Author Topic: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!  (Read 8704 times)

Offline AmandaK

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2015, 05:29:50 PM »
It's interesting that the difference in the mash for 1lb of roasted barley was that big.  Brun Water and Kai's water calculator both predict only a 0.1 drop from roasted barley with this recipe, as Kai's original findings shows that roasted actually contributes less acidity that crystal, per each *L of SRM.  Perhaps it varies by brand and type of roasted malt.

Might have something to do with it being Simpsons which I use.  Simpson's RB is ~650L, whereas Briess for example, is only 300.  Simpson's actually smells like espresso when you stick your nose into the bag, whereas most other brands I've tried are much more subtle.

Oooohhh... that sounds nice. Perhaps for the next dry stout (we brew it all the time - pretty sure it's the only thing we have a nitro tap for!) I'll search out Simpsons and see what's different.
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Offline brewday

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2015, 05:47:00 PM »
Great data. I love not having to make my brew day more complicated.

For me, adding the dark grain late makes brewday less complicated - no water spreadsheets, no weighing salts, no varying acid additions, no pH meter, no tinkering.  If you like doing those things, great!  I don't.

I use the same water and mash pH profile with minimal additions for every beer and get consistent results, regardless of the style I'm brewing.  That, I believe, is Gordon's larger point.
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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2015, 05:48:35 PM »
It's interesting that the difference in the mash for 1lb of roasted barley was that big.  Brun Water and Kai's water calculator both predict only a 0.1 drop from roasted barley with this recipe, as Kai's original findings shows that roasted actually contributes less acidity that crystal, per each *L of SRM.  Perhaps it varies by brand and type of roasted malt.

Might have something to do with it being Simpsons which I use.  Simpson's RB is ~650L, whereas Briess for example, is only 300.  Simpson's actually smells like espresso when you stick your nose into the bag, whereas most other brands I've tried are much more subtle.

Oooohhh... that sounds nice. Perhaps for the next dry stout (we brew it all the time - pretty sure it's the only thing we have a nitro tap for!) I'll search out Simpsons and see what's different.

I get similar aromas from Thomas Fawcett Roast, if you can't find Simpsons. I love it in my RIS.
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Offline brewday

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2015, 05:48:59 PM »
Fascinating results, especially the part about pH being only hundredths of a point different.  I shall henceforth return to full mashes for my stouts and porters, as depth of flavor and color are more important to me with these styles than the theoretical but probably non-existent "smoothness" from late capping.

I have zero constructive comments for this xBmt.  Well done.  Thank you again, Marshall.

Interesting results indeed.  I'd like to think that I would have preferred the late addition stout, but who knows?  I now intend to do a side-by-side and see for myself.

One thing I can't get past is the color difference.  It makes sense that less color translates to less roasted flavors, I'm just not experiencing that color difference when I employ this technique.  I do seem to get quicker and better clarity however.  Not sure why.  But again, I'll give the experiment a whirl for myself and decide.

Good stuff Marshall.
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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2015, 05:51:27 PM »
I spent several years doing late additions, cold steeping, etc. in an attempt to smooth out my dark beers.  After several years, I realized they had become so smooth they were insipid.  I went back the other way and now even use a small amount of black patent in dark beers to get the hit of flavor I'm looking for.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2015, 05:52:02 PM »
Extra anecdotal data point: I tried doing the cap the mash thing for a few brews. I never did get the deep color I wanted, so I switched back to the all in approach. Don't think I remember a difference in flavor, but the appearance was all off.

PS: I'll look for TF as well. I'm sure I can get my lhbs to order it if all else fails.
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Offline brulosopher

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2015, 05:56:04 PM »
Ya know, it seems like I keep saying it over and over in these recent Exbeeriments....but this is no surprise and something I've been saying for years.  I even posted about it in a thread here recently.  Sorry to be the "Told Ya So" curmudgeon, but what can I say?

No need to apologize! I want to make sure to test all this stuff out regardless of what has already been done, and I like when the data backs up what people I respect have been saying for years :)

Offline jeffy

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2015, 06:02:29 PM »
I wonder if the experiments could be planned to have the same final parameters.  For example, plan to add salts to keep both the mash pH's the same and plan to add enough capped roast malt to make the colors equal.  After all you're trying to find out if there's a difference and you've already built in a difference.  Knowing that the pH would be low and the color would be light makes the experiment kind of pointless imho.

