Skip to main content

Which Grains Can Be Steeped? Which Need Mashing?

For beginning brewers, it can sometimes be hard to tell whether a given grain requires mashing or whether it can be simply steeped in water of the appropriate temperature.  Mashing is necessary when the grain doesn't contain sufficient enzymes to convert its starch into sugars yeast can consume.  Steeping those grains without exposing them to the necessary enzymes will contribute starchy flavors to the finished beer and will reduce the alcohol content.

The lists below have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable, and tell you which grains must be mashed in order to convert their starches, and which can be steeped or mashed.  Long steeping periods (45-60 minutes) can often achieve the effect of a mash provided that grains included in the steeping contain the necessary enzymes.

Corrections and additions are welcomed.  Please note them in the comments.

Base Malts and Other Grains (must be mashed):

  • American two-row
  • American six-row
  • British Pale Ale
  • Continental Pilsener
  • Fawcett Pearl
  • Flaked Barley
  • Flaked Corn
  • Flaked Rice
  • Flaked Rye
  • Flaked Wheat
  • Golden Promise
  • Kolsch
  • Lager
  • Maris Otter
  • Midnight Wheat
  • Oat Hulls (don't require mashing but are used in mashing to prevent a stuck mash)
  • Oatmeal (cook according to the package but with extra water, then mash)
  • Optic
  • Pale Ale
  • Pilsener
  • Rice Hulls (don't require mashing but are used in mashing to prevent a stuck mash)
  • Rye
  • Torrified Wheat
  • Wheat

Kilned Malts (should be mashed, but may be steeped):

  • Aromatic
  • Biscuit
  • Brown
  • CaraPils (Dextrin malt)
  • Dark Munich
  • German Beechwood Smoked
  • Light Munich

  • Melanoidin
  • Munich
  • Special Roast
  • Victory
  • Vienna
Roasted Malts (can be steeped or mashed):

  • Black
  • Black Barley
  • Black Patent
  • Carafa Special
  • Caramel
  • CaraMunich
  • CaraVienne
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee Malt
  • Crystal
  • Honey
  • Light Roasted Barley
  • Meussdoerffer Rost

  • Pale chocolate
  • Roasted Barley
  • Special B

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Things I've Learned Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 2

In the last post, I shared an overview of The Grainfather, recommended equipment to use with it, and an overview of the brewing process.  In this installment, I'm going to talk specifically about mashing and sparging. Having brewed over a dozen batches with it, I'm finally becoming very comfortable with the device, the mash process, and how to get what I want out of it. I don't consider myself a "master" of it yet, though.

For those who have never done all-grain brewing, I want to provide a quick overview of the mash process itself.

Mashing - With or Without The Grainfather
The goal of mashing is to turn the starches in the grain into sugars. More specifically, you want to turn the starches into a mix of fermentable and unfermentable sugars that provide the flavor profile associated with the beer you are brewing. A sweeter beer might warrant more unfermentable sugars. A more dry beer will demand few unfermentable sugars.

To a great extent, controlling the amount o…

Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 1 - Mashing and Sparging

(Important note:  This article series is based on the US version of the product.  Prices are expressed in US dollars, measurements of temperature and volume are in US units unless otherwise noted.)

iMake's The Grainfather is an all-in-one RIMS brewing system designed to be used indoors with household electric current.  It includes the kettle, grain basket, recirculation tube, pump, electronic temperature controller, instruction book, and counterflow chiller.  It does not include a mash paddle, fermenter, cleaning supplies, or pretty much anything else.  The price is around $800-900 depending on where you shop and the discounts offered.

The Grainfather handles mashing, boiling, recirculating, sparging (to a degree), and chilling of the wort.  You'll still need a fermentation vessel of some sort and some other supplies we'll discuss later.

Grainfather Assembly and Initial Cleaning

Assembly of The Grainfather in my experience was pretty easy overall.  There were a couple of s…

Brewing with The Grainfather, Part 3 - Cleaning and Overall Thoughts

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced The Grainfather and discussed how to use it for mashing and sparging.  In Part 2, we talked about boiling and chilling the wort with The Grainfather and its included counterflow chiller.  In this final segment, we'll discuss cleanup and overall thoughts about the device and its usage.

Cleanup

Once you've pumped the wort from The Grainfather into your fermenter and pitched your yeast, you're well on your way to a delicious batch of homebrew.  Unfortunately, you've still got some cleanup work to do.

The cleanup process in my experience will take 20-30 minutes.  It involves the following tasks:

Removing and discarding the grain from The Grainfather's grain basketCleaning the grain basket, kettle, recirculation tube, and wort chillerCleaning all the other implements used in brewing (scale, scoops, mash paddle, etc.) At the end of the brewing process, there will be hops bags (if you used them), grain and other residue, and usually so…