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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash Thickness VS Mash Temperature
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Old 01-12-2010, 11:46 PM   #1
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Default Mash Thickness VS Mash Temperature

Hello everyone in brewing world! I have been dabbling in the fine art of AG brewing, and have come to a crossroads. I would like to emplore improving the body of some of the beers I have made using a few different methods.

In my tinkering, I have been noticing there is quite a bit of information that supports the fact that:

1) The Higher the mash temp, the more dextrins in the wort

2) The thicker the mash (water to grain ratio), the more dextrins in the wort

Now, I guess it might be helpful to know what other peoples experiences are on these two different methods. Do they affect the body in different ways? Is one method preferred over the other, notwithstanding one could do BOTH to end up with a rootin' tootin' sweetish beer.

Anyway, I thought the topic was a worth while discussion.

Thoughts? Experiences?

EDIT: Sorry about that, I amended the #2 factor above

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:34 PM   #2
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Bump bump... bumpity bump?

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:36 PM   #3
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I think you're not getting any responses because most people believe mash thickness doesn't have anything to do with it. IIRC, Kaiser's data didn't show any change in fermentability from it.

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:36 PM   #4
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Hi bumpity bump.

This confuses me?
2) The thicker the mash temp, the more dextrins in the wort

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:53 PM   #5
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I've read this in How To Brew. But my experience with adjusting mash thickness (like going from 1.25 qts/lb to 2.0 qts/lb) shows no difference in fermentability. Temperature is your biggest factor. Higher temperatures denature beta-amylase more quickly and significantly than a thick mash theoretically favors or preserves alpha-amylase.

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:59 PM   #6
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IIRC, mash thickness only effects conversion time. But not by much and means little on recirculatory systems.

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
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what about mashing very thick (<1 qt/lb)?

would that make a high-fermentable wort?

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Old 01-13-2010, 10:37 PM   #8
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add some oats to your grain bill

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:47 AM   #9
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I've never tried mashing at a temp > 154 F, so I don't know first hand what effect the higher mash temperature has.
On the other hand, I have experimented with different mash thicknesses varying between 1 qt / lb to 2 qts / lb, and have noticed a considerable difference in the flavor of the beer with thick mashes.
With a mash thickness of 1 qt / lb (which is what I usually use), I produce beers with a very malty profile. If I reduce the mash thickness to 1.25 qts / lb, much of the malt flavor is lost. (This is not necessarily a bad thing. When brewing English style special bitters, the malty profile is good, but it is quite out of character for most of the American style beers I have sampled.) Going from 1.25 qts / lb up to 2 qts / lb seems to give a small increase in efficiency (up to about 3%) but has no noticeable impact on the flavor.
Also, the differences in attenuation between mashing at 1 qt / lb and 1.25 qt / lb were not large enough to be noticeable at the time I performed the experiments. I have gotten higher attenuation with the thinner mashes, but they were using different malts and yeasts.
Finally, the 1 qt / lb - 1.25 qt / lb brews were all made with 90 - 95% Maris Otter, which is traditionally mashed thick. I suspect the malts used could have a noticeable effect on the results.

Hope this doesn't confuse you too much.

-a.

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Old 01-14-2010, 02:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaMinumBeer View Post
IIRC, mash thickness only effects conversion time. But not by much and means little on recirculatory systems.
+1

The thickness has to do with the ratio of enzymes to total wort volume. If the enzymes are packed in tighter, they can get the job done quicker.

Holding everything else constant (especially mash time), I would think a thinner mash would be less converted (and thus, dryer) than a thicker mash.
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