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Steeping grains?

When steeping the grains as they are “steeping” do you squeeze them at all move them around? Force the water threw them? Before taking them out do u squeeze any of the juice out of them back into the boil?.. Im on my 4th batch and have just let them be with not doing any of the above mentioned?

I do it pretty much the way you do it…When I remove the grain bag from the kettle, I hold it over the kettle to allow all the good stuff to run out…but no…I don’t squeeze or otherwise manipulate the bag to get the flavor out…I too would be interested in hearing others’ methods on this…

On a side note…I put the steeping grains in a cold kettle of water, turn on the heat and leave them to steep till temp reaches 165-170…is this the most common method?

Happy Brewing! :cheers:

[quote=“Jimmie322”]I do it pretty much the way you do it…When I remove the grain bag from the kettle, I hold it over the kettle to allow all the good stuff to run out…but no…I don’t squeeze or otherwise manipulate the bag to get the flavor out…I too would be interested in hearing others’ methods on this…

On a side note…I put the steeping grains in a cold kettle of water, turn on the heat and leave them to steep till temp reaches 165-170…is this the most common method?

Happy Brewing! :cheers: [/quote]

I usualy steep for 20 minn at 165deg… this batch im going to steep for 30minn…

To gain any other goodness from the grains, please do NOT squeeze the steeping grains as this will release unwanted flavors in to your WORT. I have found that after steeping for 20min or to 165F, you can mini-sparge the grains if when they are removed they are placed in a lg strainer over the boil kettle. Then at 2 cups+/- at a time, pour 150~160F H2O slowly & evenly over the grains about 4 times to equal 1/2 Gallon. Doing so should wash the sugars into your WORT. Be aware that you have added 1/2 gallon more to the boil which I haven’t found to be a problem.

I put about 2-3 gallons hot water from tap at 120*F and steep. I raise temperature to about 155 (I’ve heard this is a good mashing temp) and leave there for 20-30 minutes. I then pull the grain bag from the pot and, using a glass measuring cup, pour some of the wort over the grain about 4-5 times. Then guess what I do…I squeeze the bag! And I squeeze it good!

:cheers:

[quote=“mvsawyer”]I put about 2-3 gallons hot water from tap at 120*F and steep. I raise temperature to about 155 (I’ve heard this is a good mashing temp) and leave there for 20-30 minutes. I then pull the grain bag from the pot and, using a glass measuring cup, pour some of the wort over the grain about 4-5 times. Then guess what I do…I squeeze the bag! And I squeeze it good!

:cheers: [/quote]

I soooo want to squeeze it!!! You saying that makes me want to squeeze it even more!!! All that goodness just left in there…(

Squeeze away. You can’t force anything out that wasn’t coming out anyway (unless you have a coarse mesh and very fine crush and squeeze out some bits of husk material).

I made dry Irish stout last weekend, and when the steeping was done, I put the bag in a bowl and used another bowl to mash the ever-loving sh*t outta the grains. The jet-black syrup that yielded smelled spectacular and had a nice flavor :slight_smile: . Hopefully the boiling process didn’t do anything unpleasant to it.

On a tangential note, how much do y’all shake the grains prior to steeping? I go pretty crazy with it, shaking until the bottom of my sink is thick with dust.

Shake the grains for what purpose? All the particulate matter will either be left in the kettle with the break or if they make it into the fermenter, drop to the bottom with the trub.

Well, it mentions it in the tutorials, which is how I got into the practice. Seems like particles that are small enough to escape the steeping mesh would remain in suspension far longer than those that aren’t, and that shaking them loose would result in a clearer beer. The tutorial suggestion made sense to me, as I just always felt that the goal with steeping (in all cases, not just with brewing) was to impart as much flavor and as few particulates as possible.

But, I’m very new to this, and haven’t done any side by side comparisons. The only beer I’ve made so far (Caribou Slobber) seems to have plenty of flavor, color, and body, and I shook the bejesus out of those grains :wink: .

To flip the question around, am I dramatically reducing the effectiveness of the specialty grains by doing this?

As for your reply to the OT, I like this idea of approaching specialty grains as a sort of partial grain addition (i.e., holding at mash temps for 30 minutes or so). Do you just periodically turn on the burner to keep the temp up?

Brewers a-non

“Hi NB Forum”
“Hi Mike”
“I’m a bag squeezer”
“It’s okay Mike”
“It’s not okay Mike”
“It’s okay Mike”

I squeeze :wink:

Probably not. Most often the specialty grains aren’t going to add much gravity/sugar anyway. But by shaking, I’d argue that you are reducing that even more because the small stuff you’re shaking out is possibly the flour that makes sugar when mashed. Miniscule at best but it saves time not doing it.

