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Steeping grain process

While doing partial mash/extract recipes, do you immediately put your steeping/mash grains in and let it come up to temperature and then start your timing or wait to put in the grains once it hits 150ish or strike temp?

Partial mash and extract with steeping grains are different things…

Steeping grains, put in while heating up, pull at 160 or so.

Partial mash, hold around 150 for an hour.

It depends on the malts in the recipe.

Generally, steeping is the process to extract the existing sugars from the malt and mashing is the process to convert starches in the malt into sugars. There are a number of categories of malts (base, crystal/caramel, roasted/dark, …).

@uberculture’s descriptions of the process are very common. Some kit makers write recipes where the crystal malts are steeped at 150* F for 20-30 minutes. I’ve done this type of steep a couple of times - and it did extract more sugars / flavors than a “put the bag in when starting to heat the water” steep. Whether or not “more is better” often depends on the goal of the recipe.

Some additional links / resources to consider:

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I did my first specialty grains kit a couple weeks ago and messed up by putting the steeping grains in once the temp hit 170 and left them there for the specified time. It didn’t seem to negatively affect the beer. Flavor is good and the target OG was achieved. Still, I’ll do it the way @uberculture specified in the future.

In another thread Here you mentioned that beer being a little too bitter. If you were steeping at 170° and your pH is off you will extract tannins from the grain. This is very common in extract brewing for a couple reasons:

  1. using higher volume of water
  2. not adjusting water
  3. lower amount of grain that won’t drop pH into correct range

You don’t have to worry about this if you keep those steeping temps to 155°-160°. Perhaps the bitterness you’re experiencing is actually some tannins.

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It’s entirely possible, but I kinda doubt it—it didn’t have the bitterness before dry-hopping, so I’m thinking it’s just the Chinook doing what Chinook does. A friend of mine who used a similar dry hop recently (whole leaf Chinook) says his started pretty bitter and mellowed quickly.

For steeping, my process was to heat the water to 150 and maintain near that for 20 minutes or so. That seemed to work well.

When I moved to partial mash, it was add base malt to the steeping grains and hold about 150 for an hour.

Partial mash will give better flavor results than just steeping and it’s easy enough to just add some base malt like 2-row.

That said, if I ever go back to partial mash or start doing some experimental all-grain small batch stuff, I’ll make a mini-mash tun. After having moved to all grain and double batches and seeing how the process worked with a mash tun, it seems less messy and more convenient to do it that way.

I’m wondering if there is a difference in finished product if I put the partial mash grains in cold water and let it come up to mash temp (150ish) and then start my timing (1 hr). OR If I wait until water is strike temp 160ish and then put in my partial mash grains and then hold it for an hour.

I would say that you would want to start partial mash at temperature since when you do all-grain, you heat the strike water to temp and add the grain

Partial mash is different from extract with grains. With partial mash you want conversion of the starches from the grain to sugar, as some of your OG will come from these grains. Your temps depend greatly on your grain bill. However, today almost all malts are well modified, not needing protein rests. Heck, even “under modified malts” are modified enough that temps should start within conversion range to avoid a breakdown of foam positive proteins.

Extract with grains you are simply trying to gain color and flavor from the grain. Crystal malts and roasted malts have their starches converted during kilning. This is why they can simply be steeped.

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Me be doing partial mash for the last 5 brews. Yes you need your. Water at. 152. Fh. Actaually you start out at 162fh. You lose bit heat. Once you put the bag. in the water. But hold the temp at 152. Idid buy a iglo cooler. With a bazooka tube. Atachement. Have been reading. Here and there a bag did got a hole so the grains came into the wort. But any way. Do check gravity as well make sure. Your grains did their work

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