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-   -   Steeping grains (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/steeping-grains-368799/)

907_fellow 11-19-2012 06:01 PM

Steeping grains
So I just read threw some threads and think I might be on to something here. I am doing extract batches, full 6.5 gallon boils in a keggle. Normally, I fill the keggle up to 6.5 gallons, throw the specialty grains in, bring up to 155 degree F and steep for 30 min. After reading the information below, I think I could improve my beer by steeping in like 1 gallon, then adding the additional 5.5 gallons after steeping. Is this correct? -
In order to get the colors and flavors you want from your specialty grains, without extracting excess tannins, you need to do one of two things — either steep in a small amount of water or in weak wort. A small amount of water means 1–3 qts. of water per pound of grains (2.1–6.3 L/kg). If you steep in a larger volume than that, add malt extract until the specific gravity is over 1.010 before adding the grains. And finally, rinse with a very small amount of water — 0.5–1 qts. of water per pound of grain steeped (1–2 L/kg) works well (see “Steeping,” in the May–June 2005 issue of BYO for more on this topic).

In extract brewing, the extract manufacturer collects the wort and concentrates it. When the wort is concentrated into extract, some volatile compounds are lost. To brew the best extract beer possible, you need a way to replace at least a portion of them. The simplest way to do this is to make some wort yourself by doing a partial mash in your brewpot.

To do this, add some 2-row pale malt to your recipe. For every pound (0.45 kg) of pale malt, subtract 0.53 lbs. (0.24 kg) of dried malt extract or 0.73 lbs. (0.33 kg) liquid malt extract. When making a 5-gallon (19-L) extract beer, I usually shoot for “steeping” a total of around 2–2.5 lbs. (0.91–1.1 kg) of grains, including base malt and specialty grains. Steep this liquid in 1.5–
2 qts. of water per pound of grain (3.2–4.2 L/kg) at 148–158 F (64–70 C) for 45–60 minutes. After increasing your boil volume, I feel that doing small partial mashes — which are really just glorified grain steeps — is the technique that will help extract brewers brew better beer. Note that partial mash wort is also typically more fermentable than that of malt extract, which can help if your beers consistently finish at a high final gravity.

907_fellow 11-19-2012 06:02 PM

Also, would adding 5.5 gallons of room temp water to my 1 gallon of 155 degree steeped water mess anything up?

unionrdr 11-20-2012 03:52 PM

I don't think so,but you'd still have to bring it to a boil,get hot break,etc. 2qt of water per pound of grain might raise the PH too much. 1qt-1.25qt per pound is the norm. I steep in maybe 2 gallons of water & it turned out fine. Sparge with 1 gallon to get 3 gallon partial boil. Steeping grains are intended to add some freshness,color & flavor. I think freshness is the big one,puting back what's lacking in extract. Partial mash is another process altogether.

907_fellow 11-20-2012 04:42 PM

By sparging, what do you mean? I kno that's a dumb question, just trying to wrap my mind around the next steps in advancing my brewing operation. Right now I'm doing 5 gallon extract batches in a full boil with specialty grains. I think adding the 2 row in with my specialty grains, and steeping in less water may help quite a bit.

As far as equipment, I'm running a 15 gallon keggle on top of a propane turkey burner.

unionrdr 11-20-2012 04:48 PM

Sparging is simply rinsing the grains with water a bit hotter than the steeping/mashing temp,say 165F. I sparge steeping grains as well. More important with mashing to get as much fermentable sugars as possible out of the grains. This raises efficiency percentage.

907_fellow 11-20-2012 06:25 PM

Ok so I should steep my grains in about 1qt per pound of grain at about 155 degree F for 60 minutes. Then rinse the grains with 1 gallon of 165 degree water. After sparging, I would then top off my keggle to the 6.5 gallon mark and proceed with the boil as normal. Sound about right?

unionrdr 11-20-2012 06:48 PM

All except for the steeping time. Steeping is commonly for 30 minutes. Mashing whether AG or PM is for 60 minutes.

907_fellow 11-20-2012 07:48 PM

If I am adding a pound of 2 row to my specialty grains, would I still want to go for 30 minutes, or 60 minutes?

unionrdr 11-20-2012 07:55 PM

2 row is a base grain that needs to be mashed,so 60 minutes. And temp control is more important. Higher mash temp gives less fermentables & lower temp gives more. In other words,higher temp gives more flavor & color. One pound of base grain with the specialty grains won't add much to the fermentables.

jsv1204 11-20-2012 08:12 PM

Might check "Brew Better Beer" by Gordon Strong (I think). He suggests 1 quart per lb steeped for 5 minutes in 160 deg water. He also mentions a cold water (overnight) method. In context, he is referring to all-grain brewers trying this rather than mashing with the specialty malts, but I don't see why it wouldn't apply to extract. Anyways, tried in on the amber I have in my fermenter now. Jury is still out!

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