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Extract brewing question

So I have brewed a couple different extract kits in my early beginnings as a home brewer…and I do my best to follow the recipes to the letter…but I have noticed a couple differences in steps from different kits from different companies.

For example I notice some recipes say to heat up your water to X amount and then add your specialty grains and steep for X amount of time, all the while keeping that water within 2-3 degrees of a target. I have also noticed some recipes state that you add the grains to the water and THEN heat up your water to X amount. (I hope that all makes sense)

Is there any advantage/disadvantage to doing it either way? Will I ruin a batch if the recipe says to do it one way and I do it the other?

Either way is fine, just be sure not to let the water get over 170F, or you will start extracting tannins.

[quote=“Hypofix”]For example I notice some recipes say to heat up your water to X amount and then add your specialty grains and steep for X amount of time, all the while keeping that water within 2-3 degrees of a target. This is called a “Partial Mash” where you are actually mashing the grains for flavor, color and fermentable sugars.

I have also noticed some recipes state that you add the grains to the water and THEN heat up your water to X amount. This is called “Steeping” where you are extracting flavor and color only.

Is there any advantage/disadvantage to doing it either way? Will I ruin a batch if the recipe says to do it one way and I do it the other? You won’t ruin the batch but if they are expecting you to do a Partial Mash and you Steep them instead you will miss your OG.[/quote]

Hope this helps. Cheers!!!

No, no chance whatsoever or ruining by doing that minor change. Personally I do not think it matters. I had the same dilemma when I started brewing earlier this year with conflicting instructions. So I chose what suited me. I put the steeping grains in cold water, start the burner and amazingly, it takes about 20 minutes to reach 170* of I don’t crank the burner. So I don’t have to worry about the “20 minutes or 170* whichever comes first” dilemma. That gives me 20 minutes of other things I can be doing with the occasional poke and stir of the grains.

Don’t tell anybody, but I also squeeze the grains when the steeping is done even though some instructions imply that this will ruin your beer. Done it on every great batch I have made. :cheers:

Not necessarily. That’s a function of pH much more than temp. That’s why you don’t want to steep in too much water. Keep it under 2 qt./lb., just like mashing, to be safe.

Not necessarily. That’s a function of pH much more than temp. That’s why you don’t want to steep in too much water. Keep it under 2 qt./lb., just like mashing, to be safe.[/quote]

I mash with 4qt/lb. And with your batch sparge method, your sparge water has about 25% of the salts/sugar of the mash. So I’d say at least the concentration of buffers in a steep would be OK at 25% of 2qt/lb or 8qt/lb.

I’m being so cantankerous today! Think I’m coming down with a cold.

[quote=“Denny”]

Not necessarily. That’s a function of pH much more than temp. That’s why you don’t want to steep in too much water. Keep it under 2 qt./lb., just like mashing, to be safe.[/quote]

That is interesting, I have always followed the instructions and steeped in about 2.5 gallons without (known) issue(s)

[quote=“560sdl”][quote=“Denny”]

Not necessarily. That’s a function of pH much more than temp. That’s why you don’t want to steep in too much water. Keep it under 2 qt./lb., just like mashing, to be safe.[/quote]

That is interesting, I have always followed the instructions and steeped in about 2.5 gallons without (known) issue(s)[/quote]

I always did that, too, and AFAIK had no problems. But it’s easy to make sure you avoid problems by just using the right amount of water.

Lennie, you’re a sick man…you’re forgiven! :wink:

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