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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Hefeweizen lovers - how do you step mash if using a cooler??
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default Hefeweizen lovers - how do you step mash if using a cooler??

My favorite beer is hefeweizen, though I love many others of course. I just started AG and did a pumpkin for my first and was looking to do a hefeweizen for my second but see it's most common to do a multi-rest mash at different temps. I just got a Rubbermaid 10g cooler for as my mash ton and am wondering if it's possible to do the multi-step mash in it.

I have a Blichmann 10g kettle and am thinking it would make more sense to mash in there for weizen's as I can raise the heat easily and since it's only a 10-30 minute rest I shouldn't lose much temp with the lid on. However, then there's the sparging issue as it's my main kettle. Well... that and the fact I'd have to get a false bottom for it.

So, is there any way to multi-step mash in a cooler? I would think adding water increments would mess with the water per pound ratio, but what do I know. Any advice would be appreciated!


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Old 11-02-2011, 02:16 AM   #2
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U can use the pot as a mash tun, just be sure to stir frequently as to not scorch the grain on the bottom, then dump it all in the 10g cooler and use it as the lauter tun and sparge from there, the above process is very common and is how its done in breweries, but when I make German brews I always do decoction mashes, I think it helps give them a better body/mouthfeel and slightly better eff and better flavor than infusion

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Old 11-02-2011, 02:18 AM   #3
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I use a heat stick for my step mashes.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:02 AM   #4
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Why do u need to do a multi-step mash for a hefe? Just use regularly modified malt and do a single step. Works well for me.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:21 AM   #5
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You could look at doing decoction mashing, I beleive that's a fairly common approach used for multi-step mashing. Basically you take out a portion of the mash and boil it then add it back into the mash to raise the temp to your next step. Here's a calculator that Google pointed me at for determining volumes to pull out to get to your next temp step:

http://www.quaff.org/cyberbrau/DecoctionCalculator.htm

I know that it's generally frowned upon to boil the grain, I haven't looked into decoction enough to figure out why this is OK.

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrooze
Why do u need to do a multi-step mash for a hefe? Just use regularly modified malt and do a single step. Works well for me.
You really don't. The protein rest is for under modified malts. If you do it with the malts homebrewers normally get you will probably just lose body. The decoction can be mimicked with specialty malts. I can't yet tell the difference. I normally go with you basic single infusion for this beer personally.
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Old 11-02-2011, 01:13 PM   #7
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Awesome, than I will try it single infusion. One question, and it might be a stupid one, but Weyermann's malts are also highly modified yes? I wanted to use actual german malts for it. Then, I would later try Rahr and others.


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Old 11-02-2011, 01:19 PM   #8
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Yeah. When I did mine I added 4 ounce melanoiden malt.

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Old 11-02-2011, 01:30 PM   #9
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Instead of decoction could you just remove the liquid and heat it up? Then just pour it back on top of the grain bed? I was listening to Jamil's show on cream ale and he mentioned step mashing and I thought, great, now I gotta figure out how the heck to do that!

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Old 11-02-2011, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev2010 View Post
Awesome, than I will try it single infusion. One question, and it might be a stupid one, but Weyermann's malts are also highly modified yes? I wanted to use actual german malts for it. Then, I would later try Rahr and others.


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Weyermann malts are great and highly modified for brewing. Typically you just need a single infusion for the vast majority of your brews. If at some point you did want to experiment with step mashing, you have to look for "undermodified" malts.

To answer you original question, it is possible to do step infusions with a cooler MLT. Just go and get the trial version of Beersmith. It will calc out the water temps and volumes you need to achieve your desired steps. Great software.
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