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Old 05-02-2009, 07:10 PM   #1
Fighting_sin
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I have been "tutored" over the years by way of Papazian's "The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing." I still brew extract recipes. In these recipes, he instructs the brewer to add specialty grains (e.g. crystal malt, chocolate malt, black patent malt, etc.) to 1 1/2 gallons of water, bring to a boil, immediately remove from heat and strain grains from the water. Then return wort to the brew pot and add the remaining appropriate ingredients. What is the purpose of using these grains at the beginning of an extract recipe? I guess they just add color, flavor and mouth feel? What do you think?



 
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Old 05-02-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
Yooper
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Specialty grains definitely add color, flavor and mouthfeel to a beer. An extract batch without steeping grains can be one dimensional and blah. An extract batch with steeping grains is full flavored, rich, and has a good body to it.

I would recommend trying something a bit different next time. Instead of putting it in the pot until it boils, "steep" the grains at 150-160 degrees for 20 minutes (use a candy thermometer, or any thermometer), turn off the heat, and then remove the grain bag before it gets over 165. Turn the heat back on, and proceed. You can also lift out that grain bag, and pour some additional water (no higher than about 170 degrees over it) to get even more goodness out of them. This technique is not that different than the one you follow, but less likely to leach any tannins (from the grain husks at near boiling temperatures) into the wort.
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Old 05-02-2009, 08:32 PM   #3
Fighting_sin
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Thanks! That helps. I have been wondering about the role of the specialty malts the more I read this site and investigate mashing and all-grain recipes.

I brewed an extract honey blond yesterday, and for the first time I actually steeped 1 lb of crystal malt at 150-155 for 45 minutes (maybe a bit too long?). I was amazed that once it is brought up to the temperature, it actually stays basically at that temp on its own. I imagined turning the flame on and off over and over. It was nice. I was inspired by reading more posts on this site that the steeping works better than boiling. I have done around 30-40 batches with the boiling method over the years. I am excited to see what difference the steeping will do. Looks like I am one step closer to being an "all-grainer!" Again, thanks for your help and inspiration!

 
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