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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > What volume of water, temp, time, timing, to steep grains.
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Old 01-07-2011, 09:13 PM   #21
Gavagai
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Originally Posted by Funkenjaeger View Post
150F for 30 minutes sounds like a perfectly good rule of thumb. When steeping, there's not much science to it (unlike mashing) so it's not exactly critical. If the temperature is over about 170F, you can extract tannins from the husks - avoid this. Other than that, the higher the temperature, the better the solubility of sugars/etc, so as long as you can keep it somewhere in the range of 150-165F or so you should be fine. The other method of adding grains to cold water while it heats sounds fine too - just seems like an easy way to cut down on the time required, because you can count the time the water takes to heat as part/all of your steep time.

One point I'm not 100% sure on is the quantity of water. I seem to recall that you don't want to use too much water (for much the same reason you don't want to over-sparge when mashing) - if the solution is too dilute, the pH will be higher and you can be more likely to extract tannins. Someone more familiar with this can hopefully chime in, but personally, I would recommend steeping in 1-2 gallons (depending on how much grain you're steeping) and then topping off after you have removed the grains.
If one were to add a small amount of extract (say, a pound) to the steeping water, wouldn't this control the pH enough that using a larger volume wouldn't be a problem?
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:18 AM   #22
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I just finished my first batch i got a box from brewers best it was a recipe calling its self an IPA. well, there was no dry hopping required and it turnd out very dark more looks and tastes of a brown. i used Victory and caramel 40l i also may have pulld the bag out 3 or 4 times letting the water drip into the pot i think this may have been the problem with the color i got. i steeped the grains for 20 minutes no higher then 160 anyone know any reason why it would have created a burnt taste and a dark amber color?

also im starting my second brew and i took the sculpin ipa recipe from ballast point but changed a few things whent with .8 of victory .8 of caramel pilsner and 8. of the caramel 4ol i used much more of a variety of hops and also dry hopd this round

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Old 02-25-2011, 03:31 PM   #23
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I usually use the amount of water the recipe calls for for the partial boil. I put the grains in as im heating the water and let it get up to 158* shut off the flame and let it drop over time to 152* then kick the burner back on, just keeping it in that range for a half hour. I pull the bag out and let it drip out for a few mins. I don't squeeze the bag but not for fear of tannins but just because I don't like the hot water. I've been really successful doing this.

An easy way for someone who doesn't understand "astringent" to find out what tannins taste like would be to make some tea, make sure the water is really boiling, and let the teabag steep like 20mins instead of the normal 5. That tea is going to be full of tannins and you'll see why you don't want that flavor in beer.

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Old 02-27-2011, 12:30 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ItsagoodIPA View Post
I just finished my first batch i got a box from brewers best it was a recipe calling its self an IPA. well, there was no dry hopping required and it turnd out very dark more looks and tastes of a brown. i used Victory and caramel 40l i also may have pulld the bag out 3 or 4 times letting the water drip into the pot i think this may have been the problem with the color i got. i steeped the grains for 20 minutes no higher then 160 anyone know any reason why it would have created a burnt taste and a dark amber color?

also im starting my second brew and i took the sculpin ipa recipe from ballast point but changed a few things whent with .8 of victory .8 of caramel pilsner and 8. of the caramel 4ol i used much more of a variety of hops and also dry hopd this round
I doubt your steeping technique was the problem. Perhaps you had some scorching in the kettle?
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Old 02-27-2011, 09:47 AM   #25
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I doubt your steeping technique was the problem. Perhaps you had some scorching in the kettle?
yeah thats also what i was thinking because i have been using an electric stove and im beginning to think thats our main problem also my water lvl is always Half a gallon under when i move to my secondary fermenter

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Old 05-30-2011, 02:17 AM   #26
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Not trying to hijack this thread, but what kind of flavors do tannins impart to the beer and how do you know you've got them?
Grab a bottle of dry cabernet wine and compare the taste to a mild merlot. The biggest difference is tannins. You can also feel it when you rub your tongue against the roof of your mouth in the amount of friction that will be noticeably increased after drinking something with higher tannin content. Good for (some) wines, bad for beer.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:34 PM   #27
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My Brother and I always start with 6 gallons of purified drinking water, I add the grains in the bag as soon as the temp reaches 100 and leave it in till' 160 which is usually at least 30 min., pick it up and let it drain, then He puts the grains on His flower beds, the plants love it, This has worked for Us every time.

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Old 03-16-2014, 02:31 AM   #28
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My big question that I have about steeping grains is temperature control of the water. I have a gas burner for the boil but use the electric range for getting the water up to temp for steeping. My problem with that is that it is difficult to keep the water in the steeping not boiling range so for the sake of consistency I've been warming 2 pots of water to 170. Putting the steeping grain bag into on the pots and putting both pots in the oven at 170 (lowest temp it will go), and then sparging using the 2nd pot of water that was held at 170. Any of you guys got tips on keeping your steeping temp between 155 and 170?

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Old 03-17-2014, 03:40 PM   #29
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As someone mentioned earlier larger volumes are a larger thermal mass, so it takes longer to lose and gain heat. I do 5 gallon batches but I have a large enough kettle to do full boils. I start with about 6.2 gallons and end up around 5.25-5.5 at the end which is just about 5 when it comes to bottling. So I add all the water, turn up the burner with the lid on, I add grain bag around 120, start my timer, and get it to between 155-160 and then kill the burner and let it set for however long I have left. The size of the water with the lid on keeps the temps pretty stable. I brew outside and for example yesterday my water only dropped about 3 degrees for my steep to finish.


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Old 03-23-2014, 08:23 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by NWHopHead View Post
My big question that I have about steeping grains is temperature control of the water. I have a gas burner for the boil but use the electric range for getting the water up to temp for steeping. My problem with that is that it is difficult to keep the water in the steeping not boiling range so for the sake of consistency I've been warming 2 pots of water to 170. Putting the steeping grain bag into on the pots and putting both pots in the oven at 170 (lowest temp it will go), and then sparging using the 2nd pot of water that was held at 170. Any of you guys got tips on keeping your steeping temp between 155 and 170?


Crack the door on the stove when you have the temp set to 170 and the water temp will stay pretty constant at 150-155. At least is has in my experience.
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