This month in BYO Magazine (the October issue), Mike Tonsmeire has published an article on brewing "table beers," which he defines in general terms as any beer with an ABV below 3%. (Coincidentally he also just opened his brewery with Scott Janish. Here's the website.) One of the techniques he describes is "cold mashing." It's a bit of a misnomer because it doesn't refer to an actual mash, in which starch is converted to sugar. It's more of a steeping process where the crushed grain is soaked in room-temperature water for several hours. The idea is that the water dissolves a lot of the ingredients that you want to get from malt (flavors, proteins, etc.) but does not dissolve very much of the carbohydrates (Tonsmeire estimates 25% for base malt and 50% for crystal malt). So what you end up with is a solution that is rich in flavor and protein but low in carbohydrates, enabling you to brew a flavorful low-gravity beer. Or, of course, you could use the solution to augment a higher-gravity beer, boosting its flavor, body, and foam without pushing it too far into imperial territory. Either way, the liquid still needs to be brought to mashing temperature and held there for long enough to convert the starches. Once that's accomplished, the wort can be used just like any other wort of a comparable gravity. Tonsmeire mentions in passing that the leftover grain can be used like an adjunct, because it is low in flavor and protein but rich in starch (much like rice or corn). Has anyone experimented with this technique? I'm intrigued by the idea of brewing two beers: (1) a low-gravity but malt-forward beer like a porter, and (2) a normal-gravity beer with yeast-driven flavor like a Belgian ale, or perhaps an easy-drinking lager beer, using the grains from the cold mash in place of the sugar or adjuncts that might normally be used. (Obviously in this scenario the dark grains would not be included in the "cold mash" but instead would be steeped separately. Although now that I think about it, I wonder how much color/flavor would be left after the "cold mash.") The difficulty is brewing both of those beers on the same day, which would make it a long brew day. But I suspect the grains from the cold mash are susceptible to rapid spoilage, so you'd want to use them pretty quickly. I suppose you could refrigerate them, but that raises its own issues (not least of which, that would take up a lot of space in my refrigerator I think). Anyway it's something I hope to play around with and I was wondering if anyone else has tried it.