Testing fermentability of crystal malt

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chaitobar

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Ill keep you posted on my trials with the Caramunich. I have got a 22 gallon setup so I should be able to use up my grain before it expires. Im going to try test batches in 1 gallon jugs and portion out the caramunich to two row ratio and see what turns out best.
 

chaitobar

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So, I went ahead and did a 15 gallon all grain batch with a grain bill consisting of 18 pounds 2row and 35 pounds caramunich. I ended up a with a 1.033 OG! That is nearly what I would have gotten with just the 2row alone the caramunich contributed no fermentable sugars. im going to have to try experimenting with this caramunich on a 1 gallon scale and see what methods of mashing work best if any at all.
 
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nilo

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So, I went ahead and did a 15 gallon all grain batch with a grain bill consisting of 18 pounds 2row and 35 pounds caramunich. I ended up a with a 1.033 OG! That is nearly what I would have gotten with just the 2row alone the caramunich contributed no fermentable sugars. im going to have to try experimenting with this caramunich on a 1 gallon scale and see what methods of mashing work best if any at all.

Are you saying 1.033 FG and not OG? Plugging your grain bill, assuming 70% mash efficiency, 155F mash temp and fermentability of caramunich as 55% (what I would expect from a crystal 60L), I get OG of 1.082 and FG of 1.034.
How dark was you beer? I get 45 SRM, pretty dark beer with this amount of caramunich (60L).
 

chaitobar

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Im saying that my gravity post boil, pre-fermentation, was 1.033. My strike water was 168 and held a nearly constant 155 for an hour, I then vorlaufed three times, 1 gallon each time. that was all followed by batch sparging at 170. my caramunich is 40 lovibond and my beer turned out drip coffee dark.
 
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nilo

nilo

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That is very weird. Either your mash efficiency was 28% or you had an issue when measuring your OG, perhaps you topped off with water and didn't mix well before taking your sample and got a thin wort, a very commom issue that drives to misleading OG's.
Caramunich should give you almost as much ppg as the 2 row.
Is it still fermenting? For how long? I would take a gravity reading asap to see what you get.
 

chaitobar

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Yeah all very strange. my brew pot weighs in at over 200 lbs after boil so I strategically place it near to my fermentation tank which is in my basement I siphon all the wort with 10ft of hosing and in the process the wort gets thoroughly mixed, I will take another reading before I pitch my yeast sometime today and let you know. I also plan to do 1 gallon mini batches and see what I end up with.
 

chaitobar

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p.s. I siphon my wort from my brew pot when the temp is below 200 into my sanitized HDPE 30 gal fermenter because the safe range for constant temp in HDPE is 230 and I like to be on the safe side so I don't leach any bad flavors from the plastic. I also do not chill with ice or copper coil, I just let it cool overnight.
 

chaitobar

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I believe it may have something to do with my mash temps, I kept a log of my temps so I would know how efficient my new mashtun is. It was much more effecient and retained heat alot better than I thought. I logged at ten minute intervals, my strike water was 170.

0 min- 163
10 min- 160
20 min- 158
30 min- 156
40 min- 155
50 min- 155
60 min- 154
70 - 152
--- sparge 175 ---

So I never really reached optimal beta-amylase conversion temps.
 

chaitobar

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I broke down and boiled up 8 pounds of table sugar and 1 pound of DME to bring my O.G. to 1.071, just checked it with sanitized equip.

Also, I just minimashed 2 pounds of finely ground caramunich in 1 gallon of water for an hour at 150 for 30 min and 140 for 30 min. I then filtered it through cheese cloth and checked the gravity... 1.009..?

Tommorow I am going to try 5 pounds in 1 gallon and do 150 for 30 and 140 for 30.
 

foltster

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This is a really informative thread. Thanks to you guys for putting in all the work on the testing and charts!!!
 

Dr. Francois

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Is it possible that Briess crystal is more fermentable than others? Briess gets blended to reach an average lovibond, so C60 could actually be a blend of C60, C120, and C10. Just looking in the Briess grain buckets at LHBS confirms the variability of the grains' colors.
This blending is a different procedure from my other crystal source, Thomas Fawcett. Fawcett crystal is almost entirely uniform, though the final lovibond can vary slightly, within a specified range, from batch to batch.
The crystal Munich family seems to follow the Fawcett model of uniform lovibond.
The results of this thread convinced me to add base malt to my steeping grains on extract batches. All of my recipes now include an equal portion of MO or US 6-row to match the weight of specialty grains.
Thank you for your contribution to this community!

Sent from my T-Mobile G2 using Home Brew Talk
 

Calder

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From what I learned, the more you toast the malt the less sugars you will get, to a point where you get nothing, like in a chocolate 350, roasted barley or any highly toasted grain.

I would estimate that after 200L you start getting very little to no sugars.

Nilo, Excellent experiment/test, and great documenting of results. It's all great information that you can't find anywhere else.

