Author Topic: Trouble in the steeping pot  (Read 7805 times)

Rushman

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Trouble in the steeping pot
« on: February 12, 2006, 11:53:47 PM »
I am having a problem understanding the mechanics of steeping my grain. I bought a corn mill and got it set up to crack the grain just perfect. The problem is after I get it in the water. So far I have tried putting it in the small bags and that works it you are only doing one pound. I tried doing 3 pounds and was able to strain it ok. I want to do at least 10 pounds and that is where the problem comes in. I have a SS pot I made many years ago. It was for putting small parts in a parts washer. The bottom has a plate that has about a million 1/8” holes in it. Dump your parts in, set it in the washer then pick it up and drain. That was what I was trying to do with the grain. I put 6 pounds in it and steeped it for an hour. I got some water from it when I lifted it out but was disappointed that it would not drain. I took a lid and pressed down on it with not much luck. I even dipped out some and tried to press it into a smaller strainer with not much luck. I feel like there was a lot of water left in it to extract because it was still heavy. I am considering putting in smaller amounts…say 2 pounds and steep for about 20 minutes and straining them. I know it will drain then. Can I buy something to process my grain in? Not much interested in the ice cooler method, but would do it if I had to. Does anyone know of a web site where I could see a picture of the equipment needed?    

Offline bonjour

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2006, 06:57:43 AM »
If you are indeed "Steeping" 10 pounds of grain I would estimate that you are brewing 20-50+ gallons of beer.  For 5-10 gallon batches you do not need to "Steep" that much grain.

If you want to use that much grain, including an appropiate mix of base malts, either a mini-mash or a full mash is called for.  For this much malt having a mash and lauter tun of sufficient size is required.

The cooler with a circular braid or false bottom is a good solution.  Many have used the bucket in a bucket solution for what you are trying to do.

Fred

Rushman

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2006, 08:12:07 AM »
Almost 6 pounds was what I had in the steep. How many pounds do you think it would take when Muntons makes a 3.3 can of extract? Getting more confused by the minute.

Rushman

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2006, 08:24:05 AM »
Fred..I just looked at the Beersmith home page on the Recp. section. Alot of All Grain have 8 to 10 # of grain used. I guess that was what I was working toward....really confused now.

Thanks
JJ

Offline bonjour

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2006, 04:05:03 PM »
That is the point I was trying to make.  That using that much grain you should be looking at all-grain.  Steeping is to put flavor, not fermentable, into grain.  Figure .5 - 1.5 pounds ROT (nothing "wrong" with going over/under these values) for steeping.

Partial-mash/mini-mash are used to add both fermentables and flavor to your beer (as is all grain).  These procedures are usually used because you, the brewer, does not have a full blown all grain (able to handle all the volumes required for AG) and typically can reach up to 5-6 pounds (depending on your setup) of grain.

I have a limit on my all grain system (5 gal) of 26-28 pounds of grain ( I brew big brews, check out Malted Bliss and Kilt Lifter in the recipe section) other AG brewers have different limits.


Does this help?  Do you have any other questions? or did I muddy the water too much?

Fred

Rushman

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2006, 11:52:19 PM »
I see what you mean about the amount in the steep. I am taking baby steps toward AG brewing. This weekend I am going to try it again. I am going to put 5# of cracked grain in a pot and heat to 155F. After an hour I am going to dip it out and put in in my pot with a false bottom. Let it drain for about 10 minutes while heating up more water. Take a pan with some 1/16 holes drilled in it and slowly pour water through it. This week, that is all I have to work with. I think it will depend on how my grain is cracked as to if it will drain. If it works I will do another 5 # and add the extras from a Recp. Its hard for me to see how 10# and Hops, and other flavor stuff can get to 5 to 7 %. The batch I did this weekend had 5# grain, 3.3 # Extract, 6# spray dried and 1# of a kicker malt extract.  Its OG was .72. I have made alot of mistakes over the years buying things and then finding out I should have bought "the other one"  ( my wood shop projects) I bought a Corona mill. I added washers to it and got a really tight setup on the adjustment. The grain does have some fines in it when cracked but for the most part it works well. I expect to get one of the roller types soon and buy (or make) a setup to do my grain correct. If I could see some pictures or watch it done one time it would be all down hill from there.

Thanks for the help
Johnny

Rushman

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2006, 11:56:10 PM »
Found this site with pictures. Maybe there is hopre for me after all...LOL

Rushman

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2006, 12:07:33 AM »
Fred...What is the Min and max amount of grain that you can process in a five gallon batch? Just seaking quanity only. For example if I wanted to do...say 14 # could I run enough water through it and still have the wort small enough to fit in a 5 gal. pot for boiling?

BTW..just bought a Maltmil. I'm going to get the right equipment and STOP!! the extract

rocdoc1

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2006, 10:22:42 AM »
When I started All grain, I used the 6 gallon bucket in a bucket system, with about 200 holes drilled in the bottom of the inside bucket.  I could easily mash(not steep) 12-15 pounds of grain.  Put a spigot in the outside bucket and sparge directly in the bucket and collect the wort in your boiling kettle.  The buckets, hoses and spigot should be less than $15.  I used mine for several years before I got my current 10 gallon system.

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2006, 05:52:52 PM »
Quote
Fred...What is the Min and max amount of grain that you can process in a five gallon batch? Just seaking quanity only. For example if I wanted to do...say 14 # could I run enough water through it and still have the wort small enough to fit in a 5 gal. pot for boiling?

BTW..just bought a Maltmil. I'm going to get the right equipment and STOP!! the extract

As I said earlier, it depends on your setup.

A 5 gal pot is too small though.  To brew all-grain you really need to do full volume boils.   Many use a 30 qt (7.5 gal) turkey fryer.

ROT on pot size,  BIGGER is better.   I want to get a 14-15 gal pot to do 5 gal batches.  For my monster beers I frequently boil down 9 gallons to 5.5 or 6 gallons.

Fred

Rushman

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2006, 11:53:11 PM »
Fred...Do you use the 5 gal white bucket to ferment in?

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Re: Trouble in the steeping pot
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2006, 02:59:45 AM »
I use the "Ale Pale" which is a bit larger than 5 gal (everyone refers to them as 5 gal buckets though) or usually the slightly larger (7.9 gal if I recall correctly)  Beer and Wine bucket.  

Fred