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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > The Elusive 155 degrees.....
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:58 AM   #1
Sediment
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Default The Elusive 155 degrees.....

I have been extract brewing since now for about 8 months. Some of the recipes I have been doing have been asking me to steep the grains at 155 degrees for 30 minutes. I have an electric stove top, and obtaining this temperature has been impossible. It usually just shoots right past it.

I've brewed 60 gallons of beer this year and they have basically all been great tasting without worrying about this step.

Am I missing something vital here? Or is it just RDWHAHB? I understand (sort of) with partial mash recipes the need for keeping things at 155 degrees, but these are extract recipes that are using the grains to augment the wort. I've just been dumping the grains in a couple of gallons of cold water, and bringing the thing to a boil which is usually about 30 minutes anyway. Thoughts?


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Old 12-29-2009, 07:00 AM   #2
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Since steeping grains doesn't extract much sugar, just flavors, I don't think exact temperature is vital.


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Old 12-29-2009, 07:03 AM   #3
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I think you still might get astringency problems if you let it get above 170 for too long while the grains are in the water.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JoeJones View Post
I think you still might get astringency problems if you let it get above 170 for too long while the grains are in the water.
Well yeah, by "exact" I meant within a few degrees. 170+ probably wouldn't be great.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:33 AM   #5
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Right. Sediment said that he's putting the grains in and then bringing up to a boil, so I'm assuming that the grains are in there the whole time until it starts boiling.

Sediment - I find that if I turn the power off right as it hits about 165 and keep the lid on, I may have to turn the power back on again once during the half hour, but it stays in the 155-165 range pretty well.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sediment View Post
I have been extract brewing since now for about 8 months. Some of the recipes I have been doing have been asking me to steep the grains at 155 degrees for 30 minutes. I have an electric stove top, and obtaining this temperature has been impossible. It usually just shoots right past it.

I've brewed 60 gallons of beer this year and they have basically all been great tasting without worrying about this step.

Am I missing something vital here? Or is it just RDWHAHB? I understand (sort of) with partial mash recipes the need for keeping things at 155 degrees, but these are extract recipes that are using the grains to augment the wort. I've just been dumping the grains in a couple of gallons of cold water, and bringing the thing to a boil which is usually about 30 minutes anyway. Thoughts?
When I started brewing, I would attempt to steep as best I could, and then boil the rest of the grain right in the wort.

I thought my beer tasted good, and was happy to drink it. I didn't really appreciate the subtlety of how this altered the flavor till later. I would just do the best you can. The more you brew the better your beer will get and the process will work itself out.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
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If i steep on my electric stove I get the temp up to 160ish then I take it off the the hot burner. If I leave in on there, the temp will shoot right past where I want it because the element stays hot. Try taking it off the burner when you reach your temp
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:06 PM   #8
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Steeping in anything between 100-160F will extract the color and flavor. It's when you mash that it matters. Please don't boil your grain.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:25 PM   #9
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Do you have a 12 cup coffee maker ?

I found out that my coffee pot heats to approximately 160 degrees and I use this to steep my specialty grains and another hastily heated pot of water to sparge them after 20-30 minutes.

I hope this technique helps you.
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Banjoman76 View Post
Do you have a 12 cup coffee maker ?

I found out that my coffee pot heats to approximately 160 degrees and I use this to steep my specialty grains and another hastily heated pot of water to sparge them after 20-30 minutes.

I hope this technique helps you.
Another handy brewing tool is the discarded rice cooker. Rice cookers usually keep rice warm at 150-155F. Great for mini-mashes or steeping.


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