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Old 08-26-2013, 07:35 PM   #41
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Learning new things everyday and I'm glad I found this thread. Just wanted to clarify a few things for my understanding...

I've only recently started AG brewing with 4-5 under my belt but I've not been extremely happy with the results. I have some kinks to work out in my mashing process, specifically related to controlling temps.

A friend of mine just recently introduced me to the concept of drier/sweeter brews based on target mashing temps, but based on what I'm reading here mash times also play into this as well. So if I understand it correctly higher temps and shorter mash times equate to more un-fermentable sugars and therefore a sweeter tasting beer (less attenuation if I'm using the lingo correctly), where lower temperatures and longer mash times equate to more fermentable sugars and therefore a drier tasting beer (more attenuation?).

Is this just an advanced technique? I assume someone like myself should focus on hitting the proper temps before worrying about extending/decreasing mash time.

Lower attenuation also sounds like a potentially bad thing if you're not careful. Couldn't you end up with a bad batch that fails to ferment at all?

I'm curious how this plays into recipes and processes for brewing stronger IPAs. As I understand it stronger hop bills require higher grain bills to balance bitter flavors with maltier ones. Should these beers be brewed at shorter length and higher temps as well?

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Old 08-28-2013, 06:24 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Jablestein View Post
........... So if I understand it correctly higher temps and shorter mash times equate to more un-fermentable sugars and therefore a sweeter tasting beer (less attenuation if I'm using the lingo correctly), where lower temperatures and longer mash times equate to more fermentable sugars and therefore a drier tasting beer (more attenuation?).

Is this just an advanced technique? I assume someone like myself should focus on hitting the proper temps before worrying about extending/decreasing mash time.
................
Sweetness is mostly dependent on the grain bill, not the mashing regime. The mashing regime affects the body. A hotter, short mash will result in a beer with more BODY. Sweetness in a beer is largely from the grains themselves. During the kilning process the maillard reaction is occurring. This results in a darkening of the malt and also produces unfermentable compounds that taste sweet. Generally the darker the malt the more sweetness it provides - roasting is something else altogether. Body and sweetness often do go hand in hand (and body contributes to perceived sweetness), but it is possible to brew a rich, full bodied, high FG beer, that is not sweet at all.

Balance is complicated. There is the BU:GU guidelines for beer styles (bittering unit/gravity unit ratio). This is very simplified though but is still a good starting off point. It gets more complicated.

Bitter and sweet need to be balanced - these are perceived on your tongue by the taste buds. Body perception is much more complex, and also helps to offset bitterness (but not like sweet does). The higher the FG, the better it will offset the bitterness, but you can achieve a similar bitterness offset in a beer with a lower FG by including some ingredients that provide sweetness.

And then there are some funky Belgian yeasts out there that I would swear make some kind of compound that tastes sweet. I know there are certain proteins that taste sweet, and of course more simpler natural products like stevia. I like the White labs Saison II yeast. It is a monster and will chew through anything. I routinely have beers around a FG of 1.005 with this yeast, yet they taste quite sweet - even in a grain bill that is almost all pils malt with just a little wheat added to it. There is some byproduct of fermentation that is responsible for this. I use a similar grain bill for my Kolsch, which tastes and feels nothing like my saison
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:10 PM   #43
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After reading this whole thread I noticed one factor that's missing and that's how well your malt is milled. If you mill the malt to where the endosperm is in 4 pieces and the hulls are left whole you will likely not stick your mash and is good for home brewing. HOWEVER, you will need longer mash times to convert these large pieces of starch to sugars. Since Budweiser was mentioned, they use a three roller system and the endosperm is like talcum powder. They also must use rakes in the lautertuns to keep the "vorlauf", or recirculation, going. This allows shorter mash times which helps save money since you can do more brews per day. So basically, the finer the mill the quicker the mash but for a homebrewer it's much safer to be a bit coarse and just use longer mash times.

Now as far as Budweiser forcing sterile air through the hot wort after the boil causing oxidation well that's not exactly what happens. What they do is they have a tank that's full of tubes. The wort raises up to the height of the tubes and starts running down the sides of the tubes. This unit is called the stripper. The hot air blowing up the tubes "strips" out the DMS etc. It does not however, oxidate the wort. You would think it would but since it's sliding down the sides of the tube it doesn't pick up oxygen but only gives up the volatils.

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Old 08-29-2013, 02:44 PM   #44
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So basically, the finer the mill the quicker the mash but for a homebrewer it's much safer to be a bit coarse and just use longer mash times.
Is this statement about efficiency or about attenuation?

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Now as far as Budweiser forcing sterile air through the hot wort after the boil causing oxidation well that's not exactly what happens. What they do is they have a tank that's full of tubes. The wort raises up to the height of the tubes and starts running down the sides of the tubes. This unit is called the stripper. The hot air blowing up the tubes "strips" out the DMS etc. It does not however, oxidate the wort. You would think it would but since it's sliding down the sides of the tube it doesn't pick up oxygen but only gives up the volatils.
The brewing nerd in me wants to know a lot more about this process.

