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Old 11-28-2007, 05:36 PM   #1
mdf191
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Default Genius or Cheapness

... Im going to guess cheap, with maybe a little hint of ingenuity.

I have been only making extract + specialty steeped grain brews up till this point, but I would like to start moving toward partial and eventually all grain. The only problem is I am feeling a bit cheap to put in much, if any money toward AG equipment at the moment. But I also am looking to brew and oatmeal stout, which from what I hear should really have the flaked oats mashed.

So here is my idea. I do a batch with my fermentables consisting of all extract and specialty grain (just like a reg extract only brew), but I mash some flaked oats (and maybe a small bit of dextrine malt) by themselves and drain and sparge that liquid into the kettle prior to extract addition. Theoretically this would allow me to have a very small amount of grains to sparge so I can use a strainer (already owned). I will also not have to worry about not efficiently lautering the other fermentables. Will this work? Is there any thing that would be different from mashing with such a small amount of grain. Pretty much I would be doing a partial mash minus the 3 or so lbs of base malt. Will just mashing and straining the flaked grains be ok?

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Old 11-28-2007, 05:39 PM   #2
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Unfortunately flaked oats don't have the diastatic enzymes to convert itself. You are better off just adding your flaked oats to your steep. You may get some starches in the wort, but it is a stout -- no big deal.

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Old 11-28-2007, 05:45 PM   #3
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mdf191,
You almost have the right idea but you need some enzymes from a base malt to convert the starches in the oats. You can do this with a pound or 2 of pale malt. I used 6-row in my first PM with oats for the extra enzymes this variety has. Then you can steep the other specialty grains in the rest of the brew water.
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Old 11-28-2007, 05:47 PM   #4
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You can also add the specialty grains to your mini mash as well if you have the room to do so.

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Old 11-28-2007, 06:13 PM   #5
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hmm. Im assuming dextrine malt also lacks enzymes needed? If only base malts have what i need and I did go will bit of base malt for enzyme support, do you think 1 lb would do it?

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Old 11-28-2007, 06:30 PM   #6
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A pound of 6-row would probably convert up to two pounds of mixed specialties.

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Old 11-28-2007, 06:49 PM   #7
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OK, here I go again: You can convert your bottling bucket or primary fermenting bucket to a mash vessel for around $3-5. Go buy a plastic colander, cut the lip off, and stuff it down your bucket to just above the spigot. Wrap it in an old blanket to hold temp. Doesn't get any cheaper than that.

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Old 11-29-2007, 12:31 PM   #8
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Or for the more adventurous cheapskate, like myself, there's always the option of brewing in a bag...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=28350

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Old 11-29-2007, 12:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf191
hmm. Im assuming dextrine malt also lacks enzymes needed? If only base malts have what i need and I did go will bit of base malt for enzyme support, do you think 1 lb would do it?
dextrin malt is already converted in the kilning process which also denatures the enzymes. So no it does not.
I would recommend 1# 6-row to 1# adjunct or 1.5# 2-row to 1# adjunct. That is probably over kill but its better than not converting and having starch haze in your beer. I don't use a conversion test so I just always make sure I have enough enzymes and give it enough time to convert.
A large grain bag in a bottling bucket, or better a cooler is a cheap way to get starter.
For a few $ more you can create a MLT with a cooler, a drilled rubber stopper, a short piece of copper tubing and a steel braid from a toilet/sink supply line. I built mine including the new cooler for about $30. However I did eventually upgrade to a bulkhead and ball valve.
Craig
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:11 PM   #10
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Would I get a reasonable amount of "sweet wort" from mashing in a grain bag and then sparging? Im sure its not the best for efficiency but if it works "well enough" maybe I will try that.

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