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Old 12-06-2008, 03:32 PM   #1
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Default Extract process question

When it comes to extract brewing, is the basic procedure the same for everything, or does it vary greatly depending on the brew?

I've done an extra pale ale and a stout, and I'm about to start a english strong ale. The first two were similar procedures, but not identical. I steeped the pale ale specialty grains for 20 minutes then rinsed w/ hot water; I steeped the stout grains for 45 minutes and didn't rinse. Obviously the hop schedule was different, though.

But my english strong ale recipe just says "Boil: 90 minutes" and I know that the hops go in at 60, but there's no info on steeping. How long/what temp should I steep them? Would doing it like one or the other that I've already done produce different results?

Thanks.

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Old 12-06-2008, 07:22 PM   #2
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Generally, it's all the same. Steep the grains at 150-155 for 20-30 minutes. The only difference might be in the make up of the grains. Occasionally, there are some grains that must be mashed, so the instructions will tell you do keep them at 153 for 45 minutes, for example. Then it's considered a mini-mash. That's not common unless the instructions tell you to do it, or if you've ordered a kit that is a "mini mash" or "partial mash" kit.

Steeping grains longer than 20 minutes or so really doesn't do anything except waste time. The color and flavor are all you are going for, and that happens within 20 minutes.

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Old 12-06-2008, 09:48 PM   #3
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Perfect. Thanks!

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Old 12-08-2008, 04:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
Generally, it's all the same. Steep the grains at 150-155 for 20-30 minutes. The only difference might be in the make up of the grains. Occasionally, there are some grains that must be mashed, so the instructions will tell you do keep them at 153 for 45 minutes, for example. Then it's considered a mini-mash. That's not common unless the instructions tell you to do it, or if you've ordered a kit that is a "mini mash" or "partial mash" kit.

Steeping grains longer than 20 minutes or so really doesn't do anything except waste time. The color and flavor are all you are going for, and that happens within 20 minutes.

I haven't done an extract batch with specialty grains in so long I've forgotten. Yet, I'm planning on doing a batch for a friend next weekend. I seem to recall that in the past I simply put the grains into the bag, then dunked it into the cold water, and raised it to boiling. As soon as it boiled, I took them out. Does this make sense or should I be more specific w/the temp as you outlined above?
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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answered my own question from the wiki:

How to steep grains
There are two considerations in steeping grains. First, sugar, flavor, and color must be extracted from the grain, which is done more efficiently by hot water. Second, the extraction of tannins from the husks of the grain should be avoided; this takes places at high temperatures. Several methods have evolved to preserve this balance.

Hot steeping
The most common method of steeping grain is to raise the temperature of the boil kettle to 160°F (70°C) and simply soak the grain in a mesh bag or some other porous container while holding the temperature steady for 20 to 30 minutes. Unlike in a mash, no starch converstion is taking place, since most steepable grains contain no enzymes.

Boil steeping
Some brewers take a less precise approach, adding the grain bag to the boil kettle before heat is applied and simply pulling the grain out when the boil reaches a certain temperature to avoid the extraction of tannins. While not as efficient as a temperature rest, this will extract a lot of the grain's flavor.

Cold steeping
Some brewers go to extremes to avoid extracting tannins, steeping the grain for a long period (often 24 hours) in cold or room-temperature water.

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