View Full Version : Steeping flaked barley
10-17-2008, 10:28 PM
OK, so this was mentioned in the OFlan stout thread and landis's homebrew guy told him steeping flaked barley won't add anything to the beer... this just seems wrong to me. YOu don't get a lot of fermentables from it when you mash, so why would you need to mash it anyway? And isn't steeping at 150 for a half just the same as mini mash? I choose not to believe flaked barley won't effect your beer if steeped!
I've never done anything but AG, but I have read that flaked barley is best done by partial mash or AG for the barley to convert.
10-18-2008, 12:19 AM
I'm basically in agreement w/ Ashton Lewis as linked in the other thread...there are pros and cons to steeping these grains & you can get great beer with steeping cereal grains and never have problems w/ infection, spoilage or major starch haze issues (especially when talking dark beers where it's less visible).
That said, a stove top mini mash is super easy, eliminates the possible downside and you get the full benefit from the ingredient as it was intended. In past efforts, I've steeped oats but not flaked barley so I can't comment on the difference between steeping and mashing FB.
10-23-2008, 08:56 PM
I would think the aspect of conversion would offer the benefit of breaking down the starches, which in turn would offer the proteins more solubility and therefore, more of the mouthfeel/head retention benefits of the flaked barley. It may be a miniscule difference, however.
10-23-2008, 09:21 PM
I feel so ignorant in regard to many aspects of the AG brewing process.
To mini mash the flaked barley what would that all involve? 150 deg for an hour? Would there be a recommended volume of water? When I steep grains I usually go with 150 deg for 20 minutes.
I read what Ashton Lewis mentioned in his article, and if mini mashes aren't terribly difficult I may start doing those (if I can work around my 3 gallon stove top boil limit).
10-23-2008, 09:48 PM
To mini-mash you are actually going for conversion, so you'll want to add some plain base malt such as 2-row or Pilsener in with the Oats and other Specialty grains. You do this because most of the specialty grains won't have enough available enzymes to do the conversion (simply converting starches to sugars - starches are just a long chain of sugar molecules). So you provide those enzymes from the base malt. I would say just a pound would be fine.
We usually stick with around 1 to 1.25 quart(s) of water per pound of grain when performing a mash. This is because it allows sufficient contact of the exposed starch with the enzymes that leech into solution. A thinner mash (1.5qts/lb and above, I would say) would decrease this surface availability and a thick mash (< 1qt/lb) and you wouldn't get as good solubility from the enzymes, and there would be less available for conversion.
For example, if you had 4 pounds of grain, you would mash with 4-5 gallons of water.
Minimashing is easy, and can be done in your brewpot. The only extra equipment you need is a grain bag that will allow you so simply filter or separate the grains from the sweet wort after the mash is complete. You usually mash for an hour.
10-23-2008, 10:03 PM
Thank you PseudoChef - that is a perfectly simple explanation. And I think that next brew will be my first mini-mash.
I think Ó Flannagáin's stout would be a perfect brew to try this with. My first 5 gallons are fermenting now without the barley, so it would be interesting to see the difference with a batch doing a mini mash.
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