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Old 01-18-2006, 05:22 AM   #1
Dec 2005
Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 240
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

I'm just ready to bottle my first brew, and am excited to start my second. I want to try an Irish red. It was suggested to me in the beginners forum that I might want to simply try some LME/DME and steep some grains with it. I don't know where to start with that. They explained what LME/DME is. What would I need to do to get this going with a DME? Just in general I mean. I hate to bother you all with in depth answers, but just so I get going on the right track. I also don't know about steeping the grains, or what grains, when and how long. A lot of this I can find elsewhere on the internet, I just want to make sure that what I find somewhere else might get me on the right track. Thanks.

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Old 01-18-2006, 10:57 AM   #2
Jun 2005
Surprise, AZ.
Posts: 1,488
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

Relax, it's really very simple;

Using Steeping Grains

Using steeping grains will add flavor and color to your extract brews. All you need to do is soak the grains in your water as you heat it up. Most speciality grains have already been mashed. Mashing is the process of converting the natural starch in the barley kernal into sugar. These grains are then kiln dried. As the grains are dried, the sugars inside carmelize, or crystalize. This is where the name crystal malt comes from.
The Lovibond scale is used to rate how much color these grains will add to your beer. Certain grains like roasted barley or chocolate malt are not mashed or malted, they are simply burnt. The very dark grains are rated at 300+ Lovibond and give off a rich roast character. Other grains are lightly toasted, like the vistory or biscuit malt. These grains often give off a nutty taste. Steeping grains will add body and unfermentable sugars to your beer. Flaked grains must be mashed and should not be steeped. They can be easily used in a partial mash when combined with 2-row malt. If you are interested, please ask for a copy of our mini-mashing directions.
To begin:
1. Add 1.5 gallons cold water to your brew pot.
2. Put grain in steeping bag and tie up bag.
3. Put bag in water and stir till all grain is wetted.
(you will notice particulate matter floating around, this is normal and will not effect clarity or taste of the finished product. If you are not using a steeping bag you will just put grain into water but it will need to be strained out before the malt is added. The steeping bag method allows you to simply remove the grain without straining.)
4. Turn on heat and continually stir grain to avoid melting or burning the grain bag. You will continue heating until the temp. reaches 170F. or if you do not have a thermometer heat until the mix just begins to boil.
5. You should then remove the grain either by lifting the bag up or by straining out the grain. If you want you may rinse the grain (sparge) by pouring about two pints of hot water over the grain and allow rinse water to drip back into the brew pot. Sparging rinses the flavor and some sugars that would otherwise be left behind. DO NOT WRING OUT GRAIN! This extracts harsh tannins giving the beer an astringent taste.
6. You are now ready to bring this mix back to a boil, and when the boil is reached remove pot from heat.
7. Add malt extract (LME/DME) as usual and stir until completely dissolved.
8. Bring mix back to boil and add hops.
9. Cool as usual and ferment as usual.

Good luck,
On Tap -
  1. 3 year old Oak Aged Bourbon Porter
  2. Irish Red Rye
  3. Robust Porter
  4. Russian Imperial Stout
  5. Mirror Pond Clone dry hopped with Citra
  6. Mirror Pond Clone dry hopped with Centennial
Primary - Nada
Secondary -
From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world. -- Saint Arnoldus

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Old 01-18-2006, 11:07 AM   #3
BadKarmaa's Avatar
Jan 2006
Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 84

i'm with you on the feeling of being in over my head bro. I'm just about transfer my second batch to secondary and my first batch is almost done maturing in their bottles. Both batches however have been DME/LME and grain brews. Basic is get 1/2 gallon of water to about 150-170 degrees F and let your grains steep for 20-30 min. then sparge (fancy for rinse i think) the bag of grain with another 1/2 gallon or so of water that is the same temp. there are a few diff ways to sparge, just look on this forum for tips.take that yummie tea looking stuff and dump it into your boiling pot adding more water so you have a total of 2.5 gallons volume in your pot. bring it to a boil and then add your DME or LME. I'm assuming you know when to add hops and do anything else. Best advice a noob can offer another noob is to just find yourself a good recipe that has detailed directions and follow them to a T. Also this is of course a partial boil. Can't help you if you want to do a full boil so hit me up if you find any pointers.

