Cold Steep

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mschoeffler

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I just finished an imperial porter utilizing a cold steep of 1 1/2 lbs chocolate and 1 1/2 caramel malt in 1 gallon of water overnight. I was very disappointed in the extract, it seems as though most of the water was absorbed and didn’t make it to the kettle. I’ve had no problems with chocolate/black malt in the past. Does caramel absorb more? Do I need to crush finer?
 

day_trippr

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Color me a skeptic of the process ever providing a respectable yield, but here's an article that discusses the practice, with a "side bar" note that states experimentation may be required for each grain used lest the results not match expectations...


Cheers!
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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@mschoeffler : if you are willing to describe, in detail, the cold steep process you used, along with what you were expecting and what the process actually produced, someone may be able to help troubleshoot what happened.
 

Holden Caulfield

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cold steep of 1 1/2 lbs chocolate and 1 1/2 caramel malt
The issue isn't absorption, which should be similar or maybe even less.

Cold steeping of roasted malts is done to extract the color and roastiness without the harshness, similar to cold steeping coffee. Cold steeping of caramel or crystal malts is probably a very uncommon practice (probably never) as caramel malts are essentially sugars in the husk and you would want to dissolve the sugars, which do not dissolve well in cold water, in order to extract them - reducing roastiness is not an objective with these malts. I would guess that the efficiency would suffer considerably if caramel malts are cold steeped.
 
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mschoeffler

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I’ve used this process multiple times in black saisons and black IPAs, always chocolate and black malts. Honestly, I moved the caramel malts to free up space in the mash tun for a large amount of pale/munich/brown malts.
Usually an overnight cold steep will add 1/2 gal of less astringent, color and flavor. This time it was more like 1/4 gal and somewhat disappointing. The wort turned out fine. I just am puzzled by this one.
Thank you for your thoughtful responses.
 
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