Cold Steeping Dark Grains

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Haussenbrau

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I brewed a Porter yesterday and did my first cold steeping of dark drains. Below is a description of my cold steeping process

Chocolate Malt = 0.5 lb.
Roasted Barley = 0.25 lb.
Black Patent = 0.25 lb.

I used a food processor to grind the grains to a coarse coffee grind texture. I used about 0.5 gallons of 70F tap water (2:1 ratio) for the cold steep mash and let it set for about 20 hours before adding to boil at 10 minutes. I used a French press to separate the cold steep wort from the grains. I then batch sparged with one quart of tap water and repeated the French Press procedure. I ended up with 80 oz. of cold steep wort with a brix of 9.0. That calculates to a 75% efficiency. I tasted the wort and there was strong flavors from grains but no bitterness. I will post when the beer is finished to let everyone know how it turns out. The efficiency was much higher than what I expected. In the future I will plan on a longer boil to compensate for the added volume so late in the boil. I welcome all comments or questions.
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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I opened the first bottle last night. I got all of the benefits of cold steeping dark grains that you read about. The flavors of the Chocolate Malt, Roasted Malt and Black Patent came through without any astringency. It is a nice smooth robust porter. The sparging step got my efficiency up to an near normal range without losing any of the benefits of cold steeping. You also have a much easier time keeping the mash pH of the lighter grains above 5.0.
 

Steve3730

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I'm doing R&D for a competition for the style tropical stout and thinking this method might be the way to go. Would you do this with crystal & debittered malts or strictly dark malts (200srm or greater)?
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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I would probably do it with debittered more than crystal, but there is no reason you can not do both. The procedure of grinding the grain s in a food processor to a coarse coffee grind, doing one batch sarge, and using a French Press gets the efficiency up to about 75%. You will not be losing much efficiency. With the sparge it increases the volume and thus you will need to increase the total boil time so you will hit your volume target. It is the best porter that I have ever made.

Moving crystal and debittered malts to cold steeping will give you much better pH control of the main mash.
 

Steve3730

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There is no issue of tannis? I know there is debating on smashing or squeezing grains can release tannins
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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This is not an issue when you cold steep the dark grains. You get all the great flavors without the tannins or any astringency. I pressed hard enough so the grains are about as wet as grains are after you lauter. The dark grains keeps the cold steeped grain mash pH low enough to avoid the problem also.
 

DownHillonWater

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@Haussenbrau: thanks for the detailed description of your approach. I'm very interested to give it a try. What was the pH of your cold steep wort? Did you control pH once combining all the wort together for the boil?
 
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Haussenbrau

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The cold steep wort pH was 5.8. The normal wort pH was 5.2 at the stat of the boil. The start of the boil had only the normal wort in it. That is the last time I take a pH measurement. I was not worried because I was adding a small amount of 5.8 cold steep wort to a large amount of 5.2 pH normal wort.

Side note
All of my water is carbon filtered tap water.
Ca++ = 17 ppm
Mg++ = 3 ppm
Na++ = 6 ppm
SO4- = 6 ppm
Cl- = 15 ppm
HCO3- = 32 ppm
PO4- = 1 ppm

I did not add any chemicals to the cold steep strike water. I adjusted the strike water for the normal mash with Gypsum, Calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, Epsom salt, baking soda, disodium phosphate, and Buffer 5.2. Buffer 5.2 is about 96% monosodium phosphate and about 4% disodium phosphate. The adjusted strike and sparge water for this batch had the following profile.

Ca++ = 90 ppm
Mg++ = 16 ppm
Na++ = 99 ppm
SO4- = 65 ppm
Cl- = 130 ppm
HCO3- = 135 ppm
PO4- = 172 ppm

Buffer 5.2 does a fair job of lowering the mash pH of a beer that is golden or lighter, but does a very bad job of preventing mash pH from getting too low. I incorporate some disodium phosphate and baking soda to help keep the pH from getting too low. I also try to keep the sodium below 100 ppm. If you use buffer 5.2 at the recommended dosage then your sodium goes way above 100 ppm.

