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Old 06-15-2014, 06:54 PM   #1
eer
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Default How much starch is too much?

Hi.

I wan't to use 7 ounces of melanoidin malt in an extract brew of 5.5 gallons. I could do a mini mash, but will avoid it if possible. I read that there is small amounts of starch in crystal malts (I dont know how much), but still you can use it without mashing. So I wonder how much starch would be contributed by the melanoidin malt, and if it would be acceptable at this amount? And, will the flavour come through by steeping melanoidin malt, vs mashing it? I'm less concerned with starch haze than infection. The brew will be about 3% abv, and will probably be consumed quite quickly (within 4-8 weeks).

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Old 06-16-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
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I think that you never get everything out of your specialty malts unless you mash, and this is more true for Melanoiden than for crystal. Melanoiden rates 20-30 degLintner, so it might (or might not) convert itself if you give it enough time. But you could add about 1 oz. of pale two-row, 5 oz. of Vienna, or 16 oz. of Munich malt to get it to convert in half an hour or so. Just keep the temperature between 148 and 158 degF for that short amount of time, and you're home free.

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Old 06-17-2014, 04:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the input.

I'm wondering if steeping will get the flavor from the melanoidin without too much starch. And your reply indicates it won't. But I found another thread here where in one reply, on the same question, it was suggested to just steep the grain. So I'm not sure what to believe, yet.

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Old 06-17-2014, 05:15 PM   #4
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You will get flavor, but not all of the flavor that you could get. You will get some starch, but not so much that it will contribute an unpleasant texture.

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Old 06-17-2014, 07:27 PM   #5
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Thank you, taylor!

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Old 06-18-2014, 04:49 PM   #6
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It seems there is some inconsistency in advice given to those who ask if they can steep malts that needs to be mashed, like biscuit, amber, aromatic etc. (setting aside the starch issue) Some say you won't get all the flavor, some say you will. Are there any side by side test, or other somewhat scientific tests done on this? I can't see why the flavor of the grain wouldn't come through when steeped.. if all the flavor is there when you chew on the grain that is...?

Just want to get to the bottom of this.

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Old 06-18-2014, 05:25 PM   #7
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Mashing gives you enzymes. Of particular note, in this case:

  • β-glucanase, which breaks down cellulose, giving access to the cell innards. Helps release flavor compounds. When you chew or boil the grain, you are physically demolishing the cell walls.
  • Protease, which breaks down protein, mitigating protein haze and unpleasant texture.
  • Limit dextrinase, which converts amylopectins ("hard" starches) into amylose ("soft" starches), mitigating starch haze.

Crystal - you'll get most of what you want by steeping, since you're after the dextrins.
Corn, wheat, oats, flaked grains - must be mashed, since otherwise you get all manner of protein and starches, and not much sugar.
Biscuit, amber, brown, aromatic - I would mash them, some people wouldn't. I think that you get more bang for your grain buck if you mash.

But if all you have to do is add 1 oz. of pale to your steeping bag of 7 oz. of aromatic, and just hold the temperature between 140 and 158 °F for half an hour, to remove all doubt about starch and protein and flavor, then why wouldn't you?
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:49 PM   #8
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Thank you very much for the detailed explanation, I appreciate it.

Why don't I PM? I used to, but because it adds time to the brew day, and adds variables, I try not to. If I were to mash the melanoidin, I would still have to steep the crystal etc. If I were to mash the crystal etc. as well, I would have to add basemalt, then the PM would affect my gravity(and in other ways) which would take away from the clean and simple, more repeatable, short extract brew day.

I'm just seeking to make the best extract beer possible. I think a lot of new extract brewing knowledge is lost due to advising to rather do a PM, not implying that there is anything wrong with it.

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