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Old 10-09-2007, 05:59 AM   #1
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Default steeped grain question

Ok, I think I understand the difference between steeping grains and partial mashes. Where my question lies is, when you steep grains, are you actually getting any of the fermentable sugars from it? Or are they all coming from the extract and/or mashed base grains?

Specialty grains can't be "mashed" by definition, because their starches have already been converted, correct?

Hmmm, so maybe if question 2 is right, I answered my own question, lol. I think I just need confirmation I guess.

I'm sure this topic has been covered multiple times, and I appologize for bringing it up again, but I tried searching and couldn't find a definitive answer on whether steeping grains added fermentable sugars. Ok, I'll stop now.

Thanks in advance!



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Old 10-09-2007, 12:42 PM   #2
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You'll get some sugars from the steeped grains, depensing on the variety:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-4-1.html



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Old 10-09-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedCheeser
Ok, I think I understand the difference between steeping grains and partial mashes. Where my question lies is, when you steep grains, are you actually getting any of the fermentable sugars from it? Or are they all coming from the extract and/or mashed base grains?

Specialty grains can't be "mashed" by definition, because their starches have already been converted, correct?

Hmmm, so maybe if question 2 is right, I answered my own question, lol. I think I just need confirmation I guess.

I'm sure this topic has been covered multiple times, and I appologize for bringing it up again, but I tried searching and couldn't find a definitive answer on whether steeping grains added fermentable sugars. Ok, I'll stop now.

Thanks in advance!
You do get a little bit of sugar from steeping grains, but nothing like when you mash. Specialty grains can and are mashed...their starches haven't been converted, it's just that they don't have enough Alpha and Beta Amylase enzymes to make up a large percentage of the grist. Thus, you need base grains (2-row, maris otter, munich, vienna, etc., etc.) to provide the necessary enzymes for conversion to take place. Usually, if you're buying the specialty grains online, the product page will tell you the max percentage of the grist it can safely occupy. At the same time, if you're using a larger percentage of adjuncts/specialty grains than normal, you can use some 6-row grain, which provides excess enzymes to aid in conversion of all those specialty grains.

So to answer your question, yes, most specialty grains add fermentable sugar, but they need the enzymes from a base grain in order to convert enough of their starches into sugar to have much of an impact on your gravity.
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Old 10-09-2007, 01:46 PM   #4
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While some specialty grains can add some fermentable sugar it is a tiny portion of the sugars you will need to make beer.

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Old 10-10-2007, 01:50 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I appreciate it. I think the biggest reason I want to know about this is for converting AG recipies to extract. So, if a recipie calls for 10 lbs 2-row and X specialty grains, then following the conversion (I think is .6 for DME?) then I would use about 6 lbs DME and X specialty grains steeped. Would this still net me the same gravity and alcohol content as the AG? Or would have to wind up using even more DME since the steeped grains offer very little fermentable sugars?

P.S. Does Caravienne have to be mashed, or is it a steeper? Would you advise against mashing for a first brew? Have any tips on the grain cracking and/or mashing process?

P.P.S. I'm sure some if not all of these questions are pretty newbie things to ask, but I really appreciate all of your help. I'm thrilled I found this place and really anxious to start brewing.

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Old 10-10-2007, 03:00 AM   #6
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Just as a general rule.....any extract recipe should get about 6 pounds DME. That gives you a solid 5% ABV or so. Then you can adjust from there.

Here is a cool chart that tells you what grains need to be mashed vs. steeped.

http://www.brewsupplies.com/grain_profiles.htm

(no, btw...caravienne does not need to be mashed)

Also, download a free trial of brewsmith and it will tell you how much ABV you will get and give you hours and hours of fun experiment time.

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Old 10-10-2007, 03:14 AM   #7
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Caravienne can be steeped. As for mashing on your first brew, you could do it if you had all of the required equipment, but you will find that most of us started with extract and specialty grains and moved to AG later. It is easier to get the basics down first before adding the steps for AG.

Your formula appears to be good for converting an AG to extract. What other grains are in your recipe?

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Old 10-10-2007, 05:18 AM   #8
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Thanks everybody, and I think I will look at that beersmith program. How much is it to buy after the trial?

Bearcat: The recipe I'm thinking of right now for my first brew is actually just an attempt at a clone of my favorite local brewery's flagship brew, an amber ale. I found the grain bills they use for their 33bbl fermenters, and after calculations have found that it's approximately 10 lbs 2-row and 1 lb caravienne for a 5 gallon batch.
Then on their website they note that they use cascades at the beginning and middle of the brew, and liberties at the end, and comes out to a 31 IBU and 1.054 OG, ending at 5.5% ABV. http://www.starnold.com/beers/amber.html
So...I've come up with the following.

NOTE: I have NO brewing experience whatsoever. I found a caclulator and played with it a bit and this is just what I came up with.

6 lbs Light Dry Malt Extract
1 lbs caravienne
1.5 oz cascade (60min)
0.5 oz cascade (30min)
.75 oz liberty (15min)

Any ideas, suggestions?

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Old 10-10-2007, 07:11 AM   #9
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This actually looks like a good, clean american amber. It will be a great first brew. Don't forget to get a steeping bag if you don't have one!

Brewsmith is $20 after the first month.
Also download Promash and Beertools and decide which one you want to purchase after the free trials. They are all close in price and all do basically the same thing. Just the format changes, so it really is personal preference.

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Old 10-10-2007, 01:51 PM   #10
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Any of the brewing software will help you make the adjustments you need to go from AG to extract. I like ProMash because you can download the whole thing for free and use it as long as you want, you just can't save more than 3 recipes.

I would recommend that as a new brewer you pick up a pre-made ingredient kit for your first few batches, it will make things much easier. www.northernbrewer.com and www.austinhomebrew.com both make excellent extract kits with hops and steeping grains.



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