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Old 12-07-2006, 05:51 AM   #1
Krazy Bazturd
 
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I ordered an Irish Red Ale kit from Midwest that I am planning on brewing as my second batch this weekend. The instructions say I should steep the grains in 1.5-2 gallons of water for 30 minutes, add the LME and hop additions while boiling for an hour, then top off with water. This brings me to my question. Since I have a 30Qt pot can I start with 5 gallons water instead of the 1.5-2 that they recommend?

 
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:23 AM   #2
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I would stick with about 2 gallons for steeping. You might want to rinse them a little bit and then your extract. It will take up some space so after it is mixed in well you can fill the kettle to the boiling volume.
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:25 AM   #3
fiddup_is_a_middup
 
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keep in mind that you will get more hop utilization from the larger boil (not to say thats a bad thing), but it won't result in the exact same beer for which the recipe was formulated
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:30 AM   #4
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Bear in mind that 2 gallons is much easier to cool than 5 gallon, but then again you're going to drop the pot in a snow drift, right?
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Old 12-07-2006, 06:32 AM   #5
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You want to avoid steeping in too much water (dilute steep). The relatively small amount of specialty grains used with most extract recipes will not be able to sufficiently drop the pH enough to avoid extracting excess tannins from the grain husks. This can lead to mouth puckering astringency.

A good rule of thumb is to steep in no more than 2-3 quarts of water per pound of specialty grain.

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Old 12-07-2006, 02:04 PM   #6
Krazy Bazturd
 
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Thanks for the advice, I didn't think changing the starting volume of water would make a big difference.

 
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Old 12-07-2006, 03:19 PM   #7
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Going from 2 gallons to 5 gallons will increase your IBU's by 80%, for the same amount of hops and extract.
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:15 PM   #8
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When rinsing the specialty grains after steeping, how much is enough? I've been doing the 30 minute steep followed by rinsing with 150^F water until the water coming out of the grain sock is pretty clear. With stouts and Irish reds that can be a lot. But it seems that if you don't, you wind up not getting all of the flavors out.

I've read that you aren't supposed to squeeze the bag, as that will release some undesirable tanins.

 
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Old 12-08-2006, 11:21 PM   #9
ZAZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Going from 2 gallons to 5 gallons will increase your IBU's by 80%, for the same amount of hops and extract.
I just got a bigger kettle because I wanted to do larger boils. I generally use "extract with grains" kits from Midwest. As it was stated earlier, all of the kits from Midwest are predicated on a 2 gallon boil and adding the water to the primary. What corrections do I need to make if I want to do a full 5 gallon boil?

 
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Old 12-09-2006, 09:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZAZ
I just got a bigger kettle because I wanted to do larger boils. I generally use "extract with grains" kits from Midwest. As it was stated earlier, all of the kits from Midwest are predicated on a 2 gallon boil and adding the water to the primary. What corrections do I need to make if I want to do a full 5 gallon boil?
If you can do 5g boils have you thought about doing a full mash and going AG?
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