Once I get to 155(ish) I cover my pot. I use a 3.5gal stainless steel and a 7.5gal aluminum and both pots hold the temperature for the full half hour. Is it wrong to say a full-half hour? The way I understand it, lower mash temps produce more fermentable wort anyway, so as long as it stays above 148*F, I don’t worry about the temp.

:cheers: and happy steeping!

If in fact you watch and pay attention to the instructions given in NB Homebrewing 101 DVD, When making the Caribou Slobber, the steeping grains are specifically left UN-SQUEEZED. A mini-sparge is completely acceptable but the actual resulting sugars are defiantly not much to add…the process of actual Mashing is also a NO SQUEEZE process.

Pay attention! Instructions are not given to be ignored. If your doing it wrong and your enjoying your beer. Drink on.

lol, right on.

I didn’t squeeze when making the Slobber or the Chinook, just the dry Irish stout. Hopefully I won’t hate it, but I doubt I will. I’m not that discerning (yet?).

I do have to say, though, I look at recipes (beer or otherwise) as guides, not railroad tracks.

I am no Pro brewer by any means…yet! We have toured many Colorado breweries including Budweiser Ft Collins, Paying attention during the tours is also a great learning experience. We plan to do the brewmaster tour next time we visit Bud in Ft. Collins. We have been very diligent to heed the warnings given. True the info is more of a guide than game plan, but we are looking to make this our life so ALL information is taken in, researched, and taken in consideration to our plans.

That is not true, and anyone who says otherwise has been misinformed. Tannin extraction is dependent primarily on pH, and you can’t squeeze hard enough to affect that no matter what you do.

Then call the brewmaster at Alaskan Brewing and ask him. He’ll say yes.

I was also thinking that the grains on the bottom of a mash tun would probably be subjected to more pressure than I can exert with a pair of tongs on a grain bag…

I wouldn’t knowingly lead anyone down a path to bad brewing practice. Especially just based on hearsay. I was a non-squeezer because I watched the HB 101 video. Then I thought that I couldn’t squeeze anything out of the grain that wasn’t going to come out on it’s own so I’ve been a squeezer ever since. And in so doing, I’ve not detected a degradation in quality of the beer from pre to post squeezing.

This is practical, first-hand experience from a bag-squeezer. :wink:

:cheers:

That is not true, and anyone who says otherwise has been misinformed. Tannin extraction is dependent primarily on pH, and you can’t squeeze hard enough to affect that no matter what you do.

Then call the brewmaster at Alaskan Brewing and ask him. He’ll say yes.[/quote]

He will agree that on a 5gal homebrew batch it is OK, the mass production brew does not get any specialty grains as it is a All-Grain batch mashed and lautered in the normal brewing method. Nothing is squeezed.

So what I have seen & read is only for all grain brewing, not the specialty grains in an extract batch, when the grain is in the last stage of mashing & temps are @ the highest before boil. IE: hot mash squeezed could produce tannins & off flavors. Y/N?

I am still confused as to why the instructions say not to, yet all I see/hear on the Forum sez go for it. I will remove these posts in a few mins, Thx for clairification!

[quote=“Shanhorn”] Call the brewmaster @ New Belgium or Oskar Blues and ask them if the grains are squeezed for their distributed beers…They will say no.[/quote]Not sure how a commercial brewer would “squeeze” their grains unless they have a grain press installed in the mashtun, something that would probably not have an acceptable ROI and would be prone to break.

Rather than worry about squeezing your steeped grains, why not focus on moving up to mini-mashing and just forget about the topic entirely? :wink:

[quote=“Shadetree”][quote=“Shanhorn”] Call the brewmaster @ New Belgium or Oskar Blues and ask them if the grains are squeezed for their distributed beers…They will say no.[/quote]Not sure how a commercial brewer would “squeeze” their grains unless they have a grain press installed in the mashtun, something that would probably not have an acceptable ROI and would be prone to break.

Rather than worry about squeezing your steeped grains, why not focus on mini-mashing and just forget about the topic entirely? :wink: [/quote]

Ahh! You caught my trick Question/Quote. Yes, I’m :cool: , I’m good with my methods as they continue to be honed.

Guaranteed, none of the beer available over the counter commercially (that you have to BUY) has been squeezed at any point in the production process. Promise.

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