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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > steeping grains & extract kits
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
jamesp
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Default steeping grains & extract kits

Apologies if this has been covered already.. I looked at a few threads but didn't find my answer.

Background.... I've been brewing using Coopers kits (hopped malt extracts), adding 1-2kgs (2-4lbs) of fermentables to the can, usually a mix of sugar & DME. I want to try steeping some grains to replace the sugar/DME.
I don't want to be mashing grains at this stage, so will be steeping only. I figure its an easy & faster way to change up my beer without going to full mash brewing.

The question is how much grain do I need to get an equivalent of the 2-4lbs of fermentables?

BTW I'll probably dry hop in the primary or secondary also, & possibly get some different yeasts to use.

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Old 08-16-2012, 05:56 PM   #2
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Steeping grains don't provide a whole lot of fermentables - it's not possible to replace 4 lbs of sugar/DME with steeping grains and still get something resembling beer.

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Old 08-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #3
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ah ok... so if I steep grains for extra malty flavor then I still need other fermentables. What quantities? 1-2lbs (?) of grains steeped then added to my usual Coopers kit+2lbs of other fermentables?

I guess I'm asking how much grain to steep to get some worthwhile flavor. I'm not even sure where to start with this...

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Old 08-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Steeping grains will give you no fermentables to speak of. If you want to up your brewing game a bit, lose the sugar and go all ME for your fermentables, do some steeping grains to add flavor/color, and add your own hops instead of using hopped extract. You might want to consider buying an ingredient kit for your first brew or two by this method to get you used to the process, then you can get a bit more creative.

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Old 08-16-2012, 06:15 PM   #5
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well I have a bunch of hopped kits already, so I will be stuck using those for now. Any idea of approx quantities of grain to use?

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Old 08-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #6
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I typically steep about 1-1.5 pounds of grain in my extract brews. Just think about what you're trying to achieve by steeping (color, flavor, etc.) and select your grains accordingly. The link below is to an old post that has a pretty good list of what grains can be effectively steeped.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/can-...teeped-103379/

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Old 08-16-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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ok cool thanks! The other thread was helpful.

I'll mostly be steeping for flavor I think... although I won't be disappointed if the color does change, ie I'm happy enough with the color produced by the standard kits.

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Old 08-16-2012, 09:18 PM   #8
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Id look at some recipes and get an idea for what you want to brew. My second batch was a couple of cans of hopped extract with some steeping grains and small hops additions to get a 'nearish' irish red.

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:10 AM   #9
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I have ideas... my stock includes a couple Dark Ales, European Larger, IPA, Cerveza, Stout & a Canadian Red (Red is the only kit thats not a Coopers).

One of the Darks I'd like to turn into something with big hop & malt flavors, bitter hops even. Try turn it into a dark IPA of sorts.
Same for the IPA, lots of hops.
The Euro Larger is quite hoppy also... back when I lived in Aust the LHBS gave me some hops pellets that I used to dry hop during primary. Turned out great but I forget what type they were.
Not sure what to with the Cerveza.... might just brew that as is & leave it as a bland easy drinking beer for the GF & visitors who don't like real beer.
I just bottled a batch of the same Red & it tasted really bland... needs something. Red Ales aren't my favourite style so I'm not sure what to do here.
The Stout is usually pretty good just with dark brown sugar & malt. Maybe I'll just replace sugar with malt, add a little lactose for creamy head, & a touch of steeped hops to try balance the extra sweetness from the lactose.

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Old 08-17-2012, 12:19 AM   #10
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You can skip the lactose (milk sugar) & use maltodextrin for some head & body. Replace the sugars with plain DME that you can use in the boil for hop additions. See my recipes for how I do this.
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