Author Topic: All Grain to Extract Success Stories  (Read 1292 times)

Offline flbrewer

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All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« on: April 06, 2014, 04:15:07 PM »
Can extract brewers chime in on any past successes when converting all grain recipes to extract? I've converted quite a few in Beer Smith, but curious how your mileage has been once you've brewed.

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 05:59:12 PM »
I've converted most all of my regular recipes from all-grain to extract and back to partial mash. With the exception of my original recipes.

I have not used beersmith for most of the conversions but instead used 3/4 lb to 1 lb for grain to lme and 2/3 to 1 for dme.

For the most part it's worked well for me.


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Offline erockrph

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2014, 08:48:36 PM »
I doesn't work for every style, but the few times I've done so I've generally had good luck by keeping the specialty grain amounts the same and using these as my steeping grains. Then I add enough extra light or pilsner DME to the recipe until it matches the OG of the original recipe.

If the base malts contain a lot of wheat or Munich malt, then I will start with the specialty grains, then add double the amount (by %) of either Munich or wheat extract (Munich and wheat extracts are usually around 50% Munich or wheat and 50% pale malt, so you need twice as much of the extract). Then add extra light or Pilsner DME to get you to the OG you're shooting for.
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 08:58:52 AM »
I doesn't work for every style, but the few times I've done so I've generally had good luck by keeping the specialty grain amounts the same and using these as my steeping grains. Then I add enough extra light or pilsner DME to the recipe until it matches the OG of the original recipe.

This is exactly the way I used to go about it.

I would also say if you're steeping, you should go ahead and do a mini-mash.  That's a good way to bring in the Munich malt, etc.  If you don't hit what you're looking for, adjust the specialty grains, etc. and rebrew.
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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 09:15:17 AM »
Can extract brewers chime in on any past successes when converting all grain recipes to extract? I've converted quite a few in Beer Smith, but curious how your mileage has been once you've brewed.

I converted both my Waldo Lake Amber and Rye IPA recipes to extract for Northern Brewer kits.  Took a few tries of each to get it right, but I'm pleased at how closely they compare.
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Offline S. cerevisiae

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2014, 12:03:05 PM »
I would also say if you're steeping, you should go ahead and do a mini-mash.  That's a good way to bring in the Munich malt, etc. 


Concur!   

Offline santoch

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2014, 01:37:35 PM »
One other thing to always keep in mind when converting to extract is whether the specialty grains need to be mashed or not.

Generally speaking, Honey Malt, Biscuit, Munich, Vienna (m & v are arguably base malts) and Brown malts, as well as any unmalted cereal grain like polenta, oats, or flaked barley need to be mashed or you run the risk of leaving unconverted starch in your beer.
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Offline cmooreseymour

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2014, 05:48:05 AM »
The Featured Stories on AHA.com right now contains a great, short article on this topic. Basically:
- Identify your base malt
- Convert base malt to extract
efficiency 65  70   75    80
LME      0.63 0.68 0.73 0.78
DME     0.52 0.56 0.60 0.64
- steep specialty grains @ 160 degrees for 30 mins

Santoch, I've never heard of grains like Munich, Vienna and oats not being meant for steeping.  From what I've seen, Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles recommends these for steeping grains in most of his recipes.  Please correct me if I'm wrong.  Thanks!

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2014, 06:58:04 AM »
I don't know that oats (and flaked corn, polenta, etc.) have the diastatic power to convert on their own so the benefit of steeping them may be limited.  Perhaps you get some flavor.

A steep of 30 minutes at 160F is so close to a mash that I'd just go ahead and add base malts and extend the time by 30 minutes.  There are some (Dtaylor, IIRC) who have run experiments and report that you can get full conversion in 30 - 45 minutes, so you're pretty much there already.

If you're steeping a bunch of grains with lower diastatic power, I just don't see why you wouldn't throw in some base grain.  I use 5 gallon paint strainer bags and can easily mash 6 to 7 lbs of grain in the bag on my stove top.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 08:02:46 AM »
I don't know that oats (and flaked corn, polenta, etc.) have the diastatic power to convert on their own so the benefit of steeping them may be limited.  Perhaps you get some flavor.

A steep of 30 minutes at 160F is so close to a mash that I'd just go ahead and add base malts and extend the time by 30 minutes.  There are some (Dtaylor, IIRC) who have run experiments and report that you can get full conversion in 30 - 45 minutes, so you're pretty much there already.

If you're steeping a bunch of grains with lower diastatic power, I just don't see why you wouldn't throw in some base grain.  I use 5 gallon paint strainer bags and can easily mash 6 to 7 lbs of grain in the bag on my stove top.

oats, polenta, unmalted adjuncts have effectively 0 diastatic power. additionally they often have geletenization temps higher than mash or steep temps. I bet rolled oats with steep out some beta glucans which will add body and 'silkiness'. munich  and vienna are actually base malts so if you 'steep' them for at least 15-30 minutes at the right temp range you will get some conversion there.

