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Mashing Malts & Steeping Crystal


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#1 zymot

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:05 AM

Just out of habit and following tradition, I take a recipe, mix up all the malts and put them in the mash tun. Hit the grains with strike water and mash away.

I thought back to my extract days where I steeped some grains like crystal malt. It was OK because they were as converted as they were going to get. Steeping drew the sugar out of the malt.

If I have crystal malt and I put the crystal in with my base grain, some of the sugar from my crystal will be absorbed in the husk of the base malt.

Other than simplicity, is there any advantage to mixing all the grains in the mash? Other than added complexity is there any disadvantage to steeping certain grains separate from the mash?

I am looking at what we do as a matter of convention but trying to learn why.
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#2 Zsasz

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:11 AM

not sure if they got the answer here (didn't read whole thread) but it was asked: https://www.homebrew...php?topic=378.0

 

for me it's just easier.  also if for some reason there are some starches that could be converted there I'll be making it happen.  sorry this isn't more help...


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#3 denny

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 12:36 PM

Just out of habit and following tradition, I take a recipe, mix up all the malts and put them in the mash tun. Hit the grains with strike water and mash away.

I thought back to my extract days where I steeped some grains like crystal malt. It was OK because they were as converted as they were going to get. Steeping drew the sugar out of the malt.

If I have crystal malt and I put the crystal in with my base grain, some of the sugar from my crystal will be absorbed in the husk of the base malt.

Other than simplicity, is there any advantage to mixing all the grains in the mash? Other than added complexity is there any disadvantage to steeping certain grains separate from the mash?

I am looking at what we do as a matter of convention but trying to learn why.

 

You are working under a misconception about the crystal sugar being absorbed by the husks.  The reason we put the crystal malts on the main mash is that there is no reason not to.


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#4 pkrone

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 01:20 PM

If I'm doing a dark lager and don't want any roasty flavor from the Carafa 3, I'll put it in the mash near the end just to get color- kind of a poor man's sinamar.      That's about the only time I don't put all the grains in the mash. 


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#5 HVB

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 03:53 PM

If I'm doing a dark lager and don't want any roasty flavor from the Carafa 3, I'll put it in the mash near the end just to get color- kind of a poor man's sinamar. That's about the only time I don't put all the grains in the mash.


I just got a litter of sinimar so I can avoid these games...
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#6 Zsasz

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 04:18 PM

If I'm doing a dark lager and don't want any roasty flavor from the Carafa 3, I'll put it in the mash near the end just to get color- kind of a poor man's sinamar.      That's about the only time I don't put all the grains in the mash. 

 

does that work?  any other effects other than reduced roast?


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#7 pkrone

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:14 AM

does that work?  any other effects other than reduced roast?

 

Works like a charm.   Might drop the ph a little, but the mash is done at that point.


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#8 Zsasz

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:23 AM

Works like a charm.   Might drop the ph a little, but the mash is done at that point.

 

so why does color happen so much faster compared to flavor?  it seems like the reduced contact time would reduce both.


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#9 HVB

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:28 AM

If I'm doing a dark lager and don't want any roasty flavor from the Carafa 3, I'll put it in the mash near the end just to get color- kind of a poor man's sinamar.      That's about the only time I don't put all the grains in the mash. 

could you not just use Midnight Wheat or Carafa Special?


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#10 Zsasz

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 09:33 AM

could you not just use Midnight Wheat or Carafa Special?

that's what I usually do.


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#11 pkrone

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 11:45 AM

could you not just use Midnight Wheat or Carafa Special?

 

Yes, I'm sure I could.  I've just always used Carafa III


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#12 zymot

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Posted 18 September 2019 - 10:39 PM

You are working under a misconception about the crystal sugar being absorbed by the husks.  The reason we put the crystal malts on the main mash is that there is no reason not to.

 

My OP did not track my thinking so well. The short cut question:

 

Is there a difference between crystal malt in the mash and the same crystal malt steeped? Does the presence of base malt enzymes make a difference to the crystal malt and the extraction there of?

 

Having thought about thought about it, separating the mash malts from the steep malts, probably just an exercise dividing and putting it back together.


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#13 Zsasz

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 03:04 AM

There is a chance there are some unconverted starches in that Crystal malt so why bother not mashing it?
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#14 denny

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Posted 19 September 2019 - 09:41 AM

My OP did not track my thinking so well. The short cut question:

 

Is there a difference between crystal malt in the mash and the same crystal malt steeped? Does the presence of base malt enzymes make a difference to the crystal malt and the extraction there of?

 

Having thought about thought about it, separating the mash malts from the steep malts, probably just an exercise dividing and putting it back together.

 

There is evidence that the enzymes from base malt increase conversion of crystal.


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