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Old 09-25-2008, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default Steeping Specialty Grains??

Can I steep specialty grains for my complete base without using any malt? If so, how many pounds of grains and how long would I boil? And then at which point would I add my hop pellets?? Thanks!

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:11 PM   #2
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If you are going to the bother, why not put in some base grains and watch the temperature?

It might be possible - it would probably also be weird. Much of the sugars from specialty grains are not very fermentable. Furthermore, I was interested as I've started to look at mashing to see that even for fairly-well-done grain like chocolate malt, the effective yield is MUCH greater for mashing it with base grain than for just steeping it. 18 .vs 28 ppg, as I recall.

Look at DeathBrewer's tutorial - it's how to mash without all the fuss, essentially, though unless you have BIG pots, you'll either want some extract or to make a smaller sized batch. While there's probably benefit (clearer wort, et al) to some of the fuss, if you're looking to avoid getting a lot of equipment, it will get the job done.

DO NOT BOIL GRAIN. just in case that was what you meant by "how long do I boil?". You boil (after having removed the grain) until you are done, which is influenced by how much sugar you extract from the grain, into how much water, and how much water you evaporate per hour and what size fermenter (thus how much you want to have at the end of the boil). As for hopping, it kinda sorta depends what you want for hops/IBUs, now, doesn't it?

So if you extract into 7 gallons of water and you want 5 gallons to ferment and you evaporate 1 gallon per hour, you boil for 2 hours. Your bittering hops can go in at 2 hours to go, and others would be depending on schedule to fit the flavor profile you want. I suspect you may want to read up a bit more.

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Last edited by Ecnerwal; 09-25-2008 at 06:17 PM. Reason: add boil info
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:15 PM   #3
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I don't know quite enough to understand everything you're telling me. Can you steep base grains instead of mashing and get okay results???

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:16 PM   #4
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If you steep a base grain between 149-158 you ARE mashing.

Look up partial mashing in the wiki (link at the top) and also check out www.howtobrew.com for complete instructions and lots of great information.

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:24 PM   #5
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So could I "mash" 2-row for some set of time, put in some amount of Cascade hops, then steep some white wheat for the remaining time and get a simple light american beer? I have no idea how to choose the amounts tho. How many pounds of 2-row, and how much hops and how much specialty to steep and at what times everything needs to enter. Is it just trial and error??

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:30 PM   #6
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So could I "mash" 2 pounds of 2-row for 30 mins, put in .5 oz of Cascade hops, then steep .5 lbs of white wheat for the remaining time and get a basic flavor?
No. What you are trying to acheive by mashing the 2 row and white wheat together is converting the starches in the grain into fermentable sugar. The sugar is what the yeast will consume to produce ethyl alcohol and CO2. You're mixing up the process a bit.

1) Mash/steep your grain to get the sugars out. This is now wort.
2) According to your recipe, you will make your hop additions. The longer the hops are boiled, the more bitterness that is extracted. 60 minutes is your total boil time.
3) After you hit the end of your boil, your aim is to get the near boiling wort down to a temperature below 80 degrees. This is acheived through use of an immersion chiller or, with smaller volumes, an ice bath
4) Your wort will now go into a fermenter and the yeast will be added ('pitched')

I'd highly suggest you consult How to Brew - By John Palmer - Introduction.

Good luck!
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:34 PM   #7
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Okay thanks. Should the specialty and base go in the pot together to boil the entire 60 mins?

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Old 09-25-2008, 06:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottmd06 View Post
Okay thanks. Should the specialty and base go in the pot together to boil the entire 60 mins?
You don't boil any grains. Period.

You steep ("mash") them at NO higher than 158. You have to have a good thermometer for this, and a way to keep the temperature steady for that hour. After you remove the grains, you bring the wort up to a boil.

I'd suggest doing some reading (howtobrew.com is a good one) to help you visualize what we're saying.
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by scottmd06 View Post
Okay thanks. Should the specialty and base go in the pot together to boil the entire 60 mins?
Seriously my friend, read How to Brew - By John Palmer, it's completely free and it will answer all of your questions (even the ones you don't yet know to ask).
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:39 PM   #10
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Okay guys lol I will reeeeaaaaadd. I didn't mean to say boil btw...

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