Author Topic: Cold Steeping Dark Grains  (Read 1095 times)

Offline kozman1215

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Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« on: September 30, 2014, 03:16:15 PM »
Hi All  - I haven't brewed in a while and was planning on making a porter this weekend.  I'm planning on cold steeping my chocolate malt and black patent as opposed to mashing them.  From what I've read on the threads, cold steeping can result in a little less color and flavor and many of you seem to add 2x-3x the amount of dark grains.

When doing this, are you also upping your steeping water?  For example, if I had 1lb of dark grains that would originally be steeped in about 2qts of water, should I now be using 2lb of grain and 4qts of water?  Or is the point of adding the extra grain to the smaller volume to increase the flavor and aroma since less water is used?  Kind of a  noob question, I know!

Thanks!

Offline denny

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2014, 03:17:12 PM »
Use the "original" amount of water.
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Offline kozman1215

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2014, 03:27:30 PM »
Thanks, Denny.  Appreciate the speedy response.

Offline gman23

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2014, 04:56:07 PM »
I am interested in trying this soon. I recently did a porter but wanted some of the robust roasted character. I would like to try this for a black lager or possibly a black IPA if I ever get around to one of those.

Let us know how it turns out and the specifics of your procedure.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2014, 06:05:10 PM »
I have had good success with late mash to mash out additions of roasted grains, but if you just want color, it's hard to beat the Sinamar product for that.  I have done the cold steeping, which works well enough, too, but as you noted, you need to add more of the roasted grain to get the flavors from it...so, if your pH is right, you probably can just add the roast grains into the mash and be set.

Try it a few ways and decide what you like best.  My last Baltic Porter had a late mash/mash out addition and I liked it very much.YMMV, of course.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2014, 06:41:43 PM »
I've brewed the same stout recipe now with cold steeped and late addition and I can say that the late addition is inferior in my opinion. I may have avoided having to use lime to get more alkalinity in my mash by using late addition but I still had a slight roast astringency/ashy note that wasn't there with cold steep.

with the cold steep I got a lovely roasty coffee aroma and flavor with no astringency and no ashy character at all. Next time I brew a stout or porter I will use the cold steep method again.

The recipe I used was originally mashed all together and I doubled the roast and carafa in the cold steep and the late addition.
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Offline denny

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2014, 07:46:59 PM »
FWIW, here's one of the earliest posts on cold steeping.  It's from George Fix on HBD around 1998....

Question to Dr. Fix:

>On the Brews & Views discussion board a couple months ago, someone mentioned a talk you gave regarding cold steeping of malts like Munich. I would very much appreciate it if you would elaborate on this technique. How do you do it, what does it do for the brew, what malts are good candidates for this technique.

Dr. Fix:

The talk was in the NCHF at Napa in October. Those folks on the left coast really know how to do a beer festival!  The cold steeping procedure was designed to maximize the extraction of  desirable melanoidins, and at the same time minimize the extraction of  undesirable ones. The former are simple compounds which yield a fine malt taste. The undesirable ones come from more complicated structures. Polymers with sulfur compounds tend to have malt/vegetable tones. Others yield   cloying tones, which to my palate have an under fermented character. The highest level melanoidins can even have burnt characteristics.  The cold steeping procedure was developed by Mary Ann Gruber of Briess. My  version goes as follows.

             (i) One gallon of water per 3-4 lbs. of grains to be steeped is brought to a boil and held there for 5 mins.
             (ii) The water is cooled down to ambient, and the cracked grains are added.
             (iii) This mixture is left for 12-16 hrs. at ambient temperatures,  and then added to the brew kettle for the last 15-20 mins. of the boil.

Mary Ann has had good results by adding the steeped grains directly to the  fermenter without boiling, however I have not tried that variation of the             procedure.

 The upside of cold steeping is that it works. The downside is that it is very inefficient both with respect to extract and color. In my setup I am using 2-3 times the malt that would normally be used. As a consequence I  have been using it for "adjunct malts" such as black and crystal. I also am very happy with the use of Munich malts with this process when they are used as secondary malts.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2014, 08:08:31 PM »
well he's right about nchf being one heck of a beer fest. Haven't partied like that since I didn't have kids.

He doesn't mention it specifically in the post, and while I'm sure you would all know to do this anyway I'm going to mention it. Strain out the steeped grains before adding to the kettle or the fermenter.

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Offline fmader

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 10:59:49 PM »
I cold steep my dark grains for stouts and porters. I keep it at 2 qt/lb. Don't forget to account for water absorption in your steeped grains. I've done that a couple times and through my final volumes off.   
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Cold Steeping Dark Grains
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2014, 12:24:25 AM »
Like I said - try it all of these ways and go with what you like best.  The beauty of our hobby is that you can make it the way you like to make it.  I can't say I prefer cold steeped to a large degree over late addition roast grains.  And as noted YMMV.
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