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-   -   Steeping Grains in mead (NOT braggot) (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/steeping-grains-mead-not-braggot-438917/)

marcownz747 10-24-2013 01:32 AM

Steeping Grains in mead (NOT braggot)
Hey guys,

I'm planning on starting a new project over the weekend, as I just got a large amount of local honey. I'm hoping to make a mead using a smoked barley. However, I do not wish to make a braggot. Essentially, I am hoping to get a large amount of flavour from the smoked barley, but as few fermentables as possible.

A bit of background information before I ask some questions, though. I mostly make meads, and I've done a couple of braggots (a few hopped, a few unhopped). In my experience, unhopped braggots bring out a lot more of the grains, but end cloyingly sweet. My partner is not a fan of hops. She prefers my meads over my beers, and dislikes how sweet unhopped braggots come out. However, she also likes smokey flavours.

So... in trying to make a more savory winter-friendly mead without the need for a bittering agent, I figured that I could steep a smoked barley, and use this as the base for my mead. Problem is, I want to 1) activate as few maltose producing enzymes as possible, while 2) still being able to boil the wort to sterilise it. (Campden tablets are nice, but they merely chemically neuter yeast, and are ineffective against acetic acid producing bacteria. Honey has antimicrobial properties, but this is due to its high sugar content and low nutrient density. Upon being diluted, it loses these properties. Given that I plan on aging this mead, boiling the steeped-grain water is ideal).

I was planning on cold-steeping the smoked malt in whole (uncrushed) form, removing the grains, and THEN bringing it to a boil, allowing it to cool, and then proceeding with the regular mead making process. I hope that this would minimise or eliminate any maltose production.

Has anybody on here tried this before, or know any way of acquiring the aroma and flavour of a malt without pulling or creating sugars?

Thanks for taking the time to read my long-winded, over-explained post.

Culbetron 10-24-2013 03:53 AM

Peat smoked malt doesn't have any diastatic power so it won't convert itself unless you have some other grain in the mash with it. Steep it at whatever temp you would like. Here's a chart with the diastatic power of some grains: http://norbrygg.no/forum/index.php?a....0;attach=2080

Don't forget, a grain needs a diastatic power of about 30L to be able to convert itself.

marcownz747 10-24-2013 07:23 AM

Thank you very much. I literally couldn't have asked for a better resource.

Culbetron 10-25-2013 03:16 PM

I'm curious to hear how it turns out.

NTexBrewer 10-25-2013 06:10 PM

Please continue to post your results. Interested in trying this. My wife does not like beer. I have made one mead and have a cider in secondary for her.

marcownz747 10-30-2013 02:19 PM

Hey guys,

I began as stated above by cold steeping the grains. I used a smoked malt and a peated malt. I used one pound of each and cold steeped for about 20 minutes. Pulled the grains, and proceeded as stated above. Once cooled back to pitching temperature, I pulled a sample and gave the "wort" for tasting before the honey was added. No sweetness, so even if there were conversion, it was below the flavour threshold, very peaty (that's a plus for me, a minus for others). Normally, 1 lb of peat smoked malt would be WAY too much, but as I was cold steeping for only about 20 minutes, it worked out quite nicely to my taste.

I added the honey and threw it into primary. I aerated and added my first dose of yeast nutrients before pitching and sealing her up. I aerated twice more within the first 36 hours, and have continued with normal staggered yeast nutrient additions. Primary should be done within the next day or two. It smells wonderful, but I have yet to taste it at any point after pitching.

I think this is going to come out quite wonderfully. By far the easiest fermentation I've had with a mead or braggot.

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