Jump to content
Mr.Beer Community
Ron Howard Dawson

Do people use booster inplace of steeping grains?

Recommended Posts

I read somewhere that booster is just MR. Beers version of malt. 

Is booster just used inplace of steeping grains?

if so, where does the DME fall into place?

im super confused by this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New brewers usually start with the basic brew and enhance it as they feel comfortable and get into more complicated recipes.

The best I can advise is to read the Mr Beer site ingredient descriptions and the recipe instructions and descriptions, and to read all of the references posted by Rick Beer.

But this is the quick story:

 

Booster contains  fermentable and non fermentable sugars that will add alcohol (about 1.3% per pack) and mouthfeel & head retention to the brew. It is formulated to be similar to malt in effect on the brew but no flavor or color.

This is useful with the  Hopped malts extracts as they tend to be a bit dark and if you add malt extract, it will add color (and flavor).

 

Simplest

You can make the beer with just the Hopped extract can. Standard refills will then only give you 3.5% approx. beer. It will taste fairly light and will taste a bit more watery.  This is the easiest brewing. If you add booster, it will up the alcohol and make it feel less watery.  4.5-5% beer.

Craft refills will give you a better stronger beer.  But Standard refills can make quite good beer without a lot of bother.

 

Next simplest

Now if you add a pack of Mr B malt (LME or DME) instead  of booster, it will add alcohol (about 1%) and add flavor and color depending on the kind of malt. Read the malt descriptions.  This is also easy. Using Liquid malt (LME) rather than dried malt (DME) is easier. Heat, mix, pour, ferment.  There is nothing to stop you adding more than one malt pack or a malt pack and booster if you want - to get the desired flavor and texture.

 

More complicated

If these do not give you the taste or complexity you want, you can add hops.  You can add these in a hop bag and put in a little or a lot. You can adjust bitterness by boiling them. in the pot with the unhopped malt. You can add flavor by adding the hops  when fermentation start s or even later.

 

Most complicated Mr Beer recipe

The most complex is to do a partial mash which involves grains.  You put the grains in hot water for about 30 minutes then strain the liquid and use it as the base for the brew before adding the Malt extract.

 

Ultimate recipe. - all grain.

Mr Beer does not currently do this but many on the forum do and can advise you. This is much more time consuming and messy so I would advise to start simple and see what it does then add complexity as you learn.

 

 

 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Nick. You got me pointed in the right direction now. The reason for my question was because my next brew is going to be the MRB oktoberfestivus recipie. I got some grains from the LHBS today (not in the recipie) and was curious on when I introduce them. My thoughts were this; (and I'm majorly winging this) steep grains for 30 mins, add dme to grain water, bring to a boil, drop in hop sack for five mins, remove from heat, add HME. Am I even remotely close??

or is this going to explode on my stove?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

Thanks Nick. You got me pointed in the right direction now. The reason for my question was because my next brew is going to be the MRB oktoberfestivus recipie. I got some grains from the LHBS today (not in the recipie) and was curious on when I introduce them. My thoughts were this; (and I'm majorly winging this) steep grains for 30 mins, add dme to grain water, bring to a boil, drop in hop sack for five mins, remove from heat, add HME. Am I even remotely close??

or is this going to explode on my stove?

 

 

 

That's the correct way to do it. You can steep certain grains (any of the Cara grains, Crystal/Caramel malt, Chocolate malt), other grains will need to be mashed. There is a good chart for reference at: http://beersmith.com/grain-list. 

 

When you you add the hops, the amount of time you leave them in will determine bittering, flavor, and aroma. Boil hops longer than 20 minutes and you get bitterness but little to no aroma. Between 10 to 20 minutes you get more flavor. Less than 10 minutes you get more aroma. 

 

No, it won't "explode", however, depending on the length of the boil you could get a boilover. Ask anyone here who has done a wort boil and they'll tell you that wort will wait to boilover until you're not looking. :blink:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

Thanks Nick. You got me pointed in the right direction now. The reason for my question was because my next brew is going to be the MRB oktoberfestivus recipie. I got some grains from the LHBS today (not in the recipie) and was curious on when I introduce them. My thoughts were this; (and I'm majorly winging this) steep grains for 30 mins, add dme to grain water, bring to a boil, drop in hop sack for five mins, remove from heat, add HME. Am I even remotely close??

or is this going to explode on my stove?

