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Old 05-16-2011, 05:15 PM   #1
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Default Can You Step Mash with a Cooler Mash Tun?

I ran across this Kellerbier recipe http://northernbrewer.blogspot.com/2010/02/kellerbier-time.html, on Northern Brewer's Blog page.

It lists what I assume is a step mash.

Quote:
Mash - 128 for 20", 149 for 30", 158 for 30", mashout.
Is it possible to do this with a simple Igloo cooler type mash tun? I don't have a kettle with a spigot and false bottom, or a way to raise the temp in my mash tun. Well, I do have a rather large submersible aquarium heater.

What are my options? Please explain.
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:23 PM   #2
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Sort of. If you mash thick for the first step, and then thin for the second step, you can possibly hit those temps by adding hot water between steps. Depends on the grain bill.


Much easier if you have a RIMS or HERMS setup, or mash using direct heat.

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Old 05-16-2011, 05:35 PM   #3
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Here's the recipe:

Kellerbier Nr. 1 - 5 gallons AG

* 8 lbs German Pils malt *
* 6 oz Weyermann Carafoam
* 0.75 oz Tradition (5.2%, pellets) - first wort hop
* 0.25 oz Saaz (3%, pellets) - 15"
* White Labs WLP833 German Bock, 2 liter starter **


Mash - 128 for 20", 149 for 30", 158 for 30", mashout. 60 minute boil with kettle finings at 15" if you're into that sort of thing (I am!), chill to fermentation temps, aerate and pitch yeast. Ferment at 55 F for 14 days. Rack to a keg and store at 55 F for two weeks. Pressurize with CO2 and dispense.

So, would I take the total amount of strike water and divide it into 3rds?

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Old 05-16-2011, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have done as weirdboy suggested for a two step mash (generally protein rest to saccharification rest) by mashing thick (1 qt/lb) for dough-in. I have never tried with a three-step mash like you have outlined, though.

I have also decocted, in which you remove a portion of the mash, boil for a period of time, then return to the mash to raise the temp to the next step. With this option, you could dough-in at your regular ratio.

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Old 05-16-2011, 06:36 PM   #5
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You could always do a liquid-only "decoction"- ie just liquid, no grain.

M_C

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Old 05-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #6
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From BYO magazine-

Quote:
Step Mashing in a Picnic Cooler

Multirest mashes require heat additions to step the mash temperature through the various enzyme rests. This process can be tricky in a picnic cooler because rather than simply heating the vessel to the desired temperature, you must instead add precisely calculated quantities of boiling water to achieve the desired temperatures (see below). A further complication is that the thermal mass of the mash increases with each addition, and more and more water is needed at higher temperatures to continually raise the temperature.

Therefore, if your cooler is moderately sized for your mash, you need to start out with a stiff mash (perhaps even as low as 3Ž4 qt/lb of grain) to leave yourself enough volume for the additional water. Even then, only two temperature rests are usually possible, but you can achieve a third rest if the change in temperature is only a few degrees.

You need to decide whether the additional work is desirable, or even necessary, for your recipes. Review Jim Busch's article on step mashing on page 26 to help make the determination. It's probably best to get a real handle on the single-infusion mash before diving into further manipulations.

Calculating Water Additions for a Step Mash
This calculation is based on calorimetry and thermal equilibrium. By determining the amount of heat provided by a volume of hot water we can predict how much that heat will change the temperature of the mash. The basis for this calculation is the first law of thermodynamics, which assumes that no heat will be lost to the surroundings.

The factors used in the following equation are rounded to single digits to make the math simpler. The difference between these and more precise figures is at most a cup of hot water and less than 1 °F. The equation presented here has been algebraically simplified, including conversion of the mass of hot water to volume. All temperatures must be in degrees Fahrenheit. Experience has shown the equation to be fairly reliable, even if it may be a few degrees off in its prediction, depending on the mash tun. It will be consistent if the mash tun is preheated in the same manner for each batch.

