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Old 12-07-2009, 05:29 PM   #1
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Default Steeping out fermentables?

it would seem to me that steeping specialty grains isnt that much different than running a partial mash, aside from less grain and less time spent in the water. If i were to leave my specialty grains in the kettle for an hour wouldn't some fermentables be produced? Just curious.



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Old 12-07-2009, 05:31 PM   #2
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Specialty grains do not contain fermentables. When steeping your only extracting coloring and flavorings. Steeping longer will not create conversion.



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Old 12-07-2009, 05:33 PM   #3
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Think of it like making tea. Steeping for a while gives some flavor and color. Steeping a bit longer gets you a little more flavor and color. But steeping tea for two hours doesn't do anything additional than 8 minutes does. You don't make sugar out of it, for example.

So, steeping specialty grains gives you some color and flavor. Perhaps a tiny, tiny bit of sugar. But that will be extracted within 20 minutes. Steeping longer won't make more out of it than is there.

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:36 PM   #4
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Specialty grains are already converted due to the roasting procedure, resulting in a variety of non-fermentable sugars, starches, and very low active enzyme content. All of these factors considered, you will never gain much in terms of fermentable sugars form mashing specialty grains. Partial mash methods depend on the presence of base grains to provide the bulk of the enzymes necessary for conversion.

In short, no mashing specialty grains will not add signifcantly to the fermentable sugar quantity of your wort. However, the presence of base grains in your steeping procedure, assuming you steep in the 148-154F range, (2-row, 6-row, Munich) will.

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:38 PM   #5
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Ahh, I didnt realize that there was a difference between specialty grain and mashing grain, just figured it was the same thing used for a different purpose.

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:45 PM   #6
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edit...........

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowlife View Post
Beersmith says they add fermentables.... I think the issue is the relatively small amount being used in a typical recipe. Add ten pounds of specialty grains and watch the gravity go up.
The gravity increasing doesn't necessarily equate to an increase in fermentable sugars. As I understand it, specialty gains have been processed in ways that reduce the amylase and other enzyme activity that is responsible for converting to starches to sugars during the mashing procedure. In addition, roasting procedures generate carmelized sugars that can not be converted. Without the enzymes from base malt you can't convert the lower amounts of starches which may exist in specialty grains into fermentable sugars.

EDIT: quote was removed


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