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Old 07-07-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Default Steeping grains vs. Extract

I made my 1st batch of Bascom Brown Ale. Included in the kit were Steeping Grains.

What do they do that Extract will not ?????

They had no name, just "steeping grains". Are there normally names to "steeping grains"?

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Old 07-07-2008, 02:38 PM   #2
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Steeping grains are just that- grains to steep in water (under 170 degrees), like a tea. This "tea" provides color, flavor, and richness that extract won't have on it's own. Generally, specialty grains (which are made differently than "base malts") can be steeped. Grains like crystal, black patent, roasted barley, etc, can all be steeped. I think it makes a big difference in the taste vs. an extract only beer.

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Old 07-07-2008, 02:40 PM   #3
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Yes, everyone calls them steeping grains. They add color, a certain amount of aroma and some critical proteins that will aid in head retention.

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Old 07-07-2008, 02:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Grinder12000 View Post
I made my 1st batch of Bascom Brown Ale. Included in the kit were Steeping Grains.

What do they do that Extract will not ?????

They had no name, just "steeping grains". Are there normally names to "steeping grains"?
Steeping grains add flavor and color and complexity to extract beers...in other words they make them taste better.

They have many names...The most common ones will be Crystal...there is a number usually attached to it...i.e. "crystal 60L" the number corresponds to the darkness of the malt in (L)ovibonds.

THere's a lot of other malts that can be steeped....victory, chocolate, buscuit...they impart different flavors and colors...

How to brew has a great chapter on it. http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter13.html
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Old 07-07-2008, 02:55 PM   #5
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Thanks guys!!!!

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Old 07-07-2008, 03:35 PM   #6
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Thanks guys!!!!
Yeah thanks guys. I appreciate seasoned forum goers hanging out in the newb forums helping out.

One thing I did Grinder, that I won't do again, is squeeze the hell out of the grain bag to get every last drop of wort out. I don't think it made much difference in taste, but I think that squeezing the grain bag might lead to extraction of tannins. Maybe a more seasoned brewer can correct me if I'm wrong there.
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Old 07-07-2008, 03:36 PM   #7
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Since it was a Brown, you probably had some Caramel (AKA crystal) for sweetness, and either chocolate malt or a Biscuit.

It makes much more sense to have a limited number of extracts and use specialty grains to change the flavor. Extra caramel makes it a sweet brown; more biscuit, a nut brown; more chocolate and hops, an American brown.

Squeezing the grain bag increases the amount of grain hulls in the wort, which will leach tannins. And always pack a grain bag loosely, the grain swells.

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Old 07-07-2008, 03:40 PM   #8
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Yea - I squeezed also - it seemed like the thing to do. Not a TON but enough.

Now the grains will find their way to the garden!!

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Old 07-07-2008, 04:37 PM   #9
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Can someone explain the difference between using steeping grains and partial mash?

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Old 07-07-2008, 04:58 PM   #10
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The grains mentioned so far do not have many starch-to-sugar converting enzymes in them. yeast eat sugar, not starch. so steeping these grains alone doesn't contribute much to the wort gravity, just color/taste/aroma, etc. but, if you added some grains which did have the enzymes in them (eg 2-row barley, 6-row malt, etc), and let them steep at the right temps, these enzymes would break down much of the starch into yeast-edible sugars (process is called "mashing"). these basically replace some of the malt extract you'd need to add to the wort to get your gravity up (ie, "partial mashing" or "mini-mash"). All grain dudes get all of the sugar their yeast need from mashing, no extract needed.

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