Originally Posted by LongDog
I feel more confused about brewing after reading this thread. I have always steeped in the boil volume of 3 gallons. Given my results, I am willing to try the smaller water ratio. I have heard that you don't want to squeeze the bag as that would only add astringency to the beer. I'm clueless, it seems.
Here's the method I use, and it works:
Put your grains (no bag) in a small pot, and fill it with water, making a porridge. Heat this mixture to 150-160, and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. While that's going, fill another small pot with water, heat it to 160-170. When the steep is done, hold a fine mesh pasta strainer over your brewpot (because of the handles it has, mine sits nicely over the pot on its own), and strain your grain/water mixture. Then ladle the water from the second small pot of water over your grains, giving them a rinse. Let that drain into the pot, and then you're done.
This works great, and there's no bags to deal with. Plus there's no need to squeeze the grains and risk tannin extraction.