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Old 09-04-2006, 07:15 PM   #1
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when i'm steeping grains I seem to have some trouble getting it right at the tempature it needs or holding it at that temp. If i wanted to steep at say 150 degrees about what temp should i start turning the temp down. and are there any tricks to getting the right tempature you want.

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Old 09-04-2006, 07:29 PM   #2
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When I get to around 140 I turn down the temp to low and watch it from there. I never had a problem kepping the temp around 150 when doing it this way.

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Old 09-04-2006, 07:36 PM   #3
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The temperature during steeping specialty grains is not critical like that of mashing base malts in the All Grain process. As long as the steeping water is between 140˚- 165˚F, and not allowed to go over 170˚F for 25-30 minutes you will accomplish all that is supposed to be accomplished in the stepping of specialty grains. And that is extract the already converted sugars, flavors and colors of the grains, and keeping it below 170˚F will keep from extracting excess tannins from the grain husks.

During a mash for an all grain recipe, the temperature at which the base malts are mashed (steeped) is very important. The correct temp activates certain enzymes that were created during the malting process. These enzymes then convert the available starches in the grains to fermentable sugars.

What I do is add the specialty grains into the water first. Start to heat the water on high. I have a digital probe thermometer with an alarm to tell me when I hit a temp that I set. I set it for 140˚F. When it hits 140˚F I set the timer for 30 minutes, and then turn the heat off completely. The temp usually continues to climb to about +150˚F or so. I turn the heat on the lowest setting and leave it. It will usually go up to about 160˚F and stay there for the rest of the steep.

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Old 09-04-2006, 07:45 PM   #4
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When to pull off some of the heat is hard to say. It would depend on the BTU output of your burner or stovetop and the amount of water you are steeping in among other things I'm sure. But I would say start turning it down about 10 degrees prior to your target temperature, and watch it closely creep up. If you have a good thermometer and get the temperature rising in a very slow controlled maner close to your target temp, you should be able to stop from exceeding that temp by more that about 2 degrees or so.

Another idea, which I had never even considered til I started AG brewing, is using infusion. This would be where you raise the water to a certain temperature, mix with a grains at a about 75-80 F, and the final temp stabalizes at your target. It works great for AG mashes. A good rule of thumb is: for a quart of water to a pound of grain, 16-18 F temperature loss. From there you may have to do some math, or use a nice program like Promash, but hope it gives a place to start. Happy brewing.

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Old 09-04-2006, 07:45 PM   #5
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Boy..Im not an expert at this by any means, but I have only done this twice...and I found it very easy to use my propane tank and the base of my turkey fryer. I have had no trouble at all maintaining temprature or boil over for that matter. It is easy at least for me to regulate the heat. Just a thought....

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Old 09-04-2006, 08:00 PM   #6
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So i guess for now on i'll just turn it as low as it goes once it 10 degrees below the target temp and watch it closley. I just couldn't figure out when to turb the burnewr down and wasn't sure how critical it was to stay at the temp and how high or low it could be from it.

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Old 09-04-2006, 08:32 PM   #7
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Mashing temperatures have to be tightly controlled because the conversion enzymes work over a very narrow range. No enzymes are involved in steeping and no starch to sugar conversion occurs.

All you are doing in steeping is dissolving sugars and other flavors. You could just shut the burner off at 150F. Steeping works fine over a range of temperatures. You will get just as good results between 140 and 160, as you would if you kept it at exactly 150.

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