Steeping Specialty Grains Separate from the Mash? (AG) - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Steeping Specialty Grains Separate from the Mash? (AG)

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-04-2010, 09:27 PM   #1
IPA4ME
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
California
Posts: 38


I was wondering if anyone steeps there specialty grains (i.e. Crystal Malts) separate from their mash? I am making a 5.5 gallon AG IPA that uses 14.25 pounds of grain. Of the 14.25 pounds of grain, only a ˝ pound (8oz) is Crystal 15L.

Since there is no enzyme activity taking place to convert these grain starches to sugars, would I get better utilization/extraction of these sugars if I steeped them separate from the mash?

Right now I batch sparge with 70qt. Coleman Cooler and stainless steel braid and only get about 65% efficiency. For some reason I am thinking that my 8oz of specialty grains are getting lost or better yet, not getting used to their full potential when mashed with 13+ pounds of grain.

Any thoughts on this subject? Any pros or cons of steeping specialty grains separate from mash? Maybe I am just over thinking this subject…

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 10:31 PM   #2
chrisknight
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Delaware, OH
Posts: 201
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts


I don't, and wouldn't.
Hell, try it...
The grist IMO is meant to mash as one. If your following a recipe and you get + or - utilization from 1 component, you've thrown off the recipe.
__________________
There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.
My brewing videos
My brew rig project

cannman Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 10:45 PM   #3
IPA4ME
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
California
Posts: 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisknight View Post
I don't, and wouldn't.
Hell, try it...
The grist IMO is meant to mash as one. If your following a recipe and you get + or - utilization from 1 component, you've thrown off the recipe.
True, I never really thought about it like that.

The only thing that got me thinking about this is, when I look at the left over wort in the tun, I know there is still some sugar left behind and since the crystal malt is only 4% of the total mash bill, I wonder how much of the crystal is left behind.

I don’t really have time to do two batches side by side for comparison so that’s out of the question.

I am just going to continue to mash all my grains together for now.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 10:51 PM   #4
Kahuna
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
RI
Posts: 82
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts


If you want to get more utilization out of your grain, you might want to try mashing longer or grinding at a tighter setting.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 11:05 PM   #5
IPA4ME
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
California
Posts: 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahuna View Post
If you want to get more utilization out of your grain, you might want to try mashing longer or grinding at a tighter setting.
It wasn't about getting better utilization as a whole, it was more about making sure I was actually picking up all of the sugars from the 8oz of specialty grains.

Thanks for the tips though. I recently bought a mill so I will be crushing my own grains starting this weekend. I also plan on buliding a manifold for my tun.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 11:19 PM   #6
BioBeing
Recipes 
 
Jan 2009
Memphis, TN
Posts: 1,520
Liked 10 Times on 9 Posts


If you want to get any sugar from the Crystal, it has to go into the mash. It has no diastatic power left, due to the way it is made. Mashing will get all the colour and flavor out of them too. Of course, in half a pound of grain, the fermentables are only going to be 5 % or so of your total. How badly do you want those 12 or so points?

If you steep, all you will get is the color and flavor: no fermentables.

Note also that the liquor left in the mash tun is going to be a small percentage of the overall wort you collected. If you sparged well, then there will not be very much sugar or color left in it. [If you oversparge, you can start extracting bitter flavours anyway.] So don't worry about "losing" your color that way. If you steep, some color will still be with the grains, and so then you'll still have to sparge them anyway.

On balance, just throwing them in one big mash seems simplest. If you are worried that your beer is going to be too pale, then just add more crystal!



ETA - your recipe is based on the overall % efficiency you get. So if you have 70% brewhouse efficiency, that is going to be for the crystal and the base malt. Mashing them together means you are going to get the same % of each in the final wort. Steeping separately means you might unbalance your carefully constructed recipe...


