From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: unknown
Date: 1989-03-17 17:53:17 GMT

From: unet!mccrae!jimmc@Sun.COM (Jim McCrae)
"My current brewing practice is confined to reasonably
"sophisticated extracts. I use a lot of crystal malt, because
"I really like the results. I usually add the grain along with or
"shortly before the finishing hops, and occasionally I steep
"them without letting them come to a boil.

You should try not to boil grain. It extracts tanins from the grain
husks that will make your beer astringent. It can also add to chill
haze because the haze is made from the combination of tanins and
protiens. If you don't want to bother with a temperature controlled
mash, put the grain in your water and strain it out before you reach
boiling. But really, tanins begin to extract from the husks above
about 175F.

"My question is: does the added grain in fact go through a
"limited mashing process in the wort? I'm talking about careful
"addition, pre-boil or at the very end, not boiled to excess.
"If this is the case, I may talk myself into trying all-grain soon.

If you don't boil the grain, and if you are using grains with some
enzymatic abilities (crystal has none; it's already been mashed for
you by the maltster), then, yes, you are mashing. The whole point of
mashing is to get the diastatic enzymes in the grain to convert the
grain starches into sugars. This happens at about 148-160F. If you
aren't at this temperature for a while, you aren't mashing.

When you do all grain, there is enough thermal mass that you can add
the grain to hot water such that it comes to equilibrium in the range
and will hold the temperature for an hour with no problems. (I mash 15
gallons worth of beer, and I just set it and forget it.)

The most fuss with all grain is lautering the mash afterwards. You
need to have a lot of hot water available and some means of straining
10lbs. of grain. This isn't a problem if you're prepared, but a
collander is not going to cut it. There are lots of different
solutions to the problem; just look through any reasonable homebrewing

--Darryl Richman

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