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Old 08-01-2010, 03:02 AM   #1
GoldenChild
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Default steeping grains in 6 gallons of water cause tannins?

I was just told by someone that steeping my spec grains in 6 gallons of water will alter my PH level and cause off flavors in my beer from tannins? is this true?

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Old 08-01-2010, 03:12 AM   #2
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That doesn't sound right to me. water should be a neutral pH (7). Steeping is a larger volume should mean there is less of a change in the pH. If you keep the temp below 170 or so and steep for around 30 then I doubt you will have a problem.

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Old 08-01-2010, 03:14 AM   #3
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It is very possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregscsu
There are two main issues that you can have when steeping grains.

1. To high of a temp. Temps above 170F can cause tannin extraction from the grains.

2. To high of water/grain ratio. Steeping grains in more then 1 gallon of water per 1 lb. of grain can cause the "mash" PH to become to high, greater that 5.5 and again cause the extraction of tannins from the grain.
Had to post it here too, just because.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:03 PM   #4
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I will admit that I probably spoke without truly knowing the answer. Here is a post that I thought summed it up well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsma22 View Post
A lot of people will tell you that it is OK and that you will never notice any astringency from the extraction of excessive tannins from the grain husks.

Having said that, if you look at it from a purely chemical stand point, it is hard to argue against the fact that a pound or two of specialty grains is not capable of lowering the pH of a full volume boil sufficiently enough to avoid the extraction of tannins.

I also do full volume boils, but while the water in the main boil kettle is heating up, I am steeping in a smaller pot on the stove with the proper 2-3 qt of water per pound of specialty grains. The grain tea is added to the main boil kettle, and I sparge the spent grains with a little hot water from the boil kettle.

I have never done a dilute steep so I can't tell you definitively what will happen. I can tell you that I trust what I know about chemistry, and I also trust the brewers from the local club here that don't dilute steep either.
thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/steeping-volume-24341/

Perhaps I need to adjust my technique. I haven't noticed much if any astringency, but who is to say we can't all improve our beer!
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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I've tried it both ways and the results didn't really differ, I feel ph and tannin extraction is more a concern when you mash and there is a longer contact time. Steeping as you know is more for flavor adding as opposed to starch coversion.

In addition I personally do my steeping in a seperate smaller pot while my water is heating up to add the extract. It's easier and keeps me busy while I'm waiting on 5 gallons of H2O to start boiling

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Old 08-02-2010, 04:48 AM   #6
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well got some great answers guys. I have done all of my batches this way (7) they have all turned out great. but just for the Hell of it ill go ahead and try the separate pot thing on the stove. Who knows maybe i have been missing something. thanks again

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Old 08-02-2010, 03:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBmadtown View Post
That doesn't sound right to me. water should be a neutral pH (7). Steeping is a larger volume should mean there is less of a change in the pH. If you keep the temp below 170 or so and steep for around 30 then I doubt you will have a problem.
most tap water is higher then 7 PH Mine is close to 8.

But as long as you keep the temps below 170, I don't think you'll have any problems with tannins from steeping. Even with small amounts of grain (1lb) in a large (5 gal) amount of water. I've made dozens of batches that way and never had problems with tannins.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:31 PM   #8
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Just providing another source on this, I believe the steeping directions in Brewing Classic Styles suggest no more than one gallon per pound of grain for steeping purposes for this very reason. However, I don't have my copy directly in front of me.

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