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Old 10-17-2011, 11:49 AM   #1
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Default Mash temperature effect?

Since I started brewing, I've been using a step-mashing technique that I got from my professional brewer friend. It's 30 minutes at 52C, 1 hour at 62C, and 30-60 minutes at 72C, with a 78C mashout. I've used this on all my beers, and my efficiency has been good and they have been tasty. The one time I tried a single-temperature mash, I got like 45% effeciency, but that could have been due to other factors.

I read on here that most people use a single-temperature mash for only an hour. It would save me at least an hour or two on brew day if I could go to a 1-hour single-step mash. What would be the effect on my beer? What temperature should I choose?

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Old 10-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #2
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Wow, so how do you do all of those infusions and how much water are you using? You want to stop at sacrafacation rest between 66 and 72C.

Basically your rests are doing this:
52C: Protein rest (typically skip this step unless you are working with a lot of wheat, say 50%)
62C: beta-amylase rest
72C: alpha-amylase rest
78C: mashout.

This is actually a very standard decoction mash setup. When I do a heff I do an infusion rest at about 45C, infuse it up to 52 and decoct the rest. except I mashout with a batch sparge. So what I would do for the next batch is leave it at about 65C for 60min with 1.25qt/lb which I want to say is about 2.5-3l/kg

Also you should pick up a book called "designing great beer" by Daniels and "How to brew" by Palmer. Both are excellent books.

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Old 10-17-2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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i shoot for somewhere between 150 and 155 depending on the beer and weather i want it drier or not (lower temp is dryer higher temp is sweeter) also i'm using Fahrenheit (where the hell are you guys?)

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I would make a yeast starter, and pitch it into your mailbox.
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:04 PM   #4
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I live in MA but I have found that switching to metric allows me to read German and Dutch beer recopies much easier. :-)

BTW, very impressed you have the time and patience to do all of those rests.

62C is about 150, 72C is about 162. You want to basically rest for 60min on the cooler end of the spectrum to get more fermentables and higher on the spectrum for more body. A good compromise is about 64.

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Old 10-17-2011, 03:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by asterix404 View Post
I live in MA but I have found that switching to metric allows me to read German and Dutch beer recopies much easier. :-)
And much easier to calculate strike water temps as 1kg = 1L. If only I could buy grain by the kg.... and had a C thermometer.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:13 PM   #6
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I live in MA but I have found that switching to metric allows me to read German and Dutch beer recopies much easier. :-)
.
makes sense. honestly i wish everything would switch to metric. it would be an adjustment, but it makes more sense. our number system is based on 10 so our measuring should be too
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:19 PM   #7
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I usually do single-infusion mashes at 153-154 for an hour....get 75-80% efficiency...and tasty beers in the end. Less "dicking around" than decoction mashing.

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Old 10-17-2011, 04:44 PM   #8
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Wow, so how do you do all of those infusions and how much water are you using?
I do BIAB, so I just fire up the propane burner when it's time to go to the next step. I use as much water as I can fit in my kettle with the grain. Probably about 4 gallons. Is this bad? It's just the way I've done it so far. With a blanket wrapped around the kettle, it holds the step temperature fine for an hour.

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i shoot for somewhere between 150 and 155 depending on the beer and weather i want it drier or not (lower temp is dryer higher temp is sweeter)
I think this only applies to a single-step mash; what does this mean for me with my step mash? How is my beer coming out compared to a single-step mash at 150 or 155? Since I'm mashing at both high and low temperatures, do I get a dry beer and more body at the same time?

I use metric units because they are better and that's how my brain works. I live in Texas but I'm an engineer. Degrees Plato is more convenient for some things too.
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Old 10-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #9
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So for step mashing at both ranges with a protiene mash you get great results. Also keep in mind that BIAB is less efficient than a mash tun. You would actually get a very thing body beer if you did it the other way around but because you do 148 and 162 you get this:

1) the beta-amylase breaks down the long chains into shorter ones, only doing it for 20-30min means that the enzyme doesn't have enough to work on every long chain carbohydrate.
2) The alpha-amylase enzyme cuts long chains into big chains and creates dexitrins as well as mono, di and tri saccharides (think sucrose, dextrose, maltose, maltase etc...) and even longer chains which generally can not be fermented out. Because the two generally work together you have the alpha chopping up the chains into a variety of lengths and the beta chewing on the chain with whatever length it happens to be. The results of doing a 148 and 162 is that you can a high amount of conversion to the short chains and a high amount of dexitrins added to your beer producing body.

