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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Formula for steeping grains? Boil volume?
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:46 AM   #1
theDarkPint
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Default Formula for steeping grains? Boil volume?

I'm working on my own recipe for a chocolate stout (building from what I've read in the recipe forum) and I just realized that I have no idea how long to steep the grains. In the kits I've done in the past, it's been 20 min at ~160 degrees. Is this standard all around? I thought I read somewhere that oats needed extra time.

One other thing that occurred to me is the brew volume. Typically I've seen 2.5 gallons or so (for a 5 gallon batch). Is this standard or something that should be adjusted?

Any help is greatly appreciated.


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Old 11-15-2012, 05:15 AM   #2
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Typically 2-4 quarts of water per pound will work well (use 2qts / pound in a small brewpot and 4 qts / pound in a large one). I've steeped mine at 154F for 30 minutes with great results. I suppose you could go as long as 40, but to avoid tannin extraction I wouldn't go longer than that. Rinse the grain bag with a quart of hot water (@ 168F) to rinse the grains (don't squeeze the Charmin, though) and you should be good to go.


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Old 11-15-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zzARzz View Post
Typically 2-4 quarts of water per pound will work well (use 2qts / pound in a small brewpot and 4 qts / pound in a large one). I've steeped mine at 154F for 30 minutes with great results. I suppose you could go as long as 40, but to avoid tannin extraction I wouldn't go longer than that. Rinse the grain bag with a quart of hot water (@ 168F) to rinse the grains (don't squeeze the Charmin, though) and you should be good to go.
Time and temperature have little effect on tannin extraction as that is driven mostly by the pH of the wort. You can squeeze the bag too if you want or you can rinse it with hotter water or you can just let it drain. I'd suggest you try to steep the grains in water of about 152 to 154, not because those are magic numbers for steeping as most any temperature will work for that. The magic about the 152 to 154 is practice in temperature control as you will need to be close to that should you ever decide to go from extract with steeping grain to all grain as that range is usually preferred for mashing to get a good balance in sweetness of you finished beer.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:43 PM   #4
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Generally 150-160F for 30 minutes will do. But as was said,151-154 or 156 would be good to practice temp control for partial mash or AG. And I too like to sparge (rinse) steeping grains. I also do partial boils of 2.5-3 gallons. Typically 3G in a 5G (20qt) SSBK.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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I steep at 150 in 5 gallons of water for 30 minutes.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:06 PM   #6
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I steep in 1-3 quarts of water per pound of grains. Heat the water up to about 160-165, pour in the grains, cover and pull off the heat. I do this in a pot separate from my boil kettle so I can heat up my boil water. I also heat up about a gallon in another pot.(yup, that's 3 pots) When the grains are done steeping(when the water in my boil kettle is almost boiling) I pour them through a strainer into my boil kettle then rinse with the water from the 3rd kettle.

I honestly don't really even time my steep. I probably should but I don't. Not sure if it makes much difference.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:24 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input everyone. Seems that with all things homebrew, there isn't an exact "right" answer. I'll just give it a shot and see how it turns out. Thanks again!


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