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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 2, 2003 * Cold steeping? < Previous Next >

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gregory gettman (67.75.109.191)
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 06:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What are the advantages? And what is the practice of those who use it? I was thinking of using 13 oz of both chcolate and roast in a stout. But maybe that would be to much so I was thinking try the cold steep method? Thoughts?
 

Kent Fletcher (206.170.107.30)
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 06:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've used cold steeping for black patent, avoids that sharp bite that BP can cause. I haven't used it for Roast Barley, after all, it's the roast flavor that MAKES it a Stout, YMMV.

Strictly speaking, I don't think chocolate belongs in a Stout. Porter sure, but Stout?
 

gregory gettman (67.75.109.191)
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 07:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

what about young's double chocolate stout? I belive that is made with chcolate malt and the candy?
 

Hophead (172.167.191.7)
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 08:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chocolate malt doesn't belong in a stout? eh? Whiskey tango foxtrot, over.

Cold steeping reduces the 'bitterness' of the highly roasted grains, as Kent mentions. Kind of like first wort hopping vs 60+ minute bittering hops (reaching). Do it overnight, you will like the results, and what the heck, use a whole pound... Works well with carafa, chocolate, patent, roasted, etc...

And using real chocolate doesn't imply the candy form, more likely powdered, like cocoa. I had it on tap earlier this year, and it was a bit overwhelming chocolate-wise for me.
 

Jim Layton (209.246.128.143)
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 04:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One can argue that roast barley has no place in a porter and chocolate malt has no place in a stout but there are plenty of good beers that break this "rule". There's some overlap between porter and stout, both historically and in modern brewing.
 

Bill Tobler (64.216.85.6)
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 06:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here is a post by George Fix on cold steeping. He said the procedure was developed by Mary Ann Gruber of Briess Malting. There might be more info on their web site if you look hard enough.

Building and Brewing in Texas
Bill Tobler
My Brewery
 

Steve Pierson (63.187.176.157)
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 06:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have used this method for chocolate stouts. I steep 8 oz. each of black patent, roasted barley and chocolate malt. Boil a gallon of water - let it cool to room temperature. Add the grains and steep covered overnight. I sparge with a gallon of hot tap water - probably not necessary. I add the solution to the pot and continue the brew process.

This solution creates a lot of foam - watch for boilovers. Some brewers recommend adding the solution at the end of the boil to avoid the foam.

There is an article on the Briess website as Bill mentioned. This method gives a nice smooth flavor without the bite. Try it - you'll like it.
 

Greg Beron (24.130.171.222)
Posted on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 07:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's an article I wrote for my Septempber store newsletter. I based my experiments on what little is out there by Fix and Gruber. Since I've only tried it a couple of times now, there's more research to be done, but so far cold steeping seems promising.

Spotlight on Technique - Cold Steeping

Cold Steeping is a relatively new technique which shows great promise. As the name implies, grain is steeped in room-temperature water overnight, rather than in the typical manner used by extract brewers. However, unlike hot water steeping, cold steeping is not just for extract brewing and may be used with great success with all-grain batches. So why cold steep? Essentially, cold steeping is a way of extracting the "good" melanoidins from darker malts while leaving the "bad" melanoidins behind. An example of this is the English Dark Mild that Tom Rierson brought to the August Pacific Gravity meeting. Dark Milds can be tricky beers to brew because the large amount of dark grain needed for the required color tends to dominate the flavor profile. Tom decided to try cold steeping in hopes of reducing that flavor contribution and, having tasted it, I'd say he succeeded admirably.

The technique is pretty simple, if you want to try it yourself. Start by tripling the amount of specialty grains normally called for in your recipe. In fact, you can include malts which usually require mashing, like Munich, Melanoidin, or Honey malt. Then boil 2-3 quarts of water for each lb. of grain, cover it and let it cool to room temperature. Once the water has cooled, mix in your grain and let it steep 12-18 hours. When you're ready to brew, make your beer as you normally would (skipping the steeping part, of course). With about 5 minutes left in the boil, strain out the grain and pour the steeping water into your brewpot. It's that simple.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 07:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg, I know George Fix recommended it for munich malt, but I'm wondering about the advisability of cold steeping grains with a substantial starch content. Could a chemist possibly explain if steeping in hot water extracts unconverted starches but cold steeping does not?
 

