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Steeping Specialty Grains

I was just wondering why on the brewing 101 video they say not to squeeze the bag of specialty grains. you would think that you would want all the flavor out of the bag, kind of like a tea bag. To squeeze, or not to squeeze, that is the question?

i think it has something to do with extracting harsh tannins from the husks. some gentle squeezing is probably ok. but if they put that in a 101 video and you mash the hell out of the grains and the beer comes out bad then you would be blaming them. your mileage may very and with a few batches you’ll get a feel for what works for you. :cheers:

I steep in a small amount of water(1 gallon if possible) because it provides a better PH for steeping.

Then once I hit 160 or 165 I remove the bag and I run another gallon or so of water through the bag to rinse it out. I don’t squeeze because of the tannins.

No reason not to squeeze. Tannin extraction is a pH issue, and you can’t squeeze hard enough to change the pH. It’s an old wives’ tale.

that makes more sense. must be another one of those homebrewing things that people just do because someone told them to and dont know why.

FWIW I squeeze the hell out of the bag, specialty grains and partial mash. And in doing so I have never missed a gravity target yet. In fact, generally over a point or two.

I also have given the old good squeeze to the bag with no ill effects along the line of tannin extraction.

i’ve been squeezing my specialty grains as well to no ill-effect.

small tip…get a pair of silicon oven mitts and you can squeeze all you want without scalding yourself then you can just rinse the mitts off when you’re done!

I have a sorta large rectangular, adjustable strainer that I put on the top of the brew kettle after steeping. I place the steeping bag on top and use a large glass measuring cup to press down gently to squeeze the grains. Sometimes I even rinse them with water and squeeze again before discarding.

I’m not an expert but there is probably a scientific reason why all of the kit instructions specifically say DO NOT SQUEEZE.

Just sayin… :slight_smile:

They also tell you to secondary each and every beer and the most experienced brewers here on the forum almost never do that. Go figure.

NB’s instructions don’t say anything about not squeezing your sack.

Thanks crew for all your input!! I just think it was weird that in the video they said “do not squeeze the bag” but doesn’t really say anything in the directions. On my first batch I squeezed the sack just a little, and miss the OG by a few points. On my last batch I squeezed the hell out of it and hit the OG right on the head.

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