But ... you provide these 2 statements with apparently no substantiation. I was a little disappointed to see these assumptions made after the great work you have done.

I don't agree with them (I have not test data to back my position up). I think you do get some sugars from dark malts by steeping, less than Crystals; probably in the range of 8 to 10 ppp. And they do have a lot more starches that crystal that will be converted during a mash.

If you have data that says otherwise, I would like to see it.
 
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nilo

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I wish I had the time to address everybody's suggestion on next things to test, like carapils, or lactose, or 350L chocolate malt, or carafa II 550L, or roasted barley, or multiple malt extracts.
I'm hopping that someone can step up for the challenge. Common guys, just few batches in the name of science and for the benefit of the whole brewing community:mug:
Anyone?
 

ryangibson77

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Nilo,

Great experiment. I'm coming into this thread late in the game, however, I just noticed something:

From your test results:
1) When crystal malt is mashed on it's own, it's fermentability is about 50%
2) 2-row malt's fermentability is about 80%
3) When crystal is mashed with 2-row, the attenuation increased from about 50% to about 67%.

Unless I missed a post, the apparent assumption is that mashing crystal malt with 2-row increases the fermentability of the crystal...?

To me, it seems that another possibility is that the combined fermentability of 2-row and crystal malt is the average of the two...in rough numbers: (50+80)/2=65%...not that the crystal malt became more fermentable. In other words, if you mashed a gallon of crystal and separately mashed a gallon of 2-row, then mixed the two worts together, you would end up with the same result as if you mashed them together...

Let me know if I missed something...? :drunk:
 

Jazong

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Post #108 on page 11 give all the detail and graphics (I can't quote it here). The numbers don't work out to averages. I think there was even one instance where the attenuation was measured 10 points better that what the average calculated out to. 2-Row + C-10 I believe. I heard John Maier of Rogue say in an interview on the Brewing Network (Sunday session maybe?) he has used up to 50% crystal malt in recipes before. The enzymes in 2-row will absolutely work to make some of the sugars in Crystal malts more fermentable.

Cheers,

-J
 
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nilo

nilo

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Post #108 on page 11 give all the detail and graphics (I can't quote it here). The numbers don't work out to averages. I think there was even one instance where the attenuation was measured 10 points better that what the average calculated out to. 2-Row + C-10 I believe. I heard John Maier of Rogue say in an interview on the Brewing Network (Sunday session maybe?) he has used up to 50% crystal malt in recipes before. The enzymes in 2-row will absolutely work to make some of the sugars in Crystal malts more fermentable.

Cheers,

-J

I think that not only the enzymes will break down some existing long sugars molecules from the crystal malt into shorter ones (making it more fermentable) but will convert starch from the malt also, which I show on an iodine test (although this test may not be very reliable), the results seems to point to this conclusion.
 

Calder

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There is certainly starch conversion, that is why you can get much higher extract efficiency (mash efficiency) if you mash the grains rather than just steeping. And you can steep with a lot more water than you usually mash with.
 

ryangibson77

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Am I misreading the results? It looks to me like the fermentability of the 50% C40 / 50% pale malt mash was only slightly higher than the average of the two. This tells me that there was indeed SOME starch conversion, but only 5-10% at most. If it were the same as the average, it would mean that there was no conversion being done to the crystal malt, and if it were less than the average, it would mean that something strange happened that reduced the enzymes ability to convert the pale malt...?
 

SMc0724

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This is very good information. I have not found this information anywhere else on the Internet. I agree with ryangibson77that the conversion of crystals with pale malt enzymes is only slightly higher than without those enzymes.

I have a couple of questions.
1. Would it be safe to assume that non-crystal, non-cara, unmalted, roasted grains with similar Lovibond values would have about the same attenuation as these crystal malts?

2. I've read a lot of information that CaraPils has no fermentables. I assume this study would be sufficient evidence to put that into question. Thoughts?

Again good job and BIG THANKS for all the hard work!!
 
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nilo

nilo

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I agree. The starch conversion from crystal malts was not expected or part of the main purpose of this test. It came out as an extra finding and doesn't seems to be significant when comparing to how much fermentable sugars are within crystal malts.
Comparing average attenuation of each of the three malts tested:
10+2R=77%, avg(10&2R)=64.65, increase of 13%
40+2R=69.5%, avg(40&2R)=59.45, increase of 10%
120+2R=67%, avg(120&2R)=59.1), increase of 8%
The higher the lovibond, less startch, lower gain. This seems to make sense to me.
I also agree about the carapils. Need to find the time to do a batch test on this.
 

seth8530

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Really good thread. I think it might have been helpful however if you did a batch at a higher gravity to see if the trends still held true once the gravity got low.

All in all, I plan on using this thread as a guideline for a brett sour mead spiked with crystal to give it residual sugars so that I can have it carbed and with residual sugar.
 

MrFancyPlants

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Ah, man. So much for my special B SMASH. I’ll need some 2-row, or I’ll be drinking hopped spaghetti water.
 
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