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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Steeping Technique Question
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Old 09-21-2007, 11:17 PM   #1
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Default Steeping Technique Question

Folks, I normally brew from recipe books and my next batch is from BYO.
It's extract with grains... Anyway, they always call for steeping with 1.5 to 2 gallons of water with an average temp of 160f or so.

My question is can I just heat 4 gallons of water to the desired temp and steep ? I would then rinse with a gallon of water to get to five gallons and start the boil. It would save some time for me but I'm not sure if there's a downside.

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Old 09-21-2007, 11:24 PM   #2
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The downside has to do with PH. When your ph rises, you can extract tannins from the grains. So, they recommend that you steep in so many pounds per gallon (I don't know your recipe, but that's why they give you the certain amount of water).

If you are in a hurry to get to a boil, you can start heating those three gallons in your brewpot, and just add the steeped solution to that after you've removed the grains.

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Old 09-21-2007, 11:39 PM   #3
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oh ok, no rush just curious more than anything. Thanks

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Old 09-25-2007, 12:56 AM   #4
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Not trying to hijack your thread, but I have a secondary question to the steeping question - should the sparging process on a partial mash take a long time?

I have seen numerous comments from AG folks making mention of 30-45 minute sparging times, am I confused on this? Is it better to sparge slower, and if so, why?

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Old 09-25-2007, 02:13 AM   #5
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steeping and sparging are two very different things. when you're using steeping grains, you're just rinsing them, and you're not really aiming to extract any fermentables...just color, flavor and some body.

sparging is a slightly more technical term reserved for use in actual grain brewing (all or partial) where you are rinsing the residual sugars off the grain after the mash got roughly 60-70% of the sugar.

you need a slower sparge for a few reasons:
- properly rinse that sugar off the grain
- avoid getting the pH too high, which could extract unwanted tannins
- to prevent a stuck sparge ...draining too quickly could compact your grainbed, halting any draining process

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Old 09-25-2007, 07:27 PM   #6
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I'd stick to the amounts specified in the recipe since it is not your own.

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Old 09-25-2007, 07:55 PM   #7
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You can always throw some pH buffer in your steeping water to avoid the problem, if you want to steep in more water.


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