Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Do I need specialty grains?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-26-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
beerpoop
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: FART, POOP
Posts: 1
Default Do I need specialty grains?

I've brewed four beers, all extract kits from austinhomebrew with specialty grains in a muslin bag. For my next beer I want to design my own recipe/attempt at an extract heady topper clone based on advice from this thread:http://beeradvocate.com/community/th...er-clone.7489/

Are special grains a necessity? Should I get some Pearl malt to steep in hot water before I add extract? Sorry if this is a stupid question..

__________________
beerpoop is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2012, 07:18 PM   #2
evrose
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Carlsbad, CA
Posts: 841
Liked 300 Times on 159 Posts
Likes Given: 234

Default

Are specialty grains necessary? Well... that depends on what you're trying to make. It's like asking if spices for your chicken are necessary... it depends on what you're doing with the chicken.

For some beers, you simply can't make them with only base malt and no specialty grains. Try making a porter without specialty grains... you can't.

On the other hand, there are several simple pale ale styles that use only a base grain.

__________________
evrose is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
ruralbrew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Strum, WI
Posts: 242
Liked 74 Times on 48 Posts
Likes Given: 34

Default

It would be helpful if you would post your recipe, Kind of hard to tell what ingredients are in the beer you are planning. As far as the pearl, it needs to be mashed. Any base malt needs to be mashed, you could steep them, but it would be a waste of time for the most part.

There are no stupid questions, only questions. We all started somewhere and probably had the same or similar questions.

__________________

I may be ignorant but that doesn't stop me from having an opinion
ruralbrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2012, 07:24 PM   #4
Pappers_
Moderator
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Pappers_'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Chicago
Posts: 11,768
Liked 937 Times on 665 Posts
Likes Given: 2007

Default

Heady Topper is an IIPA and I think an extract recipe for any beer in that style would use some specialty malts.

Pappers_ is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
BigEd
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,350
Liked 114 Times on 101 Posts
Likes Given: 17

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerpoop View Post
I've brewed four beers, all extract kits from austinhomebrew with specialty grains in a muslin bag. For my next beer I want to design my own recipe/attempt at an extract heady topper clone based on advice from this thread:http://beeradvocate.com/community/th...er-clone.7489/

Are special grains a necessity? Should I get some Pearl malt to steep in hot water before I add extract? Sorry if this is a stupid question..
First, Pearl is not a specialty malt. It is actually a barley variety that is used to produce much British pale malt. So when they are talking about Pearl, they are referring to general purpose British pale malt. Secondly, adding malted grains to extract brewing recipes is usually done to improve and/or add to the flavors as well as for color adjustments. Adding a base malt like British pale would normally be done by means of a mini-mash. Unlike specialty malts that can be steeped (crystal malts & roasted malts), base malts contain a lot of starch that needs to be converted to sugars by the action of the mash.

Now to answer your original question, specialty grains are not a necessity. However, even though the original all-grain recipe for the beer may not utilize them, a small addition of specialty grain, or even better a mini-mash, can go a long way toward improving the flavor of an extract-only brew. I would consider using British light DME as your base and adding perhaps a small amount of light crystal (~ 1/2 lb) as a steeping grain. This will not change the color very much but will add a touch of extra maltiness to the beer. If you feel up to trying a mini-mash replace a pound of the DME with two pounds of crushed British pale malt and follow the procedures for a mini-mash found here on many old threads or in a book such as Palmer's "How to Brew".
__________________
BigEd is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
KISS Brew
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Athens, Georgia
Posts: 546
Liked 50 Times on 34 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pappers_ View Post
Heady Topper is an IIPA and I think an extract recipe for any beer in that style would use some specialty malts.
I agree entirely.

Really, I prefer more malt complexity in any beer than extract alone can provide.
__________________
Fermenting / Conditioning:
Beyond the Pale Ale, Cut and Dry Stout

Bottled:
Hoptoberfest IPA, Oktoberfest Ale, Blonde Ale, Scottish Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Edwort's Apfelwein, Janet's Brown Ale, Irish Red Ale, Strawberry Wheat, ESB, Belgian Pale Ale

KISS Brew Homebrewing Blog

Most recent post: Beyond the Pale Ale Recipe
KISS Brew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-26-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
strambo
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 598
Liked 50 Times on 41 Posts
Likes Given: 5

Default

I only use pale or pilsner LME and use steeped grains or a partial mash to get all my flavor and color for the beer. Steeping grains is easy and makes it so much better! I can't really tell any quality difference between my partial mash batches and my AG batches.

__________________
strambo is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How much specialty grains is too much? biggben Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 13 02-13-2012 12:18 AM
Specialty Grains b33risGOOD Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 11-23-2010 04:07 PM
Getting the most of specialty grains? Tiako Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 18 12-23-2009 12:17 AM
specialty grains sims_l22 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 12-16-2009 01:18 PM
OG from specialty grains? heywolfie1015 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 11-08-2009 06:34 PM