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Old 10-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
gkeusch
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Default Is mash out really essential?

I'm trying to get my head around the neccessity of a mash-out step given my level of sophistication and the fact that all I ever brew are ales. I understand the purpose of the mash-out is to stop the enzymatic activity, but it doesn't seem to me that I have enough control over the mash to matter. I infusion mash in an insulated box. I manage the mash temp between 148 and 153 and can't see how I would get any better control than that. I mash for 45 minutes to an hour then fly sparge. I thought I was always going for maximum efficiency/full conversion. Do I still need to worry about the mash-out?



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Old 10-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #2
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Mash out serves a couple of purposes. It both inhibits enzymatic activity AND thins the wort making it flow better. It's just like any other sugar solution (honey, syrups etc) the warmer it is the better it flows.



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Old 10-08-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by gkeusch View Post
I'm trying to get my head around the neccessity of a mash-out step given my level of sophistication and the fact that all I ever brew are ales. I understand the purpose of the mash-out is to stop the enzymatic activity, but it doesn't seem to me that I have enough control over the mash to matter. I infusion mash in an insulated box. I manage the mash temp between 148 and 153 and can't see how I would get any better control than that. I mash for 45 minutes to an hour then fly sparge. I thought I was always going for maximum efficiency/full conversion. Do I still need to worry about the mash-out?
A mash out will allow you to increase your consistency in brewing by stopping the enzymatic activity at 60 mins or whenever you perform it. That being said, as you mentioned your consistency varies greatly in the mash itself. What does this "insulated box" look like, do you preheat it? You shouldn't be loosing 5 degrees over 45 mins.

That being said, I don't mash out. I do fire up my kettle once I start collecting first runnings to stop the enzymatic activity. Just speeds things up for me. If you aren't bringing the grain up to temp for a mashout and then are fly sparging for an hour with water that isn't bringing it up, you potential have enzymatic active for close to 2 hours?
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:30 PM   #4
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The box is just a carboard box with styrofoam insulation fit inside that my mash/lauter tun (stn. stl. pot) fits in. I guess I don't really loose 5 deg., but my stike temp isn't always right on the money, either, so I may start at 153 or 150 depending on my luck. I use 180 deg. water for sparging, and it usually takes less than one half hour to get it all drained.

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Old 10-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #5
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A mash-out is not necessary, especially when brewing almost ales exclusively at home. When brewing Ale there will be more than a sufficient amount of water per pound of grain present (~1.5qt/lb), making the grain bed loose and allowing for good flow. However, when there is a high amount of oats or wheat present in the mash, a mash-out could be beneficial to improve the flow during lautering/sparging.

Instead of a mash-out, towards the end of the mash, I Vorlauf (gently recirculate) the first runnings of sweet wort back into the mash tun to set the grain bed that will act as my filter. I repeat this action till the runnings are mostly clear and free of particles. Then I begin to lauter into my boil kettle while fly sparging from my HLT. Try to match the flow of sparge water entering the mash tun, to the flow of wort leaving the mash tun, and shoot for a sparge time around 45 min to make sure you are being as efficient as possible. Lautering too quickly will result in decreased efficiency, stuck sparge, and lower OG.

I fly sparge with water at 168 degrees F. This allows for final conversion of sugars, which increases yield. I would NOT sparge above 170 degrees F. As the temperature increases above 170 F, so does the solubility of Tannins (undesired) in husk material, which will increase astringency and other off-flavors in your beer.

And my final note, start your boil kettle when you believe you are about 1/2 or 2/3 the way done with sparging. That way when you finish the sparge , you will be near boiling and already denatured the enzymes present during mashing.

CHEERS

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Shmrak12 View Post
I fly sparge with water at 168 degrees F. This allows for final conversion of sugars, which increases yield. I would NOT sparge above 170 degrees F. As the temperature increases above 170 F, so does the solubility of Tannins (undesired) in husk material, which will increase astringency and other off-flavors in your beer.
Only if your pH is too high as well. So long you treat your water to proper pH, you're good. But you don't really need to be much higher than 168. I have to heat my sparge water up to 180 to 190 as I lose a lot of heat while pouring and increasing the bed temp.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:22 AM   #7
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I batch sparge, so my sparge water addition is my mashout.

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkeusch View Post
I'm trying to get my head around the neccessity of a mash-out step given my level of sophistication and the fact that all I ever brew are ales. I understand the purpose of the mash-out is to stop the enzymatic activity, but it doesn't seem to me that I have enough control over the mash to matter. I infusion mash in an insulated box. I manage the mash temp between 148 and 153 and can't see how I would get any better control than that. I mash for 45 minutes to an hour then fly sparge. I thought I was always going for maximum efficiency/full conversion. Do I still need to worry about the mash-out?
I personally currently prefer, with my system (10 gal cooler MLT, fly sparge), to skip the mash out step, and instead use that volume of water that I'd use to get to mashout temp as part of the sparge volume. I just don't see the benefits of the mash out step. "stopping enzymatic activity" just doesn't seem to be enough of a reason to do a mash out.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:43 AM   #9
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I batch sparge, so my sparge water addition is my mashout.
Even on your first runnings?
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:58 AM   #10
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Even on your first runnings?
no, but I drain pretty fast, settling and vorlauf on the sparge is maybe 10 minutes.

the 1st runnings in the kettle might have some activity before I light the burner , but i don't care much


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