question re soaking roast malts outside the mash,

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Ok Im on a Quest for a less bitter dark beers like 60/-, milds stouts etc.. I like my dark beers smoother than Slinky McVelvets Cashmere Codpiece..

Now Im led to believe that mashing too much Roast / speciality malt will produce astringency in the finished beer,
Anyhow I stumbled onto something on FB where a brewer making a stout , cold soaked his patent, chocolate and crystal overnight. He added the cold strained Liquor to the kettle pre boil. I understand would impart colour and flavour without astringency...

BUT
he also added the strained speciality grains on top of the grainbed at sparge. claiming he was recovering sugars from the dark Grains..

IS this a valid method? would adding the strained dark grains to the top of the grainbed impart astringency?
 
Lol. Just do a bit of experimenting & see what you get.
I've reasonable success using combinations of crystal, brown & chocolate malt.
You don't need much chocolate malt to get a dark beer. Noticeably darker beer using just 50g in a 20l batch. Using more than 200g starts to take you from porter towards stout.

I won't be using black malt again. Tried once and it was awful.
Also read on here about roast barley & decided that wasn't for me either.

Not sure if that's useful to you
 
I tried doing an experiment of cold steeping Vs warm steeping (at mash temperatures) of some chocolate malt in water, then comparing taste/colour.

The cold steeped malt water was lighter in colour and less bitter... Just as if I had added less malt.

So then I did a second round, with cold steep Vs not-as-much-warm-steeped. They were pretty close. I came to the conclusion that instead of faffing around with cold steeping, just add less chocolate malt and it's pretty much the same result.

I don't do a lot of dark beers so then forgot about it.
 
Ok Im on a Quest for a less bitter dark beers like 60/-, milds stouts etc.. I like my dark beers smoother than Slinky McVelvets Cashmere Codpiece..

Now Im led to believe that mashing too much Roast / speciality malt will produce astringency in the finished beer,
Anyhow I stumbled onto something on FB where a brewer making a stout , cold soaked his patent, chocolate and crystal overnight. He added the cold strained Liquor to the kettle pre boil. I understand would impart colour and flavour without astringency...

BUT
he also added the strained speciality grains on top of the grainbed at sparge. claiming he was recovering sugars from the dark Grains..

IS this a valid method? would adding the strained dark grains to the top of the grainbed impart astringency?
Sounds to me like he's pulling your plonker, there is very little in the way of sugar in the darker malts due to the high kilning, nothing worth trying to recover any ways.
Either cold steep overnight, hot steep at 78C for 20 minutes or just add the none fermentables at mash out.
 
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I've used similar amounts of black malt for full mash and at mash out.

the beer at mash out was preferred, although they were other differences between them.

Black malt might make it on my do not use list. I have one more beer to try it with then 875g of it will be available!
 
I always do an overnight cold steep for stout and imperial stout. @foxy is right about the fact there is very little sugar to recover from dark grains and because you also use relatively little dark grain it’s really not going to do any good sparging the dark grains. I don’t think you’d get any astringency unless you sparge with boiling water and a high pH but you will just waste your time.

I add back my dark liquor in the latter half of the boil so as not to stew it (think about how the flavour of coffee changes when left on a hot plate).

You can also use debittered grain (which has just had the husks removed - that’s where most of the bitterness comes from). Replace half the roasted barley with Carafa Special 3.

Cold steeping, debittered dark grain, and late boil addition give a smooth stout without the roast bitterness although some will say that’s an essential part of the flavour.
 
When I first made stouts and dark beers, using chocolate malt, they were harsh and I was advised by my LHBS to swap out the chocolate for a smaller amount of roast barley, which produced a smoother beer. Debittered grain makes it smoother still.

I also try not to use much malt from the 'Harsh Zone' of colour 70 - 200 L (roughly 180 - 520 EBC) in the grain bill.
harsh_zone-300x284.jpg

This mainly contains dark crystal (and Crisp Medium Crystal) and pale chocolate malt. Although it's outside this zone, I personally find chocolate malt imparts a harshness when used in any significant quanities.
 
When I first made stouts and dark beers, using chocolate malt, they were harsh and I was advised by my LHBS to swap out the chocolate for a smaller amount of roast barley, which produced a smoother beer. Debittered grain makes it smoother still.

