From the HBD Archive
From: Pete Soper <>
Subject: mashing mystery
Date: 1989-09-07 18:12:22 GMT

The discussion of crystal and dextrin malts and mashing vs steeping
raises a fundamental question that has been bugging me for a long time. You
may recall I asked this question many moons ago but never got a reasonable
answer: The main purpose of crystal and dextrin malts is to provide residual
sweetness via unfermentable dextrins. With this as a given (and ignoring
"body", "pallet fullness", and color issues), why should these malts be
mashed with regular malts and the dextrin->maltose enzymes the regular
malts contain? Surely this causes all or part of the specialty malt's
dextrins to be converted to simple, fermentable sugars?
Given this I would stop mashing specialty malts together with my
pale or lager malt except for one thing. I am told that even specialty
malts like these need a protein rest (assuming they are not fully modified -
in other words virtually anything made in the USA). So where do I get
these protolytic enzymes to break down the big proteins and keep me
haze free? From the regular malt whose other enzymes will nibble the
specialty malt's dextrins into maltose. Catch-22.
What am I missing?

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