Extract Brewing Basics
500bbl Brewhouse
Steeping Specialty Malts
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Steeping Specialty Malts

What is steeping? Steeping is the process of crushing grain and adding to hot water to draw flavor and color out of the specialty malt. For best results steep at 150° F to 170° F and "dunk" or somehow agitate the grain and water to improve the extraction. Steep for about 30 minutes.


What malts can be steeped? It is not recommended to steep Base Malts, Pale Ale Malt, Munich Malts or other malts with a mealy endosperm because starch could be extracted which would interfere later in the brewing process. These malts need to be partial mashed or mashed, which activates the malt enzymes and converts the grain starches into fermentable sugars.


Briess malts suitable for steeping include:

  • Carapils® Malt (a unique dextrine malt different than other dextrine malts on the market)
  • Victory® Malt
  • Special Roast Malt
  • Extra Special Malt
  • All Caramel Malts (Crystal Malts)
  • All Dark Roasted Malts
  • All Roasted Barley

The simple technique of steeping malts makes it possible for extract brewers to brew virtually an unlimited variety of beer styles. Put the crushed grains in cheesecloth, a nylon stocking or any fine mesh material to make it easier to separate the spent grains from the wort:

  1. Fasten your mesh bag with a string, clothespin or chips clip.
  2. Fill a stainless steel pot about one-half to two-thirds full of water. Heat the water to 150F - 170F. Turn off the heat.
  3. Put the bag in the hot water and steep for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the bag from the water.
  5. Sparge the remaining flavor and color from grains in the bag. To do this, put the bag in a strainer, hold the strainer over the pot and pour hot water over the bag of grains.
  6. Begin the basic extract brewing process using the flavored water.

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Steeping grains using tea bag method.

Sparging with hot water.