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Old 02-02-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
joeg13
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Default BIAB vs steeping grains

When steeping, I was taught not to squeeze the bag because it will extract tannins and other nasty flavors. But when you do BIAB you squeeze the bag at the end of the mash. What gives?

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Old 02-02-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
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You were "taught" somehting that was only half understood, and keeps getting passed around like it's cannon, when really it's an over simplifaction of something more complicated....Like someone keeps handing around the same half finished puzzel, as a finished work or art, and not realizing there's an entire part of the picture missing.

We really need to quit perpetuating this answer that is reptead rotely with very little understand..."I heard somewhere" is not a good enough reason to keep repeating something if you have no real understanding of what you're talking about. Read this, it pertains to both tannin myths Boiling and steeping.

Here's a detailed explanation.

Quote:

There's no reason not to squeeze.....that's another old brewer's myth that has been misunderstood...and has been shot down..But if often just get's repeated as ROTE without anyone stopping to look beyond the just repeating the warning...

Read this http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/do-y...hlight=squeeze

And this.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sque...hlight=squeeze

From Aussie Homebrewer.com

Quote:
Tannins And Astringency

If you are worried about squeezing your bag too much or crushing too fine, relax! Astringent beers do not come from finely crushed or squeezed husks but come rather from a combination of high temperatures and high pH. These conditions pull the polyhenols out of the husk. The higher your pH and the higher temperature you expose your grain to, the worse the problem becomes. Any brewer, traditional or BIAB, should never let these conditions arrive. If you do allow these conditions to arrive, then you will find yourself in exactly the same position as a traditional brewer. Many commercial breweries actually hammer mill their grain to powder for use in mash filter systems because they have control of their pH and temperatures. This control (and obviously expensive complex equipment) allows them non-astringent beers and “into kettle,” efficiencies of over 100%.
As long as you keep your steeping temps below 170, you won't be producing those supposed tannins that folks blindly say you would be squeezing out.

1) If your PH is off, or your steeping/mashing temp is above 170, your beer will extract tanins from the husks whether you squeeze or not

2) If your PH is ok, and your temps were below 170, squeeze away!

There's been some tests that have disproved the whole "don't squeeze the grain bag, because you will leech tannins" idea. I think there's even been a couple experiments on here detailed in threads. I think it's been pretty well shot down as one of those "old school" beliefs, that turn out to have little effect.

In fact if you are doing AG "Brew in a Bag" you are encouraged to squeeze the grain bag. They even showed it on basic brewing recently, the took a ladder with a hook attached, hung the grain bag, and twisted the hell out of it to drain every ounce of precious wort out of bag of grain.

This should launch as an mp-4

http://media.libsyn.com/media/basicb...10cornpils.mp4

So is that's the case, that it is "OK" to do in AG Brew in the bag, then why would it really be bad in extract with grains brewing?

I wouldn't worry about it.

From BYO, MR Wizard;

Quote:
The two most influential factors affecting the extraction of tannins from malt into wort are pH and temperature. All-grain brewers are very careful not to allow wort pH to reach more than about pH 6 during sparging because tannin extraction increases with pH. In all-grain brewing wort pH typically rises during the last stages of wort collection and is one of the factors letting the brewer know that wort collection should be stopped.....

Temperature also affects tannin extraction. This relationship is pretty simple. If you don’t want to run the risk of getting too much tannin in your wort, keep the temperature just below 170° F.

This is where the answer to your last question begins. You ask whether steeping and sparging released "unwanted tannins" in your beer. For starters, all beer contains tannins. Some tannins are implicated in haze and some lend astringent flavors to beer.

The type most homebrewers are concerned about are those affecting flavor. In any case, it is up to the brewer to decide if the level of tannins in their beer is too high. The (in)famous decoction mash is frequently recommended when a brewer is in search of more malt flavor. Decoction mashes boil malt and — among analytical brewers who are not afraid of rocking the boat with unpopular ideas — are known to increase the astringent character associated with tannins. In general I wouldn’t consider 170° F dangerously high with respect to tannin extraction. However, if you believe your beers may suffer because of too much astringency, consider adjusting your steep pH and lowering the temperature a few degrees.
They are often repeated ad nauseum by, especially new brewers, with little know understanding of the context behind them...or even a basic thinking like, "how come it says not to boil your grains, yet people doing decotion mashing do it all the time?" or "They say not to squeeze their grain bag, but in Brew in a Bag- they are encouraged to squeeze them...so what's going on here?."


