I have a smaller (5 gallon) mash tun. I recently mashed 14 lbs and was only able to get a mash to water ratio of 1.2 and filled the tun!. Temp was right on, but I only got 55% efficiency.

I have a recipe with 9 lbs of base malt and 6 lbs specialty (Cara-helles and Caravienne). Can I mash the base malts and only steep the specialty malts to reduce the amount of grain in my mash tun and still get good extraction from the specialty? I want to avoid mashing twice to shorten my brew day.

  • 1
    "I have a recipe with 9 lbs of base malt and 6 lbs specialty (Cara-helles and Caravienne)." That's a ridiculous amount of crystal malt! Can you post the full recipe?
    – GHP
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:29
  • Its an IPA that I am trying to get around 7.5 ABV (similar to Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA): 9lbs base malt, 3lbs cara-helles, 2lbs caravienne, 1/2 lb rye, 2 oz bittering hops @ 60 mins, 2 oz flavor hops @ 15 min, 1 oz dry hop using Wyeast 1007 (my personal favorite)
    – RAReed
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:34
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    At almost 50% crystal malt, you might have misinterpreted your recipe, or gotten a bad recipe. But this doesn't necessarily explain your poor efficiency.
    – brewchez
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:35
  • @brewchez : you are completely correct. I was trying to increase the amount of specialty malt in order to reduce the mash volume. The original recipe was for Vienna malt. I switched to the specialty.Using Brewsmith to increase amounts to get %ABV
    – RAReed
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 13:38
  • 1
    Bad idea....totally different result.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 16:09

1 Answer 1


You typically do not need to mash Cara-helles or Caravienne. They are fully converted during the process used to make them the crystal malts that they are. They can be steeped in your wort post lautering and pre-boil.

  • Or they can just be steeped in water and that added to the kettle along with the wort from your mash.
    – Denny Conn
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 16:08
  • Yeah, they are typically mashed for convenience, but it is not required.
    – Wyrmwood
    Commented Feb 17, 2014 at 22:49

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