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Old 05-22-2009, 09:48 PM   #1
lkondolian
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Default steeping grains take longer to mature?

I've done a few all extract batches, and they're generally ready to drink after 6 weeks. 5 weeks would be tolerable, barely.

I have my first couple of batches with steeping with 1 lb of grains in bottles. One is at 8 weeks, now, and still really tastes grain-ey. (An american pale ale.) The other, a pseudo pilsner (pilsner brewing with ale yeast) is at 5 weeks, too, and has the same kind of muddy quality.

Do extract brews normally finish faster than steeping grains / AG, or did I mess something up? I used a brewing thermometer and was in the correct range of temps and times for the steep.

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Old 05-22-2009, 11:43 PM   #2
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Not sure why your having this issue... I do not think there is any difference in times for extract vs steeping vs partial or full mash / ag.... my first extract with steeping was wonderful and very drinkable after 3 weeks in the bottle...

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Old 05-22-2009, 11:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kronin View Post
Not sure why your having this issue... I do not think there is any difference in times for extract vs steeping vs partial or full mash / ag.... my first extract with steeping was wonderful and very drinkable after 3 weeks in the bottle...
I second that, I am on batch number 5 and all have been extract w/specialty grains. Of course, they have gotten better with each batch, but very drinkable after 3 weeks in the bottle. I do a single primary for about a month before bottling though, that might have something to do with it.

If your steeping temps are too high, it could be tannins...I usually shoot for 150-155°
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:16 AM   #4
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I second that, I am on batch number 5 and all have been extract w/specialty grains. Of course, they have gotten better with each batch, but very drinkable after 3 weeks in the bottle. I do a single primary for about a month before bottling though, that might have something to do with it.

If your steeping temps are too high, it could be tannins...I usually shoot for 150-155°
aha! I was told to get it to 180, turn off the heat and add the grain bag. Maybe that was it.

Will the yeast take care of the tannins?
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:32 AM   #5
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the Tannin flavor will mellow out somewhat with time, but this batch will probably never be one of your best. stick to the 150-155 range next time and you'll notice the improvement. also make sure not to squeeze the grain bag or steep it in too much water I'd say as a rule of thumb more than a gallon of water per pound of steeping grain could lead to over-extraction. Ideally you'd use closer to about a quart to 1/3 gallon of water per pound, but if you're steeping in a grain bag that might not cover the bag.

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Old 05-23-2009, 12:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by lkondolian View Post
aha! I was told to get it to 180, turn off the heat and add the grain bag. Maybe that was it.

Will the yeast take care of the tannins?
Yes, that was your problem, and no, the yeast won't help too much with that.
Try to never exceed 170F with grains or you begin to risk tannin extraction depending on pH.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller View Post
the Tannin flavor will mellow out somewhat with time, but this batch will probably never be one of your best. stick to the 150-155 range next time and you'll notice the improvement. also make sure not to squeeze the grain bag or steep it in too much water I'd say as a rule of thumb more than a gallon of water per pound of steeping grain could lead to over-extraction. Ideally you'd use closer to about a quart to 1/3 gallon of water per pound, but if you're steeping in a grain bag that might not cover the bag.
I've been using this method for my batches. All have been extract w/ grains and they are getting better each batch. Stick to the lower temp range for steeping. After it ferments in the primary, let the yeasts clean up after themselves and you'll get less of what you were describing. Patience is the single hardest part of this...especially for those of us just getting started.

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Old 05-23-2009, 11:33 AM   #8
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I was amazed when I tasted my first batches and comparing to what I was doing when I was in the 30 batch area.

When I hit batch #10 I thought I was king. Then 20 batches later I thought THOSE early batches were so . . . simple. You will just keep getting better and better.

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Old 05-23-2009, 04:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller View Post
the Tannin flavor will mellow out somewhat with time, but this batch will probably never be one of your best. stick to the 150-155 range next time and you'll notice the improvement. also make sure not to squeeze the grain bag or steep it in too much water I'd say as a rule of thumb more than a gallon of water per pound of steeping grain could lead to over-extraction. Ideally you'd use closer to about a quart to 1/3 gallon of water per pound, but if you're steeping in a grain bag that might not cover the bag.
I have had excellent results with 3-3.5 gallons of water to about 2-3 lbs of steeping grains. Just keep the temps in the low to mid 150's and you'll be safe. I beleive this range would still be safe for conversion if you have any base malts or convertible starches.
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