Replacing Munich Malt in Extract Recipe

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DukeAC

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Hey everybody,

First of all, this is my first time posting on the board and just wanted to give a general "thank you" to this forum for providing so much info about homebrewing...it's really been a great help as I'm diving into this new "hobby".

I'm a reasonably new homebrewer and have a (possibly dumb) question about a recipe I'm thinking about brewing. I want to brew a clone of Founders Porter (recipe from https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/any-founders-porter-clone-recipes-info-160119/, copied below) and am trying to convert this to an extract recipe. Is there a way to replace the Munich malt in this recipe besides getting Munich LME (which comes in larger packages than I'd need)? I was thinking about replacing the Munich with something like Aromatic Malt. Any thoughts? Thanks a lot for your help.

-Aaron

9.5 lbs 2 Row
1.25 lbs Chocolate Malt
1 lb Munich
10 oz Carapils
6 oz Crystal 120 L
4 oz Black Patent

Mashed at 155 for 60 minutes
75 Minute Boil

Hops:
60 min - 0.75 oz Nugget (12.2%)
20 min - 0.75 oz Hallertau (4.5%) and 0.75 Willamette (4.9%)
Flameout - 0.25 oz Hallertau and 0.25 oz Willamette

For yeast, I used WLP001.
 

Jayhem

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Munich is similar to Vienna malt, it's just a kilned malt that has a more malty taste than 2-row. Munich also adds some copper color to the beer in larger quantities. Aromatic is MUCH stronger tasting than Munich. If you sub it I would use like 4oz Aromatic
 

CraptainWirtz

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Is there any reason you don't want to steep the specialty grains, including the Munich? I'd give it a shot if I were you.
 
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DukeAC

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I thought that Munich needed to be mashed, not steeped, which is why I was looking for alternatives. Is this not correct? I planned to steep the other grains.

Thanks,
Aaron
 

Jayhem

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Munich will contribute flavor if steeped, just not fermentable sugars. You have to mash to get fermentable sugars from the grains, steeping just provides flavor. With something as complex as this grain bill I would just do a partial mash and use extract for most of the base malt and BIAB the rest on the stove top, really doesn't add much more work.
 

ColoradoHomebrew

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You are right, Munich must be mashed. You may get some of the flavors from the munich in a small quantity but you will also extract starch from the grain. Starch is not normally desired. I've had this problem and now I know a store that sells munich LME in 1 lb increments to solve your problem. Otherwise, you could try some light crystal to give it a little more malt depth, like 8 oz crystal 20 or so.
 

LBussy

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So people have given you advice how to make something close, but just in case it was not readily apparent: There is no real replacement for Munich Malt except for Munich Malt. And yes it must be mashed, steeping will give you a starch tea that is not going to be a real good addition.

The really cool thing about using something like that is it's an opportunity to stretch and try something you've never tried before. You can "mash" a very small amount quite easily by using 1/2 or 1 lb of 2-row plus your Munich and really broaden your available flavors. It is VERY forgiving done this way. Strike with the right amount of water and then drop the pot in a cooler or even wrap it in a blanket for an hour and you have "made the jump." Even if your temps are a little off it's not going to make a huge difference if your primary fermentable is extract.

ETA: Even a normal cooking pot and a wire strainer will work for this. Just do it! :)
 

Jayhem

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^ This.

Partial mash is easy and very rewarding. Before you know it you'll be looking for a cooler and larger brew kettle...
Unless...he doesn't want to get into partial mash because it's a trap! You will be hooked on all-grain brewing in no time! :mug:
 

LBussy

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Unless...he doesn't want to get into partial mash because it's a trap! You will be hooked on all-grain brewing in no time! :mug:
Come on man, try it, everyone is doing it!

My first partial mash was in a pot, temp control done by stove - moving it back and forth on a burner. I poured the mash into a strainer and then ran the kitchen sink sprayer and hot water through it till it seemed right. The rest is history. :)
 

ColoradoHomebrew

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Come on man, try it, everyone is doing it!

