Steeping Question

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Is there a correct ratio of  lbs. of grain to gal of water when steeping?
I've read no more then 1 lb. of grain per gallon of water.  Using specialty
grains I typically use 1 to 3 pounds which would call for 1 - 3 gal. of
water.  in a 10 gal. pot 1 gal. barley covers the bottom, not enough to wet
all the grains.  I've just been steeping whatever amount of grain I've got
in 6 gal., removing the grain bag and then boiling down to 5 gal.

Re: Steeping Question

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Well...  if you use a ratio around 1 qt water / 1 lb grain up to
something like 3 qts / 1 lb, most folks would say you are "mashing."
"Steeping" has no real upper limit of water.  If you are steeping grains
that don't need any enzyme converstion (mashing), then it won't matter.

If the grains need conversion, then it needs to be pretty thick.  Grains
that definitely need conversion would be those like Pale/Pilsner Malt,
Munich Malt, Vienna Malt, etc.  Crystal malts don't need mashing.

The definition of these terms and such is almost a religious area of

Re: Steeping Question

On Fri, 05 Aug 2005 22:24:22 -0000, Derric

 If you are steeping grains
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I'm afraid I'll have to disagree.  Grains tend to acidify water, but
too much H2O and you'll likely have it too alkaline, which could
extract undesirable tannins from them.  See Al Korzonas' Homebrewing
Vol. 1. p.91.  He suggests the 1lb/gal ratio.  Also cautions against
rinsing (and I would add, squeezing) the bag of grains, as doing so
can also result in leeching of astringent tannins.  Also says not to
exceed 170F and one-half hour for steeping.

Happy brewing.

Re: Steeping Question

On Fri, 5 Aug 2005 15:54:18 -0500, "Bret Baggett"

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I had another thought since my first answer.  I was trying to
visualize why the gal. of water would barely cover the grains, then I
realized you're using a bag, which gives some vertical dimension to
the grains, and the pot is so large that the vol. of water doesn't
come up to the height of the grains.  Am I right about this?  If so, I
would suggest using a smaller capacity pot for steeping.

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