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Old 08-03-2007, 04:27 AM   #1
nabs478
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Default typical Moisture content of grains?

G'day,

I am trying to do a proper preparation for a brew and one of the questions is moisture content. I couldnt really be bothered testing it right now, and didnt ask when I bought it.

Does anyone have a rough estimate of what it would be for a pilsner malt?

Are we talking a few percent?

Thanks

Pip


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Old 08-03-2007, 12:56 PM   #2
Ó Flannagáin
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EDIT: Chemistry beyond my knowledge... How is the moisture content used?



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Old 08-03-2007, 01:12 PM   #3
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According to BeerAlchemy German Pilsen malt has 4.5% moisture content. Had always seen this listed but was never sure what it is for. What do you need it for?
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:27 PM   #4
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IIRC The acceptable MC for Pilsener malt is around 3.5%. If the malt is under-modified I believe up to 4.5% is acceptable, and best suited for a decoction mash.
The malt analysis on the sack of grain should give you the range that the maltster typically works with. Typically lot specific malt analysis is available upon request from the Maltster.

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Old 08-03-2007, 06:26 PM   #5
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Base malts of all types (Pilsen, Pale Ale, 2- row brewers malt, etc) are generally dried by the maltster to a target moisture of about 4%. Specialty malts where they are dried to a color specification are often higher in moisture like 6 %. Malts dried to lower than 4 % moisture seem to slowly absorb moisture on storage and tend to hold in the 4 - 4.5 % range. I suggest you use a 4% figure.

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:09 PM   #6
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So what's the use of these numbers?
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:10 AM   #7
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Default In a nutshell...

Basically the higher the percentage of moisture content in the malt the lower the potential extract.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:40 AM   #8
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If using say 2-row lager malt, you may find that 85% of the grain is extractable. And then you factor in your brewhouse efficeincy, I get about 90% of that 85%, then you also factor in the moisture content of the grain, about 4%.

So I can plan exactly how much extract I should get from a given amount of grain, and then work out exactly how much grain to use to hit my targets.

First attempt, using 1% moisture content, which was before I read all your answers, and a brewhouse efficiency of 85% I over shot my target gravity by 7, I got 1.049 instead of 1.042. So I guess I had a better efficieny...good to know!
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Old 08-06-2007, 02:21 AM   #9
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So,... the lower the moisture content, the better the efficiency? I'm a little cloudy on what you're saying.
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:53 AM   #10
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A little information here on malt analyse might be helpful.

If you look at a malt analyses of a base 2-row base malt you will often see 4 different extract values given. There is fine grind as is, coarse grind as is, fine grind dry basis and coarse grind dry basis. Some analyses only show the dry basis numbers. The "as is" values are the extract determination on a given malt including the malt's moisture. The dry basis extract numbers are corrected for the moisture as if the malt was completely dry. The fine grind is the maximum extract that can be obtained under ideal laboratory conditions grinding all the grain to a fine grind, powder. The coarse grind is the practical extract for a brewer's commercial grind. So a coarse grind dry basis is the extract you should get if you do everything exactly right. Some typical coarse grind dry basis numbers for base malt are:

Domestic 2 row: 79 - 80%
Domestic 6 row: 76 -78%

European 2 row 80 -82%

These values are correspondingly lower if you look at the as is extracts due to the moisture.

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