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BrewnWKopperKat

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I need to document my brewing better to maybe add to this convo.
Looking forward to seeing how you brew (as your time / interest permits).

One of the things I appreciate about "I Brewed A Favorite Recipe Today (link)" is that people (including @D.B.Moody ) include process notes. And in those recipes, I see a number of nice refinements to "conventional" kit or book processes.

I have been doing the "conventional" steeping methods for the most part as it only adds a little time to my brew "day".
By "conventional", I'm guessing that it was 30 min at 150F-ish. I have steeped this way a couple of times. One of the additional benefits is that the 30 minutes can be used for a number of other things - measure hops, catch up on HomeBrewTalk topics, ...

When I started brewing with kits, the process was "steep from flame-on to 160F" - so that's my "go to" steeping process.

Both processes seem to produce the same result - although I'm open to ideas for measurements that show different results.

The experimental "15-20 min cold steep in a side dish", if it produces the same results, could be useful in situations like my "two batches at the same time" brew day. Or on brew days where one makes a big wort to split / blend into smaller batches.

I seldom boil longer than 45 min. and mostly around 30 min.
Same here - my DME+steep batches are 30 min (or less) boils.

That being said, I don't see a problem with a kit (or custom recipe) that uses a 60 min boil. There are many good ways to make enjoyable beer with fresh extract.
 

kartracer2

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By "conventional", I'm guessing that it was 30 min at 150F-ish. I have steeped this way a couple of times. One of the additional benefits is that the 30 minutes can be used for a number of other things - measure hops, catch up on HomeBrewTalk topics, ...
Yes, this.
Same here - my DME+steep batches are 30 min (or less) boils.

That being said, I don't see a problem with a kit (or custom recipe) that uses a 60 min boil. There are many good ways to make enjoyable beer with fresh extract.
Boil time depends on how I work out the bitterness ratio in BeerSmith. I start out with the recipe as written and then change malt additions timings around to reduce the boil time and keep close to that ratio. I'm sure that any program will let you play with a recipe that way, I just happen to have BS-2.3 to do that in. A complicated recipe is going to change things a bit also, I stay closer to the original course on those. I also plan those for days with more time to devote to the process.
To me that's another reason I like extract brewing. I don't have to worry about boiling time to get my wort volumes/ SG right. If I have put in the spec amount of extract into the spec volume of water, my SG "has to be right" so to speak.
It just gets down to what you, (us/we) as a brewer, feel you need to do to make drinkable beer. I have yet to toss a batch out. ( I did have one that I should have let go though, LOL)
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

kartracer2

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@cajunrph A couple of points,
seeped the grains in the extract held at 153 ish for 45ish minutes.
I do not add any extract to my steeping water. My reasoning is that the grains will absorb water and if you have extract in that water you will lose a certain amount of your fermentables due to absorption of that "sweet water" in to the grains. So simply, steep grains before extract additions.
Boiled for 60 min then at flameout added the other half of the extract and let it sit for 30 minutes. Temps stayed above 170 most of the time

I used a fair amount of hops. 4 oz in the last 5 minutes in addition to an ounce at boiling.
Here I want to ask how you hop. Lose in the boil pot or in a bag / spider?. The reason I ask is that I use a bag for my hops. when the boil is over, I pull the bag. If hops are lose in the boil pot , you want to cool to asap to slow/retard/stop any more hop utilization. I can't find my graph that plots this.
The SG will be stabilized in a day or so. Kveik is a beast. This one will likely need to bottle condition for a few weeks at least. Maybe more.
You might be surprised, I have found that as in the original ferment, a kveik bottle conditioning happens a little quicker also if you keep things warm, say 75*F or so for a few days after bottling. It won't be "done" in a week but should be worth trying a couple.
All of this is YMMV of course.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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There is information on steeping in a low SG wort in the 4th ed of How To Brew. IIRC, the idea is new in 4th ed (and not in 3rd ed).
 

DBhomebrew

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Here I want to ask how you hop. Lose in the boil pot or in a bag / spider?. The reason I ask is that I use a bag for my hops. when the boil is over, I pull the bag. If hops are lose in the boil pot , you want to cool to asap to slow/retard/stop any more hop utilization. I can't find my graph that plots this.

My impression is that much of the bittering hop material (oils, etc) are left in the wort after pulling the bag. Pulling the vegetal matter would not stop the bittering reactions.
 

kartracer2

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So you are saying I can just dunk my hops in and out like a tea bag a couple of times, then remove and I will get the same effects (utilization) as leaving them for the length of the boil? Interesting...


Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

DBhomebrew

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So you are saying I can just dunk my hops in and out like a tea bag a couple of times, then remove and I will get the same effects (utilization) as leaving them for the length of the boil? Interesting...


Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.

No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that removal of the vegetal mass does not remove the oils and other compounds that have found their way into solution.

Also, that'd be a rather paltry cup of tea.
 

cajunrph

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I do not add any extract to my steeping water. My reasoning is that the grains will absorb water and if you have extract in that water you will lose a certain amount of your fermentables due to absorption of that "sweet water" in to the grains. So simply, steep grains before extract additions.
I was using distilled water for the brew. My thought process was that the extract would provide the minerals needed for the partial mash. I know I wasn't really mashing as I had no base malt in there. That was my reasoning.
Here I want to ask how you hop. Lose in the boil pot or in a bag / spider?. The reason I ask is that I use a bag for my hops. when the boil is over, I pull the bag. If hops are lose in the boil pot , you want to cool to asap to slow/retard/stop any more hop utilization. I can't find my graph that plots this.
Straight into the kettle. My thought process is I get better utilization of the hops with the addition to the fill full kettle vs confined to a bag. What do you think?

You might be surprised, I have found that as in the original ferment, a kveik bottle conditioning happens a little quicker also if you keep things warm, say 75*F or so for a few days after bottling. It won't be "done" in a week but should be worth trying a couple.
All of this is YMMV of course.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
I'm going to chill a few to see how they turn out. I'll post up the results.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I have read parts of other ed's and it seems the 4th has many new ideas.
I have the ebook edition. Kindle on iPadOS has a "good enough" search to use the book as a reference.

A couple of years ago, I slowly re-read chapter 1, occasionally comparing text between 3rd and 4th editions, and found a couple of process descriptions (like steeping in low OG wort) that are 'minor' changes yet very well thought out.
 

kartracer2

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Straight into the kettle. My thought process is I get better utilization of the hops with the addition to the fill full kettle vs confined to a bag. What do you think?
Yes, you probably do get better utilization with free,loose hops. I use a bag to keep as much junk out of the fermenter as I can as it all goes in. We all do things a bit different, the key is knowing what works for you and getting consistent results. I know with the numbers that BeerSmith tells me and using my methods, what to expect.. If I would change methods, those same numbers will probably yield different results.
I might add that I'm the opposite of a hop head. In my opinion, IPA's are a waste of what other wise might be good ingredients but many others live for them. To each our own, right? If you are needing big IBU numbers you need to get all the goodie out of those spendy hops.
Again,YMMV.
Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I know I wasn't really mashing as I had no base malt in there.
The idea (and benefits) of steeping crystal / roasted malts in a low OG wort is discussed in How to Brew, 4e. My guess is that steeping in a higher OG would have a similar effect; and I don't see an negatives to doing this.
 

cajunrph

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I might add that I'm the opposite of a hop head.
I like hops, in balanced amounts. I'm not a fan of overly bitter beers. It's like eating ghost peppers daily. What's the point? I really like malty beers. Seems like IPAs are the craze nowadays. Good thing we homebrewers can whip up a batch of what we like to drink. I mainly added the hops to the pot to match the recipe, I didn't strain out any of the hop matter when I transferred the wort into the kettle. I slacked in that, didn't have a strainer. It was an IPA so maybe it won't be so bad. Next up I have an Irish Red or a Flanders Ale, I may alter my processes to see what effect it has. The Irish Red is closer to the IPA IBU. I may make that next and use a hop bag to see what difference it makes.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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What about steeping in distilled water? Any issue with that?

background: My extract+steep recipes tend to be APAs/IPAs/Ambers - and when I steep crystal malts, it's lighter crystal malt (and no roasted malts). For darker styles, I generally use BIAB techniques.

observation: I don't get off flavors steeping lighter crystal in distilled water. I generally don't steep darker crystal malts / roasted malts, so I can't answer that aspect of the question.



eta: I'll make this suggestion (after scanning through some additional notes and some 'test' batch results).

If extract+steep batches are ending up with off-flavors or 'home brew' taste with extract+steep, consider reading (HtB 4e) about steeping in a low OG wort. Give it try. If it doesn't help, brew all grain more often. If it helps, enjoy shorter brew days.
 
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BrewnWKopperKat

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So then, how long do the hops need to be exposed to the boil to release those compounds? 1min, 5min, 10min, ?
I can't answer the question directly, but if you're interested in some free reading / listening material ...

... the topic IBU Calculations is a starting point. There links to a BBR podcast and an MBAA podcast. The BBR podcast (Nov 2018) has data in a PDF in the 'show notes' that seems to suggest how fast pellet hops 'go to work'.

If you want to go deeper into hop compounds, many roads lead to the book The New IPA. The author's web site has some of the same information (and it's free).

