 01-05-2009, 10:04 PM   #28
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i don't think sanitation would be an issue if you added at flameout. the wort is hot enough to kill any nasties in your small amount of cold steep.

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Old 01-05-2009, 11:10 PM   #29
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srm775, this is going to be my last post on this 'cause you're clearly taking my statements out of context and responding with vague generalities about homebrewing. I feel like I'm watching a bad Daily Show interview...

If you scroll back up to my original post (below), I made it clear that, IMHO, it's a waste of barley because you're not getting any extract efficiency from cold steeping. I brew a lot of porters so dark grain efficiency is important to me. Again, this is my belief. I don't expect you to share it.



Then you responded that you do get extract efficiency from cold steeping and I showed you the enzyme activity chart which clearly shows you don't. The bottom line is you get < 1% efficiency from cold steeping malted barley. This is the tradeoff of which I spoke; not some vague generality about homebrewing.

Moving on...
let's say my recipe takes:

1 lbs chocolate malt
1 lbs black malt

very rarely do ANY of my beers use that much roasted malts, but here goes.

my LHBS charges $1.50 for specialty grains. so right up front i would spend $3.00 extra if i was doubling the specialty malts.

let's say i add an extra 1 lbs of 2-row to get the gravity i was previously shooting for. we'll call that an extra $1.00.

so, yes, to get the same gravity it would cost an extra $4.00 for a 5 gallon batch. if the taste is significantly different, than i would say it is worth it, but if you are fine with the flavor, don't care for experimentation and you want to go cheap, then obviously the other route would be better.

honestly, it would probably cost me an extra $1.00/batch with my discounts and the amount of grains i use, but for the sake of your argument i pushed everything to the max.

now let's discuss another matter. yes...the roasted specialty grains are adding gravity, so your OG would be higher. ARE THEY ADDING FERMENTABLE SUGARS? if they don't, then they do not add potential alcohol and this argument is pretty meaningless.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:29 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by lamarguy View Post
srm775, this is going to be my last post on this 'cause you're clearly taking my statements out of context and responding with vague generalities about homebrewing. I feel like I'm watching a bad Daily Show interview...

If you scroll back up to my original post (below), I made it clear that, IMHO, it's a waste of barley because you're not getting any extract efficiency from cold steeping. I brew a lot of porters so dark grain efficiency is important to me. Again, this is my belief. I don't expect you to share it.



Then you responded that you do get extract efficiency from cold steeping and I showed you the enzyme activity chart which clearly shows you don't. The bottom line is you get < 1% efficiency from cold steeping malted barley. This is the tradeoff of which I spoke; not some vague generality about homebrewing.

Moving on...
I love that first paragraph.

The discussion was about steeping, so by definition, there are no enzymes involved. No, you won't get enzyme activity with a cold steep, but you won't get any with a steep at mashing temperatures either because steeping grains don't contain enzymes.

-a.
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