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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Looking to learn grain flavors fast
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:54 PM   #1
brewmeister13
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Default Looking to learn grain flavors fast

I am thinking of doing a "pico" mash (not sure if there is a term so I am making one up) to learn new grains.

My plan is to mash 76 g of grain in 1 cup of water (the same ratio as 1.5qts/lb) in a small pan on the stove to get to know the flavors of specific grains. Then I plan on doing mixtures to see how different flavors interact.

My question is do I need to do a full 60 min mash or can I just hold temp until the starches have fully converted? Also, will this give me a general idea of the flavors to expect or am I just wasting my time and energy? I'd love some more experienced brewers input on this plan and would especially love to hear from anyone who has tried something similar.


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Old 04-16-2013, 09:08 PM   #2
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I don't know how much you will be able to learn from this. I have a tough time making much sense out of the flavor of my wort; I think the sweetness overpowers my palate. My OG samples all taste pretty similar to me even though the finished beers end up very different.


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Old 04-16-2013, 10:54 PM   #3
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Neat idea but the interaction of grain/hop/water/yeast can produce can and will change dramatically with the addition or subtraction of any. I am a big follower of my nose sniffing grains can give you an idea. Make a 5 gallon batch then separate into 5 1 gallon and give them each a different yeast. You'll be amazed how different each turns out. This is actually one of the things I love is the testing and tweaking of recipes, have fun and good luck
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaksnbeer
Neat idea but the interaction of grain/hop/water/yeast can produce can and will change dramatically with the addition or subtraction of any. I am a big follower of my nose sniffing grains can give you an idea. Make a 5 gallon batch then separate into 5 1 gallon and give them each a different yeast. You'll be amazed how different each turns out. This is actually one of the things I love is the testing and tweaking of recipes, have fun and good luck
I agree. I think you've got to have fermentation and carbonation to get a good sample. I encourage you to test and taste more, though. I love to cook, and it's much easier to learn ingredient flavor in food. I just recently started down this path to learn the grain flavors better myself. I've made three different 1 gallon beers with just 2 row and one grain: crystal 60, crystal 120, or Munich. Hopped to about 23 ibus. I've been putting off bottling the small amounts, but I will soon and I look forward to learning the flavors better.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:15 PM   #5
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Walk into LHBS, munch on a grain or two from each bin that interests you. A good shop will encourage it.
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:00 AM   #6
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I eat grains all the time. Agree with the others making a tea and drinking it won't help much. Now, making a small tea, adding a very neutral yeast, and tasting that beer might be interesting.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by beaksnbeer View Post
Make a 5 gallon batch then separate into 5 1 gallon and give them each a different yeast. You'll be amazed how different each turns out.
I'm looking forward to experimenting with yeast. I have a bunch of growlers and used them to play with an Arrogant Bastard Clone. I dry hopped one, added a hop tea to another, oaked a third and bottled the rest plain.

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Walk into LHBS, munch on a grain or two from each bin that interests you. A good shop will encourage it.
Mine definitely allows it. I was hoping to formulate a Russian Imperial Stout though and am interested in the balance of flavors when mixed. I've pegged a basic starting point through research, but was hoping to expedite the fine tuning.

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Now, making a small tea, adding a very neutral yeast, and tasting that beer might be interesting.
I may have to do this. If I can find bungs to fit in bottles I may brew a bunch of bottle size batches at once, ferment and carbonate in the same bottle and then sample them.

Thanks everyone for your input.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:37 PM   #8
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This was recently a topic on Basic Brewing Radio. In summary, a homebrewer brewed up a very simple pale ale, and added a specialty grain tea to each individual pint. However, he used only specialty grains. Not sure it will will work with a base malt/mash; mash chemistry will complicate things, but it might be worth a try.

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March 7, 2013 - Zot's Specialty Grain Experiment
Zot O'Connor joins us to talk about his experiment in adding specialty grains to a finished beer to taste the effects.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #9
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Wort tastes like crap to me... I like the end product much better.

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Old 04-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #10
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I've made teacup sized mashes before on all of my grains. Personally, I chill them to about 55F before tasting them, and can definitely taste the differences, but to each their own.


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