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Old 11-19-2009, 01:58 PM   #1
metaltim
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Default mini-mash vs. specialty grains

Hey all what's up.. i'm a semi newb. so far i've only done extract w/ specialty grains, all from austin home brew.

I decided to try one of their recipes as a mini-mash. let me give you the specifics.
here's one i ordered:
American IPA:
Extract: 8 lb Liquid Malt Extract, 1 lb Specialty Grains.
Mini Mash: 6 lb Liquid Malt Extract, 2 lb Base Grains, 1 lb Specialty Grains.

So, i'm a bit confused.. with the mini mash kit, I figured there would be a bag of the base grains which i would mash, then a bag of the specialty grains i would steep, but all the grains are in one bag.

so do i just mash this whole bag?


So let me see if I have this straight. Correct me if I'm wrong:
You can't steep base grains, you must mash them..

However, specialty grains, you can steep or mash them.
If it is only spec. grains, you steep; if mixed with base, you must mash..

is this correct?

If you only had spec. grains, could you mash those as well, as opposed to steeping?

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Old 11-19-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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Also, related.. on brewwiki, it goes over the mini mash tun and such.. but the instructions from austin home brew just have me do it in a pot.. boil them, then pour the water over the grains..

I'm assuming these two methods are creating the same output right? is the mash tun easier or something?

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Old 11-19-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaltim View Post
Hey all what's up.. i'm a semi newb. so far i've only done extract w/ specialty grains, all from austin home brew.

I decided to try one of their recipes as a mini-mash. let me give you the specifics.
here's one i ordered:
American IPA:
Extract: 8 lb Liquid Malt Extract, 1 lb Specialty Grains.
Mini Mash: 6 lb Liquid Malt Extract, 2 lb Base Grains, 1 lb Specialty Grains.

So, i'm a bit confused.. with the mini mash kit, I figured there would be a bag of the base grains which i would mash, then a bag of the specialty grains i would steep, but all the grains are in one bag.

so do i just mash this whole bag?
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metaltim View Post
So let me see if I have this straight. Correct me if I'm wrong:
You can't steep base grains, you must mash them..
Correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metaltim View Post
However, specialty grains, you can steep or mash them.
If it is only spec. grains, you steep; if mixed with base, you must mash..

is this correct?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metaltim View Post
If you only had spec. grains, could you mash those as well, as opposed to steeping?
No, most of the time you need the additional diastatic power of the base malt (think: more enzymes to convert starches to sugar) to convert the specialty grains.

Quote:
Originally Posted by metaltim View Post
Also, related.. on brewwiki, it goes over the mini mash tun and such.. but the instructions from austin home brew just have me do it in a pot.. boil them, then pour the water over the grains..

I'm assuming these two methods are creating the same output right? is the mash tun easier or something?
Mash tun is easier for lautering/sparging. You don't want to boil the grains.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:22 PM   #4
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Wow thanks.. i kinda was reading the brew wiki and figuring all that out as I was typing it..

so you say "You don't want to boil the grains."
do you mean don't do it in a pot.. or are you just referring to my mistake of saying 'boiling'.. of course i meant hot water..

is mash tun vs. doing it in a pot just personal preference?

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Old 11-19-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by metaltim View Post
Wow thanks.. i kinda was reading the brew wiki and figuring all that out as I was typing it..

so you say "You don't want to boil the grains."
do you mean don't do it in a pot.. or are you just referring to my mistake of saying 'boiling'.. of course i meant hot water..

is mash tun vs. doing it in a pot just personal preference?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure you got it. Add hot water to the grains to get it to sit around 150-152 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. In a pot or mastun won't make a difference as long as you have a good way to separate the wort from the grains once the mash is complete.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:36 PM   #6
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How much extract can you add to a mini-mash, to increase its fermentability? At some point you must be decreasing the efficiency of the mash.

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Old 11-19-2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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In a pot or mastun won't make a difference as long as you have a good way to separate the wort from the grains once the mash is complete.
Ahh, so that explains the muslin bag they suggested with purchase, which i bought..

so w/o a muslin bag (or similar), you need a mash tun..

starting to make sense
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:42 PM   #8
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How much extract can you add to a mini-mash, to increase its fermentability? At some point you must be decreasing the efficiency of the mash.
well mine was a kit.. otherwise i would have no idea.
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Old 11-19-2009, 02:57 PM   #9
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How much extract can you add to a mini-mash, to increase its fermentability? At some point you must be decreasing the efficiency of the mash.
Wow, serious threadjack. You might want to make a new thread, many people may not see your question in here.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:13 PM   #10
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How much extract can you add to a mini-mash, to increase its fermentability? At some point you must be decreasing the efficiency of the mash.
The mash happens before the extract is added, so one has nothing to do with the other (in terms of the extract affecting the mash). You're using the extract to make up the difference in gravity from what your mash provided you.
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