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To steep or mash?

So I am working on a stout extract recipe and cannot decide if I should steep or mash the specialty grains.

Here is the grain bill for two different versions I am working on.

Mind you I brew one gallon recipes.

Stout 1

2 oz (8%) crystal 120
1 oz (4%) roasted barley
1 oz (4%) black patent
1 oz (4%) chocolate malt
1.25 lb (80%) LME

Stout 2

3 oz (11.1%) aromatic
3 oz (11.1%) biscuit
2 oz (7.4%) crystal 120
1 oz (3.7%) roasted barley
1 oz (3.7%) black patent
1 oz (3.7%) chocolate malt
1 lb (59.3%) LME

Stout 1 would be easier to steep with the specialty grains since it is only 5 ounces. Would stout 2 benefit from being mashed and turn that recipe into a mini mash?

Thoughts on the procedures would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

My opinion is that steeping is enough for either.

In recipe #1 you don’t have anything in there with diastatic power(in other words no enzymes for conversion of starch to sugar) so just steep.
In recipe #2 the aromatic and the bisquit have some diastatic enzymes, but you don’t have alot of starch to convert anyways. So do a minimash for the practice if you want, but steeping would work just as well.
#1 looks more of a classic stout recipe, but in my mind #2 looks interesting. I’m thinking the aromatic and bisquit will add interesting flavor notes. Can you do both and compare?

I’m about to bottle an all grain version of recipe 1 and leaning towards making recipe 2. I want to make my own version of a breakfast stout and I think recipe 2 will give me some complexity, like you said. Eventually I will add the coffee and chocolate but looking to make a solid stout first.

Two questions:

Besides the basic malts like maris and 2 row how do you know which grains have fermentable starches?

I am thinking of following NB’s instructions on their one gallon extract kits to brew, which is steep for 10 minutes and boil for 45. I will probably contact them to confer with them but does anyone else think that is fine or should I modify the procedure?

I might steep longer. As far as which grans have what, I’m just learning that from reading Charlie Papazians “Complete Joy of Homebrewing”. A google search shows me Beersmith might have a list.

So from the feedback I got is steep for 20 mins, since the aromatic and biscuit is minimal and won’t offer much in terms of fermentable starches, and boil for 45 mins.

Perfect.

Thanks for the help, guys!

I think steeping is fine for either one of those. Yeah, if you wanted to extend the steep for 20 minutes, it might be best. But optional.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Malts_Chart

The chart linked above shows which malts can be steeped and which ones require mashing.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Malts_Chart

The chart linked above shows which malts can be steeped and which ones require mashing.[/quote]
I agree the chart above is helpful. I printed it out and refer to it when I have Qs

Along with the above chart, this one gives the diastatic power of the types of grain and what ratios you need for proper mashing.

http://www.picobrewery.com/askarchive/diastatic.htm
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