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buckeyemike75 10-08-2006 03:41 AM

Hello All, I am about to brew an imperial stout kit from my local HBS and the only question I have is on his instructions he states when adding the grains put them in a grain bag and just put them in the water until it reaches 180 degrees then pull them out, but from reading posts on this board many say you should first bring the water to 157 then steep the grains. So basically what I am asking is what is the better method? by the way it is crystal malt and oatmeal grains.

disaffected 10-08-2006 04:10 AM

150*F to 170*F is the range that John Palmer recommends. According to John, 170*F is the maximum you must not exceed because it can extract undesirable tannins from the grains that will yield off flavors.

Read all of chapter 13 in John Palmer's online book. I found it quite helpful.

When I did my first brew with steeping grains, I put the grains in the water at about 150 and started a 30 minute timer. I continued to heat the water to 165, then shut off the burner and let it sit for the full 30 minutes. Worked great.

buckeyemike75 10-08-2006 04:26 AM

yeah that is the method I will use......I think those instructions were for someone just starting out...........I have also heard people heating water to 170 and using that as sparge water. But I think I will use the method you have suggested, thank you

the_bird 10-08-2006 12:19 PM

Eiher method works fine. Just make sure that the grains are being steeped at around 155 - 160 for 30-45 minutes, whether the grains are in there while the water heats to that level doesn't really matter. Key is to make sure the water doesn't get too hot, as that extracts tannins.

As to the sparging with 170 degree water, you can do that, you don't need to. It rinses any residual goodness from the grain, but there isn't much left anyway.

clayof2day 10-08-2006 02:19 PM

The only question I have: I thought oats were an adjunct that needed to be mashed...anyone know otherwise?

Yuri_Rage 10-08-2006 04:10 PM


Originally Posted by clayof2day
The only question I have: I thought oats were an adjunct that needed to be mashed...anyone know otherwise?

When you "steep" grains in the 146-155 degree range, you are effectively creating a mini-mash.

TheJadedDog 10-08-2006 10:44 PM

I have both placed my grains in the kettle while warming the water and heated the water before adding grains and then sparged and both methods seem to work fine. Going forward I do plan on heating the water first and doing some form of sparge just so I get the most from my grains.

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