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Old 09-09-2009, 04:47 PM   #1
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Default Specialty Grain Question

Just a quick question about steeping specialty grains. I've read in some books that I should put my grain bags in the kettle from the very beginning before even turning on the stove, and bring the water up to 160ºF while the grain is in the water. Other books have said that I should bring the water to 160ºF and then place the grain bags in the water to steep.

Which is correct? Will there be much of a difference either way?

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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The NORMAL way is to put the grains in the water once the water reaches 160.

The water will cool to 153ish and you will be perfect.

the other way you will be slightly over heating the grain. HOWEVER - both will work fine as Specialty grains are pretty forgiving.

I would heat the water and then put the grain in because this way you will get practiced with getting the water to the right temp first which is what you will have to to when you get into base grain.

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Old 09-09-2009, 04:54 PM   #3
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+1 heat the water to 160 then add the grains.

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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Do you leave the heat on when it reaches 160, or just shut the heat off and let it slowly come down to 153 over the next half hour or so?

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:07 PM   #5
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In a mini mash I'll heat water AND oven at same time. Oven at lowest setting 15-170.

Then once the grain go in the water - SHUT off oven, open it and put the pot in the oven. The oven will go from 170 to 150 with the opening of the door and once closed the ambient heat will keep everything perfect.

Adding grain to water will cool the water down to the right temp. In later batches you will need to figure out how much the grain will cool the water to the right temp, but that is later in the obsession.


OH - careful with electric stoves - they tend to STAY heating for a while when turned off.

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:10 PM   #6
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Unfortunately my kettle will not fit in my oven. I have a 24qt kettle, so it's a little large. I'm considering getting something smaller, but this seems to work well.

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by fotomatt1 View Post
Unfortunately my kettle will not fit in my oven. I have a 24qt kettle, so it's a little large. I'm considering getting something smaller, but this seems to work well.
It'll be fine. Heat the water to 160 and add the grains. Stir very well, and check the temperature again. The grains should cause the temperature to drop to 150-153. If it's below that, add a bit of heat until you're in the range of 153. Cover the pot to insulate it, and let it sit. Once the time is up, remove the grains, and proceed.
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Old 09-09-2009, 05:34 PM   #8
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So you'd still suggest shutting the heat off unless the temp drops too far? How vigorously do you stir after adding the grains?

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
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So you'd still suggest shutting the heat off unless the temp drops too far? How vigorously do you stir after adding the grains?
You don't want to go below 150, or above 160. (This helps especially when using base grains with the specialty grains). You also don't want to burn the bottom, if the heat is on under the pot. So, if you do need to add more head, make sure you move the grain bag up off of the bottom.

Stir very well- you want to thoroughly wet all of the grains. Smoosh them around quite well, so that they are soaked inside the bag. Don't pack them tightly, they should be in there quite loose.
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