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Old 02-28-2012, 04:34 AM   #1
MrSmug
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Default Speciality grains

Beginner question: Whats the proper way to steep speciality grains into an extract batch? Do you steep the bag in the full 5 gallon brew pot or in something smaller? Do you need to sparge it after 30 minutes by running hot water over or can you just dunk it like a teabag? Any tips or suggestions? Thanks

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Old 02-28-2012, 07:20 AM   #2
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Put your grain in a bag and in your kettle. Cover with with water and bring up to mash temp. leave it at least 30-60min and sparge with a couple gal of 170F water for about 15 min. Do this by scooping some water and pouring it over the grain in the bag slowly. This should work very well and should give you the most out of your grain without more advanced equipment.

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Old 02-28-2012, 05:27 PM   #3
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Do bring the full 5 gallons up to mash temp or should I do this in a smaller pot (ie ~1 gallon)

Should this be done in two separate pots? IE mash in one and then while bringing the other up to sparging temp?

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Old 02-28-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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Do bring the full 5 gallons up to mash temp or should I do this in a smaller pot (ie ~1 gallon)

Should this be done in two separate pots? IE mash in one and then while bringing the other up to sparging temp?
It really doesn't matter, to be honest. You can steep at 150-160 for 20 minutes, either in the full volume or in a smaller volume. You don't have to sparge, but it won't hurt.

But one thing I like to tell new brewers is that steeping grains and grains that must be mashed look just alike and sometimes it's just easier to always do the grains as if they are a mash, to avoid confusion later if you have some questions. What I mean is, say you have some Munich malt and carapils next time. Since that would be a mash, it would be a different technique than steeping crystal 40L and chocolate malt in maybe this batch.

To avoid trying to figure that out, I think it's just easier to always use 2 quarts of water per pound of grain and always hold that at 150-160 for 30 minutes. Then lift up the grain bag (it's easiest to lift up the bag and stick it in a strainer over the pot) and pour 170 degree water over it up to your boil volume. This technique works for all grains, and I found that when I was starting out to do it this way all the time and avoid any confusion.

You can do a smaller volume steep/mash and add that to your larger volume, if that makes it quicker to get your wort to a boil.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:37 PM   #5
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Do bring the full 5 gallons up to mash temp or should I do this in a smaller pot (ie ~1 gallon)

Should this be done in two separate pots? IE mash in one and then while bringing the other up to sparging temp?
I normally just tie the bag to a handle and let it steep in the 5 gallon pot for 20 minutes while the water is coming to boil. It's really just for color and flavor so I don't know if you need to worry about temps and sparging and all of that.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:51 PM   #6
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I normally just tie the bag to a handle and let it steep in the 5 gallon pot for 20 minutes while the water is coming to boil. It's really just for color and flavor so I don't know if you need to worry about temps and sparging and all of that.
I would say you don't need to, but it works for all grains and its good practice to get into. Nothing wrong with an easy steep/mash and a quick sparge
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