Home Brew Forums

Home Brew Forums (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum.php)
-   Extract Brewing (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/)
-   -   Biscuit,Victory Malt and other "Mashed" Specialty Grains (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/biscuit-victory-malt-other-mashed-specialty-grains-41682/)

IndyPABrewGuy 10-16-2007 01:45 AM

Biscuit,Victory Malt and other "Mashed" Specialty Grains
 
Hey all,

I've been brewing Extract w/ spec. grains since I began brewing (April) and all has gone well. My last few batches I have included a small amount of both Victory and Biscuit malt, but not as part of a mini-mash, only to steep. I know that to produce any amount of fermentable sugars that these grains need to be mashed, but by steeping them I am still adding to the flavor of the beer and helping with the body, correct? We're talking about using like 4 oz. of each.

I just wanted to set myself straight. I'm pretty sure I'm right on this, but wanted to make sure I haven't been wasting grain/money thinking I've been adding to my beers.

Thanks in advance.

Cheers,

bradsul 10-16-2007 02:53 AM

Correct, you are not contributing fermentable sugars without a mash, but the flavours and colour are definitely extracted from the grains.

Edit: Oh and just from my own experience there doesn't seem to be any real difference between Victory and biscuit malt. I think Victory is just a branded malt. I may be wrong but I switched my brews that used biscuit to Victory when I couldn't get it anymore and didn't see any flavour difference.

Madtown Brew 10-16-2007 04:50 AM

You may also be adding a small amount of starch to your brew, but given the small amount your using I wouldn't worry about it.

However, why not just add in some grain that has some diastatic power also and do a pseudo mini-mash. It's pretty simple and doesn't require much additional effort or equipment. Just use any base grain along with your steeping grain. 1 # should be plenty. Steep all the grain in a bag @ 150-160 dF for 45-60 minutes. Use a large bag so that the grain can spread out over the entire area of your ketttle. Also, go with 1.5 - 2 quarts of water per pound of grain, instead of the 1-2 gallons you'd use for a normal steep. Too much water can dilute the enzymes too much and they wont be effective.
After the 45-60 minutes, you can rinse the grains with some 170 dF water if you want, or not (rinsing will only get a bit more sugar out of the grain, nothing serious). By doing this, you get all of the flavor and color that you would normally, and you can avoid any starch haze that may occur from un-mashed grains. As a bonus, you cut costs a little because you will actually be getting some gravity points out of your grains.

just my $.02

ScubaSteve 10-16-2007 06:59 AM

That's good advice!....Do that one time, and you'll see how easy it is to make the jump to AG!

IndyPABrewGuy 10-16-2007 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Madtown Brew
You may also be adding a small amount of starch to your brew, but given the small amount your using I wouldn't worry about it.

However, why not just add in some grain that has some diastatic power also and do a pseudo mini-mash. It's pretty simple and doesn't require much additional effort or equipment. Just use any base grain along with your steeping grain. 1 # should be plenty. Steep all the grain in a bag @ 150-160 dF for 45-60 minutes. Use a large bag so that the grain can spread out over the entire area of your ketttle. Also, go with 1.5 - 2 quarts of water per pound of grain, instead of the 1-2 gallons you'd use for a normal steep. Too much water can dilute the enzymes too much and they wont be effective.
After the 45-60 minutes, you can rinse the grains with some 170 dF water if you want, or not (rinsing will only get a bit more sugar out of the grain, nothing serious). By doing this, you get all of the flavor and color that you would normally, and you can avoid any starch haze that may occur from un-mashed grains. As a bonus, you cut costs a little because you will actually be getting some gravity points out of your grains.

just my $.02

Thanks all.

Madtown,

I think I've kinda done this before. Now I wasn't using grains that needed to be mashed, but for one of my brews I used ~1.5 lbs. (total) of Crystal Malt (60L) and Chocolate Malt. I steeped at 155F for 30 minutes in 1.5 gallons of water, then sparged with .5 gallons of water at 155F. So to compare this to your example above, the only differences were:

Water volume (1.5 gallons to (using your example) 3 qts.)
Sparge water temp (155F to 170F)

I get "what" mashing is. Where I get confused is the true difference between "mashing" and "steeping". Is the only difference the process of sparging? I understand that when you are "mashing" 15 lbs. of base and specialty grains, there is a need to slowly "wash" those grains with "sparge" water to get, say, 6.5 gallons of wort to be boiled. But when we're talking about just over a lb. of specialty grains, what is the real purpose of sparging that small of amount of grains? I'm assuming that, even when using grains that need "mashed", in the small quantities that we're speaking of there's a neglegible amount of sugars being produced. For example:

1.5 lbs. of specialty grains. Let's take this bill:

.5 lbs Crystal Malt (60 L)
.25 lbs Biscuit Malt
.25 lbs Victory Malt
.5 lbs Chocolate Malt

Example 1: Steeping

I would steep these grains in 2 gal at 155F for 30 minutes, remove the grain bag, let it drain (don't squeeze, don't want tannins). discard bag. (Now, I have steeped in 1.5 gal and "sparged" with .5 gal before disgarding. (state above) Is this a mini-mash?)