My first partial mash was in a pot, temp control done by stove - moving it back and forth on a burner. I poured the mash into a strainer and then ran the kitchen sink sprayer and hot water through it till it seemed right. The rest is history. :)
Spot on. Just make sure of your ratio of water to grain and you mash for at least an hour.
 

IslandLizard

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Come on man, try it, everyone is doing it!

My first partial mash was in a pot, temp control done by stove - moving it back and forth on a burner. I poured the mash into a strainer and then ran the kitchen sink sprayer and hot water through it till it seemed right. The rest is history. :)
I'd stick it in a preheated, turned-off oven. Lid on the pot. Stir once midway.
 

Yooper

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I thought that Munich needed to be mashed, not steeped, which is why I was looking for alternatives. Is this not correct? I planned to steep the other grains.

Thanks,
Aaron
As was mentioned, Munich malt should be mashed. However- it will convert itself just fine, and so if you "steep" your grains in water so that the entire grain and water mix is 150-160 degrees for 45 minutes, that's a mash. So I'd just use the Munich malt!
 
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DukeAC

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Come on man, try it, everyone is doing it!

My first partial mash was in a pot, temp control done by stove - moving it back and forth on a burner. I poured the mash into a strainer and then ran the kitchen sink sprayer and hot water through it till it seemed right. The rest is history. :)
Well, if everyone is doing it, then I pretty much have to right? Thanks for the replies...I think I'll give the partial mash a shot. Is there a good resource for determining the parameters of the mash (how much water to use, how long, what temp etc.)? Thanks, I appreciate the advice :).
 

ColoradoHomebrew

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Well, if everyone is doing it, then I pretty much have to right? Thanks for the replies...I think I'll give the partial mash a shot. Is there a good resource for determining the parameters of the mash (how much water to use, how long, what temp etc.)? Thanks, I appreciate the advice :).
Use 1.25-1.5 qts of water per lb of grain you are mashing. Try 150F for 1 hour. It is a little easier to do it in a grain bag. Take the grain out and place in a colander, spagatti strainer or something like that. Rinse with about an equal amount water that is no more than 180. Add more water and extracts and boil. May as well mash your specialty grains too.
 
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DukeAC

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May as well mash your specialty grains too.
Do most brewers mash their specialty grains as well, or is steeping these separately a better option?

Thanks again for all the info, I look forward to giving this a try!
 

LBussy

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Well, if everyone is doing it, then I pretty much have to right? Thanks for the replies...I think I'll give the partial mash a shot. Is there a good resource for determining the parameters of the mash (how much water to use, how long, what temp etc.)? Thanks, I appreciate the advice :).
Yes!

First is terminology and that will get you to where you can find other sources. You want to add a certain amount of water at a given temp to give you a mash at your desired temp. Remember you are mixing a mass at room temperature with hot water so the grain will lower the temp overall. This technique of adding water is caled "Infusion Mashing". Next you need to calculate how much of what to get what you want.

If you do a Google on "Infusion Mash Calculator" you get a lot of hits. I picked one of the first ones:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash/

If you have one pound of Munich and a pound of 2-row to help conversion**, you can use that calculator to figure out how much water to add. For now don't worry about WHY you want a certain water to grain ratio, just take the default:



So you get your water to 169 degrees, add 2.5 quarts to your 2 lbs of grain, and you get 155 degrees. Put that in a 155 degree oven as someone suggested for a quick and dirty way to maintain heat and let it go for an hour. Perfect!

** Yoop mentioned Munich malt will convert on it's own. This begins to get into some pretty deep yet interesting areas with the amylase (an enzyme) content of grain, and if it has enough to self convert or in the case of the 2-row have enough extra to convert something else (like rice, corn, etc). Munich may convert on it's own but I KNOW 2-row will convert it if not so adding a pound of that gives you some insurance, and let's you try to get some of your fermentables in a real mash just like the cool kids. :) The only difference now between partial mash and a full mash is how much you have to mash at once.

After you go through this you may have other questions like "why 155 degrees?", "why an hour?", etc., all great stuff but this is a damn good start and after doing it once you can decide what parts you may want to learn more about. This would be a "foolproof" approach.

