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Old 04-26-2011, 11:53 PM   #1
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Default Mashing vs steeping

Okay, so I've successfully brewed about 6 kits from midwest (all involved steeping grains and adding LME or DME). Today I hit up a local store and purchased individual ingredients (including 1lb grains, 6 lbs LME,), but only when I got home did I see that all their grains need to be mashed.

Should I go to the extra trouble of mashing for 1 lb, or will I get enough alcohol from the steeping and extract alone? (It's a wheat: two row / wheat grain + golden LME/wheat LME)

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:03 AM   #2
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If alcohol is your primary concern, then it's probably not going to make much relative difference. I'm not sure on any flavor differences. If you have a muslin bag for steeping, then you can mash just about as easily.

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:12 AM   #3
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Mashing isn't too much extra trouble, all you really need to do is tack on another 30 minutes in the water and keep the temp around 150 +/- a couple of degrees. But for 1 lb. of grains, no, you won't notice much difference in the finished product.

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:12 AM   #4
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Really, mashing = steeping, just at prescribed temperature for longer with a specific volume.

Bring 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain to 165 degrees, and add the grain bag(s) and stir well. You should be at 150-155, so check the temp and stir some more. You want all of the grain thoroughly wetted. The grain should be loose in the bag, so use more than one bag if you need to.

check the temperature in 20 minutes, and turn the heat back on if you need to so that you still keep it at 150-155. After 45 minutes, lift out the grain bags and either a) put them into a second pot with 1/2 gallon of water and "dunk" like a teabag, or b) pour 170 degree water over them in a colander over the brewpot until you're at your boil volume, or up to 1/2 gallon of water. Then discard the grains. That's it! It's easy, and you won't need any extra equipment at all.

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Old 04-27-2011, 10:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice! Friday's brew night!

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Old 04-28-2011, 12:13 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Really, mashing = steeping, just at prescribed temperature for longer with a specific volume.

Bring 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain to 165 degrees, and add the grain bag(s) and stir well. You should be at 150-155, so check the temp and stir some more. You want all of the grain thoroughly wetted. The grain should be loose in the bag, so use more than one bag if you need to.

check the temperature in 20 minutes, and turn the heat back on if you need to so that you still keep it at 150-155. After 45 minutes, lift out the grain bags and either a) put them into a second pot with 1/2 gallon of water and "dunk" like a teabag, or b) pour 170 degree water over them in a colander over the brewpot until you're at your boil volume, or up to 1/2 gallon of water. Then discard the grains. That's it! It's easy, and you won't need any extra equipment at all.
Say you had a brew kit that had 2 lbs of grain. 1.5lbs of base and .5lb specialty. Would you do an 1 hour mash with 3 quarts of water with the 2lbs of grain even though .5lb is specialty? Or would you have two bags, 3 quarts of water and at 30 minutes remove the specialty and keep the 1.5lbs of base malt in for another 30 minutes to mash?

And I guess this question goes for either partial mash kits with extract or all-grain kits. Do you just leave the specialty grain in with the mash for the whole time?
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:27 AM   #7
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Say you had a brew kit that had 2 lbs of grain. 1.5lbs of base and .5lb specialty. Would you do an 1 hour mash with 3 quarts of water with the 2lbs of grain even though .5lb is specialty? Or would you have two bags, 3 quarts of water and at 30 minutes remove the specialty and keep the 1.5lbs of base malt in for another 30 minutes to mash?

And I guess this question goes for either partial mash kits with extract or all-grain kits. Do you just leave the specialty grain in with the mash for the whole time?
1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain, so let's assume you have 4 pounds total. All in the same bag, if your bag is big enough, but you can use more than one if you need to. 1.5 quarts x 4 = 6 quarts total. Heat 6 quarts up to 165, and turn off the heat and drop in the grain and stir very well. You want each grain wet. Then check the temperature- it needs to be between 150-155. If it is, cover and leave it be for 45 minutes. If it's too cool, add some heat. If it's too hot add an ice cube or two and stir well. Again, let it sit 45 minutes.

In short, ALL the grains go into the mash no matter what kind. The two-row can convert other grains, too, not just itself so it's great to mash them together. Steeping grains always go in the mash, whether it's an all-grain or partial mash batch, and it's always treated the same way.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:34 AM   #8
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And I guess this question goes for either partial mash kits with extract or all-grain kits. Do you just leave the specialty grain in with the mash for the whole time?
Ya, that would be the easiest thing to do.

Mashing is the process where the enzymes in the grain turn the starch into sugar which the yeast can ferment. Steeping is just simply extracting the flavors in the specialty grain (like a tea). They can both be done at the same temp and same time.
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