I may have given you to much information, but I thought it was needed.
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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This batch was an American Porter.

Normal Wort Grains
Great Western Pale Ale (3 SRM) = 5 lb.
Munich (10SRM) = 3 lb.
Vienna (3.5SRM) = 3 lb.
Special Roast (40 SRM) = 0.5 lb.
Special B (147 SRM) = 0.5 lb.

Cold Steep Grains
Chocolate Malt (420SRM) = 0.5 lb.
Roasted Barley (300SRM)= 0.25 lb.
Black Patent (500SRM)= 0.25 lb.
 

Steve3730

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No such thing as too much information. Thanks a lot going to give this a try
 

Hayden123982

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I'll be brewing a brut style IPA this weekend... It will be my first brut, but I'm still interested in making it into a brut black ipa. My typical black IPA has just a touch of midnight wheat, but this method seems like it could work well... what do you think?
 
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How did I miss this? I'm brewing a RIS on Sunday, I think I'll give this cold steeping thing a try! I have been hesitant to brew dark beers for a long time because my wife hates the bitter astringency. Problem solved!

Thanks for sharing!

Edit: I'm going to steep the crushed grains in a wilser hop sock to make separating the hulls from the wort easier. Man, reading this thread has definitely changed my plans for the weekend :)
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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I'll be brewing a brut style IPA this weekend... It will be my first brut, but I'm still interested in making it into a brut black ipa. My typical black IPA has just a touch of midnight wheat, but this method seems like it could work well... what do you think?
The procedure would work very well. How much midnight wheat would you add. Midnight Wheat is does not have husks. Midnight wheat should not give you much astringency, but it still can give you mash pH problems. This procedure gives you more control of the main mash pH.
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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How did I miss this? I'm brewing a RIS on Sunday, I think I'll give this cold steeping thing a try! I have been hesitant to brew dark beers for a long time because my wife hates the bitter astringency. Problem solved!

Thanks for sharing!

Edit: I'm going to steep the crushed grains in a wilser hop sock to make separating the hulls from the wort easier. Man, reading this thread has definitely changed my plans for the weekend :)
That sounds like a good method to separate the grains from the clod steep wort.
 

Hayden123982

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The procedure would work very well. How much midnight wheat would you add. Midnight Wheat is does not have husks. Midnight wheat should not give you much astringency, but it still can give you mash pH problems. This procedure gives you more control of the main mash pH.
If I did this method, I may actually use a different grain like chocolate. I use the midnight wheat in my mashes for BIPA because of the decreased astringency (and just 2-4 oz for 6 gallons).

My tap profile is actually pretty high in bicarb so it's great for dark beers, and my mash pH handles the dark grains well when I use the tap water. I use RO water for any other beers and work up my chem from scratch (which is what I will be doing for this brut)
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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If I did this method, I may actually use a different grain like chocolate. I use the midnight wheat in my mashes for BIPA because of the decreased astringency (and just 2-4 oz for 6 gallons).

My tap profile is actually pretty high in bicarb so it's great for dark beers, and my mash pH handles the dark grains well when I use the tap water. I use RO water for any other beers and work up my chem from scratch (which is what I will be doing for this brut)
Sounds like a good plan.
 
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If I did this method, I may actually use a different grain like chocolate. I use the midnight wheat in my mashes for BIPA because of the decreased astringency (and just 2-4 oz for 6 gallons).

My tap profile is actually pretty high in bicarb so it's great for dark beers, and my mash pH handles the dark grains well when I use the tap water. I use RO water for any other beers and work up my chem from scratch (which is what I will be doing for this brut)
I brew with 100% RO and make additions, but I'm just starting to get into brewing dark beers. How can I increase my bicarbonate? Just add baking soda? That sounds a little too easy, and maybe a bit salty.
 
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Haussenbrau

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I brew with 100% RO and make additions, but I'm just starting to get into brewing dark beers. How can I increase my bicarbonate? Just add baking soda? That sounds a little too easy, and maybe a bit salty.
I use baking soda and calcium carbonate. Make sure you use a water chemical calculator. The limit for baking soda addition is about 100 ppm. You could push a Stout to 150 ppm. I usually only use calcium carbonate when I run out of room with the sodium ions. This cold steeping of the dark grains make it easier to control the pH of your main mash. This in turn reduces the amount of bicarbonate that is required. My adjusted bicarbonate for my Porter was only 135 ppm and I had no problem controlling my main mash pH.

