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Old 01-07-2012, 05:53 PM   #11
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I've only ever done partial mash and all grain stouts but I'm guessing it is the packed grain bag not letting all the grain be in good contact with the water. You can always steep in a smaller pot and transfer to your boil kettle. And I think bigger bag or two bags as you said.

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Old 01-07-2012, 06:36 PM   #12
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LHBS has a commercial grain mill that they picked up from a microbrew. They weighed out all of the grains and the extract for me, and crushed it for me. Looked like any crushed grain I've seen on youtube or similar.

I put those grains into a medium sized mesh bag, and steeped for 30 mins at 150F, then used a full kettle of 170F water to sparge.

Not sure how big of an issue it is, but the mesh bag I used was really full. I probably should have used two bags to allow for the grains to move a bit while steeping.

The recipe also called for 2 gallons of water to steep, but I had to use 4 because I'm using a 10 gallon pot, and 2 gallons wouldn't have covered all of the grain.

Lastly, I didn't realize that the hops weren't measured out, so I put 2 oz instead of the 1.5 the recipe called for.

Would those mistakes account for the color?
No... no mistakes there, really. I have used pretty full grain bags before... And using more water really wouldn't hurt anything, in fact, it is probably better to use more water... were the grains in the bag all saturated when you dumped them? hmmm.... Maybe they gave you "special roast" instead of roast barley? It gives more of a red-brown than black color
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:44 PM   #13
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I've only ever done partial mash and all grain stouts but I'm guessing it is the packed grain bag not letting all the grain be in good contact with the water. You can always steep in a smaller pot and transfer to your boil kettle. And I think bigger bag or two bags as you said.
^this^ sounds like it could be the issue. if those grains were packet tight, they really weren't steeped properly. also, 4 gal for steeping is a bit much. i second the idea of doing the steeping grains in a separate pot, using a 1.25q/lb ratio for the best results.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:46 PM   #14
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No... no mistakes there, really. I have used pretty full grain bags before... And using more water really wouldn't hurt anything, in fact, it is probably better to use more water... were the grains in the bag all saturated when you dumped them? hmmm.... Maybe they gave you "special roast" instead of roast barley? It gives more of a red-brown than black color
Yeah, all the grain seemed to be saturated, but I suppose that could be from pouring the sparge water over the bag.

The LHBS was really busy that day, so they could have messed up on the order.

The beer tastes great, so I'm not going to stress about it. I'll have to make the same one again after this to see if it comes out differently.
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Old 01-07-2012, 06:57 PM   #15
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^this^ sounds like it could be the issue. if those grains were packet tight, they really weren't steeped properly. also, 4 gal for steeping is a bit much. i second the idea of doing the steeping grains in a separate pot, using a 1.25q/lb ratio for the best results.
That would make it just over 1 gallon of water.

That ratio makes sense for all-grain, but what about an extract?
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:50 PM   #16
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When steeping grains, more water never hurts. My SOP for extract + specialty grains is, and has been since about '95 when I started doing full wort boils at home; get 100% of my water into my pot, get it warm (don't bother with checking temp at this point), hang bag or bags in, continue to heat. Hold temp in mash temp range for perhaps 15 minutes when hits 148F+, remove bags, turn heat back up, stir in extract, check volume, top up if needed, proceed to boil.

Using this procedure I can replicate virtually any of my AG recipes using extract + specialties. So, other than the possibility that the grain in the bag did not get saturated, I can see no fault in your procedure.

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Old 01-07-2012, 08:46 PM   #17
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That would make it just over 1 gallon of water.

That ratio makes sense for all-grain, but what about an extract?
make's perfect sense for steeping grains too. you can add water after the steep to get your boil volume right. if you steep grains in too large a volume of water, even if it's at the right temp, you run the risk of tannin extraction from the husks.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #18
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make's perfect sense for steeping grains too. you can add water after the steep to get your boil volume right. if you steep grains in too large a volume of water, even if it's at the right temp, you run the risk of tannin extraction from the husks.
Seriously, and with all respect, that is nothing to be concerned about. While I normally do AG, I have been steeping my grains in aprox 5G for over 15 years, and in about 2.5G for 6 or so years before that. I have never had an issue, nor have I known of anyone that did.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:11 PM   #19
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Seriously, and with all respect, that is nothing to be concerned about. While I normally do AG, I have been steeping my grains in aprox 5G for over 15 years, and in about 2.5G for 6 or so years before that. I have never had an issue, nor have I known of anyone that did.
if that works for you, great, keep doing it. but with all due respect, everything i've read says it's a bad idea, and for that reason i'm not gonna try it just to see. again, if it works for you, great, but my palate is sensitive enough to detect things like that. not saying yours isn't, just that mine would be offended by tannins.
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can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
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it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
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Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:24 PM   #20
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tannins aside, extra water while steeping shouldn't make the beer lighter, right?

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