Performing your step mash:
You can tackle the initial infusion in two ways. You could use the seat-of-the-pants infusion approach described in the main text for the initial wetting (that is, guessing the proper strike water temperature to be 10-15 °F above the target mash temperature). Measure your resulting temperature and proceed with the infusion equations from there.

Or, use the simplified equation provided here to arrive at the proper strike water temperature. When mixing hot water with dry grain, the amount of grain does not matter, only its temperature.

Initial infusion equation:
Strike water temperature (Tw) = (0.2 ÷ R) X (T2 - T1) + T2

Mash infusion equation:
Wa = (T2 - T1) X (0.2G + Wm) ÷ (Tw - T2)

where:
Tw = the actual temperature of the infusion water
R = the ratio of water to grain in quarts per pound
T1 = the initial temperature of the mash (or dry grain)
T2 = the target temperature of the mash
Wa = the amount of boiling water added (in quarts)
Wm = the total amount of water in the mash (in quarts)
G = the amount of grain in the mash (in pounds)

The infusion water does not have to be boiling; the nominal sparge water temperature of 170 °F (77 °C) will also work, which means that the Tw becomes 170 °F, and more water (Wa) will be needed to make up the additional quantity of heat.

Example
This example pushes the envelope with three rests. Suppose we plan to mash 8 lb of grain through a 104 °F, 140 °F, and 158 °F (40 °C, 60 °C, and 70 °C) multirest mash schedule. For the purposes of this example, we will assume that the temperature of the dry grain is 70 °F (21 °C). The first infusion will need to bring the temperature of the mash from 70 °F to 104 °F. We will start with an initial water ratio of 1 qt/lb. Using the initial infusion equation, the strike water temperature is:

Tw = (0.2 ÷ R) X (T2 - T1) + T2
Tw = (0.2 ÷ 1) X (104 - 70) + 104 = 110.8, or 111 °F

For the second infusion, to bring the temperature to 140 °F, we need to use the mash infusion equation. At 1 qt/lb, Wm is 8 qt. We will assume that our boiling water for the infusions has cooled somewhat to 210 °F.

Wa = (T2 - T1) X (0.2G + Wm) ÷ (Tw - T2)
Wa = (140 - 104) X (1.6 + 8) ÷ (210 - 140)
Wa = 36 X 9.6 ÷ 70 = 4.9 qt

For the third infusion, the total water volume is now 8 + 4.9 = 12.9 qt.

Wa = (158 - 140) X (1.6 + 12.9) ÷ (210 - 158)
Wa = 18 X 15.1 ÷ 52 = 5.2 qt

The total volume of water required to perform this schedule is 8 + 4.9 + 5.2 = 18.1 qt, or 4.525 gallons). The final water-to-grain ratio has increased to 17.9 ÷ 8 = 2.2 qt/lb.
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:45 PM   #7
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I've also seen people install heat-sticks in their cooler-tuns.

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Old 05-16-2011, 08:08 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input guys.

Revvy, that's a lot to take in. I'll dig into it more in depth, over the next few days as my starter is growing. Thanks.

What would be the real difference, in the final product, from the step mash and doing a decoction mash? I know it wouldn't quite as precise.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:20 PM   #9
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We attempted a step mash in a 5gal cooler this past weekend, it was fairly difficult to hit the last two temps. We ended up using .75qt/lb of grain initially, and by the end to get up to the 150's we were well over 2.5qt/lb, a very thin mash, and a lot of prayers hoping we got full conversion.

I would think a two step temp mash would have worked much better.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRainH2o View Post
So, would I take the total amount of strike water and divide it into 3rds?
No! You'll have to run the math or use some brew calculators for a stepped infusion mash.
ProMash has such a tool.

Because really, you'll be adding BOILING water to the initial strike water, or you'll never hit your temps.

The calculator will tell you that you'll need, say, 1 gallon of 212F water to go from 128 to 149, for example (note: i'm making up values here)

I did an oktoberfest once that had a protein rest and then a sacchrification rest, and it was fine in my cooler.

I'm not sure though with your grain bill that you have anything to gain from the 128F initial step.

I don't believe German Pils needs a protein rest...anyone?
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