I also try not to use much malt from the 'Harsh Zone' of colour 70 - 200 L (roughly 180 - 520 EBC) in the grain bill.
View attachment 99208
This mainly contains dark crystal (and Crisp Medium Crystal) and pale chocolate malt. Although it's outside this zone, I personally find chocolate malt imparts a harshness when used in any significant quanities.
very useful, how do you deploy your roast/ black elements . Mash, cold soak, warm soak, late addition to Mash?
Im thinking of using 5% Carafa Special 3 in the mash with 1% Black malt, cold soaked liquor added to the boil
 
very useful, how do you deploy your roast/ black elements . Mash, cold soak, warm soak, late addition to Mash?
Im thinking of using 5% Carafa Special 3 in the mash with 1% Black malt, cold soaked liquor added to the boil
Personally I have always mashed everything, the only steep I have attempted was in a one off (unsucessful) extract brew.

Hazelwood Brewery's suggestion re. overnight cold steep and late addition to boil sounds rational, if you want to go down that route.
 
No sugar in roasted malts they say. Let's look at potential extract.

Crisp Medium Crystal Malt - 270°L/Kg.
Crisp Roasted Barley - 270°L/Kg.
Crisp Oat Malt - 245°L/Kg.
Crisp Maris Otter - 305°L/Kg.

Screenshot_20240508-103325-01.jpeg
 
Ok Im on a Quest for a less bitter dark beers like 60/-, milds stouts etc.. I like my dark beers smoother than Slinky McVelvets Cashmere Codpiece..

Now Im led to believe that mashing too much Roast / speciality malt will produce astringency in the finished beer,
Anyhow I stumbled onto something on FB where a brewer making a stout , cold soaked his patent, chocolate and crystal overnight. He added the cold strained Liquor to the kettle pre boil. I understand would impart colour and flavour without astringency...

BUT
he also added the strained speciality grains on top of the grainbed at sparge. claiming he was recovering sugars from the dark Grains..

IS this a valid method? would adding the strained dark grains to the top of the grainbed impart astringency?

I made a Guinness clone by doing a hot steep alongside the mash. I poured all of the steep into the grainbed before I sparged. In the end it wasn't really Guinness but it wasn't astringent and tasted OK.

For info as well as black, chocolate any grain that starts with 'cara' can be steeped - caramunich, caramel (crystal) 100. etc.
 
No sugar in roasted malts they say. Let's look at potential extract.

Crisp Medium Crystal Malt - 270°L/Kg.
Crisp Roasted Barley - 270°L/Kg.
Crisp Oat Malt - 245°L/Kg.
Crisp Maris Otter - 305°L/Kg.

View attachment 99210

I didn’t say no sugar.

Factoring in the quantities used I still maintain sparging the dark malt to recover sugar is pretty pointless at homebrew scale.
 
Where does the malt flavour and colour come from? Whether it's pilsner malt or black malt? Sugar that's gone through caramelisation and maillard reactions. And as the malt analysis shows, there's a lot of it in heavily roasted barley, however you choose to extract it. Lower extract efficiency, the less colour and flavour.
 
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Where does the malt flavour and colour come from? Whether it's pilsner malt or black malt? Sugar that's gone through caramelisation and maillard reactions. And as the malt analysis shows, there's a lot of it in heavily roasted barley, however you choose to extract it.
Understood but there is less sugar in dark roasted malt to start with, then the quantity is very small in a homebrew batch, then there’s the fact that a proportion of what is there will have dissolved into the steeping liquor leaving very little sugar in a small quantity of malt which you’re hoping to flush out with a simple sparge. I seriously doubt it would even make 1 gravity point of difference to the full volume batch but if that’s worth recovering in your view, each to their own.
 
I was merely providing evidence that there is nearly as much sugar in Roasted Barley is there is base malt. Saying none, or very little is factually incorrect. It would be nice to stop it being repeated.

The nettle you are failing to grasp is the sugar is where the flavour and colour is. It will also be less fermentable and contribute to body. Extract more sugar, extract more flavour, if you choose to care about such things, which maybe they do.

BUT
he also added the strained speciality grains on top of the grainbed at sparge. claiming he was recovering sugars from the dark Grains..
 
I was merely providing evidence that there is nearly as much sugar in Roasted Barley is there is base malt. Saying none, or very little is factually incorrect. It would be nice to stop it being repeated.

The nettle you are failing to grasp is the sugar is where the flavour and colour is. It will also be less fermentable and contribute to body. Extract more sugar, extract more flavour, if you choose to care about such things, which maybe they do.
OK I think I get where you’re coming from, roasted barley starts off with about 60% of the sugar in base malts. I’m not arguing that point.

We were discussing whether there is value in trying to recover residual sugars from the discarded grain after steeping where the great majority of sugars (and associated flavour, body, colour) have already been extracted. I don’t honesty think you would suggest sparging the spent grain will make a bad beer good or a good beer better.
 

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