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Looking at the process for steeping grains I see that it omits a vorlauf. Would crushing steeping grains in the same way as mashing grains produce too much fine particulate? Should wort from steeping grains be filtered in a process like vorlauf (either in purpose or practice)?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

When you steep your grains the main goal is to extract mainly color and flavor from the grain, a bonus of the process is you will get some starch conversion to sugar. In order to extract the color and flavor the grain does need to be crushed in the same manor as an all grain mash. I believe that due to the relatively small amount of specialty grains typically used that a vorlauf/sparge is not necessary and overkill for a pound of grain. You can always reduce the amount of small particulates by shaking the steeping bag out before adding to the water.

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And you should use the same amount of water for steeping as you would for mashing to avoid potential tannin extraction due to pH. The grain has a natural tendency to reduce the pH of your water. The darker the grain, the more it will drop pH. pH, not temp, is the #1 culprit in tannin extraction, so if you use too much water the grain won't be able to overcome it. You should steep using no more than 2 qt. water/lb. of grain.

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