I googled for "budweiser stripper" but couldn't quite find what I was looking for.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:18 AM   #45
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Efficiency.

As far as the "stripper", only Anheuser Busch and Kirin uses it. When AB started making Kirin beer in LA the Japanese came over to taste it and see the process. They liked it better than theirs. During the process they saw the stripper so AB had one made for them so Kirin uses it in Japan now too.
We use to use a Drop Receiver too. It splashed the wort in a large tank that drained quickly and had sterile CO2 flowing through it to get even more of the volatiles out but the cost and loss of CO2 made it too expensive for Inbev to continue to use.

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Old 09-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #46
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Many people do see an increase in efficiency (sugar extraction) with higher sparge volumes, so this would cause an increase in your OG, but not because of the boil volumes.
I know this is an old post, but this is what I immediately noticed during my last brew. I did a pretty thick mash (about 1 qt/lb) but sparged with enough to get 7 gallons for a 90 minute boil. My OG ended up being 1.060 when I was targeting 1.053. Hopefully the 150*F 60 minute mash means it will dry out a bit more.
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:20 PM   #47
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Sorry to bring this thread back to life, but I figured it would be better to post here than to start a new thread.

I am wondering just how low of a FG you can get by mashing low and long. So for instance a 2 hour mash at 145*F for an imperial IPA or something like that. Could you get a beer with an OG of 1.080 down to 1.010 without using sugar and only using "normal" yeasts?

Another idea I had was to actually start off mashing higher and then drop the temperature. This comes from the fact that the alpha amylase will digest the bigger proteins into sugar which the beta amylase will then convert to fermentable sugars. So my idea would be to do a 30-60 minute rest at 156*F, then drop the temperature down to 145*F for 1-2 hours. If the enzymes cannot survive the higher temperature, could you just add some 6-row since it is rich in enzymes to kick start the beta conversion again?

I am only on my 7th all-grain, but there is so much interesting information and so many tactics that I doubt I will ever learn it all.

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Old 09-29-2013, 10:01 PM   #48
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Good questions. I unfortunately don't have answers because I also wonder the same things. I think picking a particular yeast strain would make the conversation more useful as there are some yeast strains that will take 1.080 down to 1.010 and some that will not.

I like you idea about dropping the temperature. It doesn't get discussed much. I even asked about a few posts earlier in this thread and got no reply. I like the 6-row idea. ALso perhaps splitting the mash into 2 smaller mashes and then combining to let the beta finish off.

Some thoughts on wort fermentability:
You need an accurate thermometer and accurate ph meter.
Thin mash for fermentability. What can your system handle?
Mash ph that favors beta
malster information. You probably don't get a copy of the malsters grain data when you buy grain at lhbs. All grain is different.
yeast nutrients and aeration technique. general yeast health when added to the wort. Amount of yeast pitched.
accurate fermentation temperature controls. Using techniques like rising temperature and ferementing at higher temps.

There was a podcast or something by Mitch Steele? some guy that worked at Budweiser and Sierra Nevada. He talks about getting IPAs fermented down low.


You also need to understand Why you want to get that low. And also how it effects things like mouthfeel and flavor and possibly exposing flaws in your beer as well.

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Old 09-29-2013, 10:13 PM   #49
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Good questions. I unfortunately don't have answers because I also wonder the same things. I think picking a particular yeast strain would make the conversation more useful as there are some yeast strains that will take 1.080 down to 1.010 and some that will not.
I was thinking WLP007 or WLP090 might do the trick, but mashing would be important to get the correct amount of fermentables into the wort.

This is something I am thinking about while I wait for my fermenters to open up again (4 more weeks! not sure how I am going to make it!). I have some "fresh"* hops that I want to use to finish an imperial IPA.

*vacuum sealed and frozen 1 day after harvest. 6 oz of Mosaic and Cascade
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:43 PM   #50
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..........
Another idea I had was to actually start off mashing higher and then drop the temperature. This comes from the fact that the alpha amylase will digest the bigger proteins into sugar which the beta amylase will then convert to fermentable sugars. So my idea would be to do a 30-60 minute rest at 156*F, then drop the temperature down to 145*F for 1-2 hours. If the enzymes cannot survive the higher temperature, could you just add some 6-row since it is rich in enzymes to kick start the beta conversion again?
The temperature drop doesn't work. Once you heat up above where beta-amylase is happy it denatures. For most proteins, this is the end of the road and cooling back down does not restore activity, that would be like making a hard boiled egg back into an un-boiled egg.

If you want a low FG, then mashing cooler and longer will do that. If you want a low FG, but don't want it too thin tasting there are a couple of things you can do. Split the mash and mash most of it at 145-147, and have another small portion that you mash high. Combine the two at the boil stage. You also could just hold back some of the malt and add it toward the end of the mash - this is tricky as it could result in starch haze. If you don't care about that, then it is a good technique to use. If you want it thin, then you can add some crushed up beano, typically to cooled wort. The enzymes in beano will break down the last of the dextrins that the amylases cannot attack.
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