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Brown malt always gives harsh flavour

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MHB

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Personal taste, like that cold drip coffee, Ok I tasted it but be buggered if I am ever going to part with money for it. Same isn't true of Iced Tea, well made it can be wonderful - just a matter of personal taste.
Mark
 

sponge

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I'll have to agree with mants here. Cold steeping gives plenty of flavour but just seems to have a much smoother profile than mashing with the main grist. I never used to cold steep but tried it a few years back and have done it ever since. Maybe it's just placebo effect but I've definitely noticed an improvement when using roast malts.
 

manticle

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Of course. I cold steep my dark malts for stouts and porters only - mostly so I don't need to worry about low mash pH but the smoothness that results gives a better flavour balance for my palate. Would never worry for a beer with a single dark/roast grain, never just for colour and if cold steeping, it is always overnight and still added to a hot mash for ten or so minutes.
 

MHB

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One of the best Stout makers I know (Shawn at Foghorn) will use up to 20% roast in some of his big stouts, personally never been quite that brave, but the stouts he makes are velvety smooth rich and full in flavour and the best I have ever tasted.
There are lots of ways to make good beer, my personal experience (both making and tasting others) with cold steeping is that its a lot like having a shower in a rain coat.
Not right and wrong just a matter of personal taste but its worth trying lots of options
M
 

manticle

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I love showering in a raincoat.
Feels kind of sexy and wrong at the same time.
 

mje1980

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I always throw my dark malts in at the last 10mins of the mash. Smooth n yummy also.



How long do the cold steepers steep for? And how much water?. Does it then go in at the end of the boil.



I don't care if a method is non traditional if it works. I always got harshness from dark malts, but once I tried the late additions I've brewed possibly hundreds of dark beers with good success.
 

sponge

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I've done both overnight and pre-mash in (first thing I do whilst waiting for water to reach strike temp), so only 2 hours or so. I haven't noticed too much of a difference between the two so normally just do it first thing on a brew day. I normally only use a litre or two of water to steep, then I just throw it all in the mash as I ramp up to mash out temps.
 

manticle

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mje1980 said:
I always throw my dark malts in at the last 10mins of the mash. Smooth n yummy also.
How long do the cold steepers steep for? And how much water?. Does it then go in at the end of the boil.
I don't care if a method is non traditional if it works. I always got harshness from dark malts, but once I tried the late additions I've brewed possibly hundreds of dark beers with good success.
I cold steep overnight, lid or glad wrap over stainless pot, in fridge, enough water to cover.
Bring to mash temp, add to mash for mashout (raise to 78, leave 10 mins)
 

seamad

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mje1980 said:
I always throw my dark malts in at the last 10mins of the mash. Smooth n yummy also.



How long do the cold steepers steep for? And how much water?. Does it then go in at the end of the boil.



I don't care if a method is non traditional if it works. I always got harshness from dark malts, but once I tried the late additions I've brewed possibly hundreds of dark beers with good success.
I cold steep overnight, 1:4 grain/water in a stockpot, usually just on the bench unless it's stinking hot. Strain through cheesecloth and add at last 15 minutes boil.
 

MHB

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how do you find cold steeping affects your extraction?
I know with Xal malts it wont make a huge difference but I would think for amber or brown particularly the Cold Water Extract (CWE) would be pretty small compared to what you would get if you mashed them. or do you just up the base malt to compensate foe the reduced yield.
M
 

MHB

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Yes I get that, I am familiar with the process but say you made a Fullers London Porter (a cracking good beer) the extract obtained from brown and chocolate malt comes to just shy of 12%, not the sort of quantity you can just ignore with out it having a pretty big effect on the finished beer.
Mark
Numbers from the recipe in BYO 250 recipe book, adapted a bit for what you can get here.
FLP.JPG
 

seamad

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With that recipe , with such a small amount of choc (0.9%) I'd just throw that in during the recirculation whilst ( batch) sparging. My most recent porter had 10 % brown and 3% carabohemian in the mash, with 5% pale choc and 5% simpsons dark xtal cold steeped. My other regular dark beer, a black IPA has 3.3% each carafa II, caraaroma, and pale choc cold steeped, with base, rye and dark wheat mashed.Always aim for 100ppm Ca in the mash and add some acid to sparge, regularly use my pH meter to make sure mash pH is OK. I like the smoothness the cold steeping gives, plus the added benefit of making pH control a bit simpler.
I also like cold drip coffee, but I roast my own beans, and a lightly roasted ethiopean or yemen I find pretty good in summer.
 

