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Looking for some advice, I have been home brewing from kits for a couple of years and really enjoy the hobby. I have experimented with various sugar's to alter the taste and would now like to move on.

I wish to use Bavarian Smoked -rauchmalz malt(crushed). What I need to know is the best way to add the smokey flavour to a lager kit. After reading various articles I seem to be more confused with the options?

  1. steep in 2nd priming for 5 to 10 days
  2. mix can of wort with 3 litres of water and boil with malt for 20mins before adding to cold water to make 25 litres
  3. Mix the kit as per instructions and add malt into the primary fermentation in a muslin bag.

If I am totally of key please say, I would appreciate any advice. If I am using malt do I still need to use the same amount of sugar? Use a basic lager kit as non variant, can of wort, 1kg sugar and yeast. Cheers scott

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Scott - I had to reformat the question to make it more readable. Please read through your question after posting so you can catch these kinds of problems first. Thanks. –  mdma Oct 1 '13 at 14:19
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3 Answers

What you're trying to do is called a "partial-mash". Basically instead of adding your malt-syrup (and/or dried malt extract) to water and boiling it, you're adding it to wort by including an additional first step.

John Palmer's "How to Brew" has a good guide which can be found here, as does Northern Brewer. There are lots of resources online though, so if you still feel a bit confused just google "partial mash brewing". Good luck!

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What you're going to want to do is take your crushed malt, put it in a muslin bag, then put it in your brew pot with a gallon (or 3.5 litres) or so of water and heat it to ~155 degF (68 degC). Turn off the heat and wrap your brew pot with a blanket (or put it in an insulated drink cooler) for a half hour. After that, remove the bag and try to get out as much of the water as you can (either squeeze it or hang it over the pot to drain). After that, add enough water to bring the total volume up to whatever is recommended for your kit and follow the kit directions. I'm not sure how "convertable" (i.e., how much sugar you can extract) smoked rauchmaltz is, but you may wind up with a higher FG than your kit indicates.

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Unfortunately, none of the options are correct.

  1. steep in second primary: not sure what you mean - but mostly likely steeping in secondary fermentation. You definitely don't add grain to wort - it will turn the wort sour since grain contains a lot of bacteria.
  2. Boil grains in extract: This is closer to what you need to do, but you don't want to actually boil the grains, since they will impart a puckering quality to the beer from the grain husks.
  3. Add malt to primary in a muslin bag: again, similar to #1, you don't want to be adding grains to the wort once it's fermenting.

What you need to do is put the grain in a muslin bag and steep them in water for 30 minutes. After adding the grains, the water should read about 63-68°C. This will convert the starches in the grain into sugars, so you don't end up with starchy beer. After half an hour, rinse the grains in more warm water. You then add both lots of water to your pan, boil it up and then add the tin of extract.

This technique is called a "partial mash" or "mini-mash".

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