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Old 01-15-2008, 04:07 PM   #1
Apr 2005
Posts: 344
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I am an old 'extract snob' having brewed basically 'alcohol'
which didn't taste bad, for 14 years.
Now alcohol which tastes terrible is better than no alcohol at all,
but this year my goal was quality.

I steep speciality grains in my water then add the DME.
I am amazed at the flavors.
My homebrew was made from LME and then DME
which I just found out are 'base grains',
and base grains impart no flavor,
and are just for alcohol production.

The guy at the homebrew supply preps bags of 'combinations of speciality grains'. Octoberfest, Brown, Venniz, Red, I don't know what I am doing but just steep the speciality grains in 160 degree water for 30', stir them around a few times,
Sparge, real good, till the water comes out clear,
and then just continue brewing with the 8 Lbs of DME.

I am amazed at the profoundly good tastes I get from my brew now.

Excuse me I have been up since 3:00 am
I find it easier to brew when I am not so drunk.
My pizza dough is ready however, so,

Later 'Yawl'


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Old 01-15-2008, 11:14 PM   #2
malkore's Avatar
Jun 2007
Posts: 6,922
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LME and DME aren't just 'base grains'. the majority is base malt...but you can't get an Amber DME or LME without adding some specialty grains...which they do prior to removing the liquid to turn it into extract.

also, base grains add flavor. Pure corn sugar is what only produces alcohol with no flavor except that of alcohol.
You can brew beer, from all grain, with nothing but 2-row base malt. It won't be a very complex flavor profile, but it'll be fine drinking nonetheless.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:27 PM   #3
Ale's What Cures You!
Yooper's Avatar
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,885
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I'm glad that you're happy with making "new" beers for you. That's great! I think that specialty grains add so much to extract beers in the way of color and flavor, too.

I'm glad to hear that it's worked out for you!
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:29 PM   #4
Maniacally Malty
DeathBrewer's Avatar
Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
Posts: 21,790
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sounds like you're on the right track, but yeah...extract imparts much more flavour than, say, corn sugar. and, for instance, wheat DME is made from wheat and barley and is used to make hefeweizens.

you can make certain beers with JUST extract, such as hefes and kolsch (but steeping grains usually help)

your steeping method is actually very good compared to most beginners. hope you're inspired to continue exploring!

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Old 01-16-2008, 02:31 AM   #5
Here's Lookin' Atcha!
TexLaw's Avatar
Sep 2007
Houston, Texas
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Man, by steeping specialty grains and picking the right extracts, you can brew just about anything. Have fun!

Beer is good for anything from hot dogs to heartache.

Drinking Frog Brewery, est. 1993

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Old 01-17-2008, 05:35 AM   #6
Ooompa Loompa
Dec 2007
Posts: 531
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Originally Posted by TexLaw
Man, by steeping specialty grains and picking the right extracts, you can brew just about anything. Have fun!

Definately. I couldn't even think about making an extract brew without specialty grains.

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Old 01-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #7
Bigfoot's Avatar
May 2007
Aurora, IL
Posts: 49

Originally Posted by Ooompa Loompa
Definately. I couldn't even think about making an extract brew without specialty grains.

I know what you mean, steeping grains adds so much extra.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:28 PM   #8
Dec 2007
Spokane, WA
Posts: 89
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WOW!! 14 years of brewing and you never once tried steeping some specialty grains??? still tryin to wrap my brain around that one, WOW!.....

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Old 01-17-2008, 06:33 PM   #9
Jun 2007
The "Ville"
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I went a step further recently and did a "mock" decoction by taking some of the grains and simmering them in a seperater pan until they were darkened, and then adding them back to the other grains and sparging.

From the resulting smell I am certain that this step will kick my PM Marzen up a few notches.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:35 PM   #10
Jan 2008
Posts: 16

Last Sunday I brewed my first beer that wasnt with a MrBeer. The German Octoberfest kit that I used had steeping grains. As soon as I dropped the sack in the water it immediatley filled the house with a smell that I wish would never go away. I hope it taste just as good.
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