I added one gram of calcium carbonate and 4 grams of baking soda to 9 gallons of carbon filtered tap water to get to 135 ppm bicarbonate.
 

Hayden123982

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I brew with 100% RO and make additions, but I'm just starting to get into brewing dark beers. How can I increase my bicarbonate? Just add baking soda? That sounds a little too easy, and maybe a bit salty.
I also do the same as Hussenbrau said above. Baking soda but keep an eye on the Na, if that starts to get to high, finish off with chalk which can be a little hard to get to dissolve.
 
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according to my RIS recipe, ez water calc told me to add the following to my 8 gallons of strike water; 9g CaCl, 3g gypsum, and 4g epsom salt putting the chloride/sulfate ration at 1.34 to enhance maltiness. Since the calculator bases estimations on the full grain bill, my mash pH may have been out of whack.
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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according to my RIS recipe, ez water calc told me to add the following to my 8 gallons of strike water; 9g CaCl, 3g gypsum, and 4g epsom salt putting the chloride/sulfate ration at 1.34 to enhance maltiness. Since the calculator bases estimations on the full grain bill, my mash pH may have been out of whack.
What is the profile of your starting water and I will enter it into my own Excel sheet that I designed myself.
 

tennesseean_87

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I hope this isn't a thread-jack, but I brewed an awesome stout last winter with the advice a pro-brewer friend gave me. I tweaked his recipe due to what was on had and wanting more roast character, but I eventually used:

12 oz. carafa II
8 oz. black/roasted barley
5.5 oz. chocolate malt

I steeped them cold overnight in my strike water, removed the grain then went about my brew day. I don't remember exactly what I did with the water, but this is in my notes:

upload_2018-9-10_21-40-55.png


That's 13% roasted grains in a 1.060 stout, only half of which were de-husked, but it came out with a really awesome SMOOTH chocolate/roast character.
 

PianoMan

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Thanks for all the cold steeping information. I usually add about 1/3 darks at beginning of mash then rest about 20min in and start vorlauf at 40min. This created a much smoother stout. Be nice to try a different technique.
 
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Haussenbrau

Haussenbrau

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I brew with RO water so assume 0/0/0/0.
I entered the information in my excel sheet got the following.

Ca+ 72 ppm
Mg+ 9 ppm
SO4- 34 ppm
Cl- 127 ppm
HCO3- 0

Did you add anything else? The chloride/sulfate ratio is 3.7. Add there is no bicarbonate. I am not sure what your pH would be. What water chemical program do you use. My excel sheet agrees with every online program that I have found.
 
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Haussenbrau

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I'd recommend calcium hydroxide, readily available and known as pickling lime, instead of chalk.
I use baking soda to increase the bicarbonate level. That gives the water some buffering quality. Baking soda can be used as long as you do not let your sodium get too high. I use calcium carbonate when the sodium gets to the limit.
 
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Haussenbrau

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I have just brewed a Bourbon Barrel Porter yesterday. That leads to a slight variation of my cold steeping procedure. The day before brew day I started the cold steeping. When I got ready to separate the grains from the cold steep wort I realized that I had already committed my French Press to soaking the bourbon barrel chips in bourbon. I used my 400 micron EZ Filter to separate the dark grains from the cold steep wort. I did a cold batch sparge and separated the dark grains from the wort from the sparge. My efficiency was 75% again. This is equal to the results with the French Press. The 400 micron EZ Filter was easier and got the same efficiency as the French Press. I would recommend buying and using an EZ Filter if you plan on doing a lit of cold steeping.

I also have a 200 micron and 75 micron EZ Filters that I use to separate the cooled boiled wort from the hops and cold break. You can see the details of this procedure of the discussion below.


https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/...ters-to-increase-brewhouse-efficiency.440481/
 
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