New to brewing, only done a few all-extract batches.

For my next batch I came across an APA recipe that called for a 2:1 ratio of DME to 2-row malt. What wasn't clear to me was if I should just plan to steep the 2-row along with the other adjunct grains (60L in this case) or if I should plan a more drawn-out 150 degree steep and 170 degree sparge for the 2-row?

I suppose either will work but the more complex process will get a better flavor, but, any hints or suggestions?


1 Answer 1


Both will work, in the sense that you will get beer at the end, but they will have different results.

The 160F steep for a few minutes will not extract much sugars from the base malt, and those that are extracted will be dextrins, non-fermentable sugars that give body, and also starches which will give the beer a haze. Combined with the use of extract which is generally high-ish in dextrins already, the additional dextrins from the steep would make the mouthfeel would be thicker than normal for an APA.

The 150F 45-min mash followed by a 170F sparge will extract more sugars, in particular, fermentable sugars, and the longer step gives the starches time to break down into simpler sugars, so no starch haze. The low temperature also favors production of simpler sugars rather than dextrins, which are fermentable, leading to a lighter body. The 170F sparge rinses the grains of these sugars, increasing yeild, and stabalizes the enzyme activity.

With 1/3 base malt in the recipe, my money would be on mashing.

  • Out of curiosity -- what's the advantage of using 2-row in addition to the extract? Why not use just extract and speciality grains? Feb 4, 2013 at 23:50
  • Freshness, a little graininess, lighter mouthfeel and higher attenuation. Although extracts are not all the same, my experience has been that they are not as fermentable as the wort produced from a typical mash.
    – mdma
    Feb 4, 2013 at 23:53
  • It was just the recipe I read, I do not know the advantage other than "more complex flavor notes yada yada yada..." I thought I'd try it before moving up to an AG recipe.
    – Ben Finkel
    Feb 4, 2013 at 23:53
  • Thanks for the info, that actually helps a lot with my understanding! I believe I will sparge. Should be thrilling :)
    – Ben Finkel
    Feb 4, 2013 at 23:54

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