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Old 11-04-2011, 12:58 PM   #1
wilmh
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Default Question regarding grain steeping

A friend of mine introduced me to homebrewing back in June.

He brews all grain and hadn't done an extract brew in a couple of years prior to June.

Long story short, I am doing a full boil using a 15.5 gallon kettle and when he taught me to steep the grains, we started by using the full volume of water which is 6.5 gallons.

I've steeped into 6.5 gallons for each of my 4 previous brews and all have come out great, but it was just brought to my attention yesterday that normally steeping an extract is done in less than 3 gallons of water.

Is there any harm in steeping into the full quantity of water?

I'm brewing a Stone IPA Clone extract tomorrow and want to make sure that I do it correctly.

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Old 11-04-2011, 01:14 PM   #2
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Not a problem. Full boils are actually better in my opinion.

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Old 11-04-2011, 01:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilmh View Post
A friend of mine introduced me to homebrewing back in June.

He brews all grain and hadn't done an extract brew in a couple of years prior to June.

Long story short, I am doing a full boil using a 15.5 gallon kettle and when he taught me to steep the grains, we started by using the full volume of water which is 6.5 gallons.

I've steeped into 6.5 gallons for each of my 4 previous brews and all have come out great, but it was just brought to my attention yesterday that normally steeping an extract is done in less than 3 gallons of water.

Is there any harm in steeping into the full quantity of water?

I'm brewing a Stone IPA Clone extract tomorrow and want to make sure that I do it correctly.
One reason directions and such tell you steep in 3 gallons is because most people doing extract are using a small kettle.
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Old 11-04-2011, 02:41 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you.

That's what I thought, but yesterday I had a conversation with another homebrewer buddy who thought too much water would leach too much from the grains and give off flavors.

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Old 11-04-2011, 03:21 PM   #5
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/10-t...rewing-100861/

This post talks about why steeping in a smaller amount of water is better.
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Old 11-04-2011, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boydak View Post
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/10-t...rewing-100861/

This post talks about why steeping in a smaller amount of water is better.
I've steeped grains in 2 gallons and 3 gallons of water at times, and various quantities too from 8oz to 2lbs and have never noticed any tannin extraction (astringency) in my beers. I haven't noticed any difference actually between steeping in a small amount of water or 3 gallons. Never steeped in the full volume though.


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Old 11-25-2011, 06:12 PM   #7
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I just did an extract Pumpkin Ale from NB in October and steeped the specialty grains in the full 6.5 gal of store-bought spring water at 130-150 degrees F for 20 mins. I let the beer sit in the carboy for 30 days at 64 degrees F and then kegged it. After a week in the keg I tasted it and noticed a little bit of powdery/bitter astringency just on the back end. I'm contributing this to the full volume grain steeping with hopes that it will dissipate in another couple/three weeks; I'm not too worried though. I'll let you guys know.

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Old 12-21-2011, 12:48 PM   #8
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Yeah, so the beer never did get rid of that astringency issue from steeping the specialty grains in 6.5 gallons of water. I thing the next time I'll definitely steep in 2 gallons of water, add the first addition of extract, then top up to 6.5 and start with the boil and first hop addition. Lesson learned.

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Old 12-21-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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It would be interesting to do the same kit with a smaller steep. Follow same steps to keep the variance small. Then do a report back on the difference. I wouldn't think that a full boil steep would be worse than a 3 gallon. Tannins are usually caused by heat from what I've read...not volume.

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Old 12-21-2011, 02:30 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'll definitely do a comparison and see if it changes anything. That's the only thing I can think of though that would possibly cause astringency issues as I used spring water and it was an extract batch... I've read on here somewhere the technical reasons why it leaches tannins based on the water-to-grain ratio but I cant quote it exactly.

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