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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > which is better? undermodified or fully modified pils malt?




View Poll Results: Which would you use for a complex step mash?
Fully Modified Pils Malt 14 46.67%
Under-Modified Pils Malt 16 53.33%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:59 PM   #1
Steve973
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Default which is better? undermodified or fully modified pils malt?

Some of you may have seen my other thread asking about mash steps. If I'm using a fairly complex mash schedule, which would be better? Fully modified pils or under modified pils? My rests will include beta gluconase, protease, beta amylase, and alpha amylase.



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Old 01-08-2007, 08:20 PM   #2
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I'm no expert and I may be totally missing the point, but if you use fully modified grain, doesn't that eliminate the need for the complex mash schedule?



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Old 01-08-2007, 09:08 PM   #3
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Yes it would not be required to do the full mash schedule. A protien rest would not be nesessay and in fact could adversly affect head retention in fully modified malts.

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Old 01-08-2007, 09:54 PM   #4
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I'm not to sure why you are doing this. Are you just after the experience or are you trying to get an end result?

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Old 01-09-2007, 12:11 AM   #5
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Undermodified malt is lighter in color (important to some brewers), has superior head and body (due to high protein content), and has more starch than more modified malts. Supposedly (and this is just anecdotal for me since I haven't done any comparisons yet) it has a maltier flavor than more modified malts, and perhaps this comes from the decoction mashes that are traditionally used with undermodified malts.

An undermodified malt will definitely benefit (actually, require) a step mash. Certainly some time at a protein rest, and I would guess that a beta glucan rest would be a good idea to help with runoff.

A step mash with a fully modified malt could actually be detrimental to body and foam due to excessive protein breakdown.

US/UK malts tend to be pretty well modified. German and Belgian Pilsner malts may be more moderately modified (check the data sheets) and could probably benefit from a short protein rest. The Breiss malt sold as undermodified seems to be moderately modified to me and could also use a protein rest.

I have a quantity of the Breiss that I hope to do a Bohemian Pilsner with this Spring to see if I can a nice color and maltiness. I might try conning somebody else into doing the same beer with a fully modified Pilsner malt for comparisons.

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Old 01-09-2007, 12:19 AM   #6
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Like these guys said, your malt should determine your mash profile, not the other way around. I suppose that if you just really wanted to do a complex mash schedule, then the undermodified malt might be a better choice.

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Old 01-09-2007, 01:56 AM   #7
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Ok, there's a lot more going on with a complex mash schedule than some people might think. Most importantly, no matter if your malt is fully modified or not very modified, you can tune your beta amylase rest(s) and your alpha amylase rest(s). This is what determines fermentability versus body. Beta Amylase rests allow the b.a. enzymes to break starch chains at the end, resulting in very fermentable monosaccharidesl. Alpha Amylase rests allow the a.a. enzymes to break starch chains in the middle, resulting in unfermentable dextrins. Beta amylase enzymes are active at lower temperatures, and Alpha amylase enzymes are active at higher temperatures. That's why a lower temperature single-step mash results in a more fermentable beer, and a higher temperature single-step mash results in a beer with lower alcohol and higher body.

My point is that a complex mash schedule gives you more control. Further, a beta glucanase rest breaks down cellulose within the grain, exposing more starch for the enzymes to convert during saccharification rests. Depending on what you're after, it seems to be really important to know what your mash will do for you in order to achieve some very specific results.

Now, all that being said, I'm still unclear on something specific - if you are going to do a beta glucanase rest, a protease rest, and multiple saccharification rests, do you get better results with undermodified malts than you'd get if you just did multiple saccharification rests with fully modified malts? These questions assume that a beta glucanase rest and a protease rest don't matter too much in fully modified malts, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Old 01-09-2007, 02:40 AM   #8
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There's no need to do a bg rest with fully modified malts...they just don't have as much beta glucan content as an undermodified malt. The protein rest can be detrimental with fully modified malts as outlined above.

I don't really consider separate beta and alpha rests as step mashing, but I suppose technically it is. I really don't see the benefit, though. It can be argued fine tuning the fermentability, but really you can do that with a single infusion mash. 150F will yield a certain fermentability, so will 156F. Even Noonan who has defined step mashing for many homebrewers goes with a single saccharification rest temperature in his brewing procedure following dough-in, acid rest, and protein rest.

I know the Kaiser believes separate beta and alpha rest help lock in a fermentability profile, but I differ here...I think it can be achieved with a single step and it's much more achievable and repeatable, at least for the homebrewer.

I recently brewed a pale ale using a single step infusion at 149F and the FG is at 1.008...that's about as fermentable as I want to get, and I probably won't repeat it. I know that a similar formulation of an APA I brew will stop at 1.012 if I mash at 153 which is preferable to me.

I love doing decoctions, but I wouldn't do one unless I thought it was beneficial, i.e., benefits of acid rests, less modified grains requiring protein rest, etc., and even then I prefer a single saccharification temp (I've tried it both ways now).

I'd also never waste all that time using anything other than wheat or Pilsner malt.

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Old 01-09-2007, 02:58 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
I know the Kaiser believes separate beta and alpha rest help lock in a fermentability profile, but I differ here...I think it can be achieved with a single step and it's much more achievable and repeatable, at least for the homebrewer.
I used to believe that, until I read some more German brewing literature. A single step saccrification is actually common for decoction mashes or any mash where you would mash in at a pretty low temp and give the enzymes time to dissolve. Multistep saccrification rests are common for direct heated step mashes. The idea is to get the most out of the beta-amylase before it is deactivated (around 149 F). I changed to using a single step saccrification now since I need the 45-60 min to heat my sparge water.

Unless someone has done a side by side experiment with different malts and their appropriate mash schedules, it's hard to say what is better. The literature suggests that highly modified malts are not well suited to the style of German lagers but I don't think that this means the less modified the better. There are also highly modified malts produced in Germany for which it is recommended to dough-in above the protein rest. The idea is to shorten the mash time and allow higher brewhouse throughput.

You will have to find out for yourself. I bought a 55lb bag of Weyermann Boheminan Pilsner and will find out this summer if there is a between this and the regular Pilsner.

Kai
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:06 AM   #10
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I respect anybody's preferences in brewing, but the data suggests that a temperature of 149F results in a pretty equal balance of fermentables and dextrines. My friend and I will be attempting to clone Duvel, which will consist entirely of Pilsner malt. I believe that we may need to spend more time specifically in the beta amylase temperature zone to achieve a target FG of 1.005. Kaiser also suggested that I'll need to spend some time at a protein rest to generate FAN due to the amount of adjunct sugar that we'll be using - just shy of 4 lbs in our 10 gallon batch.



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