Author Topic: Mashing cystal malts  (Read 1006 times)

Offline uisgue

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Mashing cystal malts
« on: November 18, 2012, 02:09:32 PM »
I have always understood that using crystal/caramel malts will add non-fermentables to a recipe. I know that the enzymes have been denatured but I have started to wonder if the active enzymes in the two-row will act upon the crystal's long-chain sugars anyway.  I have been ending up with a lower FG than I expected recently.  Should I steep the crystals separately like with extract brewing or maybe add them just before sparging?
Doug Hickey
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Mashing cystal malts
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 03:18:20 PM »
You can add the crystal late if you want, since it will affect the pH of the mash.  It's not necessary however.

There should not be a significant amount of unconverted starch in the malt, it is converted to sugar during the special process for making crystal malt.  The reason it adds some unfermentables is that the kilning of the malt will alter some of the sugars.  If you are getting a lower FG than expected you could just bump up the temperature a bit, I would try that first.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline uisgue

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Re: Mashing cystal malts
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 05:41:41 PM »
Thanks Tom,  I wasn't really thinking that there were more starches to convert. I didn't realize the the sugars might be modified during the process. I had been thinking that the beta-amalayse might change the existing sugars into something fermentable.  And I have been mashing pretty cool lately (in the 145*F to 148*F range)
Doug Hickey
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Offline slarkin712

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Re: Mashing cystal malts
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 07:51:04 PM »
I would think that long chain sugars within the crystal malt could be "whittled" away to shorter sugars to be more fermentable if left in the mash.  This may not be to the point, but I've read that you can extract more from crystal malts if added during the mash than if steeped.  Also, within the same article I've read that some of the crystal malt sugar can be consumed by yeast if mashed.  There was an experiment where crystal malts were steep or mashed and fermented and results were reported.  I wish I could find this post.  Might have been on homebrewtalk. 

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Mashing cystal malts
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2012, 08:13:36 PM »
I would think that long chain sugars within the crystal malt could be "whittled" away to shorter sugars to be more fermentable if left in the mash.  This may not be to the point, but I've read that you can extract more from crystal malts if added during the mash than if steeped.  Also, within the same article I've read that some of the crystal malt sugar can be consumed by yeast if mashed.  There was an experiment where crystal malts were steep or mashed and fermented and results were reported.  I wish I could find this post.  Might have been on homebrewtalk.

I think that was on Hombrewtalk. The guy who did the experiment also found that crystal malts if steeped fail the iodine test. I have thought about trying this, but am too lazy.
Jeff Rankert
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Mashing cystal malts
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 11:32:38 PM »
If you're going to continue to mash that low, then yeah, you could add the crystal late and see if it helps.  I hadn't really considered that you would be under 150F, and that could easily explain breaking down the crystal malts further.  Either way, it should work to control fermentability through mash temps or adding the crystal later.
Tom Schmidlin