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Steeping Sequence

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hellbender

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The instructions in my Irish Ale kit specifies steeping the specialty grains after dissolving DME but before reaching boil. I note that Palmer prescribes steeping the grains in clear water prior to adding the DME. Which is preferred and why? I think I am partial to steeping the grains in clear water, but I don't want to run afoul of the recipe instructions if it can harm the finished product. Thanks.
 

wild

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Steep grains
Bring wort to boil
Take off heat
Mix in extract
Completely dissolve extract
Start boil.
The only reason to bring wort to a boil first is because it will dissolve the extract better. Take off the heat so the extract won't scortch. Take off the flame so the DME won't torch.

Good luck,
Wild
 

Yooper

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wild said:
Steep grains
Bring wort to boil
Take off heat
Mix in extract
Completely dissolve extract
Start boil.
The only reason to bring wort to a boil first is because it will dissolve the extract better. Take off the heat so the extract won't scortch. Take off the flame so the DME won't torch.

Good luck,
Wild
Yes, but don't forget to REMOVE the grains after steeping, before bringing the wort to a boil. You probably already know that, since you've read Palmer, but I just wanted to make sure we don't leave that step out!
 

count barleywine

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Based on reading Palmer's new book with Jamil, I now steep my grains in a seperate pot with much less water. This will allow you to use more varieties of grains, and actually get some starch conversion as well. You want enough water to cover the grains, which are still contained in a sachel. Bring this water to 160 deg(then kill heat), then add you grains. The water should stabilize around 155, and it steeps with a lid on for 40-60 min. This also allows you to simultaniously heat your brewing water, and add your extract while the grains still steep. Then, when the grains are done steeping you can add the mini-mash(without grains) to whatever stage your boil is at. Take the sachel out, put it in your funnel, and hold it over the wort. Then, take some 170ish deg water and pour it over the grains in the funnel. Be careful not to compress them, just let the water draw out the goodness. Excessive squeezing of grains will cause unwanted tannin(bitter) extraction from the grain husks. The mini-mash smells great, too.
 

Kevin K

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count barleywine said:
Based on reading Palmer's new book with Jamil, I now steep my grains in a seperate pot with much less water. This will allow you to use more varieties of grains, and actually get some starch conversion as well. You want enough water to cover the grains, which are still contained in a sachel. Bring this water to 160 deg(then kill heat), then add you grains. The water should stabilize around 155, and it steeps with a lid on for 40-60 min. This also allows you to simultaniously heat your brewing water, and add your extract while the grains still steep. Then, when the grains are done steeping you can add the mini-mash(without grains) to whatever stage your boil is at. Take the sachel out, put it in your funnel, and hold it over the wort. Then, take some 170ish deg water and pour it over the grains in the funnel. Be careful not to compress them, just let the water draw out the goodness. Excessive squeezing of grains will cause unwanted tannin(bitter) extraction from the grain husks. The mini-mash smells great, too.
That sounds awesome. I'm going to try that this weekend.

Thanks for posting that method.
 

Silviakitty

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Oh, that's such a timesaver...probably gets a lot more bang for your steeping grain buck, too. Will this 'mini-mash' technique cause a change in fermentables since it's doing the starch conversion thing?

And yeah, steeping grains smell so tasty...I've been tempted to eat 'em after steeping, but I doubt they taste as good as they smell. ;)
 

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