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steeping grains

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brewhead

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i asked this in another forum - and since i don't see any of you in that forum - i thought i'd ask the brain trust that is this forum.

has anyone had any experience with steeping times?

does extending the steeping time add stronger flavor or just bitterness?

the closest thing i can relate this to is steeping tea bags for iced tea. if i steep the tea for a longer period - i get a stronger tea. i am assuming that this applies to steeping grains.
 

vtfan99

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From my experience, steeping for too long may buy you a gravity point or two, but as long as the temperature is maintained, you shouldn't notice any off flavors. I have only run across this once when I left my grain bag steeping while I did some other things only to forget and leave it steeping for longer than usual. I don't remember the exact length of time (my notes were not as complete in the beginning) but the gravity was a point or two higher (which could have been from anything). Maybe someone else has more experience??
 

AlaskaAl(e)

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I've polled a few people as well and the general concensus (sp) has been that there is little to no distinguishable difference. I have steeped the same bag of grain for 30 min (my usual) and for 60 min (had to leave the house unexpectantly) and the only difference was the water ended up colder and it was harder getting all the "goodness" squeezed from the bag. Both batches had nearly the same OG and tasted pretty close, in fact the second was a bit better but I can't say for sure steeping time made any of the difference.
 

vtfan99

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The only harm that could come is if the temperature rose too high....then you may be extracting some tannins from the grains, imparting an off flavor. But most likely you won't taste one bit of difference.
 
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brewhead

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since you brought it up and it is a part of this discussion - as with tea bags - i was always instructed that you never squeeze your bags.
 

uglygoat

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theoritcally you can squeeze the husk material (iincluding oils) out into your wort, which you want to avoid doing. if you seperate the husks, which contain the tannins from the grain too much and get it in your pot, it will give you off flavors... prolly not so noticeable with a small amount of grain.

what sort of recipe are you talking about with a grain steepe? is it only like a pound of grain?
 

Kephren

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From what I understand, steeping too long will extract astringency. This is due to the husk material. You won't get any additional flavor. The same principle holds true for squeezing the grain bag. Just steep, then rinse, then boil. For AG brewers, over-steeping the specialty grains would be the same as over-sparging. After so much, you've gotten all you're gonna get out of the grains. After that, you start getting stuff you don't want. Just what I've heard.
 
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