I'm wanting to brew a dry stout, but I am trying to save myself some time, so I am using extract, and ran across some discussions on cold steeping specialty malts. I'm fairly certain that a ~24h cold steep will extract what I want from the toasted and roasted malts, but I also want some flaked barley in this wort. Will a cold steep extract the proteins and such that flaked barley brings to the party (for mouthfeel and head retention), or does it need the higher temperature steep?

2 Answers 2


Nope. Flaked barley needs to be mashed. You'll get nothing but starch from it in your beer. Not only do you need a higher temp, you need some base malt in there an you need to do a partial/mini mash at least.


If it's the head retention qualities of the flaked barley you are after, you could add 200g/0.45lb of carapils per 19l/5 gal. It will add head retention, and hardly adds any color, and such a small amount will not affect mouthfeel.

I usually brew my stouts with an Irish liquid yeast, but I've also used US-05 and then they come out really dry! If you use US-05, it's probably a good idea to double the carapils, to round out the beer a little. If you're used to drinking Stout on Nitrogen, but are bottling or serving on CO2, you'll loose the thicker mouthfeel that serving on N2 gives. You can add 300-400g/0.6-0.9# carapils can also help create a slicker mouthfeel.

Unmalted cereals always need mashing, since they contain no diastatic power, and can't convert the starches into simple sugars. If you steep, you'll extract some beta-glucans that give some of the mouthfeel, but you'll extract far more starch. In a light beer, it will be clearly visible. In a stout, well, it's not going to be all that visible - so you might try it. Oats are particularly good, and add a lot of smoothness even in small quantities (<5%). For the best beer, you should really mash, but if saving time is more important than getting the absolute best beer you can, then add a few percent of oats and the carapils and you should get a nice mouthfeel with a good head, and at the most a touch of cloudiness.

  • 1
    yeah, i wound up finding a bucket of maris otter that i didn't realize that i had, and just doing it all-grain instead. i did hold the roast barley and black barley until sparge time, though. i hear that reduces the astringency from the roasted malts, so i figured i'd try it. incidentally, there's not much better than a hot worty on a friday night.
    – baka
    Commented Sep 3, 2011 at 0:23

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