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Old 01-24-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
Wadian
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Default Diastatic Mystery Mash - What Happened?

Long time lurker, first time thread, but only because I have a mystery on my hands. I've been brewing 5 liter batches for the past few months to test recipes for the 60 L setup. Last Saturday, I brewed a dubbel along the lines of the recipe below. At the last minute, because I thought Weyermann Abbey Malt has enough diastatic power to convert itself, I went essentially 100% Abbey Malt EDIT which should make up no more than 50% of the malt bill. The mash was to be 60m at 152 F. However, due to the realities of child rearing and family life, the beer mashed at from 153 to 135 over 90m, then I heated it on the stove to around 156, though of course parts of the mash got quite hot during the heating. With lots of stirring, it evened out and I forgot it for about another hour, by which point it was around 149 or so. So, that's a roughly 2 1/2 hour long mash at all sorts of temps. I sparged, did a 90m boil, and everything went normally. I pitched one smack pack of Wyeast 1214 that was about 45 days old.

The next day, I realized what I had done. Since it was fermenting, I thought I'd see how it turned out. A thin krausen formed and it bubbled for 3 days with some intensity. I figured I had a dextrin party on my hands and that the beer was a dump out. I took out the stopper and poured myself a glass for curiosity's sake. As I did, I noticed the thick yeast cake on the bottom of the carboy. The beer was hot, but really delicious, like plums and figs. I ran around for a minute, re-sanitized the stopper and airlock, and tried to figure out WTF had happened. I measured the gravity and it was 1.020.

So, anyone got an answer to this mystery? For now, I'm assuming I'm gifted. Or lucky. Or missing something obvious. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?


Dark Dubbel Recipe
5 liters

1.25 KG Abbey Malt
100 G CaraAroma
100 G CaraMunich 60
120 G Muscovado Sugar

Anticipated OG: 1.076
Measured OG: 1.086

pitched one smack pack of Wyeast 1214 @ 62 F

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Last edited by Wadian; 01-24-2013 at 07:18 PM. Reason: Left out the essential problem
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:51 PM   #2
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A mash should easily convert in 20-30 minutes. Dropping to 135 wasn't an issue, as conversion was probably over by then. The heating later probably denatured the enzymes, so no further conversion took place (effectively a "mash out").

That's basically the normal technique for brewing.

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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I think his point is that Abbey malt should not be able to convert itself, nor should the other malts. He doesn't really have a base grain.

That said, no I have no answers. Interesting though!

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:15 PM   #4
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Oops, lowtones has it right. Abbey Malt shouldn't be able to convert itself. Sorry about leaving out the key point. According to Weyermann, Abbey Malt should make up no more than 50% of the malt bill. It is super interesting! I'd love some insight into possible reasons why this worked despite my stupidity!

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
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Abbey malt still has some enzymatic activity (allbeit a lot lower than ideal in this case), and since you sat in the lower regions for a longer time, you may have pulled a decent amount of conversion all the same. I wouldn't be surprised if your OG was a touch on the low side as far as efficiency goes, and you're FG may be a little bit higher with unfermentable sugars, but I'm not surprised that you have a decent amount of fermentation goin' on. And the sugar addition doesn't hurt.

Let us know the final specs and flavor!

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Old 01-24-2013, 07:55 PM   #6
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Abby Malt appears to be a form of a crystal malt. Crystal malt doesn't really need to be converted as most of the starches were converted into sugar and then kilned into a caramel inside the husk. When that is dissolved into water it is ferment-able to a point. According to some of the information I've read on here Caramel malts add a reasonable amount of sugar for fermentation and are pretty high in efficiency at it.

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Old 01-24-2013, 08:03 PM   #7
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The recommended usage percent does not indicate that the malt has no enzymes nor does it indicate that the malt is or isn't self converting. Recommended percentages are usually for taste purposes in a grain bill. You could mash 100% Crystal 20 and get a beer. Weyermann would need to indicate the Diastatic Power of the malt in order to know how many enzymes are left in the malt.

That particular malt is made from high enzyme 2 row barley. The temperature, time and moisture content at which it is kilned determine how much enzyme is left in the barley and how sugary or malty the barley has become.

There's no mystery here. A malt was mashed with some enzyme/sugar in it and made a beer.

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Old 01-24-2013, 09:46 PM   #8
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Wyermann lists it as a base malt.

http://www.weyermann.de/eng/produkte...e=37&sprache=2


From their site.

highly friable base malt
pronounced maltiness
honey notes

The 50% is probably recommended just for flavor.

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:04 PM   #9
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I don't know where I read it, but I remember the description saying Abbey Malt wouldn't covert itself. Maybe it was a different company's malt, I dunno. Also, the Weyerman's site lists it as a Belgian malt, not a base malt. Base malts are under "Brew Malt." (Edit: I do see it says "highly friable base malt" under "Result")

Anyways, I did learn something. People shouldn't make this guy sound like an idiot for being surprised. It's still not a base malt even if it can convert to some extent.

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Old 01-24-2013, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wadian View Post
Oops, lowtones has it right. Abbey Malt shouldn't be able to convert itself. Sorry about leaving out the key point. According to Weyermann, Abbey Malt should make up no more than 50% of the malt bill. It is super interesting! I'd love some insight into possible reasons why this worked despite my stupidity!
I use Castle Abbey malt all the time as a base malt. http://morebeer.com/view_product/171..._Aromatic_Malt

I don't like it as more than about 10% of the grainbill, as it's intensely malty (formerly known as "aromatic malt") but it can be used at 100%. I don't know why anyone would, but it's possible anyway!

My assumption is that it's not terribly different than Weyermann's, but of course it could very well be a wrong assumption!

Without seeing a malt analysis sheet, we'd only be guessing but it sure seems as if it had more than enough DP to convert. I'm guessing that it does have that power, but the 50% recommendation is for flavor and not for DP. They also give the figure as 70% for their floor malted wheat malt- which can be used at 100% if someone would want to.
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