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Old 03-15-2010, 04:05 PM   #1
PanzerBanana
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Has anyone brewed with all Vienna malt?

While trying to develop a "lazy man's brew" with just extract when I don't feel like milling. I realized that would be quite expensive. I then realized for a little effort with the grain mill, I could make a considerably cheaper beer.

I've been doing some research and get how there are too many unfermentable caramelized sugars in specialty crystal malts.

Being that Vienna and Munich have some enzyme power and seem to fall between "base" and "specialty" malts can I get away with giving them a good steeping to get my fermentables rather than a full mash?

I'm still working to wrap my brain around mashing, and yet do not have the time nor set up to properly mash.
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:10 PM   #2
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vienna and munich are base malts, you might not get full conversion if you just steep. Unless, of course, you "steep" for an hour at 154....

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Old 03-15-2010, 04:49 PM   #3
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The Germans and Austrians make all-Vienna and Munich beer all the time. Look up Vienna Lager, Octoberfest, Marzen, et. al. I don't know how much fermentable sugar comes out of these malts when simply steeping. If DME is too much, then go all grain. After the initial cost outlay (which can be an 8 gal. canning pot and a food grade bucket to fit inside your bottling bucket, and no more), you can brew beers for $20, especially if you harvest your yeast.

 
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Old 03-15-2010, 05:18 PM   #4
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It sounds like you're thinking that Vienna/Munich can be steeped like a crystal malt, it can't. Well it can but it doesn't contain anything fermentable until you mash it.

Basically mashing is steeping, you just start with less water and use a narrower temperature range.

I've used all Vienna and Munich in ales and lagers. I would buy 55# of a single base malt to save money and then use it until it's gone before buying a different base.

 
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:42 PM   #5
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As the others said, Vienna malt and Munich malt are base malts. My vienna lager on tap right now is 100% Vienna malt.

I don't understand your reluctance to use crystal malt, though. Most of my recipes have crystal, usually .5 pound to 1 pound.

A good extract recipe will be balanced, and not too sweet with crystal (or other) malts. Maybe a really good extract recipe can fix whatever flaws you have in previous batches.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:06 PM   #6
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I've used plenty of crystal so far. I'm simply seeing if there's a malt at just the right level of kilning for a decent amount of fermentable sugar without too much caramelized unfermentable sugar.

If things I've read thus far are mistaken about the caramelized sugars being unfermentable then I'm simply going to go all crystal and see what happens. Of course I'm looking for a tasty session beer so for this one I'm not too concerned about a lower alcohol content.

I know there's a fair portion of fermentable sugar in crystal malts. My "porter" is at 7% abv with 5 pounds of specialty malt. Including Black Patent, Chocolate, Caramel, and 6 row crystal(i read 6 row can help more with body).

Then as a base I used 3lb of amber DME and 3lb of Light Pilsen DME.

It's not possible to hit 7% with only that much DME is it? Especially if the darker malts for the amber aren't supposed to have as much fermentable sugar.

I guess I could just experiment and see what happens when I start with a reasonably light crystal malt.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Well, you wouldn't want more than 10-20% of any batch to be crystal malt! There aren't much in the way of fermentable sugars in it. You need base malt, or malt extract, to give you fermentable sugars.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:49 PM   #8
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And, BTW, that 6-row in your porter that you're calling specialty malt IS a base malt; it's just a different variety of malted barley, very close to 2-row, so it's not a caramel crystal malt at all.

If you want a middle ground between extract and all grain, you might look at the BIAB (brew in a bag) partial mash tutorial on this site, which gives you a way to incorporate some AG techniques without buying a bunch of new equipment. BIAB is essentially like steeping, except that you need to hold a temperature for an extended period. Just realize that if you're using grain, you should do a bit of reading about base grains vs crystal/caramel malts, because they are not interchangeable; you need a base grain such as 2-row, 6-row, pale malt, vienna, etc. for the main portion of your grain bill.

 
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:41 AM   #9
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Well, all I know is what I read on the bag of the 6 row, that was clearly and differently labeled from the other 6 rows sitting comfortably in the base malt section. The label reads "Briess 20L Crystal Malt (6 Row)". I figured the manufacturer knew what they were talking about.

Meh, maybe I'll give that stove top thing a whirl, or just go get that blasted bucket and mash proper. Maybe I'll just realize that I've got enough beer in the works at the moment to offset what what I'd spend on my next couple of 6-packs or a sampler run, and just use that to brew my own beer because the extracts are several dollars cheaper.

And maybe I'll still go ahead and study and chase my crazy idea to whatever disastrous and/or humorous ends it may have.

Convention's meant to be defied. And logic and reason are overrated anyhow.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerBanana View Post
The label reads "Briess 20L Crystal Malt (6 Row)".
My bad, that's what happens when I don't read the original post carefully before spouting off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanzerBanana View Post
Convention's meant to be defied. And logic and reason are overrated anyhow.
I'll drink to that.

 
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