With this background and a set of hop specific key words to search on, one will likely find additional articles in AHA forums, hop supplier web sites, blogs by hop experts, ...
 

D.B.Moody

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If the idea is to avoid tannin extraction the primary things are:
1. Keep the temperature temperature under 170 F. Ideally 168 or less and only for 30 minutes maximum.
2. Don't use too much water. Although up to 1gallon per pound can be found as suggested, I think there is more agreement to keep it to a half gallon per pound of grain.

BTW: I steep all sorts of grains, caramel and roasted, in my tap water that I run through a filter. It's not distilled or RO, but it definitely lacks character. It works fine.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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There is a BYO "Ask Mr Wizard" (paywall, link) article that mentions pH as a factor when sparging or steeping. From what I've read in HtB, it looks like the "pH as a factor" information has been accounted for by the overall process.

There are a number of ways to steep. It seems reasonable to start with the classic approaches: either "at 150F-ish for 30-ish minutes" or "flame-on until 160F or 20 minutes". If those don't offer good results, consider the technique in How to Brew, 4e.
 

D.B.Moody

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There is a BYO "Ask Mr Wizard" (paywall, link) article that mentions pH as a factor when sparging or steeping. From what I've read in HtB, it looks like the "pH as a factor" information has been accounted for by the overall process.

There are a number of ways to steep. It seems reasonable to start with the classic approaches: either "at 150F-ish for 30-ish minutes" or "flame-on until 160F or 20 minutes". If those don't offer good results, consider the technique in How to Brew, 4e.
I think both system work fine as long as the water is limited. I think too often the grains are heated and pulled from a boil water amount that is too large.
I'm just curious to know how the cold steep thing is going to work.
 
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BrewnWKopperKat

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I need to re-read the process in HtB to confirm I remember the water volumes correctly.

Cold steeping (overnight) works for many people. Maybe cold steeping for 15 minutes in just distilled water is too short or too shoddy.
 
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McMullan

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Before getting my brewing water analysed I used to cold steep very dark malts, including black malt, for a day or two. I adjusted the pH of the steep with CaCO3/chalk. I think it's likely to work very well for extract brewing.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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I need to re-read the process in HtB to confirm I properly remember whether or not steeping in low SG wort mitigates some of the negative aspects of pH with roasted/dark malts. I believe it does.

People new to this idea: please consider reading the chapter before investigating chalk additions.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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(Finished re-reading / re-reviewing some parts of HtB). With regard to tannins, the process outlined in HtB looks like an alternative approach to steeping in a small amount of water or working with brewing salts when steeping.

As for "short and shoddy" cold steeping, I'm thinking through some test batches. I may have some results in 3 to 6 months.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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Came across this article and side-bar (link) over the weekend:

Get Experimental​

Not every grain reacts the same while being processed for brewing. Two grains of the same color may not necessarily benefit from a cold or hot steep. Start by taking a day to experiment with the grains you will be dealing with. Try soaking the grain in question in room temperature water and at steep temperatures for 5 and 60 minutes. You may be surprised by what you prefer!
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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For those curious about the impact of different types of steeping (overnight cold steep, steep at 150F for various lengths of time), get a copy of "Cold Water Extraction of Dark Grains" (Zymurgy Jan 2002, p 49).

The experiment they did is well documented and should be re-producable. Results include pH, color, and sensory descriptions. Steeping alternatives included a 5 min hot steep and an overnight cold steep.

The article doesn't cover a "15 min cold steep with occasional stirring", so I'll probably continue down that path.
 

CascadesBrewer

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For those curious about the impact of different types of steeping (overnight cold steep, steep at 150F for various lengths of time), get a copy of "Cold Water Extraction of Dark Grains" (Zymurgy Jan 2002, p 49).

Interesting article. They seemed to like the quality of the overnight steep at room temp or the 5 minute steep at around 165F. In both cases I think they recommend adding the steeped solution at the end of the boil.

I could see this working well on something like a Dark Lager or a Black IPA where you might want more color than "roast" character. I am curious about some styles like an Imperial Stout where some level of bitterness and astringency from the dark grains might be expected.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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They seemed to like the quality of the overnight steep at room temp or the 5 minute steep at around 165F. In both cases I think they recommend adding the steeped solution at the end of the boil.
My understanding is that adding the steeped wort at the end of the boil reduces additional astringency that occurs during the boil. In the 2020s, debittered black malts would be another ingredient to consider.

I am curious about some styles like an Imperial Stout where some level of bitterness and astringency from the dark grains might be expected.
This may be a situation where an overnight cold steep or a short hot steep doesn't work. Or maybe adding the cold steeped wort at the start of the boil provides the desired level of bitterness / astringency.



