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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Help...steeping grains
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:44 AM   #1
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Default Help...steeping grains

I'm brewing a winter spiced ale, said to steep the grains at 152 to 158 F for 30 minutes. I stuck the thermometer in the gains thinking that would give me a good reading of the gains temp. I smelled something kind of funky and put the thermometer in the water and it was almost 200F. I took the water and gains off the stove and now watching the water temp. Is this bad???

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Old 12-01-2011, 12:49 AM   #2
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I'm brewing a winter spiced ale, said to steep the grains at 152 to 158 F for 30 minutes. I stuck the thermometer in the gains thinking that would give me a good reading of the gains temp. I smelled something kind of funky and put the thermometer in the water and it was almost 200F. I took the water and gains off the stove and now watching the water temp. Is this bad???
Well, it's not good. But you will still get color and flavor from the grains, even if it got too high so you can just soldier on and remember not to do that again! Remember from now on to stir, stir, stir, so that the grains are thoroughly wetted and the same temperature as the liquid in there. Sometimes the grain is jammed too tight into the bag and can't get wetted by the liquid in there, so it's better to use two bags if necessary.

If there were grains that needed to be mashed, the enzymes would have been denatured if they got that high. But color and flavor should still come from them.
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:55 AM   #3
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Well i'm 16 minutes into 30 minutes of steeping and the temp is 167F. It was in the high 190's when i started the 30 minute steeping. I'm going to roll with it and see what happens. Maybe the orange spice and cinnamon will help with any bad flavors.

Urgg...

Thanks for you help!

Mike

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:06 AM   #4
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I have had good success adding the steeping grains in a muslin bag when the water is warm and continuing until 20 minutes (by my recipes) or 170 degrees is reached. They have coincided within a couple of minutes on all the steeping recipes that I have done.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:19 AM   #5
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I have had good success adding the steeping grains in a muslin bag when the water is warm and continuing until 20 minutes (by my recipes) or 170 degrees is reached. They have coincided within a couple of minutes on all the steeping recipes that I have done.
This is what my Northern Brewer Black IPA recipe said to do... it's still fermenting, but was tasting nicely sweet before I pitched the yeast. It was only my first time doing this method.

My True Brew Oktoberfest said to kill the flame at boil, put in the specialty grains, and let steep for 15 to 20 minutes. So it started at boiling, and ended around 150 with all the stirring I was doing. Then I came on to these forums, and started to question that practice.

But regardless, I'm thinking he'll be ok. My True Brew recipe turned out ok.. didn't have that tannin flavor to it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:19 AM   #6
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At the end of the 30 minutes of steeping the grains were at 161F so they steeped between 198F and 161F for 30 minutes. I need this by the 17th for a friend who is having a holiday party. I could get a new batch and remake it tomorrow night or keep the ship a sail and see what happens. I don't want it to end up that no one likes it and my friend has to get more beer to make up for it.

Happy holidays...

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:21 AM   #7
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At the end of the 30 minutes of steeping the grains were at 161F so they steeped between 198F and 161F for 30 minutes. I need this by the 17th for a friend who is having a holiday party. I could get a new batch and remake it tomorrow night or keep the ship a sail and see what happens. I don't want it to end up that no one likes it and my friend has to get more beer to make up for it.

Happy holidays...
Well, the 17th is only 18 days away. If you're kegging it might be doable. But I would definitely not plan on it.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:47 AM   #8
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I am kegging it and the recipe calls for 5 to 7 days and then second fermentation 5 to 7 days. So by the recipe i should be fine. The real question is will steeping the grains at such a high temp cause the beer to taste bad and no one will like it. However, if i made it correctly people still may not like it. I don't know i just hate it when things don't go as planned.

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Old 12-01-2011, 01:54 AM   #9
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I am kegging it and the recipe calls for 5 to 7 days and then second fermentation 5 to 7 days. So by the recipe i should be fine. The real question is will steeping the grains at such a high temp cause the beer to taste bad and no one will like it. However, if i made it correctly people still may not like it. I don't know i just hate it when things don't go as planned.
I don't think you'll extract excess tannins, or at least not too badly, but I do think that you may be rushing things. I keg many beers at 3 weeks old, and drink them. But some beers take longer than others and I would be hesitant to serve a 2.5 week old spiced beer since they tend to have darker grains and spices that may take a bit longer to mellow.

"Early" beers tend to be milds, pale ales, etc, stuff that doesn't have complex flavor. A spiced beer may take longer than 2 weeks to be ready.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:56 AM   #10
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Don't worry about it. Dave Line's extract procedure in "Brewing Beers Like Those You Buy" (circa 1975), called for leaving the steeping grains through the whole boil. I assume his beer generally came out pretty good.

We know we can extract tannins if we let the grains get over 170F, but when steeping we are not using too many grains, and it is probably not that noticeable.

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