On the calculators ... I use BeerSmith and it has a calculator which will give you information in different mash types. In a little while when you are a salty full-mash brewer you might find something like that helpful.

Do most brewers mash their specialty grains as well, or is steeping these separately a better option?
You can do it, as you can see there's little difference between a mash and a controlled steep. If you do then use that calculator to allow for the pounds of specialty grain to get the temp right.

Crystals and other similar specialty malts are already fully converted - that is the starch that is going to make sugar is already converted to sugar and may be released with hot water. There are very few downsides to including specialty grains in your mash and indeed this is how most people do it.

If some day you are searching out that "perfect" recipe, you want 100% control over your fermentable (and unfermentables) and basically you have succumbed to some OCD sickness, you MIGHT want to do them separately. It is possible that at some temps the amylase enzymes may reduce some of the more complex sugars to simpler, fermentable sugars, and that could give you something that you don't want. I want to stress that this is WAY outside what you need to worry about right now - and as a 20+ year brewer I've never had to account for it. It's just one of those theoretical possibilities which on the Internet someone will eventually point out. :)
 

IslandLizard

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Good to know I can buy exact amounts of Munich LME if necessary, but not to worry...you've inspired me to give the partial mash a try. Thanks again for all the info!
Partial mashing gives you more flexibility since you can get way more grains and adjuncts (flaked wheat, oats, rye, etc) than is available in extracts. PM does not take any more equipment than you probably already have in your kitchen.

You can mash as small as 1 pound (or less) or as much as your brew kettle can hold.

LBussy's instructions are very clear and spot on to get you started with PM. You can always learn more about mashing, water chemistry and what not as your brews are becoming more complex and your taste buds more demanding. With partial mashing you can brew all but a few beer recipes, say 95% of what floats out there or is in books. For example you can't do 100% wheat beers, or 70% rye, or original German Pilsner recipes with PM.

If you like brewing, get a copy of John Palmer's How to Brew. There is an old version of it on line, and 99% of it still holds true today.
 

Black Island Brewer

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Good to know I can buy exact amounts of Munich LME if necessary, but not to worry...you've inspired me to give the partial mash a try. Thanks again for all the info!
Good for you! Partial mash gives you so many more options, and is fun as well! As weird as it might sound, I even like to mash my starter wort that I pressure can, rather than use DME, because I can, and because it's so much cheaper.

When I first did a partial mash I just used a small lunchbox sized cooler, without even a spigot, and used a paint strainer bag. I don't do partial mash now, but when I do mash my starter wort, I use a little 2-gallon igloo cooler I got at St. Vinnies for 2 bucks, put a plastic valve on it and use a paint strainer bag as a liner. Easy-peasy!
 

CraptainWirtz

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As long as we're on the subject of Munich malt extract...if you ever decide to go this route, keep in mind that most Munich LMEs are only 50% Munich, and 50% Pilsen, so you'll want to account for that in your recipe.
 
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DukeAC

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Yes, I had noticed that, thanks. Another question on the topic of partial mashing...if the grain bill only consists of grains that don't need to be mashed (like Crystal), is there any advantage to doing a partial mash with some 2-row as opposed to just liquid malt extract and steeping the grains?
 

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Yes, I had noticed that, thanks. Another question on the topic of partial mashing...if the grain bill only consists of grains that don't need to be mashed (like Crystal), is there any advantage to doing a partial mash with some 2-row as opposed to just liquid malt extract and steeping the grains?
There's no advantage in mashing grains that don't need or can't be converted, like crystal/caramel/specialty/roasted malts. There's nothing to convert, all starches have already been converted to sugars, fermentable and unfermentable, during the malting/kilning/roasting processes.

Even the very lightly kilned Carapils/carafoam has no appreciable amounts of convertable starches left, and can be steeped or mashed with the same results.

Very dark malts (Chocolate, roasted barley/wheat/rye etc. say 200°L and up) ideally should be (cold/cool) steeped and not even mashed, according to Gordon Strong and others to prevent extracting tannins and other bitter flavors from extensive roasting.

There's even a recent trend to steep all non-mashable grains on the side, and not to include them in the mash.
 
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