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Old 09-29-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
DougmanXL
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Default conversion failed?

Hey all, I'm having a big problem with grains... I was able to obtain sprouted buckwheat and quinoa from a health-food store, and I assumed I could roast it and brew with it. So I followed the PDF guides posted up here a while ago, and everything seemed to be working (except my sparge is stuck hard). I just finished mashing according to the PDF as well, and I just checked it and got a gravity of 0, and didn't taste sweet. I did only use 3-4lbs of grains (some roasted to chocolate malt/40 srm, some vienna), but 0.000?!

This is the process i followed.
The mash was kinda crazy, there were 2 20m rests at 40C and 55C. Also it said to mash first for a bit, skim off some of the top and save, then boil the grains to gelatinize them, then cool it and add back the saved stuff... oh one thing I screwed up was, I forgot to filter the chlorine out of the water first... But I did add a mash ph adjuster (5).

At this point I threw in 2 tsp's of amylase enzyme and I'm going to try mashing again... is this gonna work? Does anyone have an idea as to why the conversion didn't work? Quinoa and buckwheat contain enzymes right? Are the producers treating the grains in a way that might destroy the enzymes or am I missing something?

Man, before I was having difficulty finding grains that would sprout, now this...

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how much malt could a millet malter malt if a millet malter could malt millet?

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Old 09-30-2012, 12:59 AM   #2
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The process is right, that's actually what I did before seeing his document with my own sprouted grains, and I've gotten conversion, and I didn't bother dealing with the chlorine either. I have to imagine that its the grains you've used, but unless they were irradiated, which isn't usually done to health food items, I don't know what else would have been done. Was it a particular brand, or was it bulk food?

What was your roasting procedure? What temperature and what time and what color was it? It could have been the roasting process.

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Old 09-30-2012, 04:06 AM   #3
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Update: Ok i probably didnt need to panic... it didnt matter anyway, the amalyse did the trick, it was 1.022 after, which sounds about right for the grain bill i had. Plus since it was a brown ale there were so many other fermentables it worked anyways, lol it was actually 1.070

I followed this brown ale except i used more grains and buckwheat and quinoa... except some of the steps were from the pdf link before ... i went 230-280F on roasting for 3-4 hours until they were 35-37 srm...

As for why that happened, I hope its not irradiation but thats what prevented me from sprouting grains. I'm going to look into it... The grains were bought at Natures Emporium in ontario in bulk bins, some local producer makes it... nobody at the store knew if it was irradiated, ugh.

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Old 09-30-2012, 04:24 PM   #4
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Sounds like you roasted the grains too hot. The darker the roast, the lower the diastatic power. Next time, if you want to roast that dark, try making crystal malt instead.

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Old 10-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for the help man... you're probably right, plus using my (heavily chlorinated) water probably didnt help. I roasted 2 of 6 trays badly (over 300F), and they were dark, 2 trays were about crystal and 2 were in between... probably why I got some conversion after adding the amylase enzyme. I think next time I'll add amylase at the beginning. I'll use more crystal malt too. Still, I had hoped to get at least some natural conversion...

Also, what do you do to help with stuck sparges, I'm gonna try rice hulls but I dont think that will be enough considering how goopy/glue-like the grains were by the end... having to boil for a while really screws up the process. Also how much do you crush the grains with the rolling pin? I crushed them until most buckwheat broke in half, but had a lot of grain dust...

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Old 10-01-2012, 10:15 PM   #6
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Even with barley, dark roasted and/or crystal malts have basically 0 diastatic power, hence most beers having a predominantly pale malt base with usually no more than 30% specialty malts. If you want natural conversion, you want to use mostly pale malt. Rice hulls can help with the sparge, but use a LOT.

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Old 10-02-2012, 04:32 AM   #7
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Most has been said above but because gluten free grains already start with less conversion capabilities than Barley any type of roasting is going to destry the low level enzymes further. I did a mash on the weekend (100 % pale millet malt) and got full conversion with that method.
+1 for rice hulls
I grind mine to a powder to also help with the conversion, but rice hulls are essential.
Make sure you have calcium present, it helps the enzymes. Try and find out how much is in your water from the local water authorities. I start with de-ionised water (easy access to it) and add the ions from there.
The sparge would have been stuck because you have a large amount of very complex sugars as nothing had converted to the smaller sugers. One you have conversion you should get better flow.

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Old 10-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ale-e-chest View Post
I did a mash on the weekend (100 % pale millet malt) and got full conversion with that method.
Curious what malt this is. Are you using homemade malt, Colorado Malting Company, or something else? Did you add enzymes or did it self-convert? What was your efficiency?
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Old 10-04-2012, 05:11 AM   #9
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It's homemade malt muench1. I didn't add enzymes so it was all self-conversion. After the mash I added extra bit's, some Belgian candi syrup, sorghum syrup and malto-dextrin and what I got from the start gravity calculating back it looks to be about 80%, but I don't believe that, not sure what else it could be though. During the process the 90 minute mash was a bit extended as I had to go out for lunch so it sat in the oven that was turned off for about an extra 90 minutes, That probably helped the process.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:36 PM   #10
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Got my malt from Natures Emporium north of Toronto... don't think I can get malt across the border. It was listed as sprouted grains, I'm not sure who eats that but it was expensive. It could have been lightly roasted during processing, it was a bit darker than the raw grains, and kinda tasted like it, I thought it was from the kilning... then I roasted it again. Oh well, they were meant for a brown ale anyway, so at least I got the right flavour/colour, and the amylase helped...

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