 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2010, 11:30 PM   #7
IPA4ME
Recipes 
 
Jan 2010
California
Posts: 38

Quote:
Originally Posted by BioBeing View Post
If you want to get any sugar from the Crystal, it has to go into the mash. It has no diastatic power left, due to the way it is made. Mashing will get all the colour and flavor out of them too. Of course, in half a pound of grain, the fermentables are only going to be 5 % or so of your total. How badly do you want those 12 or so points?

If you steep, all you will get is the color and flavor: no fermentables.

Note also that the liquor left in the mash tun is going to be a small percentage of the overall wort you collected. If you sparged well, then there will not be very much sugar or color left in it. [If you oversparge, you can start extracting bitter flavours anyway.] So don't worry about "losing" your color that way. If you steep, some color will still be with the grains, and so then you'll still have to sparge them anyway.

On balance, just throwing them in one big mash seems simplest. If you are worried that your beer is going to be too pale, then just add more crystal!



ETA - your recipe is based on the overall % efficiency you get. So if you have 70% brewhouse efficiency, that is going to be for the crystal and the base malt. Mashing them together means you are going to get the same % of each in the final wort. Steeping separately means you might unbalance your carefully constructed recipe...

That makes sense. I think I was just over thinking this whole process.

Thanks!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 02:54 PM   #8
kryolla
Recipes 
 
Dec 2008
Reading PA
Posts: 437
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts


my opinion is it doesn't matter crystal doesn't have to be mashed but its more convenient to throw it in the mash. You'll be fine either way

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 03:24 AM   #9
pilafdm
Recipes 
 
Feb 2012
San Diego, CA
Posts: 59


What if in designing a recipe you're at the upper limit of your acceptable OG and FG, but still short a significant number of SRM?

Doesn't it make sense to, say, decide to steep some of the higher-L malt so as _not_ to get fermentable sugar -- and maybe even to steep a few more ounces of some Midnight or something in there, just to bump up the color a few more points without affecting fermentables and mouthfeel?

Or: I could see doing the processes separately to really fine-tune attributes of a brew.

Does this stand to reason?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 03:50 AM   #10
helibrewer
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
helibrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2011
Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 3,707
Liked 299 Times on 254 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by IPA4ME View Post
I was wondering if anyone steeps there specialty grains (i.e. Crystal Malts) separate from their mash? I am making a 5.5 gallon AG IPA that uses 14.25 pounds of grain. Of the 14.25 pounds of grain, only a ˝ pound (8oz) is Crystal 15L.

Since there is no enzyme activity taking place to convert these grain starches to sugars, would I get better utilization/extraction of these sugars if I steeped them separate from the mash?

Right now I batch sparge with 70qt. Coleman Cooler and stainless steel braid and only get about 65% efficiency. For some reason I am thinking that my 8oz of specialty grains are getting lost or better yet, not getting used to their full potential when mashed with 13+ pounds of grain.

Any thoughts on this subject? Any pros or cons of steeping specialty grains separate from mash? Maybe I am just over thinking this subject…
I steep seperately. I listened to a presentation by Gordon Strong that supports keeping them seperate. It was a great presentation and since we don't have the constraints of the big guys we can do it. You're after color and flavor...he equates it to making tea and compares it to over steeping your tea...harsher flavors basically.
__________________
Something is always fermenting....
"It's Bahl Hornin'"

Primary:
Brite Tank/Lagering:
Kegged: Sour Saison, Pale Ale, Aggie Ale, Firestone DBA, De Koninck Blonde
Bottled: Belgian Quad (Grand Reserve), Derangement (Belgian Dark Strong)
On Deck: Pliny the Younger

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steeping specialty grains Bach7210 Extract Brewing 46 07-19-2013 10:34 AM
Steeping Specialty Grains?? scottmd06 General Beer Discussion 14 11-05-2009 03:18 PM
Steeping Specialty grains Meatball358 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 08-12-2009 10:45 AM
Steeping specialty grains Mk010101 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 12-29-2006 10:22 PM
Steeping specialty grains apparatus All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 07-16-2006 04:04 AM


Forum Jump