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Old 01-18-2006, 03:14 PM   #4
Dec 2005
Lawrence, Kansas
Posts: 240
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts

Thanks guys. I was just feeling a little overwhelmed. All the info I've got is sort of a first brew kinda stuff. I started with a malt that was already hopped, so it was pretty easy to say the least. I think I've got this under control, I'll prolly do the boil tomorrow night after work. Thanks again.

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Old 01-18-2006, 03:26 PM   #5
Lounge Lizard
Lounge Lizard's Avatar
Nov 2005
Posts: 548
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

The consensus around here seems to be to steep closer to 150 degrees than 170. You don't want to leave your steeping grains in until everything starts to boil either, no matter what a lot of recipes state. That is asking for excess tannins if your water PH isn't right.

The last batch I made (from Clone Brews) said to steep at 152 degrees for 20 minutes and then sparge (rinse). I wouldn't even sparge if you are using any dark grain like black patent or roasted barley.

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Old 01-18-2006, 03:27 PM   #6
I prefer 23383
Pumbaa's Avatar
Oct 2005
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 7,262
Liked 76 Times on 56 Posts

if you are looking for a good irish red recipie you should try this

As for being in over your head if you have ever made tea, and kept yourself to a schedual for any reason you can do extracts with grains
Originally Posted by P.J. O'Rourke
"There are just two rules of governance in a free society: Mind your own business. Keep your hands to yourself."

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Old 01-19-2006, 04:05 AM   #7
Blender's Avatar
Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
Posts: 3,106
Liked 8 Times on 5 Posts

I'm in the same situation as you JeepGuy. My first batch is in bottles tonight.I am doing batch #2 Saturday and this time it will be an extract/ steeped grain brew. I feel somewhat unsure but that is how you learn.

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Old 01-19-2006, 03:48 PM   #8
Jul 2005
Posts: 16

Not really directly related to the subject but, just a few handy tips, I work at Home Depot, and I came across some useful items that you may go through often enough to save you a few bucks here and there as opposed to paying the Markup at your local Brew store. All your clear vinyl hoses are sold at most sizes from the thin siphoning hoses to the big blow out tubes by bulk amounts in the plumbing Section of Home Depot for around the same price you'd pay for a precut one at the brew store, Go to the Paint section and pick up a few Vinyl Paint strainer 1 gal mesh bags for around 79 cents for your grain bags as opposed to a couple bucks a piece. Those handy Orange 5 gallon Buckets will fit about 14 12oz Bottles for soaking and sanitizing purposes. The Missus Ticked off because you boiled over and got goopy sticky mess all over her Nice stove top? Pick up a Turkey Fryer, and a Propane tank and you have Beer cookin' (and drinkin) out on the Patio. tired of strainin out your Hops? stainless steel Tea or Herb balls, Also Restaurant supply stores make great places to find those long Stainless Stirring spoons (avoid the sticky hand) and many other fun toys. And if it wasn't mentioned specifically here yet DME=Dry Malt Extract LME=Liquid Malt Extract.

Malty Rod
Greetings From Salt Lake City UT, (Bringing some Dubble Beer to the Half Beer State )
Primary: None
Secondary: Moose & Squirrel Drool Honey Amber Ale.
Next Up: Cinnamon Java Amber Ale (After Move to Utah)
Drinking: Big Sky Brewery Summer Honey, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, Lost Coast AlleyCat Amber Ale.

Reason: misspelling

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Old 01-19-2006, 04:35 PM   #9
May 2005
Posts: 3

To add on to what MaltyRod said about Home Depot: that place rules. (no, I don't work there to). I got fed up with ice baths so I finally bought all my parts for an immersion wort chiller. Everything came from Home Depot, and, for the price of a commercially made one (circa $40), I made one with over twice the coil size! I can now chill my wort (I do 3 gallon boils) in 10 minutes! good stuff. cheers.

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Old 01-19-2006, 05:54 PM   #10
Jan 2006
Virginia Beach
Posts: 276
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

i made a sparge arm from home depot stuff. i was eying all that nice copper tubing as well, but im scared of buying it then messing it up bending it.

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