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Old 04-12-2013, 08:24 PM   #31
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But you have to keep in mind that crystal malts are a small percentage of the total grain bill. Even the 40% vs. 62% only represents around one gravity point in the finished beer.
That was my thinking prior to doing any research just to see if I could get a point or 2 from my specialty grains. But then the question is, does the beer finish sweeter by that couple of points or does mashing the specialty grains make those sugars fermentable along with the extracts? Or, is that percent increase in sugar extraction defined as percent increase in fermentable sugars?
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Old 04-12-2013, 08:30 PM   #32
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The point is that crystal provides sugar points.
The point is that mashed or steeped crystal malts will provide the same flavor, color and body contribution. With the exception of cold steeping or steeping for less time reducing the astringency from darker grains, there is little difference. These are things that will impact the finished beer. The single gravity point you get from mashing won't.

For AG or PM brewers, in most cases it's just easier to throw them in with the rest of the mash. For extract with speciality grain brewers, steeping is fine.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #33
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I've been using specialty/crystal grains in my PM beers with no astringency.

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Old 04-13-2013, 11:12 PM   #34
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"The point is that mashed or steeped crystal malts will provide the same flavor, color and body contribution."

Actually, no. That was the point of me posting that link. A forum member actually tested that and found that mashing the crystal malts dramatically changes the impact. Extraction rates go way up and attenuation does as well.

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Old 04-14-2013, 02:34 AM   #35
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If you steep crystal you will get somewhere between 15 to 18 points from a lb (about .003 for a 5 gallon batch). These will be primarily unfermentable sugars.

If you steep roasted grains (choc, black roast, etc) you will get about 8 to 10 points per lb (about .002 for a 5 gallon batch). Again these will be mostly unfermentable.

All these grains can be mashed, and with decent conversion you can get about 30 points per lb from them (or .006 for a 5 gallon batch). these additional gravity points are fermentable to the same extent that 2-row suagars are fermentable.

Most steeping grains (Crystal, black, roast, chocolate, etc) require a base malt to be included in a mash to provide the enzymes to convert the starches to sugars.

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Old 04-14-2013, 02:45 AM   #36
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Mental note: refer people to this thread when they say extract brewing is less complicated than all grain.

I never thought about the loss of diastatic power from not having a base malt in the mix. Usually you just make sure to have some two row to accompany six row and other specialty grains. What do you do if you don't have that option? Interesting.

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Old 04-14-2013, 02:51 AM   #37
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Mental note: refer people to this thread when they say extract brewing is less complicated than all grain.

I never thought about the loss of diastatic power from not having a base malt in the mix. Usually you just make sure to have some two row to accompany six row and other specialty grains. What do you do if you don't have that option? Interesting.
You steep the grains. It's the same basic technique, and it gives the same basic results.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:07 AM   #38
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You steep the grains. It's the same basic technique, and it gives the same basic results.
Well yeah...but you aren't getting that interplay between grains that you would in a full mash. DME doesn't have any diastatic power left in it to help convert starch from higher kilned and/or six row grains. Instead you are steeping them at higher temperatures to avoid conversion all together. It was kinda a rhetorical question. Just thinking about how all grain brewers don't really have to think about all of it that much. We know what's going on in that stew of awesomeness and just let it do it's thing.
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:04 PM   #39
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Well yeah...but you aren't getting that interplay between grains that you would in a full mash.
One of the last post from Nilo in the thread referenced here:
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. . . The starch conversion from crystal malts was not expected or part of the main purpose of this test. It came out as an extra finding and doesn't seems to be significant when comparing to how much fermentable sugars are within crystal malts.
Comparing average attenuation of each of the three malts tested:
10+2R=77%, avg(10&2R)=64.65, increase of 13%
40+2R=69.5%, avg(40&2R)=59.45, increase of 10%
120+2R=67%, avg(120&2R)=59.1), increase of 8%
The higher the lovibond, less startch, lower gain. . .
And when you consider the 13%, 10% and 8% are from a grain that's maybe 10% of your fermentables they're pretty insignificant numbers. If you want a few more gravity points, throw in a little more extract and steep your specialty malts. Don't complicate a simple process. You'll still get the color, flavor and character that was the purpose of steeping the grain in the first place.

The obsession for high efficiency numbers is somewhat misguided. If and when you're ready to go PM or AG, do it with a recipe that was written for that process.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:59 PM   #40
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Here's a good question. some brewers steep the specialty grains & mash the rest. The thinking is to get more flavor I think from the crystal/specialty grains. I wondered just now how well that'd work in regard to,say,rauchmalt & chocolate malt? I've been puting them in the mash.

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