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Old 01-26-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
StophJS
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Default Steeping volume flavor/tannin extraction

The question concerns steeping volume and the implications for flavor and tannin extraction. I recently brewed a milk stout, steeping 2 lb of grain in 6 lb of water and there is no astringency in the beer. I'm not sure though if I want to continue dilute steeping or not. For some reason, it's hard for me to imagine that steeping in a small amount of water and topping off will allow for as much flavor contribution as dilute steeping and allowing the grains to permeate the full volume of water. Can anyone speak to this specifically? I have never really followed protocol so to speak with steeping volume, but I worry that if I do I will be sacrificing flavor for potentially no perceivable benefits.

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Old 01-26-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
brtisbuck
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I don't know about how the amount of water effects the flavor. I just had a thread concerning steeps though. This is what I've learned. Temps above 170 and steeps longer than 45-60 min can result in tannin extraction as the grain husks start to break down emmitting tannins . When you "steep" you are steeping grains that have already had their starches converted to sugars, typically caramel or roasted types. Not only is it adding color and flavor, but some amount of gravity from the fermentables that are extracted. The amount of water will to some degree effect the efficiency of the steep. A specialty grain steep is one step away from a "mash", which is a steep with strict control on time-temp-and amount of water. Mashes are used to convert starches to fermentable sugars in grains that have not been roasted or lighter grains.

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Old 01-26-2012, 10:40 PM   #3
wailingguitar
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I always steep in the volume of water I need for my boil (for a 5 gallon final volume extract brew that would be 6 gallons, which raise to 6.5 total volume with extracts added, boil down to 5.5 for final yield of 5)... I have never noticed any off flavors resulting from this. I don't steep long, maybe 20 minutes max.

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Old 01-27-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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I suppose for now I'll just continue dilute steeping so long as I don't have any problems with it.

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