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Old 04-22-2007, 07:08 PM   #1
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Default Is There An Alternative To The Grain Bags?

Hi, I was wondering how to go about using the steeping grains without a grain bag. I heard that the grain bags can cause too much astringency due to the particles being released through the bag. I was advised to use a strainer instead and to run the boiling water from one pan through the steeping grains in the strainer and and into a seperate pan then repeat before adding the final results into the brewpot. Does this sound like good advice? Also, does anybody else do this, if so would you be willing to share the specifics of this method? ie, how much water to use in the pan, how many times to rinse the grains with the water, so on...

Thanks!



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Old 04-22-2007, 07:14 PM   #2
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Steeping specialty grains (Crystal, Roasted Barley, Dextrose, etc...) rearely releases astringent flavors. Now, if you pulverize the grains and boil them violently for an hour, forget what I said.

But following a basic recipe instruction for steeping at s160 degrees for 60 minutes shouldn't be a problem. Grain bags have no inflence over astringency so I'm not sure where you heard that.

People use grain bags to sttep grains for extracts and PM's all the time.

Now pouring boiling water over the crushed grains sounds like a way to get astringent flavors.



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Old 04-22-2007, 07:14 PM   #3
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Grain bags work fine, there is no real concern about astringency unless you are boiling your grains. Most steeping is done in the 155 range.

You could add the grains to your pot and then strain them out, but then the subject of Hot side aeration comes in. I used a grain bag for a while and never had any issues.

Dan

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Old 04-22-2007, 08:11 PM   #4
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Move up to partial mash its not much harder, and you don't have to deal with grain bags anymore after that

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Old 04-22-2007, 08:15 PM   #5
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Running boiling water over your steeping grains is going to cause astringency! I don't know who told you that, but DON'T do that!

Put your grains (crushed by the HBS) into a grain bag, bring 2 gallons of water to 150-170 degrees and let steep for 20 minutes. Take them out and allow to drip drain a bit over the brewpot (don't squeeze) and throw them away.

There are techniques like sparging some people do, but for steeping grains, that's all you need to do!

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Old 04-22-2007, 11:55 PM   #6
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why don't you squeeze?? this is probably the tenth time i've heard this but haven't heard a reason. what would squeezing the bags do besides let all the remaining water and flavor out?

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Old 04-23-2007, 01:10 AM   #7
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It's the same reason you shouldn't squeeze every bit out of a tea bag (hehe. I said tea bag... ). The grains act as a rudimentary filter, hanging on to some of the components which can make your beer less than perfect. Will it "ruin" your beer? No. Is it better not to squeeze? Yes.

On the original question...
If you want to make Tannin Beer, pouring boiling water over your grains is a great way to go. Steeping should be done at 150 - 170. Above 170 you begin to extract tannins which cause the astringency you're trying to avoid. The amount of particulate that you get in your boil from grain dust getting through the holes in the bag is not enough to worry about.

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Old 04-23-2007, 01:50 AM   #8
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sounds reasonable, i guess. never heard about the tea bag thing, either. what components are these, anyway? i mean, what could possibly get pushed out by a squeeze that wouldn't also run off with hot water poured over it?

Sounds like it may be good practice, but i'd really like some more specifics.

sorry, don't mean to hijack

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Old 04-23-2007, 12:18 PM   #9
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Some squeeze the bag, some don't. I don't- not necessarily because of tannin extraction, though- I was afraid I'd squeeze those husks out through the grain bag.

See here for more on steeping: http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter13-2.html

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Old 04-23-2007, 10:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeathBrewer
what components are these, anyway?
Mostly tannins.

Try your own experiment. Have someone (while you're not in the room) make two cups of tea using the same tea bags, steeped the same length of time, with the same temperature water, but squeeze one of the bags. See if you can taste it without knowing which one was which beforehand. Some people are more sensitive to them than others.

We now return you to your previously scheduled program.
*Hijack Complete*


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