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Old 05-21-2008, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default step mash vs. infusion???

i was wondering if some of you "advanced" brewers could offer your opinion on step vs. infusion mashing. i am fairly new to AG and i try to read as much as i can about it. in the back of the book The Joy of Homebrewing are some recipes. everyone of them says to step mash??? is this necessary? are the real benefits to doing this process? the bottom line is will it make a
"better" beer? cannot wait to hear your thoughts.



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Old 05-21-2008, 04:36 PM   #2
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For what it's worth, I get much better efficiency from step mashes (80% as opposed to 70%). I think the protein rest helps to solubilize the enzymes, and the constant stirring up to the saccharification rest and then up to the mash out temp really help. That said, the multi step infusion mashes aren't strictly required for most commercial malts. If you're using a significant portion of adjuncts (corn, rice, wheat), then your beer will benefit from a protein rest, but again, it's not strictly required. I hope that helps....



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Old 05-21-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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Can’t a infusion mash be a step mash by "infusing" close to boiling water to increase the mash temperature for each step?
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Old 05-21-2008, 05:06 PM   #4
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I thought a step mash simply meant more than one temperature rest. A step mash could be infusion, direct fire, or decoction. I haven't found a protein rest increases efficiency any noticeable amount but it does seem to help with chill haze and contrary to what I've read it doesn't seem to hurt head retention. If you really want to experiment there are multiple protease enzymes just like alpha and beta amylase enzymes each having a different effect on the mash, I think John Palmer's site / book has good info on this.

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Old 05-21-2008, 10:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1v1116 View Post
I thought a step mash simply meant more than one temperature rest. A step mash could be infusion, direct fire, or decoction. I haven't found a protein rest increases efficiency any noticeable amount but it does seem to help with chill haze and contrary to what I've read it doesn't seem to hurt head retention. If you really want to experiment there are multiple protease enzymes just like alpha and beta amylase enzymes each having a different effect on the mash, I think John Palmer's site / book has good info on this.
This is correct. step mash just means multiple temperature rests before you mash out. could be infusion, direct fired or a decoction.

for the record, a TON of us started with a simple single infusion, batch sparge.
I heard the Joy of Homebrewing is big on step mashes...

Palmer's book on the other hand seems to make more judicious use of stepping vs. single infusion.
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Old 07-09-2008, 10:24 PM   #6
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Wouldn't a step mash benefit a Hefeweizen-style beer?

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Old 07-09-2008, 10:39 PM   #7
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You have to realize that Papazian came up in a era of questionable malt supply which explains why his recommendation is step mashing. In just starting AG, stick with single infusion, single rest temp mashes and you'll be fine.

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Old 07-26-2008, 02:30 PM   #8
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Default Step or Infusion?

I was looking at Chuck's book Homebrewer's Gold. I'd say half the recipes are step mashes. Its a dated book 1996.

Bobby are you saying the maltsters are turning out better quality malt now?

I've stayed away from step mashing myself since I mash in a cooler. Every once in awhile I consider doing the pressure cooker w/steam infusions or trying the boiled water method.

Can most of those stepped recipes now be made with a single step mash?

When do you think its advised to step mash?

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Old 07-26-2008, 02:38 PM   #9
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From the start of my AG experience I was doing step mashses. Mostly because during my pre-AG days all my research pointed to the 153 - 168 - 170 process. So mash in at 153 (or whatever your mash temp is) rest for 15mins at 168, sparge at 170. I cant say why this is the only way I have ever done it, but I get 78% eff and im ok with that.

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Old 07-26-2008, 08:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SporkD2 View Post
From the start of my AG experience I was doing step mashses. Mostly because during my pre-AG days all my research pointed to the 153 - 168 - 170 process. So mash in at 153 (or whatever your mash temp is) rest for 15mins at 168, sparge at 170. I cant say why this is the only way I have ever done it, but I get 78% eff and im ok with that.
I did something like that by accident, I had a hard time keeping my stove temp steady, anyhow, by the iodine test, my wort did not turn black or purple. Was I succesful?


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