Offline cmooreseymour

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2014, 05:28:44 AM »
Thanks guys!  I currently use Brewing Classic Style's method of LME/DME base malt and 30 min steeping of whichever grains are recommended per the recipe.  I've considered changing to a mini-mash by increasing the steeping time and adding base malts to the grain sock, but I haven't bought the equipment for a false bottom, etc. to go full mash.  More importantly, my wife is due in less than a month and I want to limit my brew day to 3-4 hours instead of going full mash and sleeping in the dog house..... Thoughts on a mini-mash method?

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2014, 06:56:43 AM »
I just use a big grain bag (5 gallon paint strainer bag) and put it into the kettle when the water hits 165 or so.

No false bottom.  I don't typically re-heat the kettle, but sometimes I do.

I'm sure there are better methods.  My efficiency is not great, but it is consistent.
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Offline breslinp

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2014, 04:13:03 PM »
I've reverted back to extract for a few batches. I have small kids so it makes my life easier to fire the kettle at 6am and be done by 9am. I think the beers are much better than when I first started. That is most likely to yeast care and fermentation now.  But they are not quite on par with my all grain brewing. 

I do think that the brand of extract matters on wort fermentability. I've found Northern Brewer LME and Briess Extra Light to be better than MoreBeer. I've also done mini-mashes: adding 0.5lb 2-row into the mash for 20 min to help convert the extract more. I have not done a proper experiment with that technique though. Hmmm... maybe that would be good for an AHA research grant.

Offline alestateyall

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2014, 04:31:34 PM »

I've reverted back to extract for a few batches. I have small kids so it makes my life easier to fire the kettle at 6am and be done by 9am. I think the beers are much better than when I first started. That is most likely to yeast care and fermentation now.  But they are not quite on par with my all grain brewing. 

I do think that the brand of extract matters on wort fermentability. I've found Northern Brewer LME and Briess Extra Light to be better than MoreBeer. I've also done mini-mashes: adding 0.5lb 2-row into the mash for 20 min to help convert the extract more. I have not done a proper experiment with that technique though. Hmmm... maybe that would be good for an AHA research grant.

Extract is definitely much faster and you can make great beer.
Tommy M.
Starkville, MS

Offline santoch

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Re: All Grain to Extract Success Stories
« Reply #14 on: September 12, 2014, 07:19:14 PM »
Sorry I didn't get back sooner.

Malted grains contain enzymes which convert starches into sugars.  For that to work they must be kept in solution inside a temperature band as well as a pH band.

Some malts have already been through the process of converting those starches into fermentable sugars. This includes caramel/crystal malts, and very highly kilned grains that are essentially cooked until no starch remains (eg, roasted barley, black patent malt).

Various base malts have varying amounts of these enzymes left after the kilning process.  Generally speaking, the more they are kilned, the more that some of those enzymes will be destroyed by the kilning process.  That means that they have less "diastatic power" than the lower kilned base malts (6 row, 2 row, pilsner, wheat malt).

The "high dp" base malts are capable of converting themselves as well as a measure of external starches, such as those from other adjuncts.  As a rough general rule, you can estimate that a lb of base malt is able to convert itself plus about a half lb of adjuncts (ie, corn grits, polenta, rice, unmalted oats, etc). (some can do a little more than others).

On the other hand, Munich malt and Vienna malt are able to convert themselves, but not much more.

Other malts, such as bisquit malt, honey malt, brown malt, etc, have neither been pre-converted nor do they have enough diastatic power to self-convert. 

So, you need to ensure that when you convert recipes containing various specialty malts and starchy adjunct, you must ensure that you mash them at proper temperature and pH so that the enzymes will convert the starches into sugars and non-fermentable dextrins.  Otherwise, your beer will have a lot starch left in it, which the yeast cannot consume.  Also, these starches leave the beer in an unstable state, leaving it open to aging issues and other off flavors.

So, you quoted "160 degrees for 30 minutes" for steeping.  That temperature will work fine for steeping grains that have already been converted, but it is possible that the high temperature can prematurely denature  any enzymes present in your malts leaving a partially un-converted wort.
I'd recommend you use 152F, which is closer to the middle of conversion range.  You'll still get a
good steep, but without prematurely denaturing any enzymes.  Besides, it's better to practice controlling your temperature at a range where you have more room above and below if you miss.

There are more details why 152 is a good choice (alpha vs beta amylase activity) but we don't need to go into that level of detail for what you want to accomplish, as the fermentablity of the bulk of your wort is set by the extract itself.

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