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Old 06-19-2009, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default Using Only Steeping Grains

I've seen a few questions about steeping and it made me wonder. Does anyone know what would happen if you brewed a batch with ONLY steeping grains? No DME or LME. Say you put in about 10 pounds of crystal malt, this would theoretically add enough fermentables I believe.

Anyone done this? I don't see it as a common thing, but I'm half tempted just to try and see what happens haha. Unless someone can tell me for sure it's not worth my time to experiment with it.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:34 PM   #2
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Most of the sugars in steeping grains are not fermentable.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:37 PM   #3
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TheMan... what you are talking about is "all-grain" brewing. Except you would normally use mostly base malt because it contains more fermentable sugars than crystal malt. So, yes... it is possible.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
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If you use only crystal grains, you won't have many fermentable sugars. Crystal grains give some color and flavor, but not much in the way of fermentables. So, if you steeped crystal, you'd have brown flavored water.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:46 PM   #5
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Nealf, I am not referring to AG. I am not talking about mashing, sparging, and all that. When brewing extract batches, typically there is about a pound or two of say, crystal malt. You only steep this for about 20-30 minutes and then remove the grain bag, add DME or LME, then bring to boil and you're on your way.

I'm talking about just steeping a mass quantity of that crystal malt for 20-30 minutes, removing, bringing to a boil and then adding hops for the 60 minute boil.

The steeping malts will raise gravity about .004 per pound, assuming you used about 12 pounds of it you would have a .048 OG.

So my question is, what would this turn out like? Anyone done it?

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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I think just using crystal malt in a grainbill would make for some funky sweet beer. There are some sugars extracted from it during steeping/mashing (AG)....but most of those sugars are unfermentable and add sweetness to your final beer.

There must be a reason we use pale malt as our base, then add other specialty malts to tailor a particular style: it's all about balance

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:53 PM   #7
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Like Yoop said, you'll end up with brown, sweet, grain tea. Like I said, the sugars in crystal malt, and other steeped grains, are not fermentable.

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Old 06-19-2009, 03:55 PM   #8
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Haha, that's what I thought Davesrose, there must be some reason people don't do this. If it was just really sweet, I'm sure you could add enough hops to even it out...

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Old 06-19-2009, 04:41 PM   #9
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Well then it would be even worst if you just added hops to this concoction :P The main thing is that it wouldn't have much alcohol in there....as most your gravity would be coming from unfermentable sugars. But if you're desperate to try this experiment....proceed. Let us know how unbeerlike it turns out

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Old 06-19-2009, 04:49 PM   #10
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I'm honestly not trying to be an ass lol. But from the John Palmer site...

Quote:
These pre-converted malts (called caramel or crystal malts) are available in different roasts or colors (denoted by the color unit Lovibond), each having a different degree of fermentability and characteristic sweetness (e.g. Crystal 40, Crystal 60).
They do have some fermentability, however small that amount is. Assuming I add enough it would be fermentable enough. I'll do a small batch just because i'm curious. Worst case, I lose a few bucks. Don't worry, I will be sure to let you know how big a failure this was...I'm known for bad ideas, but this will put my mind at rest.

It can't taste worse than a light beer can it? haha
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