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Old 12-20-2012, 05:00 PM   #1
jimmac144
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I haven't yet brewed my first batch yet, so I thought I would ask the question. The extract kit instructions (for Irish Red Ale) say to steep grains for 20 min or to 170 degrees (which ever comes first). I've read/seen others who steep at 170 for 20 min. Is there a general rule (or default starting temp) or is it based on what grains are being steeped? Thanks for any answers!

 
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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You should steep the grains between 150 to 160F. I suggest you heat 2 to 3 gals of water to the target temp, let's say 155F, turn heat off. Add your gains in a musling bag, move it around a bit and check the temp, which should have dropped, let's say 140F. Turn heat back on to med/low and monitor temp until it reach back 155F. You can probably turn heat off as temp will mostly drop few degrees only in 20min, or keep heat very low to mantain 155F. After 20min, you can wash the grain bag with water at 160F and top off with water to reach you boil volume.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:15 PM   #3
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You risk extracting some unwanted tannins at 170. For extract with steeping grains, I put the grains in when the water hits @155-160 and hold it there for 20-30 minutes. Other folks put the grains in when they start applying heat and pull them as the temp gets near 170. Either way should work- just don't get them above 170.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:22 PM   #4
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I was having problems with mash temps (partial) kinda like you describe. Hard to do on a stove. The odd thing is,with electric stoves,if the heating elements are good at heating up fast,they aren't very good at maintaining temps. And my stock GE elements were good at maintaining temps,but lousy at heating up.
I agree with steeping temps given by a BB kit my wife brewed a couple times of 150-165F. 170 & you can start leaching taninns from the grain hulls. Think astringency. 30 minute steep is fine,covered.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #5
jimmac144
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thanks for the info everyone!

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:10 AM   #6
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I steep at 155 degrees for 30 minutes.

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadyKilowatt View Post
You risk extracting some unwanted tannins at 170. For extract with steeping grains, I put the grains in when the water hits @155-160 and hold it there for 20-30 minutes. Other folks put the grains in when they start applying heat and pull them as the temp gets near 170. Either way should work- just don't get them above 170.
I used to think that tannins would be extracted above these temperatures but now im not so sure. The whole principle of decoction mashes, where you boil the grains, seems to disprove the theory.

 
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:19 AM   #8
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I turn my burner on high 'til it hits 165* and then turn it to 3 or so and add the and move the grain bag 'til it hits 150* then let it sit 'til it hits 160* and so on...
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmac144 View Post
I haven't yet brewed my first batch yet, so I thought I would ask the question. The extract kit instructions (for Irish Red Ale) say to steep grains for 20 min or to 170 degrees (which ever comes first). I've read/seen others who steep at 170 for 20 min. Is there a general rule (or default starting temp) or is it based on what grains are being steeped? Thanks for any answers!
I use the oven. Put a paint strainer bag in a large pot with about 2qts of water per pound of grain. Heat to 160 and add the grain...stir well. Place the pot with a lid on it in a preheated oven set to it's lowest temp (usually between 150-170). Set the timer for 30 minutes...DING! Remove from the oven and use a collander to strain the grain bag into the pot you used. Let it sit there until your wort is on it's last 5 minutes of the boil then add the steeped liquor. There is no reason to boil steeped liquor for extended periods, it's only there for color and flavor so don't boil it death....you don't boil your tea after steeping it do you?
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
I use the oven. Put a paint strainer bag in a large pot with about 2qts of water per pound of grain. Heat to 160 and add the grain...stir well. Place the pot with a lid on it in a preheated oven set to it's lowest temp (usually between 150-170). Set the timer for 30 minutes...DING! Remove from the oven and use a collander to strain the grain bag into the pot you used. Let it sit there until your wort is on it's last 5 minutes of the boil then add the steeped liquor. There is no reason to boil steeped liquor for extended periods, it's only there for color and flavor so don't boil it death....you don't boil your tea after steeping it do you?
I also use the oven method with much success but I do boil the "tea."
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