From what I understand, Gordon's method was not so much to smooth out the flavors, but also to simplify the main mash.  If you do one mash and add the proper salts or acids to get the pH you want, then you never would have to measure this stuff again.  Just do the main mash then add the crystal and roast malts later.  Without any of the excellent water programs used, this makes sense for a beginning all grain brewer.

I tried capping the mash several times and didn't get the colors or flavors I wanted, so I went back to the usual method.
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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2015, 06:08:20 PM »
I spent several years doing late additions, cold steeping, etc. in an attempt to smooth out my dark beers.  After several years, I realized they had become so smooth they were insipid.  I went back the other way and now even use a small amount of black patent in dark beers to get the hit of flavor I'm looking for.

I've done the same on occasion, Denny. All the years I blamed my recipes I didn't realize it was a pH issue !
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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2015, 06:10:31 PM »
I prescribe to JZ's comment on one of the "Can you Brew it" episodes I heard - "Brewer's have been mashing it all together for hundreds of years, just throw it all in." That's a bit of a paraphrase, but you get the point. I've tried both methods, but I prefer the simplicity of just mashing everything together.

Thanks for the experiment, Marshall.
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Offline brulosopher

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #25 on: November 30, 2015, 06:19:34 PM »
I wonder if the experiments could be planned to have the same final parameters.  For example, plan to add salts to keep both the mash pH's the same and plan to add enough capped roast malt to make the colors equal.  After all you're trying to find out if there's a difference and you've already built in a difference.  Knowing that the pH would be low and the color would be light makes the experiment kind of pointless imho.

From what I understand, Gordon's method was not so much to smooth out the flavors, but also to simplify the main mash.  If you do one mash and add the proper salts or acids to get the pH you want, then you never would have to measure this stuff again.  Just do the main mash then add the crystal and roast malts later.  Without any of the excellent water programs used, this makes sense for a beginning all grain brewer.

I tried capping the mash several times and didn't get the colors or flavors I wanted, so I went back to the usual method.

That's definitely on the list, just like to start with the basics.

Offline denny

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2015, 06:46:18 PM »
From what I understand, Gordon's method was not so much to smooth out the flavors, but also to simplify the main mash.

Which it does.  But if it changes the flavor, is it worth the tradeoff?
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Offline denny

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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #27 on: November 30, 2015, 06:47:21 PM »
I spent several years doing late additions, cold steeping, etc. in an attempt to smooth out my dark beers.  After several years, I realized they had become so smooth they were insipid.  I went back the other way and now even use a small amount of black patent in dark beers to get the hit of flavor I'm looking for.

I've done the same on occasion, Denny. All the years I blamed my recipes I didn't realize it was a pH issue !

I'm not even sure if it was a pH issue.  I think that the shorter contact time extracts less flavor from the dark grains.  Now, that may be due to pH, but I really don't know.
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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #28 on: November 30, 2015, 07:03:15 PM »
I spent several years doing late additions, cold steeping, etc. in an attempt to smooth out my dark beers.  After several years, I realized they had become so smooth they were insipid.  I went back the other way and now even use a small amount of black patent in dark beers to get the hit of flavor I'm looking for.

I've done the same on occasion, Denny. All the years I blamed my recipes I didn't realize it was a pH issue !

I'm not even sure if it was a pH issue.  I think that the shorter contact time extracts less flavor from the dark grains.  Now, that may be due to pH, but I really don't know.

No, I agree with you on shorter contact time/less extract.  I just meant that I used to get frustrated with dark beers, thinking the only way to make a good one was to cold steep, add at vorlauf, etc., where mashing together at a higher pH got what I was after all along.
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Re: Roasted Grains: Full Mash vs. Capped At Vorlauf | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2015, 07:52:44 PM »
No, I agree with you on shorter contact time/less extract.  I just meant that I used to get frustrated with dark beers, thinking the only way to make a good one was to cold steep, add at vorlauf, etc., where mashing together at a higher pH got what I was after all along.

Got it!
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