OK, Am I crazy? Partial Mash question

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mparmer

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So, OK, my second extract batch is in the fermenter and I’m gonna order my third on Monday (probably a porter ale). I’ve been reading about this all grain option and all and I come up with this question. The steeping grain in my extract kit is steeped at 155 F for 10 to 30 min and then discarded. What would be wrong with keeping the temp at 155 F and let them steep for an hour? Isn’t this what is done when all grain brewing to release the sugars? Then slowly pour about a half gallon of 170 F water through the steeping bag down through the grains like a sparge into the rest of the water in the brew kettle. Would that not have the net effect of adding the sugars to my boil from the steeping grains? In effect I guess this is sort of what is called a “partial mash”. I like my beers to be pretty strong and wouldn’t this add fermentalble sugars thus more alcohol. Wouldn’t the effect be noticed in a higher than expected OG? Would this be OK to do? Would it work like I’m thinking? What’s the downside other than taking a little longer?
 

WindRiverGuy

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Usually the grains that come in kits are specialty grains and not a base malt that can be converted. Specialty grains usually are added for color, and flavor and generally don't add any fermentable sugars. A partial mash will contain some pale base malts to mash. Partial mash is a great way to get your feet wet in all grain brewing. You could add a couple of pounds of pale malt and then go through the process. If they are just specialty grains it really isn't worth the extra time and effort.

Cheers!
 

TechyDork

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I am still learning myself, but when i do a PM i use 1lb of base malt, Pale 2 or 6 row, per pound of specialty grain that i am using.

It is my understanding that you need the base malt in order to convert the specialty grains.

I usually step all of this for 60 min at 152-158 and then sparge in a 2nd pot with 2-3 gallons of 180 water for 10-15 min.

this has worked pretty well for me, but i am sure someone that has a bit more experience will chime it to offer more advice.

cheers

****Beerslaw was posting at the same time i was, sorry for the repeat in info*********
 

malkore

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It depends on the grains you're steeping. In order to convert starch to sugar you need alpha and beta amylaze enzymes.

Some malted grains are kiln roasted to the extent they have no enzymes left and won't lend any sugars on their own unless they are mashed with some base malt.

Crystal malt is a good example: its often included in extract kits, to add flavor and color, but it cannot convert itself no matter how many hours it sites in 150F water.
 

giligson

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The difference is malting (enzymatic reaction where starches become sugars) in base malt (2 row, pilsner etc.) VS. steeping a specialty grain for already soluable sugars (crystal malt etc) or for colour and roast flavours (chocolate malt)
 

Malticulous

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Crystal malts are converted before kilned. Most other malts between 20 and 200L can not be steeped and can not convert themselves. Darker malts are roasted so much that the starches can not be converted anyway.
 
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mparmer

mparmer

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Oh, OK, wow, this is pretty fascinating stuff. Thanks
 
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