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Old 09-17-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
Rush
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Default Steeping grains in full-boil...

I've only got a handful of brews under my belt, but I've been doing full-boil since my first batch. However, when I've steeped grains, I've always steeped them in only 3g of water, since that's what most of the literature says to do. Most of the literature is usually written for people doing concetrated boils though. Since I'm doing a full-boil, should I steep the grains in more water or what?

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Old 09-17-2008, 01:53 PM   #2
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You can if you want, it will take more to get the water to the right temp though. I usually soak them in a 3 gallon gott cooler for an hour and get my equipment set up then to brew including warming up my brewing water. It does not matter as much when steeping.

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Old 09-17-2008, 02:50 PM   #3
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I always steep in all 5 gallons. I start steeping as soon as I start the heat up process and remove when they get to the temperature called for. This has always worked for me.

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Old 09-17-2008, 05:57 PM   #4
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I have raised this question before and have always been advised to steep the grain in 1.5-2 gallons of water.

I complete 5 gallon boils and thought it would be much easier to steep in the full volume and then bring all 5 gallons to boiling. However, the advice I have received on this forum, and I have read the same elsewhere, is to steep in 1.5 - 2 gallons of water. Steeping in the full boil volume can add astringent flavours you don't want as it has an effect on the final ph of the brew I beleive.

I can't quote the science behind it at the mo as it was something I queried a while ago and I changed my process accordingly at that time. Maybe somebody here will come up with a fuller answer for you, but that's what I remember.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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Well I'm about to brew a new batch so I'll just stick with 2g right now as I always have, but I'll wait for some more replies to make a final decision on the forthcoming batches.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:22 PM   #6
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I have always (only 6 batches) brought 6 gallons up to around 155 and held it there for 15 minutes or so with teh grains in there. Then removed them and brought it to a boil and boiled off about a gallon.

Also I was getting kits from Northernbrewer and they instruct you to use 25-50% less bittering hops if you are doing a full boil instead of a partial boil.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:29 PM   #7
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If you are strictly steeping the grains, using only crystal malts and/or roasted malts, then the quantity of water doesn't really matter all that much. It's like making tea- you are extracting color and flavor from the steeping grains and the ph doesn't really matter very much.

If you are using some other grains, though, that should be mashed (munich malt, vienna malt, carapils, flaked barley, etc), then it's important to mash with 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain, and keep it at a steady mash temperature.

The confusion comes in with partial mashing- you can actually put the crystal malt, munich malt, and carapils (for example) in a grain bag, and steep it at 153 degrees for 45 minutes. That then actually makes it mashing- because the starches will be converted to sugars during the process. If you steep a grain that must be mashed, you will have a starch haze in the finished beer.

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Old 09-17-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
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+1 to Yooper's post.

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