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Adding Darker Grains at Mash-Out

Hello Everyone,

I’m looking at brewing Gordon Strong’s Lakeside Stout from “Brewing Better Beer” this weekend. In this recipe, he recommends waiting to add the darker grains until mash-out to achieve a smoother taste in the final beer, which is something I’ve never tried before. Since I batch sparge, this would mean that the milled crystal and roasted grains would only remain in the mash (at approx. 168*) for 10 minutes following collection of the first runnings.

I was wondering:

  1. Has anyone tried this method to good effect, or perhaps found the difference negligible?

  2. If I use this split mashing method, am I correct that I would need to use Bru’n Water to calculate the main mash water additions (which would use only the pale malt and oats) separately from the mash-out additions (which would incorporate the darker grains)?

  3. How would I calculate the required mash-out water temperature since I would be adding room temperature grains to the previously heated grain bed along with the mash-out water?

  4. Can anyone see any other considerations I might be overlooking?

Done this many times with great results - I do it either to keep the roasted character subdued or as a pH control for the main mash. You do need to calculate mash pH minus the dark grains but you don’t need to worry about temp or pH change with the addition, just add them for maybe 10 minutes before draining the first runnings.

Thanks, Shadetree - I’ll give it a go!

[quote=“Dan S”]Hello Everyone,

I’m looking at brewing Gordon Strong’s Lakeside Stout from “Brewing Better Beer” this weekend. In this recipe, he recommends waiting to add the darker grains until mash-out to achieve a smoother taste in the final beer, which is something I’ve never tried before. Since I batch sparge, this would mean that the milled crystal and roasted grains would only remain in the mash (at approx. 168*) for 10 minutes following collection of the first runnings.

I was wondering:

  1. Has anyone tried this method to good effect, or perhaps found the difference negligible?

  2. If I use this split mashing method, am I correct that I would need to use Bru’n Water to calculate the main mash water additions (which would use only the pale malt and oats) separately from the mash-out additions (which would incorporate the darker grains)?

  3. How would I calculate the required mash-out water temperature since I would be adding room temperature grains to the previously heated grain bed along with the mash-out water?

  4. Can anyone see any other considerations I might be overlooking?[/quote]

  5. I’ve tried it several times and found neglible difference. In fact, a couple times I didn’t get the flavors from the dark grains that I was looking for.

  6. Yes.

  7. If you batch sparge, don’t worry about it.m If you fly sparge, I’d just go a couple degrees hotter than you otherwise would.

I can only see a couple scenarios where this would be a benefit. If you can’t control pH it can help. If you can, it doesn’t make any difference. The other would be where you just want color and not much, if any, flavor. I prefer to use Sinamar in that case.

Thanks, Denny. Since posting yesterday, I’ve also read that other brewers have mentioned the same results (that they have not observed an appreciable difference), although it sounds like the process has worked well for Shadetree. This has me thinking that I may just mash the dark grains together with the others as usual. It looks like I should be able to achieve a pH of 5.4 by using the Brown Malty profile in Bru’n Water and adding modest amounts of gypsum, calcium chloride and pickling lime.

On a related note, the recipe in question also calls for a 90 minute boil (I’m guessing for flavor development).

I’m curious to know if anyone has any opinions or experiences boiling their stouts longer than 60 minutes as a matter of course?

I brewed a wit and added some midnight wheat (or whatever they call it) just for fun. I cold steeped it in a separate container during the mash and added it directly to the boil after sparging. It added a ton of color with no discernible flavors.

If that’s the case, sane yourself the additional effort and just mash 'em!

[quote=“Dan S”]On a related note, the recipe in question also calls for a 90 minute boil (I’m guessing for flavor development).

I’m curious to know if anyone has any opinions or experiences boiling their stouts longer than 60 minutes as a matter of course?[/quote]

I doubt you could tell any difference between a 60 and 90 min. boil. I certainly don’t see a need for it. A longer boil will of course lead to a slightly darker wort, but in a stout you;ll never notice.

As I’ve pointed out to Dan in another thread, this technique is generally a poor substitute for proper brewing. Denny pointed out another problem with the technique in its reduction in color and flavor extraction due to the low pH produced by the RO water. That can generally be solved by adding a lot more of those roasted grains, but it will screw you up if the recipe hasn’t already been modified for this technique.

However as truckie1 pointed out, that technique could be an advantage in some beers. Getting a lot of color with very little roast flavor could be a good thing in some styles. So you can add this to your brewing toolbox and apply it where most appropriate.

[quote=“Dan S”]Hello Everyone,

I’m looking at brewing Gordon Strong’s Lakeside Stout from “Brewing Better Beer” this weekend. In this recipe, he recommends waiting to add the darker grains until mash-out to achieve a smoother taste in the final beer, which is something I’ve never tried before. Since I batch sparge, this would mean that the milled crystal and roasted grains would only remain in the mash (at approx. 168*) for 10 minutes following collection of the first runnings.

I was wondering:

  1. Has anyone tried this method to good effect, or perhaps found the difference negligible?

  2. If I use this split mashing method, am I correct that I would need to use Bru’n Water to calculate the main mash water additions (which would use only the pale malt and oats) separately from the mash-out additions (which would incorporate the darker grains)?

  3. How would I calculate the required mash-out water temperature since I would be adding room temperature grains to the previously heated grain bed along with the mash-out water?

  4. Can anyone see any other considerations I might be overlooking?[/quote]

never tried adding them at mashout, but I have cold steeped and there deffinatly is a difference. THat difference will depend on grain used

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