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Old 09-13-2005, 08:17 PM   #1
pickle
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Default how do I know what grain can be steeped vs those that need mashed

hi all. new to brewing, but i read a lot before trying it. i have my first batch (pale ale kit) bottled and am waiting to drink it this weekend. i wrote down the contents of the kit so that i could make more of it later with ingredients purchased instead of a new kit.

i want to start experimenting with this basic recipe and adding different grains to it, but i don't want to try mashing right now. how can i find out which grains need to be mashed? i just want to tinker with grains that i can steep in hot water, but i don't know which ones are the right ones for steeping.

help please?

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Old 09-13-2005, 09:04 PM   #2
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In Palmer's online book, this page has a list of malt types and whether or not each can be steeped. Detailed explanation is on the preceeding pages.


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Old 09-13-2005, 09:30 PM   #3
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Someone correct me here if I'm wrong, but from all the things that I've read so far, there isn't really a whole lot of difference between steeping and mashing. The main difference being temperature control. So "steeping" a grain that's suppose to be mashed, as long as it's performed at an appropriate temperature, should yield results. The only thing to remember is that steep mashing isn't going to be as efficient as cycling water through a proper mash tun, etc.

Is that a fair call? Or am I way off base here?
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:38 PM   #4
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From the horses mouth:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Palmer
Steeping differs from mashing in that there is no enzyme activity taking place to convert grain or adjunct starches to sugars. Steeping specialty grains is entirely a leaching and dissolution process of sugars into the wort. If grain with enzyme diastatic potential is steeped, that is mashing. See the following chapters for more detail on that process.
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Old 09-13-2005, 10:36 PM   #5
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Thanks, El P. Basically the same action, just different stuff going on "under the hood".
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Old 09-19-2005, 12:35 AM   #6
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Those speciality grains classified as steeping grains have already had the enzymes denatured by heat in roasting and subsequent carmalizing.

Specialty malts that don't need mashing: Crystal/caramel malts (including all the Belgian “cara-” malts), Carapils, Special “B”, all dark roasted malts (carafa, chocolate, black patent, roast barley). These grains can be steeped.

Then there are specialty malts that do need mashing: Non-Enzymatic (does not contain enzymes): Raw (unmalted) wheat, rye, rice, corn, etc., flaked unmalted grains (oats, barley, maize, rice, wheat, rye, etc.), “honey” malt, Biscuit, Victory, and Special Roast malts, brown and amber malts. Enzymatic (contains enough enzymes to convert itself): Vienna, munich, mild ale, malted rye, peated malt, Belgian Aromatic.

Some grains like cara pils and other light roasted malts can be steeped but won't offer much extraction. When mashed with other base malts that have the active enzymes to convert the starches to sugar, you will get the most benifit.

This is where a mini-mash differs from steeping grains.

If you'll just use at a portion of a base malt equal in weight to the amount of Non-Enzymatic speciality grains and mash at 153 to 158 for an hour, you'll get full extraction from your speciality malts as well.

So lets say you've got 1 1/2 pounds of speciality grains and 3/4 pounds of it is honey malt or biscuit malt which are non-enzymatic. Just add at least an additional 3/4 pounds of base malt and Insto-Presto, you're doing a 2 1/4 pound enzymatic mash out.


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