Greg Beron (24.130.171.222)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 03:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I thought Fix's statements about Munich malt was a little bit out there too, so I've conducted iodine tests both times I tried cold steeping. Both were negative for starch.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wasn't there somebody on here about a year ago who did a totally cold steeped beer? Seems like he cold steeped pale or Munich as a base malt and found that by raising the temp of the cold extract up to mash temps got conversion. IIRC, he had an efficiency of about 50%. Anybody else remember this, or am I hallucinating again? Or both...
 

Greg Beron (66.47.129.204)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I remember that. I'm not sure I completely believed it, but I do remember it.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Monday, November 10, 2003 - 11:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I remember that too. It was Nathi, I believe.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 01:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Now that you mention it, it was Nathi, and I'm inclined to believe him. I'm wondering if that means that the runoff from cold steeped grains with significant starches should be held at saccharification temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to being boiled.
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 05:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill, I'm pretty sure that's what he did. It would be interesting to hear the results of the finished beer.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 07:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm still trying to explain this logically. Steeping of grains with significant starch content in hot water has not been recommended because it extracts unconverted starches into the beer that can cause haze and provide nutrients for beer-spoiling bacteria that are able to metabolize starches. It is recommended to mash these grains; the thin grain/water ratio of the grist does not provide sufficient enzymes to convert the starches during steeping.

Yet cold steeping of these grains does not extract starches; Greg Beron mentioned in his post above that an iodine test on the runoff from cold steeped munich malt was negative for starch. And Nathi reported about a year ago that a beer he brewed entirely from cold steeped grains had a normal O.G. with an efficiency of approximately 50 percent and normal attenuation and F.G.

The suggestion here is that steeping is nearly as effective (if a little less efficient) as mashing and that starch extraction is not a concern if the grains are steeped cold. Is the temperature of the water a factor in starch extraction (clearly it's a factor in converting starches to sugars)? Or is the conventional warning about not steeping some grains in hot water not to be trusted?

I'm sorry to continue to be puzzled but could someone please explain the chemistry to me in a logical way.
 

Rob F (12.154.254.158)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 07:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It can't be explained logically, as Greg's and Nathi's experiences are completely opposite. Someone needs to do the entire experiment. Cold steep, iodine test, saccharification, fermentation, bubble count.

Fredrik?
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 08:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yeah, as I recall Nathi found starch positive before heating and negative after, which is opposite to Greg's findings.

Explain the chemistry in a logical way?? That lets me out!
 

Streb (68.166.203.35)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 08:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

> It can't be explained logically, as Greg's and Nathi's experiences are completely opposite. Someone needs to do the entire experiment. Cold steep, iodine test, saccharification, fermentation, bubble count


I'm confused. There has been a lot of talk about bubble counters lately. What exactly is the bubble count going to prove other than that it is fermenting? There are too many variables that a homebrewer would have a hard time controlling to make that one accurate. Residual sanitizer in the fermentor, exact volume of viable yeast cells pitched, exact volume of biological contaminants in both fermentors, exact temperature of pitched yeast, temperature of the fermentor, seal on the fermentor, volume of liquid in the bubbler, volume of fermentable sugar, volume of liquid in the fermentor... To make all things equal, it appears that it would be a RPiTA and would have to be done under laboratory conditions to make it worthwhile. Is bubble counting becoming an accepted practice?

No, I am not trolling. I know this is not something that everyone subscribes to, but I've read a few posts about bubble counters lately and missed the initial arguments. A concise summary of the facts would be appreciated.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 08:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

<A concise summary of the facts would be appreciated.

We are teasing Fredrik.