 

 

12 hours ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

I read somewhere that booster is just MR. Beers version of malt. 

Is booster just used inplace of steeping grains?

if so, where does the DME fall into place?

im super confused by this.

 

These two posts have me posting the following guidance - Whoa, slow down!

 

Why am I saying that?  Because you're brewing the Oktoberfestivus recipe, with "some grains from the LHBS today (not in the recipe)" and you didn't know when to introduce them.  You're going too fast.

 

So what?  The #1 reason people quit this hobby is because they get bad results.  The #1 reason people get bad results is because they screw up when brewing.  And the #1 reason that people screw up is because they don't know what they are doing.

 

Brew the Oktoberfestivus recipe as is, so you know what it tastes like.  Then, brew it with booster so you know how they compare. 

 

Then find a Mr. Beer recipe with steeping grains - the proper steeping grains that go well with that can of HME, like The Zombie Fest Lager, which uses the Oktoberfest with steeped grains and added hops.  Then compare the three of them - and see the difference.  Ideally, compare them to a base Oktoberfest.  

 

If you make cans of base HME, then recipes with hop additions and booster / LME, then steeped grains, the Mr. Beer directions will tell you all you need to know.  You will get good results, and most importantly you'll know what the differences are as well as learning process.

 

Going all mad scientist, for those that do, usually doesn't end well.  

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

I read somewhere that booster is just MR. Beers version of malt. 

Is booster just used inplace of steeping grains?

if so, where does the DME fall into place?

im super confused by this.

probably read one of my stupid posts when I was on my drunken stooper......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, HoppySmile! said:

probably read one of my posts when I was on my drunken stooper......

 

Fixed this for you.  Same meaning, less words...   LOL  :lol:  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Ron Howard Dawson. I know you are all excited and eager to try the grains and new stuff, but

First suggestion - put the grains in the fridge for now and brew it straight up.  (What Rick said)

Second suggestion - if you  are determined to used the grains  :o  let the forum know what grains you have and how much you have and get advice on if this will be a bad match or not.  Maybe quantities would be better adjusted or some other tweak. And assuming the combination will enhance the Oktoberfestivus recipe, get detailed advice on how to handle it. You idea of process is close  and it won't explode, but you need to make sure you have enough liquid left after draining the grains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After reading my own post, I knew I was going to get yelled at by you guys. And repermanded by Rick. " I went to the LHBS and got some grains", jeez Ron get it together!

I brewed the Wit your whistle recipie last week and it included steeping Pilsen malt and red wheat flakes. The process went pretty smooth and I was comfortable that I had indeed made a good brew.  We will wait to see, but the aroma from the LBK is almost addicting. 

Further on, while I was at the LHBS, I remembered about my unused can of Oktoberfest HME. While I was there, I gathered all the additional ingredients that MRB calls for to make the oktoberfestivus recipe;

1 lb DME ( I will only use 7.5 oz)

2  oz hallertau pellet hops ( I will only use .5 oz)

The following grains were removed from a pre-packaged Oktoberfest recipe at the store.

.5 lb Carmel 20 malt

.5 lb white wheat malt

.5 lb victory malt.

I can hear Rick already, whoa ron, take it easy, slow the hell down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

White wheat malt in Oktoberfest? Seems odd to me. I'll have to check the recipe, before I comment any further.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Brian N. said:

White wheat malt in Oktoberfest? Seems odd to me. I'll have to check the recipe, before I comment any further.

An Oktoberfest is just a Märzen been laagering about 6 months, wheat is not a usual malt. Having said that, go for it you never know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, RickBeer said:

 

Fixed this for you.  Same meaning, less words...   LOL  :lol:  

Hows those wolverines?  lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

steeping grains- add SOME flavor, not much... color... SOME aroma... body.

 

some grains MUST be mashed to get anything much more than SOME additional stuff.

 

some grains , like really dark roasted malt , even if you did mash them wont contribute much more than color and maybe a little flavor.

 

one of the simplest steeping grain additions you can do is to steep a measure of Carapils (dexetrine) malt.  what this adds: not much more than body.  improves head retention.  a problem with the mr beer straight up recipes is a lack of body. carapils helps this.

