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Extract with Specialty Grains

Pretty new here this is probably my 5th or 6th batch. I am brewing the NB Cream Ale Extract Kit. I have noticed with extract kits they ask for a start of 2.5 gallons of water. I have a 6 Gallon Kettle. Is it possible to steep my grains with a higher volume of water to reduce topping off? Or is there some method to the madness. I would ultimately like to try to do a 4-5 gallon boil.

Yes, you can boil bigger volume. In fact, it will help with hop utilization and prevent darkening that would otherwise be caused by caramelization in a concentrated boil. Bigger is better. Go for it.

Thanks for the reply. I was getting mixed answers just searching on it. Will the increased volume during the steep cause any off flavors etc? Others out there say it should be a 1 gallon:1 pound ratio.

I would limit the water during the steep. I don’t see a reference of and issue with higher water/grain ratios. But 1/1 is an easy thing to calculate.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section2/chapter13-2.html

In a separate pot you can start warming the additional water you will use for the boil. And, after steeping the grain, use this fresh water to rinse more sugar/flavor from the grain.

You can steep grains in any amount of water. If you were mashing grains to extract fermentables then there is a ratio of pounds of grain to quarts of water for the best efficiency. A larger boil volume may complicate chilling the wort as fast as possible. For a five gallon batch boiling 2.5 gallons of wort and then topping off with 2.5 gallons of chilled water reduces the time to cool the wort to yeast pitching temperature. It comes down to how are you going to cool your boil volume.

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