Steeping and Mashing

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hermanpeckel

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Alright, so thanks to you guys on the forum I am now raring to go with my first all-grain. Well, when I say raring, I am still waiting for my gear to arrive by post, but when it does I'll be straight into it.

As is often the case, the more I learn about all grain, the less I know. One of the real head scratchers for me is the steep vs mash thing. After a solid Googling I now kind of understand which and why some malts need to be mashed. It's the steeping part that I'm confused with.

My first BIAB is going to be a big Belgian dark, strong ale. It's got a ton of pilsner malt, quarter a ton of Munich and then some specialty grains. My original intention was to just chuck them all in the grain bag and mash away. I have now read that this isn't a good approach - steeping grains should be steeped, mashing grains should be mashed.

Easy enough when extract brewing, but how do you do it with BIAB? Steep first then mash with that water?

Thanks!
 

gap

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You are confusing extract brewing using speciality grains and doing all grain where you usually put all the grains together and mash them.

Just mash them all together.
 

TidalPete

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Gap is correct. Don't worry about steeping.
Anything under approx. 400 EBC (200 Lovibond) can be added to the mash but roasted grains (400 EBC plus) will give you a harsh, roasty aftertaste if added along with your base malts, crystals, etc.
Better to add them at the last 10 minutes of the mash to avoid this.
 

manticle

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Chuck them all in together.
In situations where you have a high proportion of roast malts (such as stout or porter) separate steeping is ONE method SOME brewers use but in most instances most brewers throw all spec grains into the mash.
 

hermanpeckel

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Sweet! Chucking them all in works for me.

Don't know how I would do them separately. Wouldn't it bring the temp down if I added the dark grains in the last 15 minutes?
 

manticle

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At that point it wouldn't matter anyway but for this brew there is no need.
Wait till you are making a stout and are interested in water chemistry before worrying about the idea.
 

Hippy

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I often add spec malts such as crystal at mashout,which I find gives more depth of malt character.
 

indica86

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TidalPete said:
Anything under approx. 400 EBC (200 Lovibond) can be added to the mash but roasted grains (400 EBC plus) will give you a harsh, roasty aftertaste if added along with your base malts, crystals, etc.
Obviously I cannot taste anything then. My brews must be overly roasty and shit.
 

mckenry

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indica86 said:
Obviously I cannot taste anything then. My brews must be overly roasty and shit.
Send me as many as you can and I'll let you know
 

Coxy

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While I've always just thrown them all in the mash as well, I feel that separating out the specialty malts and steeping them apart from the mash may be a way to get around a limited-size mash tun. My MT is only a 19L cylindrical cooler, so I'm probably pushing it a bit to do any really high gravity beers in a 'standard' size (20-23L) batch. However, if I were to steep the specialty grains separately in a pot, then only my base malt would need to go in the MT and I could theoretically get significantly bigger beers.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Is there any reason that it would be bad to do this to get around limited equipment?

To be honest, as I currently bottle anyway and don't have any 19L kegs to go filling, it really doesn't matter if I just adjust the volume in my recipe instead of adding more grains in order to get bigger beers, but I'm interested in maybe trying it out anyway.
 

beerfarmer

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Mate if its your first crack at it, mash them all together after milling of course. At mash temps no astringency should occur from grain husk. Don't forget you boil the shit outta wort after mashing. Just go for it and learn along the way!
 

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