Author Topic: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature  (Read 15411 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« on: July 18, 2009, 10:45:38 AM »
While cruising through some mags looking for a particular article -- I looked through a readers letter section in a Zymurgy Beginning Brewing magazine (printed last year).

The letter was referencing a bitter tastes in his home brew. In the response it was mentioned that you should never steep above 150deg or you may get astringency in your brew.

I often see references to steeping as high as 160-170deg --- and one method is to start with cold water and steep until you hit 180deg.

I routinely steep above 150deg --- and some of my brews have had some unpleasant bitterness. This has been mostly removed by letting the bottles condition for 6 weeks or more.

Any comments  or enlightenment on this ? Thanks
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 09:01:38 PM »
If you are strictly steeping, and not partial mashing, then that would be only crystals and dark stuff like roasted, chocolate, black, etc., that don't need mashing, correct?  Perhaps if steeped too hot they leach bitterness and/or tannins, similar to sparging too hot.  I usually see 150-155F recommended for steeping, which also works for mini-mashing if you wanted to add some Munich or Vienna or base for character. 

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 11:48:32 PM »
Yes after snooping around - re-reading a few book sections on steeping I'm settling on 150-155deg for 30min.

The old Joy of Brewing mentions steeping the grains in the brew pot from cold until it starts to boil

The LBS I use recommends steeping in the brew pot with cold water until 180deg (similar to Papazian)

Palmers latest edition indicates 150-16deg for 30min

Dave Millers Complete Book of Home Brewing indicates 155deg and notes that steeping at higher temps to boiling will remove tannins and cause some leaching which can cause puckery effects.


As usual it in the details - one more refinement to the process
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Brew Daddy 723

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009, 04:44:59 PM »
I usually heat my water to 160 degrees, then remove from heat, add the grains, and cover. This keeps the water comfortably between 150-160 (right around the recipes I am using from Beer Captured) for 30 minutes in a good pot that holds heat.

I tried keeping it on a real low heat on my last batch and after chasing after my 2 year old I realized it had creeped up to 180+ degrees. I have seen several nots of leaching tannins and increased astringency, but I haven't seen any corrective action suggestions.

I was planning on adding some gelatin finings which should help settle out some tannins. Any suggestions?

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2009, 06:48:35 AM »
While cruising through some mags looking for a particular article -- I looked through a readers letter section in a Zymurgy Beginning Brewing magazine (printed last year).

The letter was referencing a bitter tastes in his home brew. In the response it was mentioned that you should never steep above 150deg or you may get astringency in your brew.
If I remember right there was a correction in the next issue that changed that number to 170deg which falls in line with what we know and understand.

Cheers
Preston
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2009, 07:54:23 AM »
Anyone ever read anything factual about why 170F is regarded the upper limit for steeping or infusion mashing, but when doing a decoction mash we can boil (212F) one-third of the mash for 30 minutes?  That has always puzzled me.  Why no tannin extraction when boiling?

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 11:51:44 AM »
Let me preface this with: The following is my own thoughts/experiences based on what I have found to be true.
*********************(I hate disclaimers)*********************

I'm with you! I have done Decoctions with no ill effects affects. Even to the point of a triple decoction which took all of 10 hours.

So I don't have an answer, and have even commented asking the same question.

Sorry No Answers Here!

My personal thoughts are that it is a self propagated myth! Based on the "What if I'm wrong" factor... And so it keeps going on and on...

Or:
That boiling takes the grains above the range of tannin extraction.

My 2c.

Cheers
Preston
« Last Edit: July 28, 2009, 11:56:21 AM by UselessBrewing »
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Mij

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2009, 06:44:57 AM »
That's a great question - I've "re-posted" it on the BN Forums (giving credit where credit is due!) to see if JZ, John Palmer, etc might take a look/have an idea...

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16137&start=0

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2009, 06:57:01 AM »
I will keep watch over that one and see what turns up.

Thanks for that!

Cheers

Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2009, 03:24:11 PM »
PH & Heat is why!
Totally drew a blank on that one for some reason. As soon as they said it, the light went off. Guess I need to crack open the basic brewing book again for a refresher! I blame it on old age and not enough good beer! :P

What else don't I remember.  :o   Hmmmm.......

Cheers
Preston

The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Maximum Grain Steeping Temperature
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2009, 11:56:23 PM »
Great info - for steeping I now use around 1gal and steep 150 - 160deg for 30min. The tea is then strained thru the grain bag into the brew pot that has 2 gallons of water at around 165deg. I set my boil volume to 3.5gal and head to boiling.
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

 

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