Question about difference in steeping grains

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Active Member
Oct 30, 2010
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I brewed my second batch yesterday, an American IPA, and I have a question about the grains I used. I used a specialty grain, Crystal Malt 40L. I think I intended to use a base grain 2 row. Is there a difference or am I just confusing the two? If there is a difference, what is it and how will it affect the final beer?

Also, I steeped the grains at 152 degrees for 30 minutes. Is that a proper temp/time for the Crystal 40L?

Here is the recipe:

4 pounds pale ale malt LME
3 pounds golden light DME
1.8 pounds 2 row caramel 40
1.5 oz Amarillo pellets at 60 minutes
1.5 oz Amarillo pellets at 20 minutes
1 oz Amarillo pellets at 5 minutes
1 oz Amarillo pellets at flame out
1 oz Amarillo pellets dry
Wyeast 1056

Process: Steep grains at 152 degrees for 30 minutes. Add the DME then bring to a boil. Add the LME at 10 minutes.

I’m not worried about the beer turning out bad. In fact, all indications are that it will be pretty good. I am just posing these questions so I can learn a little more about the process and ingredients.

I appreciate the help, thoughts and suggestions.


Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2009
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You did fine. It seems confusing to call it "2-row caramel 40", since 2-row is a base grain and C40 is not. Caramel 40 is a steeping grain, which is what the recipe wanted and is what you used. Steeping at 150 or so, for 30 minutes, is perfect - because when you transition to all-grain, somewhere down the road, you will know all about hitting a target temperature and holding it.

In the stickies up above, you can find a description of ingredients including all the various grains you might use. Browse these pages and absorb the wisdom and experience they contain. The fact that you want to understand the differences, rather than simply checking off items in a recipe, means that you will advance much more quickly. Congratulations!


Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2007
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Bryn Mawr, PA
"2-row" is a descriptive term that can be applied to a lot of different grasses, including many varieties of wheat and barley. In brewing it often refers to a base grain (and is short for "2-row pale malt.")

Base grains can't be steeped, they have to be mashed. If you're brewing with extract and specialty grains, then you probably didn't want the base grain. Crystal 40, on the other hand, is a specialty grain, and it's completely appropriate with the recipe you brewed. Congrats! It looks like it'll be good.