Author Topic: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt  (Read 1678 times)

Offline JFMBearcat

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Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« on: December 13, 2017, 08:37:57 PM »
Hi all, let's say I am using a recipe posted online, but I need to add 4-5 lbs of base malt to make up for my lower efficiency. Do I need to increase the specialty grains by the same pro-rated amount to keep the grain %'s the same, or is this irrelevant?

For example: an imperial stout

20lbs maris otter
2lbs chocolate malt
1lb crystal 60
1.5lbs roasted barley

But I need approx 26lbs maris otter to achieve the same OG. Do I increase the chocolate malt/c60 and roasted barley by the same amount or keep as is? I always wondered this. Thanks!

Offline denny

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2017, 08:42:56 PM »
Hi all, let's say I am using a recipe posted online, but I need to add 4-5 lbs of base malt to make up for my lower efficiency. Do I need to increase the specialty grains by the same pro-rated amount to keep the grain %'s the same, or is this irrelevant?

For example: an imperial stout

20lbs maris otter
2lbs chocolate malt
1lb crystal 60
1.5lbs roasted barley

But I need approx 26lbs maris otter to achieve the same OG. Do I increase the chocolate malt/c60 and roasted barley by the same amount or keep as is? I always wondered this. Thanks!

This is a topic of some debate.  I'll tell you that I increase all the grain to keep the relative % the same.  But not everyone does.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Online dmtaylor

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2017, 10:09:54 PM »
I increase amounts of everything to try to maintain the same percents.  It's the only thing that makes sense.  Because, science.
Dave

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Offline Robert

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2017, 11:03:20 PM »
^^^^
Yeah, science!  And, what is a recipe but a formula, a proportionate list of ingredients?  Your efficiency will vary equally across the whole grain bill.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline chinaski

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2017, 11:03:52 PM »
The reason I can think of to just up the base malts is if extraction of speciality malt flavors somehow differs from the extraction of base malt gravity points.  I can imagine separating the speciality malts and steeping them in the wort instead of putting them in the mash (doesn't Gordon Strong advocate for this?) in which case I would guess that the extraction of the flavors is not dependent on the wort gravity.  If the speciality malts are in the mash itself, then perhaps those flavors get extracted at the same rate as fermentable sugars.

How's that for a scientific hypothesis?  I'm looking at you experimental brewers!

Offline Stevie

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Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2017, 11:11:09 PM »
It depends. Scaling everything works well until you brew a big roasty stout and need to adjust for a wide difference in efficiency. You’ll also notice in the color.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 11:14:58 PM by Stevie »

Offline Robert

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2017, 11:16:00 PM »
The reason I can think of to just up the base malts is if extraction of speciality malt flavors somehow differs from the extraction of base malt gravity points.  I can imagine separating the speciality malts and steeping them in the wort instead of putting them in the mash (doesn't Gordon Strong advocate for this?) in which case I would guess that the extraction of the flavors is not dependent on the wort gravity.  If the speciality malts are in the mash itself, then perhaps those flavors get extracted at the same rate as fermentable sugars.

How's that for a scientific hypothesis?  I'm looking at you experimental brewers!
Separating the two sounds unnecessarily complicated.  And a whole new can of worms trying to get the original balance of flavors, with two different, and as yet unknown, rates of extraction!  Assuming that the biggest variable is LAUTERING efficiency and not something to do with conversion in the mash, keeping the % makes sense.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline denny

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2017, 02:54:44 PM »
The reason I can think of to just up the base malts is if extraction of speciality malt flavors somehow differs from the extraction of base malt gravity points.  I can imagine separating the speciality malts and steeping them in the wort instead of putting them in the mash (doesn't Gordon Strong advocate for this?) in which case I would guess that the extraction of the flavors is not dependent on the wort gravity.  If the speciality malts are in the mash itself, then perhaps those flavors get extracted at the same rate as fermentable sugars.

How's that for a scientific hypothesis?  I'm looking at you experimental brewers!

Why would the extraction of nase malts differ from specialty malts?  Can't think of a reason and I've never seen it happen.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline BitterItDown

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2017, 03:16:23 PM »
Hi all, let's say I am using a recipe posted online, but I need to add 4-5 lbs of base malt to make up for my lower efficiency. Do I need to increase the specialty grains by the same pro-rated amount to keep the grain %'s the same, or is this irrelevant?

For example: an imperial stout

20lbs maris otter
2lbs chocolate malt
1lb crystal 60
1.5lbs roasted barley

But I need approx 26lbs maris otter to achieve the same OG. Do I increase the chocolate malt/c60 and roasted barley by the same amount or keep as is? I always wondered this. Thanks!

Changing the ratios and/or amounts of ingredients in recipes always makes a difference.  You're either diluting or concentrating the various ingredients if the ratios aren't maintained.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 03:23:41 PM »
+1 to adjusting ALL %'s of all malts used in a given recipe based on your efficiency.

Offline Robert

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 03:28:35 PM »
I kind of suspect that the reason there's any debate on this at all goes back into collective homebrew memory:  Somebody would buy an all-grain kit, fail to hit the expected OG.  LHBS would say "next time throw in an extra pound of base malt."  Because that was about all you could do in that situation.
Rob Stein
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Offline narcout

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2017, 05:23:22 PM »
I'll go against the grain; I don't think it always makes sense to keep the relative percentages the same.
It's too close to home
And it's too near the bone

Offline BitterItDown

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2017, 05:28:49 PM »
I'll go against the grain; I don't think it always makes sense to keep the relative percentages the same.

Can you elaborate?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2017, 05:39:26 PM »
I'll go against the grain; I don't think it always makes sense to keep the relative percentages the same.
I’m with you too.

Simple example
90/10 - 2row/c40 - 1.050 OG
80% efficiency 7.1 SRM
60% efficiency 8.6 SRM

Small, but that is a difference.


Offline denny

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2017, 05:58:37 PM »
I'll go against the grain; I don't think it always makes sense to keep the relative percentages the same.
I’m with you too.

Simple example
90/10 - 2row/c40 - 1.050 OG
80% efficiency 7.1 SRM
60% efficiency 8.6 SRM

Small, but that is a difference.

How much of that comes just from increasing the pale malt?
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell