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Old 03-28-2009, 07:58 PM   #1
larrybrewer
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Default boiling grains in partial mash??

I just heard from a friend that he boils all his grains during a partial mash, leaving them in the kettle for the entire 60 minutes after crushing. Does this sound advisable to you? Everything I have read says not to boil grains.

I have never heard of boiling grains on purpose, but I have never done a partial mash batch. I just wanted to check with the experts out there on this issue.

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Old 03-28-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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I have read recipes that suggest to do this but I assumed the person who wrote it was ignorant to the effects.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Common Off-Flavors

Quote:
Astringent
Astringency differs from bitterness by having a puckering quality, like sucking on a tea bag. It is dry, kind of powdery and is often the result of steeping grains too long or when the pH of the mash exceeds the range of 5.2 - 5.6. Oversparging the mash or using water that is too hot are common causes for exceeding the mash pH range. It can also be caused by over-hopping during either the bittering or finishing stages. Bacterial infections can also cause astringency, i.e. vinegar tones from aceto bacteria.

The brown scum that forms during fermentation and clings to the side of the fermentor is intensely bitter and if it is stirred back into the beer it will cause very astringent tastes. The scum should be removed from the beer, either by letting it cling undisturbed to the sides of an oversize fermentor, or by skimming it off the krausen, or blowing off the krausen itself from a 5 gallon carboy. I have never had any problems by simply letting it cling to the sides of the fermentor.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:31 PM   #3
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You may find a few recipes like this in "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing"

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Old 03-28-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Schlenkerla View Post
I have read recipes that suggest to this but I assumed the person who wrote it was ignorant to the effects.

How to Brew - By John Palmer - Common Off-Flavors
+1 to what he said. Boiling the grains is going to result in a nasty off taste.
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I would never use a dead mouse in my beer. It's much better to use live ones. You could probably just steep a dead one, but live ones must be mashed. Actually, smashed and mashed would be best.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:43 PM   #5
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Wow, so Palmer and Papazian are at odds here. Very interesting.

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Old 03-28-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrybrewer View Post
Wow, so Palmer and Papazian are at odds here. Very interesting.
The copy I have of Chuck's book is very old. Prolly first edition. I have read it elsewhere too .... "More HB Favorites"... Its a collection by 260 homebrewers.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by larrybrewer View Post
Wow, so Palmer and Papazian are at odds here. Very interesting.
They're often at odds. Generally I trust Palmer a lot more (mainly as his work generally represents newer knowledge). Both evolve from edition to edition, and the state of our knowledge about brewing advances fairly rapidly.

And even the newest Palmer has things that have since been shown to be wrong--listen to Palmer's interview on BBR from March 20, 2008 and he himself will point out that things like "hops utilization is affected by wort gravity" and "an IBU is 1 mg of isometerized alpha acids per ml of beer" are wrong, even though he himself printed them in the 2005 edition of How to Brew.
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrybrewer View Post
Wow, so Palmer and Papazian are at odds here. Very interesting.
The entire homebrew industry has been that way since the beginning.

Things like the late extract method, to using bleach, to using aluminium, to topping off with tap, to pitchable yeast, to temp control, to plastics, to airlocks, etc.

It was frustrating to no end when I started homebrewing 15 years ago to read completely opposite "facts" in different books. Somethings make a big difference, and some things have only a trivial effect. That real issue is trying to figure that part out.
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:10 PM   #9
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I think many people on this forum would say not to boil the grains. They know that it will result in astringent off flavors. Most of them don't know this from experience, they know it because they have read it in articles written by authors they trust, and/or they have been told it by brewers they trust. I wonder how those authors/brewers "know"
I am different. I made a brew this way back in the 1970's, and I honestly cannot say that I detected any astringency in that brew.
However, I only did it once, and would never do it again; not because it is necessarily wrong, but because it may cause problems, and it is so easy to avoid the possibility.
Having said I'll never do it again, I'll be doing a decoction mash sometime within the next month or so, and that involves boiling the grains.

-a.

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Old 03-28-2009, 11:16 PM   #10
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Boiling grains will extract tannins from the husks making the beer astringent. Think sucking on a tea bag.

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