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Brewing Topics => Extract and Partial Mash Brewing => Topic started by: AndyMay on February 18, 2017, 05:31:10 AM

Title: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: AndyMay on February 18, 2017, 05:31:10 AM
I'm trying to build an Extract recipe using two sorts of DME as my base malt, but I also want to steep a couple of malts as specialty grains. It lets me add them just fine, but it is my understanding that because they are steeped (at a lower temperature) rather than boiled, they don't add a great deal to the fermentables.

Do I have to tell Beersmith somehow that I'm steeping them at the beginning of the process and then removing them, rather than boiling these grains - I'm worried that otherwise it's going to throw the Gravity and ABV calculations off otherwise?

Andy
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: thornwood on February 18, 2017, 08:22:14 AM
Beersmith knows you aren't boiling the grains.  :0)

If you want the grains to contribute their sugar You will steep them between 145-165.
This is considered a partial mash, and you should switch the beersmith recipe from extract to partial mash.

If you leave the recipe on "extract" the specific gravity just show a tiny contribution from the grains.
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: thornwood on February 18, 2017, 08:25:09 AM
By The way, I'm in the US, so 145-165 degrees is Fahrenheit.
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: AndyMay on February 18, 2017, 09:29:34 AM
Thank you (and I guessed about the Farenheit bit).
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: Oginme on February 18, 2017, 04:08:29 PM
If the recipe is marked as 'extract', beersmith will assume that specialty grains are being steeped.  For this it uses a different utilization factor for these grains than if you were mashing them. 

Also, if you are steeping the grains, the temperature is not a major factor in releasing the sugars.  You will get better utilization with higher temperatures (145F to 160F) but it is not a critical factor.  There are several references in brewing books to cold steeping grains  (especially dark roasted grains) to get the color and limited contribution they offer without as much of the harsh bitter flavors.
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: rx35285 on November 14, 2017, 08:47:53 AM
This is an older topic, but I'm going to try to keep it together....

I am apparently in a twilight zone between extract and partial mash brewing. Yesterday I made a 5 gal extract batch with steeping grains consisting of 1 lb of white wheat malt, 12 oz Caramel 60L, and 4 oz Breiss Extra Special, steeped 27 min at 150-155*. The estimated OG with type ?extract? was 1.053. My measured OG was 1.065.

I am trying to figure out why I was so far off. When I switch the type to ?partial mash?, I get an estimated OG of 1.064. Was the closeness of partial mash estimated OG and actual OG a coincidence?

Does one need to switch between "extract" and "partial mash" depending on the sugar potential of the grain?
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: Oginme on November 14, 2017, 10:03:46 AM
When you have any type of base grain which needs the starches converted into sugars and has some enzyme potential to make this conversion, you are doing a partial mash.

In your specific case, the use of wheat malt -- wheat which has been malted to break down some of the proteins and enable the enzymes to be more efficient -- means that you need to do a partial mash.  The extraction potential of a partial mash is higher than what you would get from just steeping specialty grains.  So, in essence, the target OG you saw from changing the recipe type to partial mash was real.

You can check if a malt needs to be mashed by looking at the profile for that malt in BeerSmith.  If the description for 'must mash' is 'true', then that malt needs to be mashed in order to gain the benefits of its potential.
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: rx35285 on December 29, 2017, 01:16:09 PM
Thank you, Oginme.  Much appreciated.
Title: Re: Does Brewsmith know I'm just steeping my grains?
Post by: wepeeler on January 28, 2018, 12:47:25 PM
THANK YOU Oginme!

"So I recently switched from light dme to extra light dme (Pilsner). I've done 2 batches so far, and my OGs are WAY off. Last batch was 1.072 instead of 1.060, and the batch I did tonight was 1.070 instead of 1.058. Used 7.5 lbs in last batch, and 7 lbs tonight. Topped off to 5 gallons both times and stirred and stirred before taking the sample. Last batch came out great, fermented to 1.016. It was a little sweet, but the hop flavors were money. The wort from tonight's batch tasted great, but why the $%# are my OGs so off?"

I could not for the life of me figure out why. I searched through every setting I could think of in my equipment profile. Nothing seemed to change my target OG. Until it dawned on me that I was steeping 2 lbs of grain. Obviously I am getting fermentables from that! Changed profile to "partial mash" and BAM. My 2 target OGs changed to 1.072, which is what I was hitting!

Thanks again dude.