You end up with a moderately fermentable beer (with the max being 148 and the min being 162-165) with excellent body. When I do my decoction mashes, I have to be very careful about resting with a long protein rest for head retention.

Here is the trick though, the only reason to really decoct at this point is to get a slightly higher efficiency but really it's all about the flavor added with the boiling of the grains and husks. Same with a step mash. Right now malsters have done a ton of work to basically get your single infusion mash to be very high efficiency with minimal effort so you should get very similar results to a step mash if you do a single infusion in the middle of the 148-165 range, 155 is a good mix.

Again, this does not work with wheat malt. Doing a single infusion heff requires rice hulls because there is a ton of protein that causes a stuck sparge. Boiling the wheat malt also breaks down a lot of the protein chains. I have done upwards of a 70/30 wheat/barley heff which great results and no rice hulls because I follow a very rigorous mash schedule of 20min at 113, 20min at 122, 30min at 148, 30min at 162, lauder and batch sparge with 168-172.

I have to say, I have never done BIAB, so I am not a great person to ask about that sort of thing but this is the basic chem behind what you are doing. A great book is Noonan: "New guide to brewing lager beer" which dives into brewing chemistry. I would highly recommend picking up these books... they are awesome and well worth the 50$.

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Old 10-17-2011, 06:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asterix404 View Post
So for step mashing at both ranges with a protiene mash you get great results. Also keep in mind that BIAB is less efficient than a mash tun. You would actually get a very thing body beer if you did it the other way around but because you do 148 and 162 you get this:

1) the beta-amylase breaks down the long chains into shorter ones, only doing it for 20-30min means that the enzyme doesn't have enough to work on every long chain carbohydrate.
2) The alpha-amylase enzyme cuts long chains into big chains and creates dexitrins as well as mono, di and tri saccharides (think sucrose, dextrose, maltose, maltase etc...) and even longer chains which generally can not be fermented out. Because the two generally work together you have the alpha chopping up the chains into a variety of lengths and the beta chewing on the chain with whatever length it happens to be. The results of doing a 148 and 162 is that you can a high amount of conversion to the short chains and a high amount of dexitrins added to your beer producing body.

You end up with a moderately fermentable beer (with the max being 148 and the min being 162-165) with excellent body. When I do my decoction mashes, I have to be very careful about resting with a long protein rest for head retention.

Here is the trick though, the only reason to really decoct at this point is to get a slightly higher efficiency but really it's all about the flavor added with the boiling of the grains and husks. Same with a step mash. Right now malsters have done a ton of work to basically get your single infusion mash to be very high efficiency with minimal effort so you should get very similar results to a step mash if you do a single infusion in the middle of the 148-165 range, 155 is a good mix.

Again, this does not work with wheat malt. Doing a single infusion heff requires rice hulls because there is a ton of protein that causes a stuck sparge. Boiling the wheat malt also breaks down a lot of the protein chains. I have done upwards of a 70/30 wheat/barley heff which great results and no rice hulls because I follow a very rigorous mash schedule of 20min at 113, 20min at 122, 30min at 148, 30min at 162, lauder and batch sparge with 168-172.

I have to say, I have never done BIAB, so I am not a great person to ask about that sort of thing but this is the basic chem behind what you are doing. A great book is Noonan: "New guide to brewing lager beer" which dives into brewing chemistry. I would highly recommend picking up these books... they are awesome and well worth the 50$.
Quick question on your step mash.... what is your water/grain ratios for all the steps? Or should I ask what your starting water/grain ratio is? I will be doing a hefe soon and have read that step mashes are good for wheat beers, so was going to give it a shot. I just worry that my 7 gallon cooler can hold enough to do the steps. Also, when you are going to the next step... do you just add boiling water to get the temp up or do you use a water calculator to figure the volume and temp?
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