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Another_Round

First Time Steeping Grains

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I am going to try to do my first partial mash this week.  My recipe is below:

! can Oktoberfest Vienna Lager

3/4 lb Wheat DME

3/4 lb Munich Grains

1/2 oz Sterling Hops

1/2 Tettnanger Hops

It will be a Mr. Beer size 2.5 gallon batch in the LBK.  The hops are going to be dry-hopped.

My questions is: How and when do I steep the Munich grains?  How much water do I steep them in?  How long?  I read somewhere it should be at 155 degrees, is that correct?  Do I steep the grains, remove from heat, then add the Oktoberfest Vienna Lager, Wheat DME etc.  Thanks in advance for any help!

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Lots of posts on steeping.  In general, you use a 4 - 6 cups (1 - 1.5 quarts) of water for your steep - it doesn't matter much.  People steep from 20 - 40 minutes.  I do 30.  You heat the water to about 165.  Turn off the flame, put the grains in their bag in the steep, flatten it out.  Temp should should be in the low 160s at that point.  Cover, and wait 30 minutes.

When steep is done, remove bag after letting it drain.  Add the DME, bring to a boil, remove from heat, add Oktoberfest and hops.

Dry hopping gives  you aroma, no bitterness or flavor.

Oh, a Mr. Beer batch is 2.13 gallons.  You can do a 2.5 gallon batch, but that would dilute things more than intended.  You can download QBrew from www.screwybrewer.com and see the results by changing the batch size.

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RickBeer's tips are good.  This will be a very valuable learning experience that can expand your brewing in many ways.  I'll add one note:  it's not clear what you mean my "Munich grains".   CaraMunich is a caramel malt, which can be simply steeped.  Munich malt is a highly kilned base grain that is best mashed, so if you're using Munich you'll actually doing a partial mash.  Don't worry, with good temperature control and enough mash time, the steeping process works for a partial mash.  The temperatures discussed above are fine at the start of the mash step, then let the process go for 40 minutes.  Enjoy!

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Thanks a lot to both you!  I brewed it up yesterday and it looks good.  I guess I'll find out if it truly worked in a few months.  

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Foothiller raises a key point here.  I see this batch is already completed, but for future batches, the distinction between base grains that should be mashed and specialty grains that should be steeped is very important.  Since you never did specify if your Munich grain was a base or specialty, I'm still not sure that you are aware of the distinction.  Anyway, in this case, no harm would be done, simply not achieving the full potential of the grain is about the worst that would happen here.  If the amount of the grain was large enough to make a significant difference in the overall gravity of the brew, then it would be an issue. 

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One more key is make sure that you do not exceed 170 while steeping/mashing as you will then extract tannins from the grains.  I tend to try and start around 160F and do not worry about the temp unless it falls below 155F for steeping.

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