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Old 02-26-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
seaoforange
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Default Mash base grains plus adjunct, then steep specialty grains?

I use a BIAB system.

Have a 5 gallon cooler as a mash tun, and only a 5.5 gallon kettle.

Usually can only mash/sparge about 6 or 7 lbs. of grain without overfilling the kettle.

My question is, in order to mash more base grains (and adjuncts for some recipes), can I leave out any caramel/specialty grains from the mash and then once I've filled the kettle with 1st and 2nd runnings steep my specialty grains?

Should work, right?

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:44 PM   #2
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Sure as long as your specialty grains don't need to be converted, then steeping them will be fine. Its pretty much what an extract brewer would do.

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Old 02-26-2013, 07:46 PM   #3
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thinking about it, It may not be the best idea. You are going to loose wort because of grain absorption.

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Old 02-26-2013, 08:03 PM   #4
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You'll lose the same amount of liquid to grain absorption, no matter when you add the grain.

There's nothing wrong with this. Gordon Strong actually suggests you don't mash dark grains our many specialty grains at all. He's a pretty reliable source.

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Old 02-26-2013, 10:21 PM   #5
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I mash them all together,& I'm doing partial mash partial boil BIAB where I average 5lbs of grains mashed in 2 gallons of water. I could easily do more. Maybe strong thinks steeping the darker grains that can be will soften their flavor a bit? I've got a black pseudo lager going now with rauchmalt in it. We'll see when it's done how mashing treats dark grains.

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Old 02-26-2013, 10:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaoforange View Post
I use a BIAB system.

Have a 5 gallon cooler as a mash tun, and only a 5.5 gallon kettle.

Usually can only mash/sparge about 6 or 7 lbs. of grain without overfilling the kettle.

My question is, in order to mash more base grains (and adjuncts for some recipes), can I leave out any caramel/specialty grains from the mash and then once I've filled the kettle with 1st and 2nd runnings steep my specialty grains?

Should work, right?
It will work but is totally unnecessary. Professional breweries don't separate specialty grains and steep them and you don't have to either. Putting the entire grist bill into the mash together works just fine if not better.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:17 PM   #7
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It will work but is totally unnecessary. Professional breweries don't separate specialty grains and steep them and you don't have to either. Putting the entire grist bill into the mash together works just fine if not better.
That's what I've been doing thus far. But I have a limited mashing capacity as a partial mash brewer because my kettle is only 5.5 gallons.

So I wasn't asking in an absolute way whether it was ok to separate, I was asking because separating will allow me to mash more [edit: base grain] and use less extract.

I just wanted to be sure there wasn't some unforeseen problem with this method.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I mash them all together,& I'm doing partial mash partial boil BIAB where I average 5lbs of grains mashed in 2 gallons of water. I could easily do more. Maybe strong thinks steeping the darker grains that can be will soften their flavor a bit? I've got a black pseudo lager going now with rauchmalt in it. We'll see when it's done how mashing treats dark grains.
Do you sparge?

I've been doing a max of 6.5 lbs of grain (including specialty grains to this point), and using a 1.00 to 1.33 qts/lb of both mash and sparge water.

With a 5.5 gallon kettle, this is pushing the limits sometimes.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsme6582 View Post
You'll lose the same amount of liquid to grain absorption, no matter when you add the grain.

There's nothing wrong with this. Gordon Strong actually suggests you don't mash dark grains our many specialty grains at all. He's a pretty reliable source.
Sure but when you mash you lose mostly water, if you steep in your wort you would be losing fermentables. I would think that this would effect his final volume and finishing gravity.
I could be completely wrong, but thats the way I have it pictured in my head.

I think something has to grow in your system. The easiest would be a larger brew pot.
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Old 02-27-2013, 06:41 PM   #10
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Gordon strong promotes this process for everyone, not just people with small equipment. I heard this on an interview with brad smith i believe. He questions why all of the great brewers are filling their darker beers with brewing salts to compensate for the change in mash ph, when all you need to mash is base grain. Im just saying if someone who has won nincasi is doing this and I dont have to worry about different water profiles count me in.

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