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When to steep specialty grains


I know this might have an obvious answer… But do I put the grains in as soon as I turn the flame on the pot? Today I made my second batch of beer ever. I’m not sure how it will end up :frowning:

I turned the pot on (Huge stove burner), unpacked the kit and putting remaining water in the freezer. I then started steeping my specialty grains. Next I check the temperature and it was already 170F!!! I panicked and by the time I added some ice cubs temps were nearing 180/190. I had the temps down to 170 and took out grains. I suspect temperature was over 170F when I started.

I ended up pitching at around 78F, and gravity was 1.085. I tasted wort and it tasted better than the NB Irish Red Ale.

So what do you guys think?

Thanks for your help.


The NB instructions work pretty well: put them in when you turn on the burner and take them out when the first of the following is met: 30 minutes of steeping or 170F.
If time were not an issue, I’d put them in at 150F, hold it for 30 minutes, and remove them.
The concern is that if you leave them in for hours or above 170, you’ll extract some harsh flavors. If it’s too cold or for too little time, you won’t get much flavor and color from the grains.

I like the idea of adding cold, bringing up to 150* and holding for 15-20 minutes.

NB instructions say to warm some water and steep grains. Now I know I’ll add grains right off the bat.

It looks like its fermenting quite well, lets hope its drinkable


Back when I was using extract, I tried a couple different methods. Both seemed to work equally well - I’d recommend using whichever one looks easier to you.

  1. Heat water to between 150 and 160, remove from heat, then add grains in bag and let steep for 30 minutes. Remove bag and allow to drip dry, then add extract, mix well, turn heat back on and proceed to boil.

  2. Place bag of grains in cold water, then heat until kettle hits 150. Turn off heat, leave grains for 15-20 minutes, then remove bag and allow to drip dry. Add extract, mix well, turn heat back on and proceed to boil.

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