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Fireman-Mike 12-15-2012 12:48 AM

steeping question
 
I done my first batch today. It contained some specialty grains to steep. Per the instructions with the kit it said to steep the grains for 10 mins as the water heated up, so thats what i did. Everything ive watched and read said to steep only after your water has reached 170F. So my question is do I need to worry about my brew due to steeping the grains before before the temp was 170?

steber 12-15-2012 12:54 AM

How much grain? What did the rest of the recipe look like? When I did extract, I always waited til i could hold my water at 170. My top reason for that was consistency in trying to repeat batches. If you do it at 170 you have a better chance to repeat your results.

As for needing to worry; probably not. You may not have extracted the most out of the grain. But in the end it will still be beer. The grain most likely contributed to color and possibly a little flavor. Did you take gravity readings at all to see if you hit your numbers?

bobot 12-15-2012 12:55 AM

Noob here, but if I understand correctly, it's up until the temp reaches 170.

Fireman-Mike 12-15-2012 01:04 AM

The rest of the batch went good and the wort had good color. However i was not able to do a gravity reading. I went to the LHBS to get a hydrometer while the wort was cooling just to discover they sold out between yesterday and when i went today so ive ordered one onlone.

Calder 12-15-2012 01:19 AM

On the rare occasion I do an extract batch I add the steeping grains as early as I get around to it, and pull them out when the temperature reaches 170 F. I figure the cooler temperature can't hurt, and the longer the grain is in contact with the water, the more efficient the steep.

You did good. No worries.

You are supposed to remove the grains at 170 F to supposedly prevent tannins being extracted. I think in reality, you need specific conditions to extract a lot of tannins, so I wouldn't sweat the upper temp limit either. Back in the 70s, Dave Line published a pretty popular book "Making Beers Like Those You Buy", and recommended leaving the steeping grains in the boil, so it can't do too much damage.

steber 12-15-2012 02:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Calder (Post 4684171)
On the rare occasion I do an extract batch I add the steeping grains as early as I get around to it, and pull them out when the temperature reaches 170 F. I figure the cooler temperature can't hurt, and the longer the grain is in contact with the water, the more efficient the steep.

I agree that the lower temps may not hurt things IF you leave it til 170, but if you throw your grains in when your water temp is 70 degrees, and start your heat, and only leave your grains in for ten minutes, you may only be at 110 degrees, then you're not extracting nearly enough of the sugars that you could be at a higher temp, 170 may not be the OPTIMAL temp, but you must consider a minimal temp that will extract the proper sugars from the grain.

Once again, its extract brewing so in the scheme of things you're probably not getting much ferementable sugars from your specialty grain. So you have nothing to worry about for your batch. But if you're striving for perfection, the temp can and will matter, along with contact time. Just something to take into consideration to improve your beer in your next batch!

BlindFaith 12-15-2012 02:52 AM

I let my water get to 155-160 and steep for 30 mins @ that temp range. I have never let my water get as high as 170 and my beers have all turned out fine except for one stout that looks more like a porter, but my temps were much lower due to an inaccurate thermometer that day.

helibrewer 12-15-2012 05:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fireman-Mike
I done my first batch today. It contained some specialty grains to steep. Per the instructions with the kit it said to steep the grains for 10 mins as the water heated up, so thats what i did. Everything ive watched and read said to steep only after your water has reached 170F. So my question is do I need to worry about my brew due to steeping the grains before before the temp was 170?

Get your grains to about 155 on the stove top, then put the pot in the oven on the lowest setting with the lid on. Leave for 30 minutes, then strain into your kettle.

RM-MN 12-15-2012 11:23 AM

The exact temperature isn't necessary for steeping the grains as you are extracting sugars and color from the grain. It takes a high pH and high temperature combined to extract tannins and since your grains are typically acidic that shouldn't be a problem if you left the grains in until the water boils. It would be good practice to bring the water to about 150-155 for the steep as if you decide to go all grain in the future that is the temperature range needed for the conversion of starches to sugars that can be fermented. That process has already been done for you when you used extract.

unionrdr 12-15-2012 05:12 PM

The last time we used a kit with steeping grains,the temp range was 150-165F for 30 minutes. And make sure your steeping grains are crushed.


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