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Old 11-06-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
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Default "Pre-Steeped" Specialty Grains.

I plan to brew an Extract Beer tomorrow that will include some specialty grains that will need to be steeped. As luck would have it my time will be at a premium tomorrow as well.

What woul be the negative factors, if any, of pre-steeping my specialty grains. I was thinking I could steep them tonight after I start my Yeast Starter and then store it overnight in the fridge in a plastic water bottle. This would save me a bit of time tomorrow.

Any thoughts or comments on this idea. If the are no negatives one could pre-steep their fresh grains while waiting out bad weather, unexpected family or work demands, etc.

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Old 11-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #2
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My humble suggestion is to reschedule your brew day until you have enough time to enjoy the entire experience

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Old 11-06-2009, 08:18 PM   #3
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Negatives:
1. Infection. But you're boiling it after anyway.
2. Stale cardboard flavors due to oxidation. But i think that may boil off as well.
3. Leeching plastic flavors out of the water bottle. I'd use glass or a big stainless bowl.

You're gonna have to boil tomorrow anyway, you could steep your grains as you bring the water up to temp. Just put the grains in the cold water and then take them out when you hit 168.

You'd essentially be mashing and save you time. Just make sure you spend an appropriate amount of time between 120 and 168 degrees to get the most you can out of your grain.

Interesting dilemma. I'm curious to see what other people say.

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Old 11-06-2009, 08:20 PM   #4
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You can brew, but you can't schedule an extra 15-30 minutes to steep your grains?

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Old 11-06-2009, 08:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMSetzler View Post
My humble suggestion is to reschedule your brew day until you have enough time to enjoy the entire experience
+1 you need to make the time. Your beer will love you for it.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:41 PM   #6
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Do you do a full boil or partial boil? What you can do is use two pots- one to steep your grains, the other to begin your boil. Steep your grains as usual, while you bring your boil up to temperature. Once your grains are steeped, pull them out and put the resulting liquor into the water already heating. You could steep your grains while you're digging out the other equipment, if you start that part of the process first. Steeping takes about 30 minutes total, but you can heat water or sanitize things during the time, so you can do things concurrently if you have to.

I wouldn't steep today, and boil tomorrow. Grain is covered with lactobacillus, and the wort can quickly sour.

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Old 11-06-2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McHandbag View Post
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You're gonna have to boil tomorrow anyway, you could steep your grains as you bring the water up to temp. Just put the grains in the cold water and then take them out when you hit 168.
+1 This works just fine.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:44 PM   #8
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I appreciate everyones comments. My line of thinking was sometimes it may make it easier to find the time to brew my own beer, and this may make it easier to brew two batches on a given day. It doesn't always come down to an "enjoyable" brew day for me although when it does its great. But my job, because of the economy, has evolved into a seven day a week afair. I have to do what I can when I can.

And even when I work a lot I still like to have some great beer on hand. In fact I seem to want more of it.

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Old 11-06-2009, 08:46 PM   #9
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And thanks Yooper. You were posting your comments while I was answering the others. I'll try your method-makes sense.

Again, thanks everyone. Good advice and good reasoning.

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Old 11-07-2009, 01:21 AM   #10
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Another downside to doing the steeping the day before is that it will take more time to get refrigerator temperature water up to a boil than tap water temps, negating some of the time advantage you might get.

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