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Old 03-20-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
rinhaak
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Default Infusion vs Step Mash

Not sure if this thread would be better in the "All Grain Mash" section, but I thought I'd pick the brains of the scientists amongst us.

I'm brewing an all-grain tripel this weekend. I've only brewed about 5 or 6 all grain beers so far (a recent convert from extract), so I'm still a novice. However, for all of my earlier beers, I used a step mash. In BLAM, however, Stan suggests using a single infusion mash at 146° for Belgian ales. Why? What would this do? What's the advantages either way?

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Old 03-20-2012, 03:32 PM   #2
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Mainly, fermentability of the wort. Belgians are typically quite dry.

Mashing lower favors beta amylase which favors maltose production, whereas mashing higher favors alpha amylase which makes more dextrins and longer-chain sugars that aren't as readily fermentable.

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Old 03-20-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rinhaak View Post
Not sure if this thread would be better in the "All Grain Mash" section, but I thought I'd pick the brains of the scientists amongst us.

I'm brewing an all-grain tripel this weekend. I've only brewed about 5 or 6 all grain beers so far (a recent convert from extract), so I'm still a novice. However, for all of my earlier beers, I used a step mash. In BLAM, however, Stan suggests using a single infusion mash at 146° for Belgian ales. Why? What would this do? What's the advantages either way?
I don't believe he actually recommends that. If I remember correctly, he quotes someone stating that if you're doing a single infusion mash you should probably do it at 146 and not mash out at all. Anyways, the reason for the 146 temp is what Ty said.
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:57 AM   #4
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On page 222, in the "What Works" section, he write: "Mash for attenuation. Use a single-infusion mash between 146 and 149° F or consider a step mash such as at Ommegang. However, remember there is a chance with highly modified malts that a step mash (the protein rest, specifically) may degrade proteins too much and can cause a loss of body and head. With beers that have some sugar in them, the danger is greater."

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Old 03-21-2012, 03:32 AM   #5
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On page 222, in the "What Works" section, he write: "Mash for attenuation. Use a single-infusion mash between 146 and 149° F or consider a step mash such as at Ommegang. However, remember there is a chance with highly modified malts that a step mash (the protein rest, specifically) may degrade proteins too much and can cause a loss of body and head. With beers that have some sugar in them, the danger is greater."
First, a step mash doesn't have to include a protein rest. I don't know if Ommegang does one or not. However, he's not saying that you shouldn't do a step mash for a Belgian-style beer, he's just saying that if you do a single infusion mash it should be in the 146-149 range. Obviously Ommegang, who produce great Belgian beers, successfully do a step mash.
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:59 AM   #6
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True enough (and I've only ever used step before). it seemed, though, that he was favoring single infusion.

Regardless, which method do you think would produce a better tripel? A single mash at 146°, or a step?

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Old 03-21-2012, 04:14 AM   #7
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True enough (and I've only ever used step before). it seemed, though, that he was favoring single infusion.

Regardless, which method do you think would produce a better tripel? A single mash at 146°, or a step?
I can't really say, as I've always done single infusion mashes. If I remember BLAM correctly, the monks use a step mash, though.
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