<it appears that it would be a RPiTA

See that mophead? ROYAL... hey wait a minute

PTA
 

Dan Mourglea (67.240.192.66)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 08:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Frederik built a counter to moniter the bubbles produced during fermentation. Everyone tells him its a PiTA but he is an experimenter by nature and that's his hobby. (More power to him.) He IS trying to use controlled variables (the big problem-and lotsa people have warned him). He has done some mapping of the CO2 released and I think it is pretty interesting; but definitely not necessary for brewing excellent beer (as he also has been notified). He has a good sense of humor about it and because of the general disbelief in his methods it has become quite a good in-joke here. . .

Brew On!

Thank you drive through. . . (That one is cool enough to get its own acronym TYDT. . .[thanks PHA!])

Dan
 

Streb (68.166.203.35)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 08:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Aah, I see. Thanks for the clarification.
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 09:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Royalty, who would have guessed...

Another vote for Nathi's comments.
 

Greg Beron (66.47.129.204)
Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 10:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm hard-pressed to explain the contradiction between Nathi's findings and my own, which is why I tend to disbelieve his. After two tests, the second conducted with fresh iodine just in case the first batch was too old, I've seen no reaction to the iodine.

What I haven't tried, however, is cold steeping base malts. It's possible that if very light malts are used, you might see a starch reaction since the lightest grain I tried was a dark Munich (18L).
 

Kent Fletcher (206.170.107.30)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 01:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've read somewhere (no clue where) in "the literature" that amylase enzymes are active to some degree over a very wide temperature range, but they are MOST active at the temps we use to mash. It follows that conversion could take place at ambient temp, just that it would take a LOT longer. After all, you could get 50% conversion of some malts in a matter of a few minutes, right? I remember a quote from a brewing science prof at UC Davis that high diastatic malts could completely convert in 15-20 minutes. Cold steeping is usually done at least overnight, say 12 hours easy. So that's 36 to 48 times as long. So the enzymes would only have to work at about 3% of potential (in terms of rate of conversion) to convert at room temperature. This possiblity may also have played a role in the birth of beer in antiquity, as has been posited long ago.

Waddaya think?
 

Hophead (172.160.83.60)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 03:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg, you just answered your own question. Cold steeping base grains along with the roasted grains should be your next experiment, since you are hard-pressed to believe it as a possibility...
 

Ken Anderson (68.235.34.176)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 03:53 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nathi's findings make me think the starches AND enzymes were cold extracted. Heating that mixture/solution to saccharification temperature triggered conversion. Greg's findings do throw a monkey wrench into things though. And Fredrik, tooling around Austria, thinking about beer. :)
Ken
 

Greg Beron (66.47.129.204)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 06:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If I could see any point in cold steeping base malts, I'd give it a try. But since the whole point is to extract melanoidins without harshness, it doesn't seem worth bothering with. Besides, when my current approach shows no starch reaction why should I change to something that someone says will add starches to the boil?

I will continue to conduct an iodine test every time I cold steep, though. If I ever see a reaction, I'll let you know. But I doubt it.
 

Denny Conn (140.211.82.4)
Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2003 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kent, that makes some sense.

Greg, in the context of Nathi's experiement, it was surmised that it might be a way for brewers with limited equipment to make AG beer. It does seem more interesting than practical, though.
 

Joel Gallihue (68.55.159.38)
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 05:09 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"It does seem more interesting than practical, though."

This is the Essence de passe-temps de brassage.

... or any other hobby for that matter!

Ne vous inquiétez pas. Ayez une bière brassée à la maison.
Sorgen Sie sich nicht. Haben Sie ein gebrautes Hauptbier.
No se preocupe. Tenga una cerveza elaborada cerveza casera.
Non si preoccupi. Abbia una birra fermentata domestica.
Não se preocupe. Tenha uma cerveja brewed home.

Babel Fish Translator + homebrew = big fun
Charlie P. would be pleased.
Bummer the Asian characters don't work.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, November 13, 2003 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Very good, Joel. Indeed Charlie P. would love it.

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