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Old 01-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
sentfromspain
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Default Congress/Ramp mash?

Is there a guide for making a congress mash? I have also seen it referred to as a ramp mash.

I ask as I am a little disappointed with the efficiency results of a BIAB, and adding more grain to the mash - while being a quick solution - doesn't permit me to predict the OG with new recipes.

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Old 01-09-2012, 09:54 PM   #2
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Are you referring to a ramped infusion mash?

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Old 01-09-2012, 10:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sentfromspain View Post
Is there a guide for making a congress mash?.
Yes. It's in the ASBC's MOAs and, of course the EBC's Analytica. Before I go look it up for you, which I can't do at the moment, let's make sure that you really want this. It is used only in the laboratory (well, it's intended to be used in the laboratory) to standardize determination of the amount of extract potentially available from samples of malt.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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There's info in How To Brew if I remember...

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Old 01-10-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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Is it really that difficult or technical? Because as I understand it, the use of this kind of mash is to take advantage of the potential sugars in the grain. And generally the process is to start the grain out at a certain temperature, and slowly raise that temperature to a maximum, and let sit. While I am obviously not a lab, my equipment has exact temperature control and I would like to be able to standardize my mashes.

At this moment, my BIAB gravities tend to be between 10 and 20 points below what it should be. And we are talking about beers that should have an OG of 1.060 or 1.055 and doing 90 minute mashes. The most likely problem is the water, but as I can't change the water, and materials to change the ph/characteristics of the water are not available in my area, the best solution is to try a different mash.

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Old 01-10-2012, 08:39 AM   #6
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You can't buy reverse osmosis water from a vending machine?

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Old 01-10-2012, 12:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sentfromspain View Post
Is it really that difficult or technical? Because as I understand it, the use of this kind of mash is to take advantage of the potential sugars in the grain. And generally the process is to start the grain out at a certain temperature, and slowly raise that temperature to a maximum, and let sit. While I am obviously not a lab, my equipment has exact temperature control and I would like to be able to standardize my mashes.
It is intended to bring out the most extract because it is part of an analytical procedure that in intended to determine the extract potential of the malt being tested. Because of this much of the procedure is concerned with getting the grinds (coarse and find grind analyses are done), on precise weighing of sample, quantitative transfer of liquids and so on. The temperature profile itself is not that elaborate: Mash in 50 grams malt sample with 200 mL DI water to achieve a strike temperature of 45 °C (113 °F) and hold for 30 minutes. Then raise temperature 1 °C/min until 70 °C (158 °F) is reached. Add 100 ML DI water at 70 - 71 °C and hold at 70 °C for 1 hour. At the end of the hour the mash is cooled and made up to 450 grams, filtered and the extract of the filtrate determined. This is what os reported as the fine grind or coarse grind extract depending on which grinding protocol was carried out on the sample.

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The most likely problem is the water, but as I can't change the water, and materials to change the ph/characteristics of the water are not available in my area, the best solution is to try a different mash.
I thought Tiburon was just across the bay from San Francisco.

It is not likely that water is responsible. For it to be so the alkalinity would have to be much more alkaline than my recollections of what the water is like in the Bay area. The first thing I'd look at is the grind. I don't know anything about BIAB but the second thing I'd look at is wort separation. The very term BIAB suggests that sparging may be less than optimum.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:27 PM   #8
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My hometown is in Tiburon and it is across from San Francisco, but I live in Spain at the moment. We use well water, which I boil and let sit overnight before using.

So if I have a hefe, using 5lb of wheat malt (2 SRM), 4lb of pilsen 2 row (2 SRM), .35 lb of munich malt (9 SRM), mash and mix for 90 minutes at 67 C (152/153 F), bring up to 77 C (177 F) and let rest for 10 minutes, take out the grain bag, allow to drain, dip, and allow to drain again.... and my OG after boiling for 90 minutes is 1.038 instead of 1.052, what would you suggest that could improve my efficiency?

The reason why a congress mash sounded better was that it would cook the grain at various different temperatures, activating as many enzymes as possible... while still using the BIAB method

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Old 01-10-2012, 02:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sentfromspain View Post
My hometown is in Tiburon and it is across from San Francisco, but I live in Spain at the moment.
Across the bay, across the pond....

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Originally Posted by sentfromspain View Post
We use well water, which I boil and let sit overnight before using.
Does it drop a precipitate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sentfromspain View Post
So if I have a hefe, using 5lb of wheat malt (2 SRM), 4lb of pilsen 2 row (2 SRM), .35 lb of munich malt (9 SRM), mash and mix for 90 minutes at 67 C (152/153 F), bring up to 77 C (177 F) and let rest for 10 minutes, take out the grain bag, allow to drain, dip, and allow to drain again.... and my OG after boiling for 90 minutes is 1.038 instead of 1.052, what would you suggest that could improve my efficiency?
As I indicated I am not familiar with BIAB but I gather you put the grains in a bag, lower that into a pot of hot water and control the water through the various steps while kneading the bag to mix things up and then draining the bag back into the pot. Correct me if I've got any thing wrong here.

As I said last time, the first thing I would look at is the grind. An overly coarse grind will reduce efficiency in any mashing scheme as the liquid cannot get to the interior of large chunks of starch. Second, if I'm interpreting correctly you drain the bag, then dip it back into the liquid you just drained. I imagine that would leave a lot of extract behind. An easy check on this would be to dip into a volume of hot water after the first drain and then drain for the second time into the hot water pot. Check the gravity of the second draining. Divide the points by 4. That's the amount of extract by weight in the second drainings. E.G. the second drainings read 1.024 on the hydrometer. They are 6 % extract by weight. Each liter would contain about 60 grams of extract.

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The reason why a congress mash sounded better was that it would cook the grain at various different temperatures, activating as many enzymes as possible... while still using the BIAB method
A protein rest might be a good idea as wheat mashes tend to be viscous if you don't do them and high wort viscosity could slow draining. But 90 min at saccharification temperature should convert most of what is convertible.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:03 PM   #10
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drop precipitate?

you got the idea behind BIAB right.

The grind seems ok to me, but no way I can check really. Thing is though, the gravity difference is there in my stout, lager, and american brown recipes as well. Not sure what a protein rest would do, most people seem to be against the idea. Maybe my best shot to improve the efficiency would be to:
1) bring the water up to 74C
2) drain some of the water out into a cooler
3) drop in the grain bag (brings the heat down to 67 thereabouts)
4) cook and stir bag at 67C for 90 minutes
5) bring heat up to 77C and cut power, letting the bag sit for 10 minutes
6) drain and squeeze bag
7) dip bag in cooler of water (the water would still be quite hot I'm sure)
8) drain and squeeze bag
9) repeat dipping/draining
10) return cooler water to brewing kettle

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