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Old 01-03-2014, 04:32 AM   #1
comicsandbeer83
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Default Grain steeping

Tomorrow I am starting an ESB from extract and grain steeping and I have a question. Last time I steeped the grains in the boil, which I have since learned was wrong. Once I get the temp to 170 what is the easiest way to keep that temp consistent during the steeping process? Just turning the heat down or off or what? How critical is it that the temp stays exactly in the 155-170 range?

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Old 01-03-2014, 05:45 AM   #2
colhep67
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I keep mine at 160. I do a 3 gallon boil and remove from heat source once at 160 and it holds for about 2 mins. When I see a 1* drop I put back on heat source to bring back up 1* and continue till complete

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Old 01-03-2014, 09:55 AM   #3
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The temperature that you steep the grains isn't very critical. Even if you boil them it probably didn't hurt although I wouldn't recommend that as standard practice. I think that the reason that it is suggested that you steep at 150 to 160 is to prepare you should you decide later to go to all grain brewing. The enzymes that cause the starches to be broken down into sugars that can be fermented are active in roughly that range.

For now, bring the water up to 160 or so, turn the heat off and let the grains steep. It will be fine. If your water is highly alkaline and you get the water hotter than 170 you can extract tannins but most water isn't that alkaline.

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Old 01-03-2014, 10:54 AM   #4
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Use some kind of small blanket or insulated coat to maintain temp during steep, keeping that away from open flame of course(don't want a fire). Sometimes if you use the burner to keep the temp up and the bag you are using hits the bottom of pot, you can scorch or burn the bag.

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Old 01-03-2014, 11:06 AM   #5
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When I do extract with steeping grains and do not want conversion (only color) I add hot water to my partial boil pot (hot water heater is set to ~135F) then put the steeping bag right in while I am heating the BK on medium heat. After about 20 minutes I take the bag out and turn the heat up to full until boiling is achieved.

If you have a nice digital thermometer and an old blanket you could ramp up the water temp to 160F then wrap it while the grains steep for 20-30 minutes. But if you are going to do that, you might as well do a partial mash IMHO.

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Old 01-03-2014, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
The temperature that you steep the grains isn't very critical. Even if you boil them it probably didn't hurt although I wouldn't recommend that as standard practice. I think that the reason that it is suggested that you steep at 150 to 160 is to prepare you should you decide later to go to all grain brewing. The enzymes that cause the starches to be broken down into sugars that can be fermented are active in roughly that range.

For now, bring the water up to 160 or so, turn the heat off and let the grains steep. It will be fine. If your water is highly alkaline and you get the water hotter than 170 you can extract tannins but most water isn't that alkaline.
^This. If you're not doing a partial mash and there's no enzymes involved, it doesn't really matter what temperature you steep at. You're just making grain tea.
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