- Specialty Malts add
flavour, colour and body to your beer and their great advantage is that, unlike ordinary pale malt, they do not have to be mashed. You can simply add
them to your brewpot and all the necessary goodness will be extracted that
British home brewing practice
appears to involve leaving the specialty grains in the brew pot while
boiling the whole lot. The danger with this method is that by boiling the
husks of the grains, you will extract the tannins, which will give the
finished beer an astringent quality. This astringency will not necessarily
stay in the beer and will probably mellow out over a period of ageing, but
you will have to wait more than several weeks before you can drink the beer.
The Americans, on the other
hand put the grains in the brew pot but remove them before the boil starts,
thus extracting all the goodness from the grains but none of the tannins.
There are at least three ways in which you can do this. First of all, you
can put your specialty grains in the brew pot just as the water is coming to
As soon as it boils, using a
small strainer, lift the grain husks out of the pot and throw them away. A
variation on this method is to use a smaller pot in conjunction with your
brew pot. In a smaller pot you put about 1 litre of water, add the specialty
grains, and bring slowly to the boil. When this pot of water nears boiling
point, you simply pick it up and strain the liquid into your brew pot,
leaving the grains in your strainer. The third method is the tea-bag method.
Here ‘s where the legs of the pantyhose come in handy, cut a leg off 20cm
from the toe and you have a handy little bag to contain your grains. You
should always boil this bag separately in water before the first time you
use it in order to extract any dyes from the pantyhose.
Then put your measured amount
of specialty grains in the bag, tie the top and immerse it in the brew pot
while the water is slowly coming to the boil. When it comes to the boil,
remove the grain bag and, if you like, pour a little boiling water through
it to extract the goodness from the grains.