1) A vessel in which brewers steeped malt, possibly made of wood originally.
1377 2 stepyngfattes, Hackness
1438 ij plumbaria, j Stepefatt, ij Relyngfattes, Sherburn in Elmet
1522 I wytt that John Derluff, my son, have ... a stepefatt with the kylnehayres, Knaresborough. A leaden vessel with the same function was usually called a steep-lead, but not always: 1376 do et lego j stepeled Alicie, Ripon
1419 Item j stepeled 24s, Ripon
1542 Item a steyp fat of leed, Bedale
1545 on seystern of leyd for stepyng of maulte, Brettanby. In a York indenture of 1338 is a reference to ‘le Malthous with a piece of ground on which the the stepeleder is usually placed’. The editor speculated whether this was for ‘stepladder’, otherwise first recorded in 1751, but the lessee was a skinner, so it is possibly where leather was ‘steeped’.