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Why is partial mash steeping done at 155 degrees F?

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slaphappy44:
I am brewing a pumpkin ale today and I was wandering about the specialty grains used in this partial mash recipe.  I am using both chocolate and crystal malt in this recipe and it calls for me to steep at 155 degrees for 30 mins.   If neither of these malts have enzymes, than why might the recipe have me steep at a temperature which is normally used for sugar conversion by enzymes? Just curious and hoping to increase my homebrewing knowledge.  Thank you in advance for answers.

tygo:
You want to water to be hot to made it easier to get the sugars out of the grains and into solution in the water.  But you don't want it too hot (above 170) or you extract tannins into the wort.  So 150-170 is the generally given range.  145 would probably work just as well.

denny:

--- Quote from: tygo on December 20, 2009, 12:10:19 PM ---You want to water to be hot to made it easier to get the sugars out of the grains and into solution in the water.  But you don't want it too hot (above 170) or you extract tannins into the wort.  So 150-170 is the generally given range.  145 would probably work just as well.

--- End quote ---

Water temps above 170 won't necessarily extract tannins.  You also need a high pH for that.  Now, in steeping grains, it's not uncommon to use a large volume of water, in which case the grain doesn't have enough buffering power to lower the pH.  That's why you should steep grains with about the same water/grain ration you'd use for mashing.  2 qt./lb. of grain is about as high as you'd want to go for steeping.

slaphappy44:
Thank you both for the quick responses.   ;D

euge:
A little late to this but in the absence of base malts is there even any conversion with choc & crystal malts? Why 155F? Surely 155F is a "safer" bet when converting but I've seen no problems when steeping specialty grains at 170-175.

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