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Old 11-16-2012, 05:06 PM   #1
Horseflesh
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Default Steeping specialty grains in extract brewing... Any sugar conversion?

I brew with extract, and 5 gallon boils.

In the last batch I brewed, I added 1 lb of biscuit malt to the suggested steeped specialty grains. All the grains were steeped in the full 5 gallon volume.

The OG came out to exactly what the base recipe suggested. I had expected it to be higher because I had added a lot of steeping grains that the recipe did not call for.

Why wasn't there starch to sugar conversion from the extra pound of grain? Or, in a 5-gallon steep, is the solution too dilute to allow the enzymes to get to work?

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:27 PM   #2
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Most specialty malts have little to no diastatic power - ie they lack the enzymes needed to convert starches to sugar. Some are kilned high enough that the heat breaks starches into sugar - eg crystal. Others need to be mashed with a base grain to convert them - eg biscuit.

So, you might have gotten some flavor from the biscuit, but unless you had some 2-row in there, you got no additional sugar. The biscuit itself wouldn't have the enzymes.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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What bill said. If you want to turn your steeping grains into mashing grains, add a little 2 row and keep a closer eye on the temperature.

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Old 11-16-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. All I needed from the biscuit was flavor, but I was (incorrectly) expecting to see some sugar show up too.

Maybe my next batch will be partial mash.

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