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Old 10-14-2011, 08:36 PM   #1
barkscruff
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Default Steeping Specialty Grains Question

Last week I brewed my 1st 5 gallon batch - breakfast stout from NB. Up until now I have messed around with some Mr. Beer (years ago), and smaller 1 gallon batches. Last time I recall steeping the grains, I was able to lift the bag out and squeeze it on the side of my brew kettle to get some liquid out. Last week with the breakfast stout, between the oats & the roasted grains, the bag was very large, and was very heavy when I removed it from the kettle. I have to guess at least 15%-20% of my boil went out with that bag. My question is, should I be straining that liquid out of the bag? Seems like a lot of flavor to waste.

Thanks!

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Old 10-14-2011, 08:49 PM   #2
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Yeah, you don't want to waste that but I don't think you want to squeeze every last drop out either. I just lift the bag out and let drip until it is almost done. If it's too heavy, maybe set-up another bowl/pot with a colander and drop it in there and let it drain for a few minutes before dumping the liquid back into the brew pot.

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Old 10-14-2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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My wife has rubber heat gloves for blanching the skin off tomatoes for canning and things like that. I put those on and squeeze the goodness out of the bag.

I've done the Nut Brown kit from NB twice now. The first time I just drained the bag with gravity. The 2nd time I squeezed it. The flavors from the specialty grains were so much more noticeable and robust in the batch that I squeezed that I've been doing it ever since.

Extracting tannins by squeezing the bag is an old wives tale, in my experience.

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Old 10-24-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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I have a question: How about sparging the bag after the initial steep? I did this but I think that I used too hot of water. I used near boiling water (about a gallon) and Ive seen a lot of people stating not to go ever like 175 degrees F. Any one know if I ruined my beer? It sure made it darker.

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Old 10-24-2011, 05:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SandMBrewCo View Post
I have a question: How about sparging the bag after the initial steep? I did this but I think that I used too hot of water. I used near boiling water (about a gallon) and Ive seen a lot of people stating not to go ever like 175 degrees F. Any one know if I ruined my beer? It sure made it darker.
Yes, boiling water would be a bit too hot. You can use 170 degree water to rinse the grains, but you don't want to go any higher. You didn't ruin the beer, but you are more at risk of pulling tannins out of the grain with a too-hot sparge.
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Old 10-24-2011, 06:03 PM   #6
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I use the "sparge" method on my steeped grains. I open the muslin bag and empty into a sanitized steaming pot w colander on top and gently rinse w 150* water, trying never to float them just rinse, last time I used some of the wort to rinse and achieved my OG on the nose.

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Old 10-24-2011, 06:41 PM   #7
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I don't even use muslin bags anymore. I put my grains in a smaller pot with water and steep them at 150 degrees for 30 minutes. While that is going I fill my brewpot about a third full with water, heat it up and add half my extract.

I then pour the steeping grain mixture into a fine mesh strainer that sits above my brewpot. I then rinse the grains (which are still in the strainer) with 170 degree water that I've heated in a third pot.

I remove the grains and proceed with my boil, following the hop schedule and adding the rest of the extract in the final 10-15 minutes.

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Old 10-24-2011, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbear219 View Post
Extracting tannins by squeezing the bag is an old wives tale, in my experience.
Not sure about this one. After steeping the grains in my first brew, I squeezed the bag pretty significantly and got an extremely strong aftertaste of just grains. Its taken over a month aging in bottles to let it mellow out. It was for an IIPA so the idea wasn't to get those flavors, but ya learn by making mistakes.
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Old 10-25-2011, 05:40 PM   #9
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So "tannins".... is this the grain flavor that D_Ranged_Eskimo is talking about? What sucks about tannins?

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Old 10-25-2011, 09:01 PM   #10
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So "tannins".... is this the grain flavor that D_Ranged_Eskimo is talking about? What sucks about tannins?
tannins lend to astrigency: http://www.winning-homebrew.com/astringency.html

i agree with blackbear that squeezing most likely won't lead to tannins, however, theres really no benefit to sparging or squeezing a sack of specialty grains, its just not enough sugars to risk it.
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