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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Steeping grains: How much H2O? How long?
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:40 AM   #1
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Default Steeping grains: How much H2O? How long?

Amount Item Type % or IBU
5.00 lb Extra Light Dry Extract (3.0 SRM) Dry Extract 83.3 %
1.00 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM) Grain 16.7 %
0.25 oz Centennial [9.50%] (45 min) Hops 7.8 IBU
0.25 oz Centennial [9.50%] (20 min) Hops 5.1 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [7.80%] (10 min) Hops 2.5 IBU
0.25 oz Cascade [7.80%] (5 min) Hops 1.4 IBU
1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) Yeast-Ale

Im doing this quick extract recipe tonight and was wondering how I know the amount of water to use for steeping the cara-pils? Im used to doing AG batches where I use 1.25 - 1.75 qt per lb. Does the same hold true for steeping this Cara-pils? and why does steeping only take 15 minutes when mashing take an hour?

How long should I steep? In how much water? how much water to sparge?

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Old 05-12-2009, 12:52 AM   #2
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I've been brewing with specialty grains and always used more water than what you'd normally use for a mash, usually like 2 to 3 quarts per pound. My guess is that's partly to get more flavors extracted in less time. In BCS, Jamil says "the ratio of steeping water to grain should be less than 1 gallon per pound. This will help keep the pH under control and minimize tannin extraction." With carapils I think you'd really have to overdo it.

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:29 AM   #3
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What would be the effects of steeping in 2 gallons? did this over the weekend on my batch hope it's alright.

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Old 05-12-2009, 01:51 AM   #4
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I use the amount of water that I used for my boil.

If I am making a 5 gallon batch, I fill my kettle with about 4.75 gals of water and steep with that.

Am I doing it wrong?

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Old 05-12-2009, 02:12 AM   #5
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The amount of water you steep in shouldn't really matter since 2 gallons @ 150 degrees is the exact same as 4 gallons @ 150 degrees. Tannins get extracted if the temp gets too high, or you squeeze the hell out of the grains when pulling the bag. Correct me if I'm wrong.... Oh and I steep for 30 minutes.

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Old 05-12-2009, 02:28 AM   #6
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I thought I was doing it right.

I let the grains drip out in a strainer over a bowl and pour it in during mid boil. I never squeeze it.

I have steeped for 30-50 minutes

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Old 05-12-2009, 03:49 AM   #7
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Crap I squeezed the hell out of my rye in my rye IPA in an attempt to get all the "goodness" out

Brewing is so complicated!

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Old 05-12-2009, 04:09 AM   #8
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Brewing is not that hard. Read "How to Brew"...Palmer recommends around 30mins at +/- 150*F. You can steep a little longer if you want more color and flavor.

I typically steep in about 3/4 quart per pound of grain. After steeping, I pour 1/2 gallon of 150*F water through the grain bag to sparge the last bits out without squeezing or waiting. Works beautifully!

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Old 05-12-2009, 04:53 AM   #9
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You absolutely want to avoid a dilute steep of specialty grains. If you steep the relatively small amount of specialty grains used in an extract recipe in too much water, that small amount of specialty grains is not sufficient to lower the pH of that large amount of water enough to avoid extracting excess tannins from the grain husks. 1-3 quarts of water per pound of specialty grains will avoid a dilute steep.

If you would like to see a great article that was written about this very subject by Chris Colby of BYO magazine please feel free to PM me and I'll be glad to email it to you.

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Old 05-12-2009, 05:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsma22 View Post
You absolutely want to avoid a dilute steep of specialty grains. If you steep the relatively small amount of specialty grains used in an extract recipe in too much water, that small amount of specialty grains is not sufficient to lower the pH of that large amount of water enough to avoid extracting excess tannins from the grain husks. 1-3 quarts of water per pound of specialty grains will avoid a dilute steep.

I'm also one of the people that just has been steeping in whatever I'm using for my partial boil (usually 3-4ish gallons).

So let's say I switch to steeping in 3 quarts:

1) Can I steep in my normal cookware? If I steep in my brew pot there won't be enough water to keep the bag off the bottom, and it will burn. But my normal cookware is not stainless steel or aluminum. I dunno what it is, but it is non-stick (not teflon).

2) Do I need to have hot water ready when I bring the volume up to 3-4 gallons? Or can the water be tap temprature?

Thanks
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