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Steeping is a simple process in which cracked grain (usually a speciality grain) is steeped (soaked) in water for 20-30 minutes to extract flavour, colour and sugars from the grain. Steeping is different to mashing, the temperature is not so important, what is important is to keep it below 76c/170F (higher than this can extract unwanted flavours). There is really no need to keep heating to maintain this temperature during the steep, just add the grains, stir, cover and leave for 30 minutes. After steeping the grain should be strained, rinsed and the resulting 'tea' should be boiled for 15 minutes to sanitise before being added to the fermenter.

A more modern alternative is the cold steep, this is where the cracked grain is added to cold water, covered and placed in a fridge overnight. After steeping the grain should be strained from the 'tea', rinsed and boiled for 15 minutes to sanitise before being added to the fermenter.

 

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