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Old 05-25-2009, 03:48 AM   #151
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Just wanted to bump this thread after trying out a thinner mash for the first time tonight. Nothing changed in my process other than mashing at 2 qt/lb. I had more doughballs than usual and did my best to get them out, but I still managed to hit my highest efficiency ever at ~80%. I had been getting consistent 70-75% on similar beers w/ the same crush, etc.

FWIW, I also batch sparge and didn't get the grain bed much above 160F even after two 190F sparges. Didn't seem to matter much apparently!

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Old 05-25-2009, 11:04 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by CharlosCarlies View Post
Just wanted to bump this thread after trying out a thinner mash for the first time tonight. Nothing changed in my process other than mashing at 2 qt/lb. I had more doughballs than usual and did my best to get them out, but I still managed to hit my highest efficiency ever at ~80%. I had been getting consistent 70-75% on similar beers w/ the same crush, etc.

FWIW, I also batch sparge and didn't get the grain bed much above 160F even after two 190F sparges. Didn't seem to matter much apparently!
In my experience, the mashout is really overrated. I could easily achieve 78% with NO mashout, so the benefit IMHO is trivial.

I am surprised that you had MORE doughballs, this is the opposite of most brewers that try this method, generally the increased water ratio thins the mash, thus making dough balls less likely.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:24 PM   #153
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I am surprised that you had MORE doughballs,
Yeah as was I. It was the first time I used all MO as the base though, and it seems at least some ppl have issues w/ MO and doughballs so that's the only thing I can think of. Either way it was MUCH easier getting said doughballs out w/ the thin mash.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:31 AM   #154
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Pol, you may want to check the first wort gravity. Should come close to what is listed in this table:



It if is there is not much more to get in terms of efficiency unless you start lautering more efficiently. But that can have quality impacts.

Kai
Hey Kai, I wanted to thank you for posting this chart, and later comments about the relationship of both conversion & lautering efficiency to total efficiency.
I'm very happy that I've kept detailed records of all my AG batches, including the first wort gravity. Using the chart I can see that:
Each time I've done a decoction (1.75 qt/#), I get within a point of the expected first wort SG.
The 3 times I did 8 hour mashes, I got 3-4 points more than expected. (I attempted this to allow brewing on week days, and I've stopped due to the resulting beers being overly attenuated).
All the rest of my barley batches have been 5-10 points lower than expected. I'd been mashing around 1.25 to allow a larger mashout volume to hit 168F, and I clearly need to try mashing at 2 qt/#.

A question that I have concerned doing hefeweizens, which I've done twice with 50/50 barley/wheat. Those two are about 15 points lower than expected. Any suggestions on what I should do differently with wheats?
For my next hefeweizen, I plan on doing an acid rest at 111F to help produce more clove flavor, so I'll use 1 qt/# to 111, and then another 1 qt/# to hit 152.
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Old 05-26-2009, 02:42 PM   #155
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For my next hefeweizen, I plan on doing an acid rest at 111F to help produce more clove flavor, so I'll use 1 qt/# to 111, and then another 1 qt/# to hit 152.
My efficiency is always 10% lower with wheat if I don't do a protein rest. I'll dough in .9 qt/lb around 122*F, stir the mash like I'm mad at it, let it rest while I heat the rest of my water for the next infusion step, and then infuse to 1.8 qt/lb or so. I then get about 95% of my yield I would get with a 100% barley mash.
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:50 PM   #156
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I do not have problems with using wheat malt which I actually use at 65 to 75% of the grist. According to Weyermann’s average analysis data the potential extract for wheat is pretty much the same as for barley malts (~80%). Have you checked the extract setting for wheat malt in the program you are using to calculate efficiency?

I mash my Weissbiers with about 2 qt/lb and use a 30 min rest at 145F and a 45 min rest at 160F.

I’m also surprised that there were more dough balls in the thin mash. You may also let the dough balls sit for 2-4 min and stir after that. Chances are that the a-amylase cut though the layer of gelatinized flour that is creating the dough balls and they break up much more easily after this rest.

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:45 PM   #157
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You may also let the dough balls sit for 2-4 min and stir after that. Chances are that the a-amylase cut though the layer of gelatinized flour that is creating the dough balls and they break up much more easily after this rest.
Kai,

This is what I ended up doing and it worked like a charm. I'm really pleased w/ my initial results and will definitely have to experiment more w/ these thinner mashes.
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Old 05-27-2009, 02:43 AM   #158
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Have you checked the extract setting for wheat malt in the program you are using to calculate efficiency?
I use my own spreadsheet, and use 36 PPG for both Pils & Wheat. The lower conversion rate also shows up with the first wort sg, so PPG probably doesn't come into play.

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I mash my Weissbiers with about 2 qt/lb and use a 30 min rest at 145F and a 45 min rest at 160F.
Kai
Kai, how do you like the clove flavor in your Weissbiers?
I find mine somewhat lacking compared to many of the German ones I prefer, so I'm planning on the 111F acid rest based on this *very* long thread - The Northern Brewer Homebrew Forum • View topic - The Great Bavarian Weissbier Project of 2007/2008

I'm sure I'll try your mash schedule as well, since I plan on brewing many more Weissbiers
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Old 05-27-2009, 11:44 AM   #159
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I also use my own spreadsheet but I use 39 PPG for Wheat Malt and 37 PPG for German Pils. But I just grab those numbers from the wiki Malts Chart...I don't really know if they're correct. Both are Weyermann in my case. My efficiency doesn't seem to suffer using those numbers though.

I'd also love to hear Kai's take on the clove but my limited understanding is that that has more due with the fermentation and yeast than the mash. I just tapped a Hefeweizen using WLP300 and it is quite clove-y and very little to no banana. I actually don't think it's quite balanced in that respect...needs more banana imo. Also as an aside, I think the slight tartness comes from the wheat...mine has a bit of tartness. Mine was 1:1 German Pils:German Wheat. I did a short protein rest @ 122 F.

EDIT: And I did use a thin mash for that Hefe. IMLE, the hotter and thinner you dough-in...the more likely to get dough balls. In cooking, you often add a small amount of water to flour to make a paste and then add the rest of the water to thin it out...you get a lot less lumps that way.

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