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Question on specialty grains

Question occurred to me in regards to specialty grains used with extract kits.

Are the grains used in extract recipes always steeped 30 mins as a rule of thumb? I know a lot of recipes say 20 mins or 170deg.

Palmers books recommends 30 mins with water temp ranging between 150-170. At my altitude I usually keep it just below 170. The brew I have in primary (belg. tripel) I steeped 30 mins at 165 based on the info in his book. I also use an outdoor burner, thus getting up to temp can occur quickly.

Also what’s the thought process on splitting the grains into multiple mesh bags to improve the sugar extraction? I guess what I asking here is what do most consider the magic number in weight before splitting it up.

Do you simply let the liquid drain out or help (squeeze) it a bit.

With the specialty grains you are getting color and flavor. You need a base malt (2row/6row/Pale Malt/Pilsner) with enzymes to convert the starches to sugar. The roasting process killed off the enzymes in the specialty grain.

I would stay in the 150 range for 30 minutes. Getting in the 170 range you may get some tannins extracted. The same is said about squeezing the grain bag.

To get a little more goodness out of the grain, put the bag in a large colander and rinse it with the steeping water. Then run ~160d water over it. Just like a sparge for all grain. If you are steeping 1lb of grain, do it in 2-3 qt of water. Then rinse it with 3-5 qts.

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