Can only certain grains be steeped? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:56 AM   #1
bgough
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I just started brewing and am trying to put together recipes where I can use Malt Extract, while steeping the specialty grains.

For example, could I steep vienna, or belgian aromatic or special B, or are some of these grains only possible to mash?

Again, forgive me if this question is stupid, I'm just trying to learn as much as I can.



 
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:06 AM   #2
carnevoodoo
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You can steep those grains for color and taste and all that but they won't add too much to your gravity, if anything.



 
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:52 PM   #3
homebrewer_99
 
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All grains can be steeped. The problem comes into play when starches are not converted to sugars. Some grains perform better when mashed than when steeped. Meaning the extraction of sugars is greater (efficiency).

When you steep a grain you will notice that the color of the water changes and the wort becomes sweet.

Here's a list I put together that I carry around in my wallet (it's also laminated)...I know overboard...

Base Malts-MASHED ONLY:
American 2 row
American 6 row
Pilsner Malt
Continental Pilsner
British Pale Ale
Rye
Wheat

Kilned Malts-MASHED ONLY:
Vienna
Munich
Aromatic (20L)
Biscuit (25L)
Victory (28L)
Melanoidin (28L)
Special Roast (50L)
Brown (70L)
German Beechwood / Smoked Rauch

Roasted Malts-MASHED OR STEEPED:
Carapils / Dextrine
Crystal (15L)
Honey Malt (18L)
CaraVienna (20L)
Crystal (40L)
CaraMunich (60L)
Crystal (60L)
Crystal (80L)
Crystal (120L)
Special “B” (120L)
Meussdoerffer Rost (200L)

Kiln / Roasted Malts-MASHED OR STEEPED:
Pale Chocolate (200L)
Light Roasted Barley (300L)
Chocolate (350L)
Chocolate (420L)
Carafa Special II (430L)
Chocolate (475L)
Roasted Barley (450L)
Roasted Barley (500L)
Black Barley (500L)
Black Patent (525L)
Roasted Barley (575L)
Black (600L)
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:10 PM   #4
PseudoChef
 
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Vienna and Munich need to be mashed. Same thing with Rauchmalt. You're just going to get hazy beer with minimal flavor otherwise.

This is why Jamil always calls for Munich malt extract in his Brewing Classic Styles book rather than listing it in the steeping grains.

 
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:21 PM   #5
Bob
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Your question is not stupid! It's something we all go through at one point or another.

There are many grains which can be steeped with 100% effectiveness. There are others which must be mashed to get any effect at all, and lots which range in between. Note that when mashed, you get 100% utilization of virtually all brewing grains.

To use the examples you listed, Special B may be steeped with 100% effect. Aromatic may be steeped for flavor and aroma contributions, but will not impact gravity. Steeping Vienna has very little effect at all.

Homebrewer 99's list is pretty good. I'd change a couple of things, but it's a good start!

A good rule of thumb is that any Roasted or Crystal malt - everything from Chocolate to Caramunich - can be steeped with 100% effectiveness. In the case of the roasted grains, there aren't really any sugars to extract; all we want are the colors and flavors. In the case of the Crystal/Caramel malts, the process which makes them identifiable as Crystal/Caramel makes their sugars soluble in the steeping liquor, so you get flavor, color and fermentable sugars.

The 'in-between' grains - everything on 99's list but Vienna, Munich and CaraPils* - can be steeped for flavor/color contribution. You just won't get fermentables out of them, and excessive use can make the beer hazy with unconverted starches.

How to Brew - By John Palmer has some truncated lists of which malts/grains are which and whether they can be steeped or must be mashed. Have a look!

Cheers,

Bob

* I've never had any success at all steeping Vienna or Munich malts. All that resulted was a hazy mess that didn't get any of the effects desired. And while CaraPils can be steeped, it's only worth about 20% of when it's mashed. So if you're converting an all-grain recipe which calls for 0.5 lbs of CaraPils, you'd need to steep 2.5 lbs of it to get the same effect.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
ajf
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To look at the question from a slightly different perspective, grains require mashing if they contain starches that require enzymes to convert those starches into sugars.
The next thing to consider is if those grains contain sufficient enzymes to convert their own starches. The Belgian aromatic and Vienna both require mashing as they contain starches while the Special B doesn't. However, the two malts that require mashing also contain enough enzymes to convert themselves, so it isn't necessary to add extra base malts to provide the enzymes. When you consider that mashing is really steeping with a bit more attention paid to temperature and the amount of water used, you should be able to mash those grains with minimal difficulty. To get the most out of them, you would need to sparge (rinse out the sugars), but that shouldn't be too dificult if you use a grain bag and colander (or other method).

Now, if you were to use flaked barley, corn, oats, rice, rye etc. they have starches but no enzymes, and would require mashing with some base grains.

-a.

 
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:40 PM   #7
homebrewer_99
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
Homebrewer 99's list is pretty good. I'd change a couple of things, but it's a good start!
Researching my info again I found what I listed in Palmer's How to Brew, pages 123-127.

What would you change? Do you know something Palmer missed?
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:05 PM   #8
PseudoChef
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homebrewer_99 View Post
Researching my info again I found what I listed in Palmer's How to Brew, pages 123-127.

What would you change? Do you know something Palmer missed?
On page 124, under Kilned Malts where is says in parenthesis, "need to be mashed."

These malts include Vienna, Munich, Aromatic, Amber, and Brown. You have them listed as "May be steeped" which they cannot.

 
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:33 PM   #9
homebrewer_99
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef View Post
On page 124, under Kilned Malts where is says in parenthesis, "need to be mashed."

These malts include Vienna, Munich, Aromatic, Amber, and Brown. You have them listed as "May be steeped" which they cannot.
Probably mistyped...I can change that...

DONE...
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:40 PM   #10
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Hope you don't need to take the laminate off



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