 

research before you get involved in grain:

http://beersmith.com/grain-list/

http://www.onebeer.net/grainchart.html

 

L - lovibond...  a measure of relative color.  higher = darker.

G - gravity potential, I think given as "points per pound per gallon".   (or as gravity)   a malt contributing 36 ppg:  2 gallon batch using 2 pounds..  36 x 2#/2gal = 36.  so using just this malt in this way gives you a gravity of 1.036.  (36 points ->  1.036 gravity) simply put.

 

as mentioned going all grain:  pros:  gives you more control over flavor, color, body, aroma, etc.  makes more complex flavored beer. cheaper. a 5 gallon cream ale done all grain might cost $20.  done with extract might run $26.  cons:  time consuming, more work, MATH INVOLVED, CHEMISTRY INVOLVED (ph balancing, mineral content balancing, etc)  more can go wrong.  you can get stuck sparges (look it up). requires more equipment and more attention to temperature....  you can get poor conversion and end up with a far 'weaker' wort than you planned. my first attempt at an all grain imperial produced a good stout of normal strength despite the increased weight of grain. (bad conversion, bad process on my part, didn't sparge well enough , didn't mash long enough, etc.....)

 

don't rush into grains without doing your homework and research first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ron -

white wheat and victory require a mash

 

aside from maybe some flavor and body, don't expect greatness.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can actually get significant improvement if you want the wheat factor in the wort by using wheat DME.  Even a cup in a 2 gal brew is noticeable.

You can play with adding smaller increments of malt extracts to nuance the result - instead of grains. Also by using maltodextrin powder which gives similar effect as Carapils.

I use the Briess Wheat, Sparkling Amber and Traditional Dark for this. Mr B extracts are fine, but I find DME easier to measure random quantities. I also have tried the Porter, Special Dark and Vienna liquid extracts (some still waiting for tasting.) Special Dark you have not to add too much, I made one brew quite bitter from burnt malt flavor using too much of this.

 

On the comment about mashing, from forum comments, if you are going to do the partial mash thing, probably it is good to include 4 oz 2 row malt always. I  have been considering it, but I do not always want to bother.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, Nickfixit said:

You can actually get significant improvement if you want the wheat factor in the wort by using wheat DME.  Even a cup in a 2 gal brew is noticeable.

A cup? I was planning on throwing 15 oz in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

 

A cup? I was planning on throwing 15 oz in.

You can. That will give you almost another 2% ABV in 2 gal. Is that what you wanted?

OK, if that is the only DME add. But it will not taste quite the same malty  that Barley Malt extract will do.

Not saying it will be bad, but maybe not as you expected.

The 1 cup I was saying would be in addition to some barley malt extract, with the intention of adding mouth feel and head retention to what the barley malt gives.

 

The Oktoberfestivious recipe calls for 1 BrewMax DME Softpack - Smooth - this only adds ~ 1% ABV.

This is very different from Wheat DME. It is caramelly and sweeter.

If you wanted to use non Mr B DME to substitute, probably Briess Sparkling Amber extract would be close.

My wheat DME add would be one cup on top of that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Rickbeer had me pointed in the direction of the zombie fest recipie. It calls for 2 packs of DME at 7.5 oz each. I got a 1 lb bag so I'm gunna dump almost all of it in the wort. The thing I'm worried about the most is all that grain. I'm talking about steeping 1.5 lbs here.

its listed on my post uptop

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

Yes, Rickbeer had me pointed in the direction of the zombie fest recipie. It calls for 2 packs of DME at 7.5 oz each. I got a 1 lb bag so I'm gunna dump almost all of it in the wort. The thing I'm worried about the most is all that grain. I'm talking about steeping 1.5 lbs here.

its listed on my post uptop

 

I would just put the whole lb in. Not worth leaving 1 oz as orphan.

With 1.5 lbs grain though that will need a big bag and a decent size pot. That is more Rick's grain size experience than mine. ANd that will also add ABV.

Have you run it through on the beer calculator to see what it adds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I didn't run the numbers yet

i got a 5 gal kettle for my birthday I'm so ready to put to work.

i need a sack big enough for all that grain.

i think 1.5 lbs with stretch the ol' muslin sack to its limits!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

No I didn't run the numbers yet

i got a 5 gal kettle for my birthday I'm so ready to put to work.

i need a sack big enough for all that grain.

i think 1.5 lbs with stretch the ol' muslin sack to its limits!

