Author Topic: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt  (Read 1664 times)

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #30 on: December 14, 2017, 11:16:11 PM »
I scale all grains by % to account for efficiency differences in a recipe, or when brewing a bigger, 'imperial' version of something I already brew - up to a point. If I'm trying to brew my version of a commercial beer or hit a particular SRM on a style, I want to hit the SRM pretty closely, so I'll vary the specialty malts as needed to hit the SRM I want if software puts me off by much. No reason to be overly rigid.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2017, 11:58:53 PM »
By steeping the RB, you'd effectively doing the same thing as adding colorant, and, let's add, flavoring.  So imagine say, Sinamar and some kind of flavor concentrate?  You're still adding a fixed amount of something or other no matter what you add it to, I was thinking. That's different from producing a wort where efficiency is at issue.

Does efficiency matter with something like RB? 

Wouldn't you extract the same amount of roast flavor from a lb. of RB in the mash per set volume of post boil wort, regardless of however many lbs. of base malt it took you to reach your desired OG (up to a point anyway)?

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Offline Robert

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2017, 12:37:22 AM »
By steeping the RB, you'd effectively doing the same thing as adding colorant, and, let's add, flavoring.  So imagine say, Sinamar and some kind of flavor concentrate?  You're still adding a fixed amount of something or other no matter what you add it to, I was thinking. That's different from producing a wort where efficiency is at issue.

Does efficiency matter with something like RB? 

Wouldn't you extract the same amount of roast flavor from a lb. of RB in the mash per set volume of post boil wort, regardless of however many lbs. of base malt it took you to reach your desired OG (up to a point anyway)?
I'm still going on the assumption that the issue in this scaling question is LAUTERING efficiency. You've  produced a  wort  of a specific  composition in the mash, but different equipment configurations and procedures will leave more or less extract behind in the goods and hence a more or less dilute wort in the kettle.   Everything is already in that extract in proportion no matter how effectively you SEPARATE the wort from the grain,  so you just scale the whole operation.  How would one drop of wort know it's from dark grain and jump into the kettle and a lazy drop from base malt stay home?  In other words you're NOT getting all your color and only some of your sugar unless all you're doing in the mash is steeping RB and seriously failing to achieve conversion. IMO.  Think of it this way:  You need twice as much of everything to make 10 gallons instead of five or it would be half gravity. You wouldn't  change proportions.  Reason it out.
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Offline BitterItDown

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2017, 12:37:52 AM »
Three viewpoints:

1.) Increase or decrease base malt to get to desired OG while keeping specialty grain amount the same
     a.) Specialty malt is diluted or concentrated by increasing or decreasing the base malt
     b.) Color is also lightened or darkened by increasing or decreasing the base malt

2.) Proportionally increase or decrease both base and specialty malts to reach the desired OG
     a.) Specialty malt remains in the same proportion to the base malt
     b.) Color should remain constant

3.) Increase or decrease specialty malts to get to desired OG while keeping base grain amount the same
     a.) Base malt is diluted or concentrated by increasing or decreasing the specialty malt
     b.) Color is also lightened or darkened by increasing or decreasing the specialty malt

Efficiency shouldn't matter if grains are mixed in the mash.  @ 60% efficiency you're still getting 90% base and 10% specialty it's just @60% of the maximum potential extract.

Offline Robert

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #34 on: December 15, 2017, 12:42:22 AM »

Efficiency shouldn't matter if grains are mixed in the mash.  @ 60% efficiency you're still getting 90% base and 10% specialty it's just @60% of the maximum potential extract.

What I'm trying to say.  But succinct.   Thanks.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #35 on: December 15, 2017, 01:18:16 AM »
I'm still going on the assumption that the issue in this scaling question is LAUTERING efficiency.

In other words you're NOT getting all your color and only some of your sugar unless all you're doing in the mash is steeping RB and seriously failing to achieve conversion.

I think maybe this where I'm looking at it differently.  I'm assuming lower conversion efficiency for the base malt (due to coarser crush or whatever) but still basically 100% color/flavor extraction from the specialty malt (and whatever sugars were created during kilning/roasting) - similar to if you were doing a cold steep or just capping the mash with the RB right before lautering.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2017, 01:45:42 AM »
I'm still going on the assumption that the issue in this scaling question is LAUTERING efficiency.

In other words you're NOT getting all your color and only some of your sugar unless all you're doing in the mash is steeping RB and seriously failing to achieve conversion.

I think maybe this where I'm looking at it differently.  I'm assuming lower conversion efficiency for the base malt (due to coarser crush or whatever) but still basically 100% color/flavor extraction from the specialty malt (and whatever sugars were created during kilning/roasting) - similar to if you were doing a cold steep or just capping the mash with the RB right before lautering.
I can see your point.  There are in fact two issues --  conversion efficiency and lautering efficiency.   But with reasonably good mashing procedures and awareness of fundamental factors like time, temperature and pH (which I figure anybody reading this has covered) I'd expect conversion would be a far less significant variable than the many arising in various methods of wort separation. 

What I feel like at this point is a nice simple beer with no tricky special malt to think about.  Oh good there's Pilsner in the keezer.

(Fixed typo)
« Last Edit: December 15, 2017, 01:47:18 AM by Robert »
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2017, 02:29:40 PM »
I can think of one malt that may not be linear as to pH - acidulated malt.  But mostly I treat the ramp up of a recipe in a linear fashion, unless some ingredient is lending a unique expression of flavor that might overwhelm if added linearly - say hot peppers.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #38 on: December 19, 2017, 01:37:18 PM »
Yeah, I typically scale all diastatic malts (pale, Munich, aromatic, etc.) and not roasted or crystal malts based on amber ales turning to brown ales in a less efficient system.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Specialty grain %'s when increasing base malt
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2018, 12:43:21 PM »
While I adhere to keeping the percentages of ALL the grain bill the same when I need to alter their amount to match my system efficiency, I know that Jamil advocated keeping the specialty grain content constant while varying the base malt content when brewing the various Scottish Ale variants (60, 70, 80). I seem to recall his thinking that the smaller versions would benefit from the increased specialty percentage.
I wonder if he proposed doing that to retain extra body in the lower gravity styles. Pattinson says that those three had the same final gravity, just different original. I could see where a constant amount of crystal  (residual sugar) could accomplish that.

If this is true it shines light on the original question of the OP. Scaling base malt and leaving specialty constant might maintain similar FG while mostly increasing OG, if mash/lauter efficiency is constant. If the only thing you change is mash/later efficiency I think you need to increase all grains equally, unless you know that one grain is being converted or lautered differently than the others. No idea how you could know that other than personal experience on your own system.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 12:44:54 PM by klickitat jim »