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Old 11-14-2012, 05:20 PM   #41
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I'm getting so excited for my electric system! Sounds like a great upgrade. I need to set up a reminder to buy some 10-3 for the elements at the hardware tonight. Come on, Menards gift Cards!

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:03 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by cscade View Post
Just to throw in a data point here;

I do a Wit in my HERMS, which is a single 220V 5500W element.
I run a step from 122F to 154F, which takes almost exactly 30 minutes to rise. That's with a 16.12lb grist at 1.5 qt/lb, recirculating with a march pump wide open the whole time. The beer turns out fantastic.
and I should have said.... I am not saying I have proven a long rise to produce bad beer. But for me, if I am a step guy, I want my steps to happen within 10 minutes or so max. That means my entire mash volume is at my step temp within 10 minutes from rise (not jsut the exiting wort from the herms coil). This is just a made up expectation of mine. To me personally a brew day that adds another hour or more in step times isn't ideal. I also have the main goal of providing a steady temp to favor enzymes in the step, not across a 30 minute ramp. I am not sure how the RIMS handle it timewise, but general understanding is that the RIMS is faster to step.

Thanks for the solid numbers cscade.

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Cidah can you highlight the steps you go through to do your step mash on the witbier?

for my step mash with the wit I have near boiling water going in my BK. So I mash at thick, say 1qt/ lb mash or so for the first rest (113). Once I give that five minutes I use beer smith to approximate how much volume of 212 to add to step up to 144F (the second step).

So basically I work it like a decoction, without grain.

1: 113F for 5 mins by adding strike water as per beersmith (recirc)
2: 144F for 20 - (stop recirc) adding 212F water as per beersmith to achieve next step, I add steady and stir constantly so as to cool down the 212F quickly and heat up the mash volume to minimize denaturing of the enzymes. Once I am at the step (2-5 minutes to do this), I start recirculation again through he herms coil.
3. for the next step I usually just ramp up my HLT since the increase is about 10 degrees or so and I don't want to thin the mash out too much more.

If the step is small, you can ramp up, but your mash volume takes a long time to become what you are getting on wort exiting your HLT coil. i.e. your HLT gets to temp, then you have easily 60lbs+ of water and grain in your mash to heat up by running a it through the herms coil. If you temp your mash in several spots you will see what I mean. One spot will me the hotter inflow from the coil (144F) and the other parts of the mash will be like 133F or whatever depending on how long the ramping has been going on.

Again, this may not make any difference. But my understanding is that enzymes did best (produced teh desired mash characteristic) when they were held constantly at a certain temperature, not ramped. I don't sweat it too much because I brew the wit 1-3 times a year. But like I said, doable, but not ideal for step mashing IMO.

I have tried overheating the herms water to speed up things, but it doesn't work was fast as adding hot water to the mash directly.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:35 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cscade View Post
Just to throw in a data point here;

I do a Wit in my HERMS, which is a single 220V 5500W element.
I run a step from 122F to 154F, which takes almost exactly 30 minutes to rise. That's with a 16.12lb grist at 1.5 qt/lb, recirculating with a march pump wide open the whole time. The beer turns out fantastic.
I was considering doing this with a beer. No beer in particular. Just mash in low and ramp through the entire range. What would be any downside? It seems to work for your Wit.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:39 PM   #44
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usually we pick a mash temp to determine the amount of fermentables vs mouthfeel. depending on how quickly you ramp, you'll get more of one than the other. to some degree you'll basically activate just about every enzime available to you during the mash. but since you're going through them in sequence and there's only a set amount of stuff to break down, you'll probably still end up with thinner mouthfeel and more fermentables.

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Old 11-14-2012, 06:44 PM   #45
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usually we pick a mash temp to determine the amount of fermentables vs mouthfeel. depending on how quickly you ramp, you'll get more of one than the other. to some degree you'll basically activate just about every enzime available to you during the mash. but since you're going through them in sequence and there's only a set amount of stuff to break down, you'll probably still end up with thinner mouthfeel and more fermentables.
That makes sense as with a single infusion you avoid all the lower temps. I think the ramp would be quick enough that it would not really sit and work at any lower temps for any period of time though. I think I'll try it someday just to see what happens...
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slakwhere View Post
usually we pick a mash temp to determine the amount of fermentables vs mouthfeel. depending on how quickly you ramp, you'll get more of one than the other. to some degree you'll basically activate just about every enzime available to you during the mash. but since you're going through them in sequence and there's only a set amount of stuff to break down, you'll probably still end up with thinner mouthfeel and more fermentables.
I agree with this line of thought (why I think steps need to happen fast if you buy into doing step mashes). This is why I find step brews sort of limiting with a herms type system.

"They" say that most of your conversion will happen within the first 15 minutes of an infusion mash. So if you are stepping herms style you will be hard pressed to manipulate the mouth feel with more unfermentables since your enzymes have chewed through at the low end of the temperature range favoring a dry beer with less mouth feel. In the witbiers case this is exactly what you want anyway.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:29 PM   #47
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I agree with slakwhere & cidahmastah.

The 122F step in my wit recipe is really a protein rest, not a conversion step. I'm getting the flaked wheat and flaked oats all set to party, and then ramping through my primary saccharification rest. That's the reason I'm going straight to 154, is to try to keep the beta amylase from having too terribly much fun and killing all the mouthfeel on the slow trip there. I let the 154 rest (which is mostly alpha amylase) run for a full 60 minutes before mash-out, not because I actually need to for conversion, but because I'm going for a crystal clear wort on this beer.

I suspect that if I were to do an iodine test on this mash that I'd be seeing full conversion well before the end of the 154 rest.

If you don't need to do a low step like this for say, a protein rest, don't. It's been suggested by numerous people smarter than me that a protein rest on a mash comprised of just modern, well-modified malts is actually harmful to the quality of the finished beer. YMMV, of course.

Cheers!

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