Aside: one of the themes in this part of the topic is shorter brew days. In that context, I'll ask the question: Is there an Imperial Stout equivalent to 15 Minute Cascade Pale Ale [2010] (link)?
 

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The astringency comes from extraction of polyphenols (tannins) from the hulls of the grain. If cold steeped, you don't get that extraction and it doesn't matter when you dump the steep into the kettle as the tannins were left behind. A short, hot steep isn't really much different than putting such grist into a normal mash as you're facilitating the extraction of those nasty tannins by using heat.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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A short, hot steep isn't really much different than putting such grist into a normal mash as you're facilitating the extraction of those nasty tannins by using heat.
In the article, the Briess in-house tasting panel (back in 2002) was comparing different steeping techniques. The panel noticed a difference between a 5 min hot steep and a 30 min hot steep.

Depending on individual taste, there are be some ways to shorten a brew day when steeping: overnight steep, steep from flameon to 150F (or 20 min?); short hot steep added at start (or end) of boil, ....

As noted earlier, the article didn't talk about debittered black malt - and it is an option to consider.
 

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In certain styles, such as Porter and Stout, the roastiness can be gotten without the acrid and burnt flavors often associated with many interpretations. However, such beers generally should have a little bite and the formulation should take this into account whether you cold steep or use debittered roasted malts.
 

D.B.Moody

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A short, hot steep isn't really much different than putting such grist into a normal mash as you're facilitating the extraction of those nasty tannins by using heat.
I do not agree with this. I might be missing something because I don't get the reference to mashing as this is extract brewing we're talking about here, but keeping the temperature to at most 168 F and the length to 20 or 30 minutes does not extract lots of tannins.
I am probably going to give up on the idea of cold steeping because:
1. it won't get all the things (like starches) from crystal malt that I want, and almost all my recipes with grains include crystal malts
2. I don't know if I might lose some harsher flavors that my recipes count on from roasted grains
3. While it would be easy to use a short cold steep for my late addition, it won't really save time because my grain steeping takes place while I'm dissolving half my extract in water and then then heating that water for the boil.
 
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kartracer2

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I have a "I'm just wondering" question. Does color = flavor? By that I mean, if have what I feel is the right color extracted, will the flavor be "as expected" also? Are they one in the same or occurring at different times during the steep?

Cheers, :mug:
Joel B.
 

BrewnWKopperKat

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In certain styles, such as Porter and Stout, the roastiness can be gotten without the acrid and burnt flavors often associated with many interpretations. However, such beers generally should have a little bite and the formulation should take this into account whether you cold steep or use debittered roasted malts.
I'll agree with the generalization.

If there is additional information or detailed process descriptions that could be used for comparative brewing, that would be interesting (and welcomed in any topic with the word 'advanced' in it).



eta: note that we got here in this discussion from the question
"how 'short and shoddy' can a cold steep be?'"
And that question was within a broader question:
can a brew day process be structured so that one could 'pause' it for 15 or 20 minutes at any point in time in the process?
In that broader context, steeping from flame-on to 160F could be a technique that is 'close-enough' .

And there is plenty of space here for advancing ideas on steeping for more common approaches for brewing with extract.
 
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BrewnWKopperKat

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I have a "I'm just wondering" question. Does color = flavor? By that I mean, if have what I feel is the right color extracted, will the flavor be "as expected" also? Are they one in the same or occurring at different times during the steep?
For the same type of steep (and an appropriate grain crush), "color = flavor" seems reasonable.
 

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I generally add a portion of the roasted / crystal / color malts to the mash to adjust the pH. The rest of these malts are added to the mash just before the mash-out. They are lautered and sparged with the mash. The crystal / caramel malts really need to see some heat to get the sugars they contain to dissolve. That's why I don't like cold steeping for such malts.
 

D.B.Moody

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I generally add a portion of the roasted / crystal / color malts to the mash to adjust the pH. The rest of these malts are added to the mash just before the mash-out. They are lautered and sparged with the mash. The crystal / caramel malts really need to see some heat to get the sugars they contain to dissolve. That's why I don't like cold steeping for such malts.
As I understand it, a cold steep will extract the small amount of simple sugar from the crystal malt, but will leave the starches behind. You are talking about all grain mashing instead of staying on the extract brewing topic. You are getting the starches and coverting them to fermentable sugars. As an extract brewer, I may want those starches for other reasons, but it is also possible that experimentation as @BrewnWKopperKat is suggesting would reveal that a cold steep provides enough of all the flavors (and/or only the desired flavors) so it might be a reasonable choice. Your reasons for not wanting to do a cold steep may be sound, but they they do not apply well to extract brewing.
 
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