Author Topic: Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping  (Read 1124 times)

Offline EThome

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Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping
« on: October 21, 2015, 08:23:54 PM »
All my brews thus far over the few years I've been homebrewing have been extract with specialty grains. So, all I have ever done is to steep the specialty grains as the base malt is replaced with dry or liquid extract.

I'm going to brew a clone of Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA this weekend. The recipe calls for 11 lb of 2 row, 1.75 lb of 10L Munich and 0.75 lb of 75L crystal. The extract option has me replacing the 2 row with 8.25 lb of pale LME. No issue thus far.

It then mentions "mashing" the Munich and crystal at 155F for 40 minutes then draining and rinsing. Normally I would simply steep the specialty grains at the temp suggested (or there abouts) in 1 - 2 gallons of water.

So my questions:

- Will actually mashing the specialty grains make enough of a difference?
- Assuming I should mash as directed, would using grain bags make a difference, or should I treat it as an actual mash and add the grains loose?
- Again, assuming mashing, and since it's such a small quantity of grains, anyone have suggestions on the ratio of water to grain?

My plan, if mashing, is to get the water to temp, add the grains (loose or bagged depending on answers to the above), and then stick the pot in the oven set at 155F for the 40 minutes. 
Not Alien to Homebrewing

Offline Stevie

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Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2015, 09:08:27 PM »
Before I go into a longish answer, can you get ahold of Munich DME?

Edit - what Denny says below. Munich is sort of a gray area malt where it contributes loads of flavor and sugar, but technically should be mashed. Since most of your sugar is coming from the extract, you can get away with your plan and likely be fine. I'd use about a gallon of water, but if you put the grains in a bag you might need more to cover them.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2015, 09:33:11 PM by Steve in TX »

Offline denny

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Re: Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2015, 09:12:19 PM »
Mashing is nothing more than steeping for a longer time at a more controlled temp.  You can mash/steep the Munich at 155 for 45-60 and you'll be fine.  You can toss the crystal in with the Munich.  Using a grain bag really makes no difference...whatever is easier for you.  For a ratio, anything from 1.25-2 qt./lb. is good.  It's a lot easier than it seems!
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2015, 10:00:08 PM »
Denny is 100% spot on.  I've moved gradually from steeping to mashing a couple pounds in a grain bag, to mashing a lot of pounds in a grain bag, to mashing in a cooler.  There ain't much difference.

You can also pull your grain bag and set it in a collander over the pot to drain.  Rinse it with some heated water and your sparging.  All while the wort comes to a boil.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2015, 10:18:36 PM »
                                               I've moved gradually from steeping to mashing a couple pounds in a grain bag, to mashing a lot of pounds in a grain bag, to mashing in a cooler.  There ain't much difference.


For sure. Nowhere near as hard as the books made it sound back when I started. It's just not that hard.
Jon H.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 10:38:23 PM »
All the books made it sound labor intensive with flow rates and coffee cups of sparge water. Then a buddy showed me Denny's site. That was over 8 years ago.

Offline EThome

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Re: Extract w Specialty Grains - Mashing vs Steeping
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2015, 10:54:46 PM »
Kind of all what I figured and other than the constant temp not at all that much different to the way I've been at it till now - i.e., steeping.

Thanks all.
Not Alien to Homebrewing