Quantcast

Steeping grains - Cut heat or maintain temp?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

heyjaffy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
139
Reaction score
5
Location
Silver Spring
I just recently brewed a Brewer's Best IPA and am looking at some other recipes for my next brew. The BB kit, and a few of the recipes I'm looking at, involve putting grains into a bag and steeping them in 150 degree water for x minutes. Does this mean that I bring the water to 150, cut the heat and drop the grains in, and the water cools down, or, do I bring the water to 150, drop the grains in, and lower the heat to keep the temp at a steady 150?
 

JMSetzler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
899
Reaction score
20
Location
Hickory, North Carolina
When you drop the grains in the water is gonna cool, so you should probably bring it up a little above 150 and then put the grains in and watch the temp and keep it at around 150..
 

mr_bell

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
374
Reaction score
5
Location
Chicago
What I've done is heat the water to about 155 or so. Drop the grains in, add heat to keep the temp between 150 - 160 for 15-30 mins or however long you want to steep--I like 30 minutes, and I try to keep the temp around the middle of that range. It doesn't need to be exact, temp wise, just in the ballpark. I assume you know not to go above 170 or else tannins can be extracted.
 

Hang Glider

Beer Drinker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
3,245
Reaction score
214
Location
North Augusta
like mr bell says.

Steeping is not as critical as mashing. You're not regulating enzyme activity, your soaking color and flavor out.

So - what I do is toss the bag into the cold water, bring it up to ABOUT 150, hold it there for ABOUT 20 minutes, then let 'em drip dry while I crank the heat up.
 

kmanAZ

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2010
Messages
7
Reaction score
0
Location
Phoenix
I brewed my first kit about 3 weeks ago and the directions said to steep in the 2.5 gallon boil water by adding the grains to the cool water and then removing when the water reaches 160. I had read on here that 2.5 qt per pound of grain was a good amount to steep in, so i did that. Except I may have had more than a pound and used a small 3 quartpan. By the time the grains soaked up some water the pot only had about a inch of space between the bag and the sides. I tried to hold 160 but the outside water got real hot while internal grain in the stayed cool. At one point the outer water was boiling and the inside of the bag as measured with my thermopen was only 140. I turned it down a bit and at about 1/2 hour the inside of the bag was still not up to 160 but the outer water was in the 175 range. Moral of the story is steeping in too little water doesn't work very well. Or get a scale.
 

Rev2010

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,247
Reaction score
636
Location
Brooklyn
Yeah, I've seen instructions that say to start at 150, put in grains, then *shut off the heat* and let it steep and I'm like Whaaaaat??? I bring it to between 150-170 and start steeping the grains and maintain the temp. I have the lab thermometer from LabelPeelers.com (and it's great) to monitor the temp. Just keep it in the ballpark temp range for the steep duration.


Rev.
 

mikebowman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Messages
244
Reaction score
0
Location
Halifax
What I've done is heat the water to about 155 or so. Drop the grains in, add heat to keep the temp between 150 - 160 for 15-30 mins or however long you want to steep--I like 30 minutes, and I try to keep the temp around the middle of that range. It doesn't need to be exact, temp wise, just in the ballpark. I assume you know not to go above 170 or else tannins can be extracted.
this is what i do. works fine for me
 

petey_c

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
1,358
Reaction score
93
Location
Miller Place
I've been using AHS kits lately. I get my water up to about 165F, add grains and turn off the heat. I take a thick towel and wrap the pot with the lid on. It seems to keep the heat right around 155F or so. It says to let it steep for 45 minutes, then rinse. It's interesting to see the different methods called for. I thought all partials were basically the same. I'll have to start getting more precise.
 

RM-MN

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 26, 2010
Messages
14,460
Reaction score
5,180
Location
Solway
I brewed my first kit about 3 weeks ago and the directions said to steep in the 2.5 gallon boil water by adding the grains to the cool water and then removing when the water reaches 160. I had read on here that 2.5 qt per pound of grain was a good amount to steep in, so i did that. Except I may have had more than a pound and used a small 3 quartpan. By the time the grains soaked up some water the pot only had about a inch of space between the bag and the sides. I tried to hold 160 but the outside water got real hot while internal grain in the stayed cool. At one point the outer water was boiling and the inside of the bag as measured with my thermopen was only 140. I turned it down a bit and at about 1/2 hour the inside of the bag was still not up to 160 but the outer water was in the 175 range. Moral of the story is steeping in too little water doesn't work very well. Or get a scale.
I think you have confused steeping with mashing. Steeping is putting the bag of grains into water between 150 and 170 to extract the color and flavor of the grain. Mashing is putting the grain into water between 150 and 154 (approximately) so the enzymes in the malted grain can convert the starches to sugars that the yeast can consume. The temperature that this occurs is a much smaller range than steeping and must be controlled quite closely. This is done in a smaller amount of water so you can add water later to wash out more of the sugars (sparging). This process also takes more time than just the steeping.
 
OP
heyjaffy

heyjaffy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
139
Reaction score
5
Location
Silver Spring
Thanks for all of the replies. When I ran through that kit and got to the directions to steep the grains, steeping to me, means sitting a bag of something (like tea) in a cup of hot, but not continuously heated, water. But, in this application, that didn't seem right, so I got the water to 150 dropped the grain bag in, and kept the heat on very low to maintain 150. Based on your replies, in this application where it's not actual mashing, just grain steeping for color and flavor, either method (continuous heat to maintain temp or cutting the heat off) should work.
 

dfc

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
3,078
Reaction score
239
Location
Chandler, AZ
I always place my grains in the cool water and bring up to 155°. I then maintain that temp for 30 minutes then pull the grains out and let them drip into the pot until all the water is out.
 
Top