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To Boil Or Steep Grains?

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SJW

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I don't mean to labour this topic but as a follow up to my topic called BIG BIG PORTER, I now have about 550g of various grains to be used in a Porter style beer. Now i have been advised to do everthing from dump the grain into boiling water then turn of the heat and throw hops in with lid on and leave for 15min to steep at 68deg from 1 hour to all night. My question is -
Should i boil or steep?
for how long?
and does it make a diff?
Does a longer steep make for more flavor?
I understand enough to know that i dont want to extract tanins out of the husks.
Its just that it has cost a lot of money to get everything togerther for this beer and i dont want to blow it.
 

jayse

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SJW
If you were gunna steep for a hour at 68c you might aswell have a kilo of pale malt or munich malt in there too as its only $2 a kilo and well worth doing for a beer you want to go all out on.
Anyway that would be my addvice.
Other wise i would just steep it in hot-boiling water for a while then strain and boil.

Cheers Jayse
 

Trough Lolly

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SJW said:
Should i boil or steep?
for how long?
and does it make a diff?
Does a longer steep make for more flavor?
SJW,
I've made robust porters with steeped grains and part mashes in the past. With my Trough Lolly Porter (which is under Porters in the recipe section), I steeped a total of 1.85Kg of grains in 4L of 67C water for 1 hour (Side note: The only reason I didn't do an all grainer, as Jayse has suggested to you, was that I didn't have a burner nor a big enough boiler to do a full wort boil). I then sparged the strainer with another 3L of 70C water and boiled the 7L on the stove.

I put the steeping grains in cold water and brought the pot up the 67C nice and easy and then left the pot for an hour, keeping an eye on the temp whilst I heated the sparge water in another pot.

With 20/20 hindsight, I would have steeped the grains in more water (about 6L or 3L per kilo) and then sparged with 4L at 72C and boiled the 10L for an hour with the hop additions as per the recipe.

So, in answer to your questions, I would steep the grains for an hour, boil the strained wort for one hour, add the malt extract in the last 5 mins of the boil (or at flameout if you use a hopped extract kit to preserve the hop flavours and aroma), cool, rack, top-up (my recipe makes 23L) and pitch the 1028 yeast starter...

I've never steeped overnight and I cannot see what sort of benefits that would yield from highly modified crystal malts anyway. Perhaps a steeping guru would care to explain that rationale further?
Cheers,
TL
 

jayse

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I think you miss read my addvice trough lolly. i simply meant do a small part mash ie 1kg of pale malt with his 500g of other crystal and roast malts.
So the boil will be the same size as the one you discribed above.
So simply do the small part mash and add the extract at the end of the boil.
The reason i suggested that was because if your steeping grain for 1 hour and want to make the best beer you could adding 1kg of pale malt would be the best way to go about it.
I didn't mean to say forget about doing that brew and do a all grain. Sorry if that is the way what i posted came accross as i simply meant add the results of a small part mash to the extract.


Cheer Jayse
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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Porter grains, choc malt and roast barley?

I would cold steep overnight. I still do that now for dark grains


Jovial Monk
 

pint of lager

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Just to clarify a few points.

Base grains such as pale ale, pilsener, lager, Vienna, wheat and Munich must be mashed between 65-68 degrees to allow the enzymes to convert the starch in the grain into brew sugars.

Specialty grains such as roasted, chocolate, carafa, crystal, caramunich etc do not need mashing as they are already mashed at the maltsers, only steeping (after crushing) to allow the brewing sugars to be released.

Do not boil any grain as you will extract nasty tannins.

Do boil the resulting runoff from your steep or mash for at least 30 minutes. Grain is notorious for having bacteria on the husks.

Cold steeping of specialty grains is ok. Overnight steeping, you could do it, but I cannot see any benefit. Some mashers do overnight mashes, but this is to speed up brewday, and can be detrimental if not done right.
 

Murray

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Jovial_Monk said:
Porter grains, choc malt and roast barley?

I would cold steep overnight. I still do that now for dark grains


Jovial Monk
Same.
 

SJW

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Why is 67deg C such a magic number when steeping these grains?
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I guess warm water dissolves sugars more readily than cold. It is just a measure of convenience & time saving

Jovial Monk
 

PostModern

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I think a lot of it has to do with mashing temperatures as well. 67C is about right for making a beer with decent body (sufficient dextrines) without destroying fermentability. Mashers would quote this temp for steeping because the sugars come out of crystal well at this temp in a 1 hour mash, so they should also do so in a one hour steeping. Any higher and you'll pull tanins from the husks. Any lower and it'll take longer for good efficiency.
 

Trough Lolly

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67C is good for steeping and it is ideal if you decide to go down the partial mash path and chuck in some base malts that need to be converted when you originally planned to steep.
For a good starter on mash temps, as opposed to steeping, have a read on John Palmer's site here...I have stuck Figure 79 on the wall of the brewery as a reminder! :p

Jayse - Sorry, you're right - I misread your reply... :ph34r:

Cheers,
TL
 

Kai

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The Jovial Monk's probably right on the steeping bit. In mashing, I think the difficult is that you want a temperature high enough to gelatinise your starch, but low enough to not kill your enymes. Maybe 67 is that magic number.

I could, as always, be off in lala land on that one.
 

pint of lager

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Mashing is the process of enzymes converting the starch in grains to brewing sugars ready for the yeasty beasties to do their job.

There are a range of different enzymes, each one works best at very precise temperatures.

67 degrees is the right temp for a good balance for the different enzymes working on your grain.
 

SJW

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Thanks guy's, i guess if i steep at about 67deg C i won't matter what type of grain i use.
 

deebee

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I steep my grains in a muslin bag for convenience. I now follow Palmer's advice and steep in very hot water. I used to put the grains in cold water and bring slowly almost to the boil over about an hour. To be honest, I can't tell the difference in taste.

As for tannin extraction, my guess is that you will not notice the tannins extracted from such a small quantity (250-1000g) of specialty grains in a 23 litre batch, so steeping technique is much less critical than mashing technique.
 

pint of lager

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Just to give it a try, I did a boil of uncrushed crystal. The result was a very nasty tannin laden yecchy wort that I would never ever add to a brew.

So stick to 60-70 derees for crystal grains.

Mashing, aim for 67.
 

pint of lager

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always use crushed grains. Tried the uncrushed version because a brewer I knew swore there was no need to crush, and I proved this wrong.
 

Kai

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I dunno why anyone would even think they could use uncrushed grains. It's a bit hard to get all the sugar out when there's a cell wall in the way.
 

Trough Lolly

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Kinda like boiling a can of kit extract without opening it!
TL
 
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