It's the same with boiling your grains... posted a detailed discussion of the "chestnut" here; http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/less...9/#post2639410

(There are actually a number of instances where what's been told about that is actually done in all grain brewing....)

In fact I'm boiling my grains right here (It's called decocting)



I think this should be hung and posted in Every new brewers brew closet.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:19 AM   #3
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What he said ^

I squeeze, twist, and compress mine till it gives up. Zero astringency.

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Old 02-03-2012, 02:51 AM   #4
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+1 I get better efficiency with BIAB when I squeeze and no noticeable atringency. Keep in mind that your roasted/specialty grains are added ALONG WITH your base malts so your not just squeezing roasted or specialty malts, but the majority is your base malt.

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Old 02-03-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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Revvy. Thanks for the good information. I respect your opinion a lot. I realize that as one of the most active users on this service you must get tired of answering the same questions over and over again, but if I'm reading your tone right, you need to relax. I'm still a new homebrewer, only 2+ years, but I like to think I'm pretty well read. There is a lot of conflicting information out there, some by reputable sources. "They" in this case is Jamil Zainasheff and John Palmer.

2. Immerse the grain hag in the pot for 30 minutes. The grain hag may be dunked and swirled like a teabag during this time to make sure that all of the grain is wetted. Moving it around will help improve the yield, but don't squeeze and wring it, because that encourages bitter tannin extraction.

Maintaining the temperature during the steep is not important. 3. After 30 minutes, remove the grain bag from the pot, and let it drain. Do not wring out every drop of wort.

Jamil Zainasheff;John Palmer. Brewing Classic Styles: 80 Winning Recipes Anyone Can Brew (pp. 291-292). Kindle Edition.
Yet, Palmer, his co-author writes in How to Brew
However, the specialty grains will be steeped in the pot before the extract is added. The 3 gallons of water in the boiling pot is heated until it reaches 160°F +/- 10°. Then the grain bag is immersed in the pot for 30 minutes. The grain bag may be dunked and swirled like a tea bag during this time to make sure that all of the grain is wetted. Agitation will help to improve the yield. Remove the grain bag from the pot, giving it a squeeze to drain the excess wort and avoid dripping on the stove.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter13-3.html
Maybe I'm missing something or taking it out of context, but it doesn't seem cut and dry when two esteemed home brewers who happen to have co-authored a book, don't put out consistent information.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:10 PM   #6
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John Palmer got a lot of stuff wrong especially in the first edition. He just, like a lot of people tended to regurgitate a lot of the so called "common wisdom" stuff into the book, without delving further or thinking deeper about it. He admitted it with the whole autolysis/Long primary thing, I tend to think he did it with more things as well. Just about anything you want to fear like Hot side aeration, can be attributed to something he threw in the book, BUT which has been actually downplayed or shown to be a "brewer's bugaboo" elsewhere.

I gave you other sources, most of those much more recent than his book (many like the quote from Mr Wizard in BYO prompted by his statement.

There is absolutely nothing different between BIAB and Steeping grains, EXCEPT that you are aiming for conversion. If it's OK in BIAB to squeeze, then it is idiotic to think it would be any different with extract with grains.

It's up to you what you want to believe.

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Old 02-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #7
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I agree with you that it's inconsistent. I was just trying to figure out which was the right side of the argument. Sounds like Palmer had it right and Jamil had it wrong in this case.

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:02 PM   #8
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Ya from a chemistry perspective this is just silly. You might end up with more particle matter in your kettle but the chemistry is not going to change much, unless maybe you can turn coal into diamonds with your grip.

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Old 02-03-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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why would squeezing the bag cause it to extract tannins anyways? that doesn't make sense to me. If there were tannins in there it wouldn't seem to me to make any differance if you squeezed it or not because the you're still sticking the bag in there. How do they would they only come out if you squeezed it?

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Old 02-03-2012, 10:08 PM   #10
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I vote for sticky.

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