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Author Topic: Steeping Kilned malts  (Read 383 times)

Offline neuse

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Steeping Kilned malts
« on: September 13, 2022, 04:46:58 pm »
I recently ran across a website https://www.beginbrewing.com/2015/05/which-grains-can-be-steeped-which-need.html that shows kilned malts “should be mashed, but may be steeped”. Other sources show definite yes or no, mostly for individual kilned malts, and they don’t all agree. I’m guessing the lack of agreement is because of the “should be” and the “may be” issue. I haven’t been able to find any explanation. Does anyone know what the down side is to steeping these grains - and maybe what the consideration should be in deciding?

Online BrewBama

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Steeping Kilned malts
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2022, 07:08:30 pm »
TLDR; The consideration in deciding if a grain should be mashed or can be steeped is if it has starch that can be converted to sugar or not.

Short story, long; The grains that have to be mashed have been soaked, sprouted (germinated), and then the sprouting phase abruptly stopped by drying with heat (aka malted). This malting process develops enzymes that can convert starch to sugar (saccharification) in the mash. Malt gets progressively darker as they are heated longer. More heat produces darker malt. Base malts such as Pils, Pale, Pale Ale, Vienna, Munich, etc., as well as Specialty malts such as Amber, Brown, Acid, Victory, Biscuit, Aromatic, malted wheat, etc., etc. must be mashed to convert their starch to sugars.

If the starch has already been converted to sugar via the mfr process (Cara-, C#, Crystal, etc.), or is processed to a point beyond useful starch (Choc, Carafa, Roast, etc., etc.), it can be steeped. Steeping C malts simply leach the color and sugars already present and steeping roast grains draw the color and roasted flavors into the steeping solution.

Of course, there are some raw grains that haven’t been thru a malt process at all and so need to have a cereal mash before added to the main mash (corn, rice, etc, etc.).

Hope this helps. (It gives examples but isn’t all inclusive).

Some don’t care for steeping any grains separate from the main mash for various reasons. Mash pH can be fairly accurately predicted along with corresponding estimated acid adjustments to compensate for their inclusion.

I prefer to mash only the grains that require it. I don’t mash grains that don’t require it (dark C malts and roast grains) because they do screw with the mash pH. I add those grains to the main mash after an hour for an additional 30 min hot steep. Because I don’t add grains that don’t require mashing until after saccharification, and I add a little CaCl and/or gypsum to my deaerated distilled strike water, I don’t have to adjust for mash pH with acid. It consistently falls into an acceptable range.

[Rabbit Hole] Admittedly, I do use a tsp of Ascorbic Acid but it’s not to control pH, it’s to act as an O2 stabilizer in conjunction with the deaeration and Brewtan B.  Full disclosure: I recently did a side-by-side triangle tasting of a Blonde Ale with and without the O2 steps I take. I couldn’t tell a difference. YMMV [/Rabbit Hole]

Of course, you can steep separately, either hot or cold, then add that solution later in your process. 

Try different techniques and see what you like.

« Last Edit: September 14, 2022, 03:56:33 am by BrewBama »

Offline denny

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Re: Steeping Kilned malts
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2022, 09:26:47 am »
Full disclosure: I recently did a side-by-side triangle tasting of a Blonde Ale with and without the O2 steps I take. I couldn’t tell a difference. YMMV

Thank you for that.
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Offline neuse

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Re: Steeping Kilned malts
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2022, 11:41:36 am »
BrewBama: Very nice description of the process. The diagram is especially helpful. I'm sure I have all or most of the steps and temperatures in various forms, but this diagram puts it all together. Thanks.

Online erockrph

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Re: Steeping Kilned malts
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2022, 11:00:02 am »
I will add that if you are an extract + steeped grains brewer, you can steep grains that should normally be mashed (such as Munich and Vienna), especially in small amounts. You won't get much in the way of extract from them, and the potential exists to create a starch haze, but steeping will allow you to get some of the flavor from the grains. A half pound to a pound of Munich malt in a 5-gallon batch was never a problem for me.
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Offline denny

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Re: Steeping Kilned malts
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2022, 11:03:49 am »
I will add that if you are an extract + steeped grains brewer, you can steep grains that should normally be mashed (such as Munich and Vienna), especially in small amounts. You won't get much in the way of extract from them, and the potential exists to create a starch haze, but steeping will allow you to get some of the flavor from the grains. A half pound to a pound of Munich malt in a 5-gallon batch was never a problem for me.

And if you steep around 150F for 20 min or so, you've mashed them
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Offline neuse

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Re: Steeping Kilned malts
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2022, 02:56:39 pm »
I will add that if you are an extract + steeped grains brewer, you can steep grains that should normally be mashed (such as Munich and Vienna), especially in small amounts. You won't get much in the way of extract from them, and the potential exists to create a starch haze, but steeping will allow you to get some of the flavor from the grains. A half pound to a pound of Munich malt in a 5-gallon batch was never a problem for me.
Bingo. That's exactly what I've been missing - thanks.