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Home - Brewing University - Beginners Guide
Beginner's Guide To Brewing Great Beer Steep Specialty Grains

All of our ingredients kits come with a vacuum sealed package of fresh-cracked specialty grains. Specialty grains are used to add character to your beer and make it more unique. You can use specialty grains to influence the color, body, and taste of your beer.

You start off by warming up two pots of water.

  • 1 - 2 Gallons at 150° (you need just enough to cover the grains)
  • 1 Gallon at 170°

Put your Fresh-Cracked Specialty Grains into the large Muslin Bag we provide you with (Photo A), tie it shut, then add it to your 150 degree water for 30 minutes (Photo B). You may have to briefly add heat to keep the temperature at 150 degrees, but do not allow the temperature to go over 170 degrees or else you will release tannins into your beer that will affect the taste. Some recipes call for more grain than others.

After 30 minutes, lift the grains out of the water (Photo C) and use the 170 degree water to rinse ("sparge") the grains (Photo D). You can do this by briefly dipping your bag of grains into the 170 degree water, or by slowly pouring the 170 degree water over the muslin bag into your brew kettle. However you do it, try not to splash the liquid too much as aeration of hot wort can adversely affect the taste of your beer. Also, you can gently press on the bag to get all the sweet goodness out, but don't wring it out too much as this would release tannins into the beer and hurt your product.

Once you've sparged your grain, you should have 2.5 gallons of wort. Brewers refer to unfermented beer as wort (pronounced wert). If you have less than 2.5 gallons, then add water. If you have slightly more, don't worry about it.

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A drunken man gets on the bus late one night, staggers up the aisle, and sits next to an elderly woman.

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The man jumps up out of his seat and shouts, "Man, I'm on the wrong bus!"
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