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Ok, so I'm going to attempt my 2nd batch (same day as I bottle the first so still flying semi-blind) and will be steeping grain for the first time. Palmer's book recommends "for best flavor results, the ratio of steeping water to grain should be less than 1 gallon per pound" but doesn't elaborate on why (I see that several years ago the volume of steeping water did come up but was inconclusive). My guess is that not increasing the volume of water allows it to dissolve the more soluble sugars before the tannins and by limiting the water volume the tannins are less likely to leach into the wort, is this the theory? In normal practice does it matter much? I'll probably go for a 1 gal/ 1lb ratio just to be safe. Thoughts?

Here's my recipe (previously shared but now have the ingredients so a little more set in stone):

11 lb LME
1 lb 60L
.5 lb Black Patent
.5 lb Roasted Barley
1oz 13.2% Galena for 65 min
1oz 7.7% Perle for 65 min (on hand, after I got home decided the Galena may not be enough given the amount of malt)
1oz 4.2% Fuggles at 20 min

I intend to steep the grain for 30 min at 160º, top off to 3 gallons and add about half the LME for the boil and add the balance of LME with about 15 min to go so I get better utilization of the hops. At about 5 minutes I'll add some Irish Moss at the suggestion of my LHBS. Icebath to cool to <80 and then top off with water to get to 5.5 gallons or so in to ferment. Will primary in a bucket pitching 22g of Windsor Ale Yeast and rack to a 5 gal carboy for secondary before bottling. I'm thinking I may rack once the yeast seems to have slowed down a bit but not wait too long (maybe 3-4 days) and then leave in secondary for 3-4 weeks prior to bottling (unless life gets in the way in which case it should be longer-probably to the benefit of the beer). Both fermentations will be around 72%.. not getting any cooler in FL this time of year.

I welcome any constructive criticism... I think it will work and am not trying to win contests, just trying to make a heavy Stout I can share with friends without embarrassment.


FoolNBlue (Enjoying reading the archives... up to about 2005 now)
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