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Old 01-10-2006, 08:54 PM   #1
JRoche00
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Default 15 minute mash

Hey all,

I was listening to some Archives of my favorite beer radio show, The Brewing Network (http://thebrewingnetwork.com/) and there was an interview with the head brewer from TitleTown Brewery in Green Bay, WI.

He said that by using a wide and shallow mash bed as opposed to the tall compact design used by many homebrewers water cooler setups (myself included), you could achieve full mash in 15 minutes!

Apparently the guy does this now and swears by it. I use 60 minute mash on pretty much anything, and find this hard to swallow... but then again, I'm not a professional brewer (by any means).

Anyone had any experience with a shallow mash bed and these kinds of decreased mash times? I think I may give it a try with a giant tailgate cooler... 15 minutes??? Seriously?

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Old 01-10-2006, 09:14 PM   #2
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I've read about this type of thing before. Interesting, but I have my reservations. I doubt it would work for homebrewers - I'd think you need an awfully large mash tun to make it work.

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Old 01-10-2006, 09:32 PM   #3
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A local brewpub that I frequent actually does a 10 minute mash and 90 minute sparge. Makes good beer as well. He believes he gets less husk flavors this way but doesn't reduce his time that much. I never asked him if his grain bed is shallower than when he did longer rests. I suspect not based on his mash vessels. Did they comment if they extended their sparge time?

I've "contemplated" giving it a try but just can't get myself to tempt fate...

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Old 01-10-2006, 09:34 PM   #4
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I wonder what the depth of the grain bed is.
I guess it will only work if you are fly sparging rather than batch sparging.


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Old 01-10-2006, 09:49 PM   #5
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Default Well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRoche00
Hey all,

He said that by using a wide and shallow mash bed as opposed to the tall compact design used by many homebrewers water cooler setups (myself included), you could achieve full mash in 15 minutes!

Apparently the guy does this now and swears by it. I use 60 minute mash on pretty much anything, and find this hard to swallow... but then again, I'm not a professional brewer (by any means).

Anyone had any experience with a shallow mash bed and these kinds of decreased mash times? I think I may give it a try with a giant tailgate cooler... 15 minutes??? Seriously?
Hmm...enzyme kinetics are independent of the vessel size and shape. It is dependent on the concentration of substrate and the enzyme. 15 min mashes are possible in any shape cooler there is a vast excess of enzymes in todays grains. I've seen full conversion via iodine test in 15 minutes or less while doing decoction, in a 5 gal water cooler, and in a square cooler. Now I didn't use a spectrophotometer so there may have been some unconverted starch but since I did them all the same it doesn't really matter.

Now in theory it may be easier to get a lower water:girst ratio in different shape vessels but most people use about the same ratio. Also that would mean that concentration would be differnt and not directly due to vessel shape.

-Eric
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Old 01-10-2006, 10:46 PM   #6
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I believe it was a 20-30 minute sparge time. I would have to re-listen to the podcast, but if I remember correctly I believe he had said that a shallow bed allows more constant temperatures throughout the mash, less husk and tannin flavoring, and greater efficiency.

Again, I have not tried it, nor am I a science whiz (in fact, my motto when brewing is... "It's ok, it's not an exact science.") but it sounds like an interesting point. I plan on trying it out and will let everyone know my results.

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Old 01-10-2006, 11:06 PM   #7
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I've heard that conversion often does only take 15 minutes or so and the hour or more recommended for home brewing is really just "To make sure". I stick to an hour because it allows me time to weigh out my hops and set up for sparging, but I suspect that some scientific testing of the mash (perhaps a little more exact than the standard starch end point test) would yield some surprising results - especially with today's malts.

And re the "Wide and shallow" grain bed, how shallow is "Shallow"? With home brew grain bills "Shallow" would be an inch or two, but with in a commercial process "Shallow" could still mean a grain bed several feet deep. There's a vast difference - especially when we consider temp control issues.

It's all interesting stuff though!

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Old 01-10-2006, 11:19 PM   #8
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I couldn't possibly mash in 15 minutes. I wouldn't be well enough lubricated to complete the rest of the brew

-a.

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Old 01-10-2006, 11:54 PM   #9
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First, 15 minutes can indeed fully convert modern 2-row malt. I believe that the shallow grain bed being better issue is more for decreasing the sparge time. Deeper grain beds require slower sparges to minimize channeling. Shallower grain beds simply have less vertical distance so less chance of channeling. At least that was my take on it.
Steve
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Old 01-11-2006, 01:55 AM   #10
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I suspect a shallow mash for a professional brewer would be a foot or so. The few pro mash tuns I've been in have been two to five feet deep. My mashes are rarely over 6 inches.

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