MHB

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Ok I get that, but the question (and the thread) is about Brown Malt!
Do people cold steep or late add to the mash Brown Malt to avoid the reported harshness (not something I have found to be a problem) but I am actually curious. If so is there a significant fall off in yield that has to be accounted for?

Talking about Black/Roast and cold extraction is a little OT (interesting but). When I have made/tasted beers with late mash or cold extracted dark grain personally I find they lack a little something, but that's personal taste it might suit some to make their beer that way, but not what I would do

I worked out years ago that I have perfect taste - well my taste suits me perfectly, One of the many reasons I home brew is so I can make the beer I like.
And yes I love good coffee, one of the local roasters does a ripping single origan Ethiopian, their roster is a fluidised air bed and it a bit like watching a lava lamp (mildly hypnotic) they are making some of the best roasts I have found (they are using Sprocket Coffee at Foghorn - Shaun Sherlock's new venture)

Thinking about it I like some teeth and claws in my coffee, and my dark beers, perhaps that is why cold extraction isn't doing it for me in either case.
Mark
 

Coalminer

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MHB said:
Mash it for sure!
most of the colour/flavour is in the husks unlike black/roast malt where its in the corn (see Carafa special - no husk lots of colour and flavour) so I think that steeping to extract the flavours you want will inevitably give the problematic ones too, so just steeping doesn't fix the problem, but you do give up all the potential extract you payed for to no benefit.
I think I would be hard pressed to design anything English and dark without one or both of them appearing

To minimise the harsher flavours: -
Acidify and add Ca to your sparge water
Lean more toward Cl than SO4 (Personally I use buffered Ca Lactate)
Sparge a bit cooler - don't go over 78oC ever
Longer boil to reduce polyphenols 90 minutes minimum
Longer maturity lower carbonation
One of the very few types of beers where I would think of skimming some of the early krausen (full of chunky phenols)
Mark
Mark
Care to elaborate sometime about the use of buffered Calcium Lactate with regard to Newcastle water
ie when to or not to use it and general quantities
I don't normally use it in my dark ales but always in pale ales
In Newcastle this is the only water additions I use with tap water
 

mje1980

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Well ok, it's not so harsh this time. Perhaps I have the lighter version?. I'd normally need a few weeks at least, and the samples were harsh. I'll leave it a week or two but really it's pretty good right now.



Will be using more from now on :)

image.jpg
 

MHB

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Coalminer said:
Mark
Care to elaborate sometime about the use of buffered Calcium Lactate with regard to Newcastle water
ie when to or not to use it and general quantities
I don't normally use it in my dark ales but always in pale ales
In Newcastle this is the only water additions I use with tap water
Just CaLac/Lactic Acid, clearly it forms a very powerful Lactic/Lactate buffer complex.
These days I mostly mash in at 200C add all my water chemicals, then adjust the pH to target with Lactic acid. When I first started mucking about with CaLac I got Keith Grice (who was doing a PhD in chemistry at the time) to have a look at the Ksp calculations, he came up with about 150M CaLac/1MLac Acid to buffer at 5.2pH.
Living here you will know how lovely Hunter water is for brewing, you can get away without mucking about with it too much, so I just tweak the Sulphate if the style call for it and bump the Ca up to 150-200pmm with CaLac - works for me, Mild I did a couple off weeks ago came in at 92% brewhouse efficiency and after filtering came out crystal clear with a nice simple bitterness that doesn't linger, will tick all the boxes if I can get rid of that other 0.5% alcohol and keep all the body.
That also indicates that all the process that are affected by water chemistry are fairly well optimised, so its working for me.
Mark
 

MHB

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Sorry just to prevent any confusion, 5.2 being the end of boil target pH, the calculation (150:1) was to hit 5.5pH, been a while since we did the numbers. In practice you will probably need a bit more acid as the malt has a pretty impressive buffering capacity.
These days I adjust pH a couple of times during a brew (again style dependant) and will for some beers add extra Ca near flame out.
Mark
 

pat86

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mje1980 said:
Well ok, it's not so harsh this time. Perhaps I have the lighter version?. I'd normally need a few weeks at least, and the samples were harsh. I'll leave it a week or two but really it's pretty good right now.



Will be using more from now on :)
Hey Mje can you list which maltster you used?

I have used brown a couple of times in porters thanks to Nick from Barleyman. I believe this was Baird's brown malt and around 20-25% of the grist. I loved it.

A friend made a light coloured Porter with most of the flavour / colour from brown (one of the lighter brown malts - I don't remember which) and it was excellent. There is a real nice flavour that is very different to using smaller amounts of more roasted malts for sure.
 
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