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Grain Primer for Dummies?

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SwAMi75

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As of now I'm an extract brewer, steeping some grains before the boil. So far I feel pretty comfortable with the types of extract, hops, and yeast that are available, but I really don't know crap about grains.

When formulating an extract recipe, the only consideration the grains get are what kind of color they're going to yield me. Beyond color, I don't know one from the other. I understand that some will yield fermentables, some are strictly for flavor, some lend body, some are strictly adjuncts.....and so forth.

Can someone point me toward some info regarding commonly available grains and what they yield a homebrewer? I'm interested not only from the perspective of an extract brewer, but also from that of a prospective all grain brewer.

I hope that makes sense.....

Sam
 

rightwingnut

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I need the same knowledge. Once I go all-grain...(hopefully soon), I'm gona start following recipes to get the hang of what grains give what characteristics....I thought you went AG, or is that orr I'm thinking of?
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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He's headed in that direction. I intend to let him do the hard work, and learn from his mistakes. :D

Even if I don't go AG, I think it would be good knowledge for extract brewing.
 

ryser2k

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Get the book Beer Captured. Janx recommended it to me, and it is great. Besides having 150 recipes in extract, mini-mash, and all-grain forms, it has charts and tables describing what the different grains, hops, and adjuncts can contribute to your beer.

You just gotta have this book...
 

Stearmandriver

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Funny, I'm doing the same research right now. This might be a start:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-1.html
http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-2.html
http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-4-1.html
http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter12-6.html

I'm a rank noob, having not even brewed an extract batch yet (next week), but working with real grains is interesting to me, so I've been reading this stuff. I imagine I'll stick with extract/steeping for a while, but I see this all-grain stuff in my future at some point...

Anyway, BEING a rank noob, I don't even know if this is the info you were looking for, but it's my uninformed attempt at help!
 

Hatzie

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I have been brewing out of Beer Captured for a couple of years now, the recipes are great and the information in the back of the book are great references.
 

Janx

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Designing Great Beers and many of the books in the Classic Beer Styles series discuss the particulars of grains...
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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Heh....I've actually got "Beer Captured", and it does give a decent description of what grains do what. I've also got "Designing Great Beers" which does get into what grains are used in what styles, but I still find myself trying to piece together what would work and what wouldn't when trying to imagine a recipe that sticks to "standard" guidelines.

I guess what I'm looking for is something that breaks them down into classifications a little better. I'm not sure how to explain what I mean....seems that "Beer Captured" is geared more towards extract brewers using a simple grain steep. I'm looking for something a little more detailed for when I get into AG.

Thanks for the links, Stearmandriver. I'll pursue them when I get more time! Do you actually fly a Stearman? :cool:

Sam
 

Stearmandriver

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Sam75 said:
Thanks for the links, Stearmandriver. I'll pursue them when I get more time! Do you actually fly a Stearman? :cool:

Sam
:eek: No one ever gets that!

Yeah, I used to teach tailwheel and basic acro in it, when I worked as an instructor. The flight school is nice enough to keep me on the insurance for it now, so I can help out in the summer for them still, giving rides and such... but more importantly, it allows me to still fly it on my own, for fun! One of those things you just fall into...
 
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SwAMi75

SwAMi75

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Stearmandriver said:
:eek: No one ever gets that!

Yeah, I used to teach tailwheel and basic acro in it, when I worked as an instructor. The flight school is nice enough to keep me on the insurance for it now, so I can help out in the summer for them still, giving rides and such... but more importantly, it allows me to still fly it on my own, for fun! One of those things you just fall into...
Very cool.....I'm envious. The closest I get to flying on my own is riding my bike. I've watched many a Stearman fly at airshows, and they're always cool. I esp. like watching the Red Baron Squadron flying their hot-rodded Stearmans in tight formation.....one of life's simple joys. :D I still remember their announcer saying, "We can do everything the Thunderbirds do, but we do it at the speed of smell."

Anyway, back on topic....how 'bout them grains? :D

Sam
 
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