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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Steeping question
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
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Default Steeping question

Hey guys, I'm about to brew extract beer #2 this weekend and I had a question regarding steeping specialty grains. For my first brew I did a partial boil because I was using a 3 gal enamel pot we had. I dug out my turkey frier and cleaned that up really nice and now I'll be able to do a full boil. My question is, should I steep in the full volume of water or do the steeping in a smaller pot and then add the water in to the big pot? Unless there's a specific reason it needs to steep in 3-4 quarts as I usually see recommended it seems like it would be easier to just have one pot going.

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
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I used to steep my grains in about 3 gal of water, but my last batch I steeped in a smaller amount on the stove and then added the grain tea to the water in the kettle. I decided to do this after reading several steeping threads stating that it was better to steep grains with 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain.

Haven't tried this brew yet so I can't tell you how it has changed since my first ones.

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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I can't see any good reason not to steep in the full volume.

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:23 PM   #4
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The amount of water for steeping isn't as critical as the amount needed for mashing. Even partial mash. Mashing uses base grains that help specialty grains & others convert starches into sugars. 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain. In steeping though,the temp range is the same. 150-160F for 20-30 minutes steeping. Mashing goes from 45-60 minutes. Closer to 150F mash temp gives more sugar,closer to 160F gives more color/flavor.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:31 PM   #5
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Use about 1 - 1.5 qts of water per pound of grain for steeping then add it to the rest of your water. Of course you could steep in your kettle then add the rest of your water when you are done steeping.

I believe that steeping in larger volumes tends to extract tannins from the grain lending an astringent taste to your beer.

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hogwash View Post
Use about 1 - 1.5 qts of water per pound of grain for steeping then add it to the rest of your water. Of course you could steep in your kettle then add the rest of your water when you are done steeping.

I believe that steeping in larger volumes tends to extract tannins from the grain lending an astringent taste to your beer.
Not even close to being true. There is a lot of BS on the subject of tannins, mostly rumor. If you read a text by experts you'll find that tannins have nothing to do with volumes. Only pH and temp effect tannin production.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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That's only true when mashing,not steeping. They are similar,but def not the same. Steeping being the less critical. We've steeped in 2 gallons of water before for partial boils that came out great. But you get a thicker mash with 1qt per pound of grain,looser with 1.5qt of water per pound of grain. Any more than that is where you start extracting tannis from the change in the water's PH do to larger volume.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:52 PM   #8
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I'm a BIAB'er, but I've never read anywhere on here (or Palmer, etc) where someone has altered a mash or steep water volume to compensate for pH, only adding buffers.

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Old 01-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove View Post
If you read a text by experts you'll find that tannins have nothing to do with volumes. Only pH and temp effect tannin production.
I've been reading so many things that say that tannin production vs volume thing but my gut has been telling me that it is not true.. glad to hear someone say it!
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove View Post
Not even close to being true. There is a lot of BS on the subject of tannins, mostly rumor. If you read a text by experts you'll find that tannins have nothing to do with volumes. Only pH and temp effect tannin production.
Okay, my bad, should have researched a bit before i posted. I could swear that i read that somewhere though. But in referring to palmer's how to brew just now, i see in his extract w/ specialty grains sample recipe that they steep the 1.25# grain in 3 gallons of water. My apologies to the op, sounds like there'd be no problem steeping in the full amount.
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