Steep water quantity

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Adam's Apples

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I have booked the day off work on 28th Jan as I decided to have a brew day :ban:

I'm gonna be doing an extract and steep recipe. Now, I have steeped crystal before in a couple of previous brews, but made the mistake of steeping the grains in the full quantity of brew water. I received advice on here that suggested steeping in only a portion of the brew water, so not to increase the ph of the water too much or extract tanins from the grain...I think. The previous beer turned out fine, but did have a twang, which may be explained by the technique I used.

I'm gonna be steeping about 2lbs of grain at 150-160f for 30 mins or so. What would you guys recommend for the quantity of water in which to steep the grains? Is there a set rule or formula you can use? I thought maybe 1.5-2 gallons might be ok, but don't know and want the beer to turn out as well as it can.

Cheers guys
 

bradsul

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1.5-3 gallons is a good amount for steeping. That 'twang' you mentioned is most likely from the extract you used. It was LME I assume? It is somewhat famous for that (do a search for 'extract twang' and you'll find out more). Try switching to DME and you will see that flavour disappear.
 
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Adam's Apples

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I have not yet heard of LME having a twang, but just began using it because of its availability and relative good vale compared to DME in my LHBS.

So, it isn't possible to brew a beer without this flavour when using LME?

Cheers
 

bradsul

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If it's fresh LME you probably won't get that flavour. DME isn't actually much more expensive, it's more concentrated (LME is 20-25% water) so you don't need as much of it as the LME. It's pretty much a wash as far as pricing is concerned.
 
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Adam's Apples

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Cheers for the info Bradsul, another thing I need to experiment with. The LME I typically buy is the 'John Bull' variety. I always check that it's in date, but what exactly do you mean by fresh?

With the steeping, would a 3 gallon steep produce more flavour than a 1.5 gallon steep - is this how it works?

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I agree that the dreaded twang can be avoided by sticking to fresh LME. It's best to buy it from somewhere that has a high turnover rate.

I'm not so sure about DME and LME being a wash, pricewise. Using Morebeer's prices, a 5 gallon batch with an OG of roughly 1.052 and assuming a 1 to 1.25 DME to LME ratio:

6 lb of DME @ 3.75 lb = $22.50

7.5 lb of LME @ 2.40 lb = $18.00

I think $4.50 per batch is a substantial difference. Plus, I can buy fresh LME at my LHBS for $2.00 a lb, while DME is $4.00. Not that I buy much of either anymore. ;)
 

bradsul

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I'm not familiar with John Bull, if they don't give you a 'created on' date of some sort I guess you can't really know, you'll want to find the containers farthest from the best before date I suppose. By fresh I mean exactly what it sounds like, the younger the better. ;)

I would think 3 gallons would be able to extract more than 1.5, though I don't know if it would be enough difference that you could actually tell.
 

bradsul

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BlindLemonLars said:
...I'm not so sure about DME and LME being a wash, pricewise. Using Morebeer's prices, a 5 gallon batch with an OG of roughly 1.052 and assuming a 1 to 1.25 DME to LME ratio...
OK it would be a wash for me then, there is a 25% price difference at my LHBS. ;) I just assumed it was a pretty universal split, I haven't purchased extract in over a year so I'm not up on current prices.
 
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