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Old 01-03-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
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Default Specialty grains using malt extract

I would like to know what peoples thoughts are on how to introduce speciality grains into malt extract wort. I have been reading a few books on homebrewing and one says add the grains to cold water and then remove them before it comes to a boil. The other way talked about in the books is to steep them in 150-160 degree water for about 30 minutes. Is one method better then the other? Do they basicly work the same? What are peoples experiences with both? Thanks for taking the time to help me out!

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Old 01-03-2009, 06:05 PM   #2
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Never steep grains over 170 or you will get tannins.

I usually heat to 160, steep, cover, and turn down heat to maintain for an hour. Some people turn it off.

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Old 01-03-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
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the most effective method for extracting flavor and color is the same as mashing, IMO.

heat a small amount of water (1 gallon should be fine for most brews) up to 160-165°F, put your grains in a bag and steep and cover for about 30 minutes.

basically, you want the grains at 150-155°F long enough to extract all you can from them.

the best part about this is it gives you an idea on how to mash, as well, which will extract sugars from base grains and you can use less extract. read my sig for more info on partial mashing.

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Old 01-03-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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When steeping specialty grains, how critical is it to maintain a constant temp? I brewed an extract version IPA up last night, and started at 160 with some 2-row, carapils and caramel malts. The recipe called for 45 min at 151°F, and turning off the burner was not lowering the temp, so I stirred in some cold water, but undershot, down to 145 or so. Then heated back up, overshooting again up near 160. Added a little more cold and finally got it right at 151, but it took 20 minutes of fiddling around to get it there. Did I do harm to my grain tea?

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Old 01-03-2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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Since you're not trying to get any fermentables from the grains, just flavor & color, temperature control is not that critical. You'll be fine.

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Old 01-04-2009, 12:36 AM   #6
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Hopbomb,

If you have 2 row in your grains, that must be mashed, not just steeped. but you were very close to mashing with a mid 150 temp. A mash at mid 150 should be near an hour. Some grains are Ok with steeping and some require mashing.

Steeping is like you said, making tea. Mashing is a bit more complex.

There is tons of good info here on all things brewing.

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Old 01-04-2009, 10:06 AM   #7
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the only difference between mashing and steeping is that mashing MUST be done within more precise parameters for volume and temperature.

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Old 01-04-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
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It's actually the other way around...steep the grains first.

After you remove the grains from the wort then add extract.

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Old 01-04-2009, 03:45 PM   #9
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Thx for the quick replies and tips on grain steeping. The recipe called for 2-row (1lb), carapils (0.5 lb) and caramel (0.5 lb) for 45 minutes, at 151 in 1 gallon of water.

I was concerned about the grains scorching on the bottom of the pot the on the burner and probably started out with closer to 2 gallons, and after adding water in my attempts to cool maybe closer to 2.5.

After the 45 minute steep, I added 6.5 lbs of DME, and toped of the water to 6 gal. Bolied down to right at 5 gal after 90 min. My OG came in a little lower (1.062) than I expected (~1.072). Sounds like perhaps I didn't get much out of the 2-row, which I assume now was really supposed to be a partial mash? Did the extra water in the steeping reduce the efficiency of the steeped grains?

And yes, IowaHarry, you're right tons of great info - too much to digest right away. But I've having a great time trying.

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Old 01-04-2009, 04:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopBomb View Post
Thx for the quick replies and tips on grain steeping. The recipe called for 2-row (1lb), carapils (0.5 lb) and caramel (0.5 lb) for 45 minutes, at 151 in 1 gallon of water.

After the 45 minute steep, I added 6.5 lbs of DME, and toped of the water to 6 gal. Bolied down to right at 5 gal after 90 min. My OG came in a little lower (1.062) than I expected (~1.072). Sounds like perhaps I didn't get much out of the 2-row, which I assume now was really supposed to be a partial mash? Did the extra water in the steeping reduce the efficiency of the steeped grains?
Yep, that was a PM recipe, and ideally would have been mashed (steeped) in 2.50 quarts of water. (1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain). Using far more water definitely affects the extraction, so you didn't get much out of the grains in the way of fermentables. That would explain the 10 point difference- the 2-row would provide 10 points in fermentables.
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