Example 2: Partial Mash

I would steep the above grains for 50 minutes at (for a single step infusion*) 155F in 3 qts. of water. Then spare with 1.25 gal water at 170F to get 2 gal. total.

*Could add protein rest at 133F and second step at 165F (Beta-Amalayse?? correct me if I'm wrong), correct?

Are my examples correct, or am I way off base?

I know I kinda rambled here, but I think I'm over thinking this whole "mashing" process, even when reading TCJHB and Companion, and howtobrew.com. It just seems so darned simple that I don't know why I haven't been doing it the whole time.

Thanks.

Cheers,

TheJadedDog 10-16-2007 02:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bradsul

Edit: Oh and just from my own experience there doesn't seem to be any real difference between Victory and biscuit malt. I think Victory is just a branded malt. I may be wrong but I switched my brews that used biscuit to Victory when I couldn't get it anymore and didn't see any flavour difference.

This is correct, I believe biscuit may have also been a trademarked name from a specific maltster but I am not positive about that.

Madtown Brew 10-16-2007 04:46 PM

You've sort of got it, but i can tell there is still some confusion.

The only difference between steeping and mashing is the enzymatic activity. When steeping, all your doing is dissolving sugars that are already present in the grain. When mashing, you hold the grain at a desired temp to allow the enzymes in the grain to convert the starches into more sugars.

whether or not you sparge is irrelevant, it merely improves the extraction of the sugars (you rinse out as much remaining as possible).

The key to doing a minimash is using a base malt that has surplus diastatic power - essentially surplus enzymes that can act on other specialty grains. Generally, any 2 or 6 row base malt will work for this. Another consideration is that you shouldn't go above 160 dF when mashing, because that will denature (kill) the enzymes that you need for conversion. Also, as I said above, you need to use an appropriate volume of water for the grain - anything between 1-2 quarts per pound should work. Time is the final factor, as you need to wait long enough for the enzymes to finish conversion. That's why minimashes and regular mashes generally last 30 min or longer, up to 90 min even. I'd suggest resting for 45 - 60 min.

So, for your example, the problem is that you don't have any base malt that can convert those specialty grains. Add a pound of pale 2-row and your good to go.
At this point, don't concern yourself with any multi-step mashing - it's not necessary.

Many people don't realize that often when steeping, they are really mashing. Any grain with diastatic power in a water bath between 135-160 dF is converting starch to sugar.

Hope that helps. Maybe someone else who's more experienced could sum it up better.
Don't be afraid to post any more questions. Also don't be afraid to just go brew and do a normal steep. I didn't mean to overly concern you with the starch comment. In the quantities your using, it shouldn't be a factor. I just wanted to suggest "the next step" you could take in the brewing process.

IndyPABrewGuy 10-16-2007 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Madtown Brew
You've sort of got it, but i can tell there is still some confusion.

The only difference between steeping and mashing is the enzymatic activity. When steeping, all your doing is dissolving sugars that are already present in the grain. When mashing, you hold the grain at a desired temp to allow the enzymes in the grain to convert the starches into more sugars.

I'm with ya. No trouble here.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Madtown Brew
whether or not you sparge is irrelevant, it merely improves the extraction of the sugars (you rinse out as much remaining as possible).

Ok, so in essence this helps "brewhouse efficiency"


Quote:

Originally Posted by Madtown Brew
The key to doing a minimash is using a base malt that has surplus diastatic power - essentially surplus enzymes that can act on other specialty grains.

I thought that all specialty grains had enzymes for activity. I guess I should rephrase: Those Specialty grains that need MASHED to produce sugar have enzymes. Those that do not have enzymes but need to be mashed are considered adjuncts and need to have other grains present. Other specialty grains (roasted malts), have the sugar already converted and therefore do not need to be mashed. I'm sure I can look this up and find a chart. I'm not arguing semantics here. I'm just trying to be sure I understand.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Madtown Brew
Generally, any 2 or 6 row base malt will work for this. Another consideration is that you shouldn't go above 160 dF when mashing, because that will denature (kill) the enzymes that you need for conversion. Also, as I said above, you need to use an appropriate volume of water for the grain - anything between 1-2 quarts per pound should work. Time is the final factor, as you need to wait long enough for the enzymes to finish conversion. That's why minimashes and regular mashes generally last 30 min or longer, up to 90 min even. I'd suggest resting for 45 - 60 min.

With ya on this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Madtown Brew
So, for your example, the problem is that you don't have any base malt that can convert those specialty grains. Add a pound of pale 2-row and your good to go.
At this point, don't concern yourself with any multi-step mashing - it's not necessary.

Many people don't realize that often when steeping, they are really mashing. Any grain with diastatic power in a water bath between 135-160 dF is converting starch to sugar.

We're on track know. I was focusing on the "how" and not the "why".

