Author Topic: Steeping grains  (Read 4327 times)

Offline FLbrewer

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 585
    • View Profile
Steeping grains
« on: May 25, 2013, 02:52:23 PM »
If I am doing a partial boil (possibly full) for 5 gallons, can I steep the grains inside in a separate pot (maybe a gallon or so of water) first than add to the main kettle? Would be more convenient as I can do that part inside on the stove.

Also, do you steep with the lid on?

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5656
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 02:59:26 PM »
yes and sure, if you want to. it will maintain temp better.
 
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline FLbrewer

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 585
    • View Profile
Steeping grains
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 03:11:06 PM »
So it won't matter that the grains aren't steeping in 2.5 or 3 gallons and only 1 gallon before adding?

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7208
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 04:38:29 PM »
Well some grains need to be mashed but some can be steeped like tea for flavor.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline FLbrewer

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 585
    • View Profile
Steeping grains
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 04:57:39 PM »
Sorry, this is for a full extract. Should've clarified.

Offline euge

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7208
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 06:25:05 AM »
Sorry, this is for a full extract. Should've clarified.

If you are going for flavor extraction you'll need to steep. This also can be done in an extra pot or in all the hot water before you add the extract. It really doesn't matter how much water you use when steeping- I like to do it in as much water as possible in order to extract as much from the grain as possible. I guess it is possible to use too little.

I would steep with the lid on in order to conserve and maintain the temperature- you could even do it in the oven set on warm- which is usually around 150F. Be sure you bring the steep to temp before you place the pot in the oven or you will be waiting a long time. ;)

If you include 2 or 6-row base malt or any type of base malt it will require mashing even if it is just a couple pounds. Then you will need to observe the proper mashing ratios of 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain. This can also be done separately and added to the extract.

My previous point was that there is a difference in grain and whether or not you can steep or need to mash or some combination of the two.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline erockrph

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2414
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • Critical Tastings
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 07:11:09 AM »
My SOP when I brew extract batches is to add the grain to the kettle before I start heating the water. I pull the bag when the temp gets to 165ish. No need to add any extra time for steeping.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline sackdeez

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2013, 09:59:11 AM »
I have read from multiple sources that it is possible to extract tannins if you steep in too much water.  I use 1/2 gallon of water per 1 lb of grain.  I try to steep between 150-155 for 20-30 minutes on my stove top.  I start the rest of my water on an outdoor burner with about 15-20 minutes left.  That way once I am done steeping my main kettle is coming to a boil.  I add my steeping water then cut the heat and add my extract.  It works well for me and saves a little time.  Just one extra pot to clean thats it.   

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5656
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2013, 10:07:15 AM »
I have read from multiple sources that it is possible to extract tannins if you steep in too much water.  I use 1/2 gallon of water per 1 lb of grain.  I try to steep between 150-155 for 20-30 minutes on my stove top.  I start the rest of my water on an outdoor burner with about 15-20 minutes left.  That way once I am done steeping my main kettle is coming to a boil.  I add my steeping water then cut the heat and add my extract.  It works well for me and saves a little time.  Just one extra pot to clean thats it.   

tannin extraction from grain is a function of temperature and pH. If you can keep either one of these in line you don't have to worry about tannin extraction. For steeping grains in an extract batch it's easiest to keep the temp in line and not let the water get above ~165 or so. The reason that too much water could cause tannin extraction is because the grain only has so much buffering capability to neutralize the alkalinity in the water so if you use lots of water AND let the temp of the water/grain mixture get above 170 then you risk tannin extraction. If you use DI or RO water this is unlikely as the water has so little alkalinity to start with that even a very small amount of character grain is going to be able to keep your pH in line.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline 69franx

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2013, 11:57:29 AM »
My SOP when I brew extract batches is to add the grain to the kettle before I start heating the water. I pull the bag when the temp gets to 165ish. No need to add any extra time for steeping.
The 4 batches (not many, I know) that I have made so far with steeping and extract all called for adding the grains after the water reaches 150-170, then steep for 30 minutes. Your process seems like a much better choice time wise, as long as i get the desired result. I dont plan on too many more all extract batches, but any time saved watching water get hot is definitely worth the change. Any further thoughts on this, anyone?
Frank Laske
Alpine Brewery(my home)
Fermenting: Nothing, too much(really) beer on hand!
In Bottles: Alpine IPA, Smoked Porter, Evil Twin, John Palmer's Fightin' Urak Hai Barley Wine
In the works: ...what next?

Online morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5656
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2013, 12:21:02 PM »
My SOP when I brew extract batches is to add the grain to the kettle before I start heating the water. I pull the bag when the temp gets to 165ish. No need to add any extra time for steeping.
The 4 batches (not many, I know) that I have made so far with steeping and extract all called for adding the grains after the water reaches 150-170, then steep for 30 minutes. Your process seems like a much better choice time wise, as long as i get the desired result. I dont plan on too many more all extract batches, but any time saved watching water get hot is definitely worth the change. Any further thoughts on this, anyone?

that should be fine. I never had a problem doing it that way. Just to be clear though we are talking about brews where you get 100% of your sugar from extract and only add grains for color and flavor.
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline 69franx

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Steeping grains
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2013, 01:35:13 PM »
Thanks MorticaiXavier, will be my process for next batch.
Frank
Frank Laske
Alpine Brewery(my home)
Fermenting: Nothing, too much(really) beer on hand!
In Bottles: Alpine IPA, Smoked Porter, Evil Twin, John Palmer's Fightin' Urak Hai Barley Wine
In the works: ...what next?