Originally Posted by ScrewyBrewer
Never steep grains higher than 158F unless you want to extract those very astringent tannins.
Oh, well, my beers must really suck then because I do it all the time.
You do want to keep the steeping temp under 170.
The reason I always steeped the grains at 150-155ish was just because it meant no thinking on my part. What I mean is this- if you do every single steep with 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain, and add the grains when the water temperature is 165, and steep at 150-155 for the time- then you've just done the technique for a partial mash. So, you don't have to think about "what grains are in here? Is this a partial mash? How should I steep this?". It's always the same. No harm will come no matter what the grain composition. It took so much out of the guesswork when I was starting out!
I've seen instructions for steeping grains to be introduced into cool water and the temperature raised to 170. I've seen adding the grains only at 150-170. It truly doesn't matter, but if you find a simple technique that works for ALL beers, that is my recommendation. Once I treated every beer like a partial mash (whether it had flaked wheat, carapils, Munich malt, crystal malt, etc), then my technique was the same all the time. That's what worked for me.