Author Topic: Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions  (Read 598 times)

Offline kozman1215

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Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions
« on: October 29, 2013, 04:11:22 AM »
After reading Gordon's book and having started Palmer's "Water" book I have a few questions on stouts and how to handle the dark grains:

1.  If I chose to include the dark grains in the mash, will I be able to avoid the harshness/astringency as long as my water is alkaline enough and my mash pH is in the 5.3-5.5 range?  Or will including these grains in the mash for the entire 60 minutes impart those flavors regardless?

2.  If I chose to add the dark grains at vorlauf, do I need to account for them in my water to grist ratio, or am I only calculating that based on my base malts that will be mashed for the entire 60 mins?

3.  If I chose to cold steep and then add the dark liquid (using 1 gallon as an example) during the last 10 minutes of the boil do I just shoot for a wort volume that will get me close to 4.5 gallons with 10 minutes remaining at which point I would add the 1 gallon of the steeping liquid? Again, I would assume my water/grist ratio would only account for the grains being mashed, and not the liquid being added later.

Thanks in advance!!

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Re: Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 05:53:06 AM »
1. If pH is in the proper range you should not have a problem.

2. You won't have to account for this in your water:grist ratio. When I add dark grains at the end of the mash I like to stir them in prior to vorlauf. Not sure if it makes a big difference, but I like to make sure I get all I can from my dark grains.

3. If you cold steep, just plan for the extra volume at the end. I haven't cold steeped but I do hot steep and add the chilled liquor at knock out to pasteurize it and aid in cooling. I would think boiling for 10 minutes would negate any benefits of steeping. After all, the purpose of steeping separately is to not boil.

Martin has an excellent article in the current Zymurgy on brewing dry stout.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 06:25:15 AM »
You don't need to factor them into your water/grist ratio, but the will absorb water eventually, so you'll need to increase your sparge water. It's probably a small amount of water though and wouldn't matter if it was added to the mash or sparge. In any of these situations (including steeping) just make sure that the total volume of water added (during mash, sparge, and steeping) is the same and you'll end up with the volume of beer you want. ie - Yes, 1 gallon of steeping water should be removed from elsewhere in the process, probably the sparge.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 06:34:41 AM »
Seems like you would want to take the steeping water from the mash volume since you are taking out grains from the mash. It would keep the water:grain ratio the same.
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Online dkfick

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Re: Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 06:42:58 AM »
1. If pH is in the proper range you should not have a problem.

2. You won't have to account for this in your water:grist ratio. When I add dark grains at the end of the mash I like to stir them in prior to vorlauf. Not sure if it makes a big difference, but I like to make sure I get all I can from my dark grains.

3. If you cold steep, just plan for the extra volume at the end. I haven't cold steeped but I do hot steep and add the chilled liquor at knock out to pasteurize it and aid in cooling. I would think boiling for 10 minutes would negate any benefits of steeping. After all, the purpose of steeping separately is to not boil.

Martin has an excellent article in the current Zymurgy on brewing dry stout.

You would definitely want to boil that cold steeped liquid... Otherwise you will be introducing a large amount  lactobacillus and other yeasts/bacteria that are on the grains to your beer.  Unless that's what you're going for I would boil it for a short while.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 07:11:45 AM »
1. If pH is in the proper range you should not have a problem.

2. You won't have to account for this in your water:grist ratio. When I add dark grains at the end of the mash I like to stir them in prior to vorlauf. Not sure if it makes a big difference, but I like to make sure I get all I can from my dark grains.

3. If you cold steep, just plan for the extra volume at the end. I haven't cold steeped but I do hot steep and add the chilled liquor at knock out to pasteurize it and aid in cooling. I would think boiling for 10 minutes would negate any benefits of steeping. After all, the purpose of steeping separately is to not boil.

Martin has an excellent article in the current Zymurgy on brewing dry stout.

You would definitely want to boil that cold steeped liquid... Otherwise you will be introducing a large amount  lactobacillus and other yeasts/bacteria that are on the grains to your beer.  Unless that's what you're going for I would boil it for a short while.

If you toss the cold steeped liquid into the wort at knockout, it will be over 170 for 15 minutes as long as you don't cool it right away, which should be enough to kill anything in the steeping liquid.
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Re: Stout Season - Dark Grain/Water Questions
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 07:24:19 AM »
1. If pH is in the proper range you should not have a problem.

2. You won't have to account for this in your water:grist ratio. When I add dark grains at the end of the mash I like to stir them in prior to vorlauf. Not sure if it makes a big difference, but I like to make sure I get all I can from my dark grains.

3. If you cold steep, just plan for the extra volume at the end. I haven't cold steeped but I do hot steep and add the chilled liquor at knock out to pasteurize it and aid in cooling. I would think boiling for 10 minutes would negate any benefits of steeping. After all, the purpose of steeping separately is to not boil.

Martin has an excellent article in the current Zymurgy on brewing dry stout.

You would definitely want to boil that cold steeped liquid... Otherwise you will be introducing a large amount  lactobacillus and other yeasts/bacteria that are on the grains to your beer.  Unless that's what you're going for I would boil it for a short while.

If you toss the cold steeped liquid into the wort at knockout, it will be over 170 for 15 minutes as long as you don't cool it right away, which should be enough to kill anything in the steeping liquid.

Good point... Though I dunno if I would risk it still.  Adding 15 of the vol as cold water seems like it could drop the temp quite a bit...  I might be more apt to risk it by adding in last 5 mins of boil. 
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