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Old 01-07-2007, 02:36 AM   #1
grrtt78
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Default how to steep grains

I have steeped grains on two recipes, the first a wheat taht i wanted to add some citrus flavor to and the second a stout. it wasnt that important for the wheat so i just heated them in a pot of water to 150 for an hour and dumped out the water into the brewpot and squeezed out the grainbag over the brewpot. i did the same on the stout and it was very light colored and i thought it might be bc i dont really know how to steep grains. anyone wanna show me how?

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Old 01-07-2007, 03:00 AM   #2
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Heat water to 150°F, Put grains in a big bag, make sure they're a little loose, Make sure they all get nice and soaked, let it sit for 45-60 mins... that's pretty much it... right? sure....

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Old 01-07-2007, 03:04 AM   #3
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While the grains are steeping like omar suggests, heat a gallon or two of water (or more if you can) to 170 F in another pot. When the steeping period is over, remove the grain bag from the steeping kettle and place it in a colander. Hold the colander with the grains over your brew kettle and pour the 170 degree water evenly and somewhat slowly over the grains to rinse them of any remaining sugars and flavors. This step is called "sparging" and ensures that you have maximized the yield from your grains. Avoid squeezing the grain bag - that can extract tannins - bitter flavors that are undesirable.

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Old 01-07-2007, 03:08 AM   #4
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what exactly is a colander?

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Old 01-07-2007, 03:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grrtt78
what exactly is a colander?
A kitchen strainer, like this:

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Old 01-07-2007, 03:22 AM   #6
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ooo lol ok i got one of those

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Old 01-08-2007, 02:31 PM   #7
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Is that right? I thought steeping grains had nothing to do with extracting sugars from them.

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Old 01-08-2007, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Grog
Is that right? I thought steeping grains had nothing to do with extracting sugars from them.
Steeping grains extracts a small amount of fermentable sugars (maybe a couple gavity points worth), but it's main function is adding flavor and color and body (in the case of crystal malts).
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:08 PM   #9
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I would steep at 155 to 160 degrees for 30-60 mins depending on the style. Longer for darker beers. Be careful listening to others. Steeping is not the same thing as mashing and you want to keep your temps between 150 and 160 degrees so that you do not extract Tannins from the grain.

If you rinse the grains with 170 degree water then you are pushing the envelope as far as tannin extraction. I really do not see the reason to rinse with water that is hotter than the steep temp. Why risk extracting bitter tannins...............I rinse my grains with 158 degree water which is the same temp I steep at.

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Old 01-08-2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougjones31
I would steep at 155 to 160 degrees for 30-60 mins depending on the style. Longer for darker beers. Be careful listening to others. Steeping is not the same thing as mashing and you want to keep your temps between 150 and 160 degrees so that you do not extract Tannins from the grain.

If you rinse the grains with 170 degree water then you are pushing the envelope as far as tannin extraction. I really do not see the reason to rinse with water that is hotter than the steep temp. Why risk extracting bitter tannins...............I rinse my grains with 158 degree water which is the same temp I steep at.
There's this guy. Goes by the name of Papazian. Methinks he'd disagree with you.

When I started brewing, I was doing extract w/ steeped grains. Papazian's extract recipes call for 170f water for 30 minutes. That's what I did. Same goes for sparging water. I never had any problems with tannins, and I think it would suffice to say that Charlie didn't either, or else he wouldn't have advised as such in his book. Maybe you've had problems, personally, with tannins @ 170f, but I don't think that that's common. From what I understand, you have to go up another 10 degrees at least to have any problems with tannin extraction.

What I do know is that 170f is hot enough to shut down the enzymes, so sugar conversion will be minimal---that's why it's called steeping, because it's not mashing. Lastly, I think the reason why Papazian recommends 170f is because it extracts more color and flavor in a shorter period of time than 158f water does.
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