Author Topic: cold steeping  (Read 868 times)

Offline homoeccentricus

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cold steeping
« on: February 03, 2015, 04:46:15 PM »
I have plans to brew a porter next weekend with roasted barley, crystal 40&80L, and chocolate malts.
Would it be better to cold steep the dark grains, or is this not really necessary? Anything else I should do? I think my bicarbonate is pretty high.

My water profile:

Sodium, Na 33
Calcium, Ca 63
Magnesium, Mg 7.1
Sulfate, SO4 52
Chloride, Cl 46
Bicarbonate, HCO3 181
pH 8
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Offline denny

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2015, 04:49:18 PM »
I'd just put them in with the other grains.
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Offline goschman

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2015, 04:53:03 PM »
If your doing a porter I don't think there is a need for cold steeping. Personally, I would use that method for something with a subdued roasted character.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 05:01:14 PM »
Well, porter, it's actually an Everett "porter" clone with about 6.5% roasted barley. Still no cold steeping then? How about adding at the end of the boil?
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Offline denny

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 05:31:38 PM »
Well, porter, it's actually an Everett "porter" clone with about 6.5% roasted barley. Still no cold steeping then? How about adding at the end of the boil?

Um, start by asking yourself what you;re trying to accomplish.  What's the reason for cold steeping or adding late?
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2015, 05:52:59 PM »
Because Gordon says so? ? ?
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Offline denny

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 05:53:38 PM »
Because Gordon says so? ? ?

I'd need a better reason than that myself....
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Offline hmbrewing

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 06:01:25 PM »
Well, porter, it's actually an Everett "porter" clone with about 6.5% roasted barley. Still no cold steeping then? How about adding at the end of the boil?

Um, start by asking yourself what you;re trying to accomplish.  What's the reason for cold steeping or adding late?

+1. It all starts with what your intentions are. I prefer adding them at the end of the mash during the vaurlof. I've also cold steeped. BUT, I like my stouts/porters a little smoother and with less roasted bitterness. If you are looking for that full roast flavor/character, then yeah...you'll probably want to add them in the beginning.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2015, 06:05:07 PM »
You can also take the harsh edge off of the darker grains by mashing everything together and raising your mash pH to 5.5-5.6.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2015, 06:09:22 PM »
You can also take the harsh edge off of the darker grains by mashing everything together and raising your mash pH to 5.5-5.6.

+1 i recently dropped sulfate and chloride to black balanced levels or under, and PH 5.5ish on my porter.

cant tell you how much better it turned out vs any cold steep i did or otherwise.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2015, 06:14:53 PM »
You can also take the harsh edge off of the darker grains by mashing everything together and raising your mash pH to 5.5-5.6.

+1 i recently dropped sulfate and chloride to black balanced levels or under, and PH 5.5ish on my porter.

cant tell you how much better it turned out vs any cold steep i did or otherwise.

Yeah, that's the other key too -  keeping the sulfate in moderation and balanced.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2015, 06:37:40 PM »
Just thinking of the relatively high alkalinity of my water.
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Offline denny

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2015, 06:39:04 PM »
You can also take the harsh edge off of the darker grains by mashing everything together and raising your mash pH to 5.5-5.6.

That's my preferred method.  The only reason I see to steep or mash separately is if you can't control pH through another method.
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Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2015, 07:03:21 PM »
That's what Gordon says: if you don't want to mess with the alkalinity, cold steep. Or at least that's what I seem to recall from the book. But now that I have a good quality pH meter...
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Offline JT

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Re: cold steeping
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2015, 07:19:09 PM »
There was a Basic Brewing podcast that dealt with hot steeping vs mashing vs cold steeping the grains.  Cold steeping was the least favorite in the taste test, too subdued I think.  Hot steeping and mashing were close but I think hot steeping actually won the taste test.  That said I think it was a whopping total of 3 or so testers.   
I just throw everything in the mash and adjust pH as needed.  My last porter I was able to use my high bicarbonate tapwater. Brunwater gets me very close, if not dead on.