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Old 09-22-2012, 04:52 AM   #1
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Default Boil Volume Question

So I have what is prob a simple question....

Im doing my first Extract batch tomorrow (started right away w/all grain). The recipe calls for boiling 2.5g of water, then steeping grains, then extract, then top off water. Since I use a 10g kettle for AllGrain, cant I just do a full boil instead of the 2.5g?

I know, seems obvious, but the "obvious" questions I dont ask always come back to bite me.

Thanks!

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Old 09-22-2012, 04:12 PM   #2
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It has to do with your steeping grains, you want to steep your grains first at say 155 for 30min in the 2.5 gal or less say 1.5qt/lb. I read that steeping them in to much water can give you off flavors. So once your grains are steeped properly than you can top up with water and boil away. If doing a full boil you can add Extract whenever you want, when I use LME I tend to add it as late as possible to avoid (extract twang) never had it because of this process not even sure if its real but I would rather not find out what it tastes like. When I did my first extract w/steeping grains the search bar was my best friend

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Old 09-22-2012, 04:46 PM   #3
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All our brews are extract for the time being. We start with a 13 gallon pre-boil volume. And steep at 150-160. And add our lme once it returns to a boil after the steep. We've never had any off flavors or twangs. I wonder if it really makes a difference in flavor if you steep 1.5 per pound of grain. Somebody chime in if you have seen a difference.

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Old 09-22-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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You really should try to steep in no more than 2 quarts water per pound of grain. It has to do with pH. For steeping grains, it doesn't matter all that much but sometimes you'll have grains in there where it is important. It's just easier to do it the same way each time.

An easy way to do this is to use 1-2 quarts of water per pound of grain and steep the grains. In the meantime, you could be bringing the rest of the water up to a boil to get ready to add the LME/DME/hops. When the steep time is over, just add the liquid from the grains to the boil kettle. Alternatively, you could steep in the boil kettle, and lift out the grainbag after the steep. Put it in a strainer, and pour 170 degree water over it, up to your boil volume. Either way would work fine.

A full boil seems to always make better beer, so I would encourage anyone who can do it to do so. Cooling 5 gallons of boiling wort can be challenging, though, if the brewer doesn't have a wort chiller.

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Old 09-22-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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Yooper maybe you can help me understand it better. Not arguing, I just don't understand and want to learn. I get the ph idea. But whether its steeped in 10 gallons or a much smaller amount. Wouldn't the ph be relatively the same. And what types of beers does the ph come into factor as part of its characteristic. Thanks or the info

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Old 09-22-2012, 07:34 PM   #6
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I always do a full boil, actually start with 6 gallons to end at 5 or so. Never had an "off" flavor. I thought it was better for the batch? what kit did you buy? I usually use midwest and they reccommend a full boil. I would think if you have the space in the pot why not?

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Old 09-22-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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Grain acts as a ph buffer and when you have too much water, the grain cant hold the ph low enough. Water with high ph will pull tannins.

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Old 09-22-2012, 08:00 PM   #8
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So would it be wise to test the ph before a boil. Or is that just a waste of time. We use water from a friend that owns a water company. It's purified 7 ways. Ozonation, carbon, reverse osmosis and so on.

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Old 09-22-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxBrewHouse View Post
So would it be wise to test the ph before a boil. Or is that just a waste of time. We use water from a friend that owns a water company. It's purified 7 ways. Ozonation, carbon, reverse osmosis and so on.
If you don't have any problems then you're fine!

Sometimes grains are in a "steeping recipe" that actually are to be mashed. Say, like Munich malt. If you always use 1-2 quarts of water per pound of grain, then it doesn't ever matter what grains you have in there- you're doing a mash by the same technique. That's why it's always easier to do the same procedure no matter what.

When I was doing extract batches, I didn't like having to think about which grains were in the recipe. Is it ok to steep? Or do I need to mash? Which grains are those again? Argghhh!

So, I started always using 1-2 quarts of water per pound of grain, and holding it at 150-155 degrees, and that solved everything. You don't have to worry about steeping/mashing, risking tannin extraction by having a too-high pH, and you can do the same procedure each time which helps with a routine.

Especially if you start partial mashing in the future- the procedure for the partial mash is the same as this steeping technique. Same amount of water, some temperature, lift the grain bag out, pour hot water over up to the boil volume, proceed. It actually makes it easier when you think about it.
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