 

The ones Mr B sells are the small ones. They do expand quite a bit though - not sure 1.5 lbs will fit though. I suppose you can always use 2 bags lol. Remember the grain will expand a lot with taking up water - and that means you will probably need to add water as you go to keep it covered. I keep a kettle of boiled hot water ready for that purpose- so you do not cool it off too much adding water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is some great advice! I'm going to swing by the LHBS today for a large sack. 

I'll keep some hot water handy too. I never thought of doing that. The last steep I did the top of the sack was out of the water just a tad. I would occasionally dip it, like a tea bag to keep all those wonderful grains nice and moist.

nick, I'm starting to think that your are as excited about this recipe as I.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Ron Howard Dawson said:

That is some great advice! I'm going to swing by the LHBS today for a large sack. 

I'll keep some hot water handy too. I never thought of doing that. The last steep I did the top of the sack was out of the water just a tad. I would occasionally dip it, like a tea bag to keep all those wonderful grains nice and moist.

nick, I'm starting to think that your are as excited about this recipe as I.

 

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Workforce-5-gal-Elastic-Top-Strainers-2-Pack-11573-36WF/202061360

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2016 at 0:29 PM, Ron Howard Dawson said:

After reading my own post, I knew I was going to get yelled at by you guys. And repermanded by Rick. " I went to the LHBS and got some grains", jeez Ron get it together!

I brewed the Wit your whistle recipie last week and it included steeping Pilsen malt and red wheat flakes. The process went pretty smooth and I was comfortable that I had indeed made a good brew.  We will wait to see, but the aroma from the LBK is almost addicting. 

Further on, while I was at the LHBS, I remembered about my unused can of Oktoberfest HME. While I was there, I gathered all the additional ingredients that MRB calls for to make the oktoberfestivus recipe;

1 lb DME ( I will only use 7.5 oz)

2  oz hallertau pellet hops ( I will only use .5 oz)

The following grains were removed from a pre-packaged Oktoberfest recipe at the store.

.5 lb Carmel 20 malt

.5 lb white wheat malt

.5 lb victory malt.

I can hear Rick already, whoa ron, take it easy, slow the hell down.

Ron,

 

Looking at these grains, you should not steep the White Wheat or Victory as they both require mashing.  If you steep them all you are going to do it add a lot of unconverted starch to your beer which will result in a cloudy beer that won't taste great.  I see that you joined the community about 6 weeks ago and may have brewed a batch a couple of weeks before that.  SLOW DOWN!!!  That is what several posters have already said in this thread and it doesn't appear you have listened.  While beer can be forgiving and there are some very crazy recipes out there, you need to know what you are doing before you just jump in with both feet.  Read, Research and be patient.  That will help you to make good beer.  Most importantly, listen to those of us who have experience with this hobby, we are not telling you to slow down because we don't want you to succeed, it is just the opposite.  We want you to succeed.  That is my advice you can choose to listen or not.

 

Now stepping down from my soapbox.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the main difference between steep and mash is enzymes, right.

Mr B said to use same amount of 2 row malt grain as the other kinds that needs mashing (e.g. with 4 oz wheat - use 4 oz of 2 row for the enzymes.) . So that would probably throw the whole  grain count out of balance. 

If you have 1 lb of 2 row in the mashing, then the whole lot needs to be seriously calculated to see what you end up with. You may not need anything like that amount of grain.

 

But it depends what you are trying to make................................

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/13/2016 at 0:50 PM, Brian N. said:

White wheat malt in Oktoberfest? Seems odd to me. I'll have to check the recipe, before I comment any further.

Yeah white wheat is a new one on me also , I  currently on my 4th all grain recipe of ocktoberfest style (marzen) both ale and lager and all the perusing of recipes thus far I've never seen white wheat in any, but I'm definitely no expert , in the next day or so I hope to post a recipe for a altbier I know my mentors and brew brothers will enjoy here at Mr beer 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ive used it in witbiers (white wheat) and noticed no real difference from just using wheat lme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to cloud the issue but.....I want  a cloudy beer, I am making Belgian Wit beer. That is very different from any Oktoberfest variant.

So I plan to put in wheat and oats.

I will start another thread for this as I have more questions unrelated to Oktoberfest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...