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Old 01-21-2013, 12:22 AM   #1
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Default How hot is too hot - Steeping grains

I brewed my second batch ever today (a Brewer's Best IPA extract kit), and things went pretty well except for the steeping. I decided to steep in 1 gallon of water after reading some posts on this thread. It was much more difficult to maintain the proper temp for the smaller amount of water, and I ended up steeping my grains for 5 of the 20 minutes a bit too hot (about 172 degrees). Do you think this was hot enough to have significantly bad implic1ations for this batch?

Also, I boiled 6 gallons, and it ended up being a bit less than the 5 specified by the kit so I boiled a bit more and added it (after cooling it a bit). After topping it off to exactly 5 gallons, my OG was 1.063, but the kit specified an OG of 1.053-1.057. In that situation, would you typically do what I did or keep adding water, mixing, and measuring the OG until is was within the range of the kit?

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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You are good with both. It is recommended to keep steeping temps below 170 F, but I seriously doubt you will notice anything. If it makes you feel better, 30 years ago the process was to boil with the steeping grains (reference 'Brewing Beers Like those you Buy", Dave Line). You can extract tannins at the higher temperatures, but it can't have been too bad.

The right thing to do is to bring the volume to the correct level.

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:18 AM   #3
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At that temp, you risk extracting some harsh tannins from the grains. Also, you probably created some unfermentable sugars due to the higher temps. I wouldn't add any more water at this point, just let it ferment and see what happens. What temp did you read the OG at? The temp affects the reading...

The beer may not reach the intended FG due to the unfermentable sugars and therefore may be a bit sweeter than intended, but it will still be beer.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:51 AM   #4
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I read the OG at 75 degrees (actual reading was 1.062 and I added 0.001 based on the directions that came with my hydrometer).

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forstmeister View Post
Also, you probably created some unfermentable sugars due to the higher temps.
Please explain. This doesn't sound right.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder View Post
Please explain. This doesn't sound right.

+1 you are not going to get any fermentable sugars from steeping specialty grains. Which is what that kit comes with.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beaston View Post
+1 you are not going to get any fermentable sugars from steeping specialty grains. Which is what that kit comes with.
Actually, you do get some fermentable sugars from steeping grains, however, most are unfermentable.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:42 PM   #8
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That would depend entirely on which grains you were steeping wouldn't it? For example, black patent malt contains no fermentable sugars so you are not getting anything but taste out of it.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
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You should be fine. The first time I tried steeping grains I knew I wouldn't be able to hold a consistent temp, so I put them in a sauce pan in my oven and set it on the lowest temp, which was 170. Didn't find out until about a week later that that's really too high, but the beer turned out great! Probably not as great as it could have been, but no nasty surprises, at any rate.

Don't sweat the OG reading either -- since you added top-off water, you almost certainly didn't get an accurate reading, due to concentration gradients. Since you brewed from an extract kit, it's easy to calculate what your OG reading should have been (since extracts give you 100% efficiency) which is probably already done for you and printed on the directions. Your wort will achieve a consistent concentration during fermentation, so your FG readings will be accurate.

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder

Please explain. This doesn't sound right.
My bad, I wasn't paying much attention apparently. Didn't realize that we were just talking specialty grains.
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