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Old 01-18-2012, 01:07 PM   #1
psubrewer
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Default When to add roasted malts to mash

I'll be making a stout this weekend in preparation for St. Patricks day and I have a question about mashing roasted malts.

I've seem to remember hearing at one time that it is best to not add heavily roasted malts (ie. roasted barley, chocolate malt, black patent) until the last 10-15 of the mash.

Is this correct? If so, what is the benefit to waiting?

Thanks!

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Old 01-18-2012, 01:14 PM   #2
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Dark, highly roasted malts can make your mash more acidic, especially if your water is very soft. Some people counter this by adding chalk to the mash. Gordon Strong brings up the method of steeping these dark grains ahead of time and adding the resulting fluid to the boil. 2 qt water per pound of grain. You can either cold steep them for a day or steep like you would with an extract kit with specialty grains.

You can also put the dark grains into the mash as soon as you start your first vourlauf.

The advantage is you can keep your mash pH at optimum levels without adding chalk, which can have an impact on the taste of your beer

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Old 01-18-2012, 01:20 PM   #3
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I agree with flabyboy. I always add the roasted malts at mash-out. If they contribute a considerable amount to the grain bill, I use the 2 qt./lb. cold steeping method and add to the kettle prior to boiling.

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Old 01-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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In the past, when I've used a large percentage of roasted malts in my beer such as in a stout, I've percieved a certain harsh bitterness to my final product.

Will cold steeping the roasted malts reduce this percieved bitterness? Or is this mainly for improving mash conversion?

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Old 01-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #5
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That's the reason I started cold steeping. Everytime I would do a stout... it would have this harsh roasted taste to it (I guess you could call it bitter, but I use that term to describe hop characteristics, so I don't want to confuse anyone). After doing some research, I started using the cold steep method for high roasted malt grain bills. Never looked back. It definitely helps ease the harsh roasted flavor.

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Old 01-18-2012, 01:46 PM   #6
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I should he more careful when I use the term bitter in these forums!

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, this is very helpful.

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
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Planning my first AG in the near future, storing factoids for future reference.

At what point would you consider a malt "roasted" for the purposes of this thread; L40? L60?

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:35 PM   #8
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Roasted Barley, Chocolate Malt, Black Patent... etc.

I wouldn't worry about any of the Crystal malts.

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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I have never worked at or heard of a single commercial brewery that added dark malt late in the mash, they are, in my experience, always mashed in with the rest of the grains

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Old 01-18-2012, 03:44 PM   #10
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short steeping in the mash works well if you're not using a lot of black patent, but still want to avoid any harshness, especially in brown ales and porters.
I've even used a dash of chocolate malt for an irish red, added just before the vorlauf. Gets you good color, a little flavor and aroma, but doesn't get over-powering.

Even a quarter ounce can really alter the SRM on 5 gallons.

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