So, to get this straight, on the "how" side, using my previous example, if I were to add, say 1.5 lbs. of 2-row pale malt, and mash in 6 qts of 155F water for 50 minutes, then sparge with 6 qts. 170F water, that would be a mini mash, which would bring my kettle volume to 3 gallons total. From there I would have to find the specific gravity of this wort, and then add the appropriate amount of DME once this has come to a boil to reach the required OG, correct. I'm assuming that there are calculations to acheive these numbers pretty easily.

Thanks and Cheers,

EDIT: Madtown - Don't worry about me worrying too much about the starch comment. I'm pretty good at the RDWHAWB now. I'm planning on going ahead with my brew tonight as planned. This discussion, though, has been very helpful because partial mash is my next step. I'm planning on beginning partial mash brews in January, with a complete conversion to AG when the winter weather breaks (hopefully April). This discussion has clarified a lot of the theory for me, but I need to work on the actual process. Questions such as:

Do I need any more equipment?
When sparging with water from the stove through a strainer, how slowly do you pour?
How do I use BeerTools Pro to calculate what I need? (I'm sure this is easy. Gonna play with it tonight)

This is stuff I need to read up on before I start throwing out questions with easy to find answers. This conversation has really cleared up some issues in my head. Thanks.

Madtown Brew 10-16-2007 09:39 PM

Quote:

Ok, so in essence this helps "brewhouse efficiency"
exactly

Quote:

I thought that all specialty grains had enzymes for activity. I guess I should rephrase: Those Specialty grains that need MASHED to produce sugar have enzymes. Those that do not have enzymes but need to be mashed are considered adjuncts and need to have other grains present. Other specialty grains (roasted malts), have the sugar already converted and therefore do not need to be mashed. I'm sure I can look this up and find a chart. I'm not arguing semantics here. I'm just trying to be sure I understand.
yeah, I later realized I couldv'e been much more clear with this part - and keep in mind I'm relatively new to this myself with only 15 batches completed (9 AG, 2 PM, 4 extract).

Your pretty much right on though. Grains with diastatic power should ideally be mashed - they generally have been malted for less time and are very lightly kilned, and this is why the enzymes are still present. Other "specialty" grains with no DP left have typically been "malted" or otherwise converted further to produce more sugar in the grain including some long chain sugars that are unfermentable (such as crystals and cara-malts). These "specialty" grains can then be kilned to higher temps of varying degrees to generate all of the different caramelized or roasty flavors. The high kilning temps are what kills the enzymes and thus no DP. Because they have been malted to a greater degree, these grains can be crushed and steeped, and will still contribute some sugars to the wort, even without any mashing w/ enzymes.
Adjuncts are generally considered to be anything that isn't malted barley - oats, wheat, rice, and corn are all adjuncts as well as any type of sugar not derived from barley. Typically, these adjuncts rely on the enzymes in the barley to convert their starch when necessary.

At least, that's the way I understand things thus far. If any of the resident HBT experts see anything inaccurate here, please step in and correct me!

You can find a ton more info on this stuff on the internets. I'll refer you to HowToBrew, chap 12 &13 to get you started.

As far as your last process summary, it looks like you got it down.

One tip I have for sparging is to use 2 pots and essentially do a batch sparge. Fill the second pot with your desired amount of sparge water and heat it to 150-170dF. When the first 50 min are up, just move the grain bag over to the second pot of water. Leave it in there for 5 - 10 minutes to allow some more of the sugars to dissolve out into the liquid, then remove the grain and combine the two worts.

As far as calculating how much extract to add once you've done the mini-mash... yes there are equations to figure it out, but I don't know them off the top of my head nor did I ever use them. I would just add my extract in measured amounts and take hydrometer readings after it's dissolved until I reached my desired gravity. It takes a bit longer, but after a few batches you'll get a feel for approximately how much extract you will need to add.

Coming around full-circle: The reason I mentioned starch is because the lightly malted/kilned grains will still have a greater amount of starch remaining. That's specifically the reason why they need to be mashed and don't contribute any gravity points unless they are mashed. You'll still get color and flavor from them, but you'll also get all of that unconverted starch too.

Two final notes then I'll shut up:
Try not to exceed 2 quarts water per pound of grain. Too much water is a bad thing when mashing - not only do you dilute the enzymes, but you also run the risk of extracting tannins and astrigent flavors from the grain husks. 1.5 qts/pound would probably be safer. It'll look like a really thick mash, but it's not. As long as there's enough water for all of the grain to be wetted, then your good.

Don't forget that water quality (PH, hardness, mineral content) is important for mashing as well as steeping. light beers need softer water and dark beers need moderately hard water; although this is a gross generalization. Here in WI, most water is from wells, and is excessively hard. If I'm making a pale ale or somthing really light, I usually buy bottled spring water. For dark beers, I usually use 50/50 tap water and dH2O. Don't ask me about water chemistry though, 'cuz I'm still new to that myself.

Most important thing to remember is to have fun. So do it whatever way is most entertaining, fullfilling, and satisfying to you.

IndyPABrewGuy 10-17-2007 01:52 PM

Thanks, Madtown. I think I'm straight now. And you said it all in your last statement. Do what's fun.

Cheers,


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:22 AM.

Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.