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Old 11-06-2010, 07:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
Not necessarily. He said volume is a part of it too, and temps are extremely important.

1) To have the enzymes from the base malts be able to convert the starches to sugars effectively in the other grains that need to be mashed but don't have the diastatic power to convert themselves, the mash must not be too thick nor too thin. A proper mash consistency is between 1 to 2 quarts of water per pound of grain.

2) You also must have enough base malt.

3) The temp must be right for enzyme activity, and depending on whether you want more fermentable vs. non-fermentable sugars the typical single infusion mash temp is 150 to 158F, held until the starches have been converted (which can be tested with iodine).
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Does this mean if we are steeping but have some base malt in there that we are basically mashing?
Basically yes. The process is pretty forgiving. It is pretty easy to be within the above range.

BTW, Groo, where in Torrance are you?
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:25 AM   #12
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The temp must be right for enzyme activity, and depending on whether you want more fermentable vs. non-fermentable sugars the typical single infusion mash temp is 150 to 158F, held until the starches have been converted (which can be tested with iodine).
AHH! Crap this is actually sounding more difficult as I am reading this. I am going to stick to the box beers this winter probably, then when the weather breaks I'd like to do some of the mash, partial mash, AG, space travel and magic stuff. But damn, what is a good book to read that covers this stuff from front to back? This site is great, but I think I also need a numbered 'how to' also.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:15 AM   #13
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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> But damn, what is a good book to read that covers this stuff from front to back? This site is great, but I think I also need a numbered 'how to' also.
Try this
http://www.howtobrew.com/
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #14
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There is mashing and there is steeping. The difference between the two is enzymes. If you aren't using a base malt to provide enzymes, then you are steeping. If you have enough base malt to convert the starches in your grains, then you are mashing. Assuming you are using proper volumes, temps and times of course. If you go though all the motions of mashing, but don't have base malt, then it's just steeping, even if you're hitting temps and sparging and everything. Gotta have the enzymes to mash.
Let me list all the grains:
7lbs Light LME
4oz Chocolate Malt
1lb Roasted Barley
4oz Black Malt
4oz Wheat Malt
8oz Flaked Barley

So, I guess I haven't done a partial mash because I have never even used anything called sparge water. If I just steep all the grains at 155 will I get a large amount of unfermentables?
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:31 PM   #15
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Let me list all the grains:
7lbs Light LME
4oz Chocolate Malt
1lb Roasted Barley
4oz Black Malt
4oz Wheat Malt
8oz Flaked Barley

So, I guess I haven't done a partial mash because I have never even used anything called sparge water. If I just steep all the grains at 155 will I get a large amount of unfermentables?
No, you won't have a "large amount of unfermentables". You don't have any base grain in there, except for 4 ounces of wheat malt. Don't worry about it- just follow the recipe directions and it'll be fine.

You don't have to use sparge water to mash- you must use base grains to mash. You must have conversion for it to be a mash. You don't have to sparge to make it a mash- that's just "rinsing" of the grain.

A mash is when you have base malts that need to be converted from starches to fermentable sugars. A precise amount of water, heat, and time is given to a precise amount of grain, so that the enzymes can convert the starches to sugars. In grains like chocolate malt, crystal malt, etc, the grain was treated at the factory to already have the sugars available without having to mash them. They can be steeped, and conversion is NOT an issue.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:54 PM   #16
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It's not as hard as it sounds. As for volume, just add up your grains and multiply how many lbs you have by 1.25 and that's how many quarts of water to use.

Temperature is a little trickier, but with practice it gets easier. You want to heat up the water a bit warmer than your planned mash temp since adding the grain will cool it down. Have some extra water on the stove for adjusting if your temp ends up too low and some in the fridge if it's too high.

Sparge water? That's just a fancy name for "rinse". After you drain off your wort at the end of your mash, you just add some more hot water (a good use for that extra water you had waiting to adjust your mash temp) and then drain it off again. That just gets added to your first runnings in the boil pot.

If you're doing a big all grain batch, there's tons of techniques to sparging but if you're just doing a small partial mash of a few lbs you can just dump in your sparge water, stir for a bit and drain it off. I just poured my mash and sparge out trough a big kitchen strainer into my boil pot.

Temperature control: This is really easy. DeathBrewer likes to do it on the stove top and has a great tutorial on his method if you search for it. I like to use the oven. As you're getting your mash ready just turn the oven on it's lowest setting. When you get your temp set in the mash, turn the oven off, put a lid on your mash pot and stick it in the oven. The residual heat will keep the pot warm for a long time.

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Old 11-06-2010, 08:42 PM   #17
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Thanks guys. I'm brewing it right now. I just added all the grains together, and I'm glad that it'll work out. Anyways, what is the advantage of grain brewing as opposed to extract? Is it just a more authentic way, or does it allow you more control over the final flavor?

Thanks guys

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Old 11-06-2010, 08:47 PM   #18
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As you move to partial mash and into all grain brewing, it really opens up your options. There's only so much you can do with extract. I do partial mash brews with lots of grains and just enough extract to make up for the top up water (I partial boil too). If you have trouble getting really fresh extract it can also lend to off flavors in your beer. Using less extract and getting more of your fermentables from grain helps with that a lot.

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Old 11-06-2010, 10:06 PM   #19
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As you move to partial mash and into all grain brewing, it really opens up your options. There's only so much you can do with extract. I do partial mash brews with lots of grains and just enough extract to make up for the top up water (I partial boil too). If you have trouble getting really fresh extract it can also lend to off flavors in your beer. Using less extract and getting more of your fermentables from grain helps with that a lot.
Yes, I agree. I like Vienna malt, for example- and as far as I know, it doesn't come in an extract. Corn, rice, oats, etc, are easy to use in a mash also.

The other big advantage for AG is that it's cheaper. By a lot.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:24 PM   #20
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The other big advantage for AG is that it's cheaper. By a lot.
+100! Not sure why I didn't think of that. As I move to bigger mashes in my PM's my brews get cheaper, but the extract is still the big ticket item in most of my recipes.
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