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Old 06-23-2011, 08:07 PM   #1
gtlaw10
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I have been browsing the forum and have come across a number of conflicting opinions regarding traditionally mashed grains that are used as steeping/specialty grains and what, if any, contributions these questionable grains can contribute to your brew.
One of my most pressing questions would have to be whether steeping your grains at ~150F for an hour, followed by a sparge with ~170F water, would be considered a partial mash if you steeped a traditionally mashed grain with your traditional specialty grains?
If this is true, and I am looking for some serious experience to weigh in on this, then I was also curious about what potential contributions using 2-row(MO, etc), Munich, Vienna, Wheat, Biscuit, etc the brewer could harvest through the above method?
I've been steeping specialty grains forever and have been reluctant to include anything other than munich or other roasted traditionally mashed malts - the possibility of new flavor profiles would be fantastic!
Thanks in advance folks


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Old 06-23-2011, 10:40 PM   #2
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if the base malt (2-row, wheat, MO, etc) is milled, then yes you could 'steep' it and actually get some conversion and fermentable sugars out of it. A mini-mash in a bag basically.

It would work. However...unless you're doing a real partial mash you're not going to get a lot of fermentables out of a pound or so of steeped 2-row. So all the extract will still end up darkening the beer.


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Old 06-24-2011, 07:06 AM   #3
gtlaw10
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yea i read somewhere that it would primarily produce 'unfermentable' sugars/starches and can contribute to 'starch-haze' due to the temperature at which we commonly steep, ~150F.
would they add anything to the body of a brew? is there any truth to the unfermentable elements being the primary extract?
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:53 AM   #4
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I would tend to think holding base malt at ~150 for an hour is mashing. Make sure your water to grain ratio is between 1-1.5 qt./lb and rinse (sparge) those sugars off and check conversion with an iodine test. Call it mini mash or partial mash, that's exactly what you're describing.

So, all things being equal, mashing lower produces more fermentable sugars and mashing higher, more unfermantables (dextrines). 150 falls nearer the low end of the spectrum and thus you should have good conversion (of the base malt/slight for the specialty grains). I'm not sure where the starch haze would be coming from.

To add body, "mash" slightly higher, say 155F.

 
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Old 06-24-2011, 05:09 PM   #5
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sounds like you should read this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

 
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Old 06-24-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
gtlaw10
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thanks for the replies everyone.
i have read deathbrewers thread many a time, his process is fantastic.
so 150 is the low end of the spectrum - and that will produce fermentable sugars versus those unfermentables - ok cool, thanks.
sounds like a whole new world may have opened up for me...sweet!!!
has anyone out there done this before, there must be...
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:17 PM   #7
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i think im confused by what you're asking then, cuz it sounds basically like DB's aforementioned method, i.e BIAB. if you're talking about steeping a couple lbs in several gallons, then no it wont work well. it'll stretch the enzymes too thin and you won't get complete conversion and be left with some starches. if you keep it <2qts/lb, then you're actually mashing.

 
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtlaw10 View Post
I have been browsing the forum and have come across a number of conflicting opinions regarding traditionally mashed grains that are used as steeping/specialty grains and what, if any, contributions these questionable grains can contribute to your brew.
To address just this portion. In a steep (not a partial mash) there are grains that will not contribute fermentable sugars to your brew but indeed contribute flavor. In a typical extract recipe, the sugar/alcohol contribution is fairly negligible anyways, so flavor and color is primarily what the steeping grains provide, even though the crystals and a few others will contribute some sugars from a steep.

Really, in a typical extract recipe, it's maybe a 0.5% ABV difference at most. In my opinion, when you are doing an extract recipe, where 5 or more lbs of malt extract is used, "mashing" ~1 lb of specialty grains isn't worth the effort versus simply steeping it.
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Old 06-24-2011, 07:59 PM   #9
gtlaw10
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indeed gents.
i guess the easiest way to boil down what i am asking is to say it like this, since i get most of my abv from the actual extract and not from the steeped grains, would adding base malts and mash-required grains to the steep bag contribute proteins for body and head, flavors, and/or color? from what you guys have been saying, it would appear that i can expect to get color and maybe some flavor from the more roasted mash-required grains, good to know.
i'm not looking to up the abv of my brews, if i want to do that i would simply add more extract. i want to use malts like vienna, munich, aromatic, victory, biscuit, etc for their flavorful proteins only - but i don't wanna mash them.
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:09 PM   #10
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Well, yes and no. Base grains like pils and generic 2-row pale malts in smaller percentages are going to be so close to the makeup of a light DME/LME that it won't do anything noticeable. However, base malts that have inherently more flavor like Vienna and Munich will absolutely change things. Of course, there are also Vienna and Munich based malt extracts that would do the same thing but......

Anyway, it's actually more detrimental to short-steep mash-required grains because you'll get much more starch than you really want in your brew.


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