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Old 10-23-2013, 03:37 AM   #1
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Default One or two Sacch' Rests?

I came across this Dunkelweizen recipe (PDF file):
http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...nkelweizen.pdf

I was interested in the "traditional multi-step mash". What I've learned about traditional multi-step mashing up to this point (and I haven't learned a lot) is that there is usually a dough-in, protein rest, sacch rest, and mashout rest.

This schedule is a bit different- the dough-in seems to be combined with the protein rest, nothing unusual there. Then there is a beta Sacch rest and an alpha sacch rest. I understand that the beta sacch rest is better for the beta-amalyse enzymes, and the alpha rest will probably reduce beta-amalyse activity and be more ideal for alpha-amalyse enzymes.

But that's all I know. I haven't come across any literature that explains what the advantage of a beta AND an alpha Sacch rest is versus a single Sacch rest at 149-154F. So my question is why use 2 Sacch rests vs 1, and if there is a distinct advantage, how to fully take advantage of that knowledge?

Thanks!

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Old 10-23-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dennis0 View Post
I came across this Dunkelweizen recipe (PDF file):
http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...nkelweizen.pdf

I was interested in the "traditional multi-step mash". What I've learned about traditional multi-step mashing up to this point (and I haven't learned a lot) is that there is usually a dough-in, protein rest, sacch rest, and mashout rest.

This schedule is a bit different- the dough-in seems to be combined with the protein rest, nothing unusual there. Then there is a beta Sacch rest and an alpha sacch rest. I understand that the beta sacch rest is better for the beta-amalyse enzymes, and the alpha rest will probably reduce beta-amalyse activity and be more ideal for alpha-amalyse enzymes.

But that's all I know. I haven't come across any literature that explains what the advantage of a beta AND an alpha Sacch rest is versus a single Sacch rest at 149-154F. So my question is why use 2 Sacch rests vs 1, and if there is a distinct advantage, how to fully take advantage of that knowledge?

Thanks!
That's a big question!

The short answer is that a two temperature saccrification rest schedule can make sure that both the beta and alpha rests are "covered", so to speak. It's not all that common to do them anymore, but I occasionally do when I'm brewing a German lager.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:19 AM   #3
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Short answer: Old days; malts weren't so modified and had way less enzymes. (also why rest times were so long). That and it was hard to calculate am infusion mash with no thermometers.

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Old 10-24-2013, 06:54 PM   #4
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A single infusion is a compromise (and easier though). I always use two saccharification rests - a rest at 146F and one at 160F. The time at each rest depends on the beer style. This is good even for today's well modified malts. I like to do them as I get a really clean tasting product. A protein rest is another subject - so this refers only to doing two saccharification steps. I have a direct fired mash tun so this makes it easy for me to do this. It works well for me, but everyone's experience is unique. If it would be difficult to do a multi step mash with your setup, then I wouldn't bother.

For light crisp beers, the danger is being too thin from mashing at a lower temperature, so folks typically push the temps down to far. A way around this is to mash in around 146 F and when conversion is nearly complete (say ~95% - depends on how fast you can ramp), ramp it up to 160 F and finish conversion there. This way you get a highly fermentable wort due to the favorable temps for beta-amylase, but it will have some bigger dextrins from the higher temp rest (too hot for beta-amylase activity, but still have alpha-amylase acitivity), and give you some nice body in a lighter beer

Conversely for richer beers, the danger is being too thick. My way around this is to start out at a lower temp and get some good beta-amylase action going on. Then maybe half-way through conversion (depending on the beer) ramp it up to the high temp to stop the beta-amylase and let alpha amylase finish the job. This way you still get lots of dextrins to provide body, but you also have more maltose in the wort than if you had done a single high temp infusion. This way you can get a beer with lots of body, but it won't be as heavy (and will have a lower FG)

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Old 10-24-2013, 08:08 PM   #5
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I used to do this but the danger with todays malts, which can convert in 30 min in the 148-160f rang is resting the mash at 146 for to long.

Old charts say 30 min at each or some combo of an hour or more, which in my oppinio id way to long. Tbough the lower temp rest is a tad slower.

Case in point is a recent beer with wheat. I did a protien rest at 113 stepped up to 146 and immediayely started to slowly ramp up to 160.

Beer was dryer than expected.

Mi d my typing. Bloody smartphones..

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Old 10-25-2013, 04:13 AM   #6
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I used to do this but the danger with todays malts, which can convert in 30 min in the 148-160f rang is resting the mash at 146 for to long.

Old charts say 30 min at each or some combo of an hour or more, which in my oppinio id way to long. Tbough the lower temp rest is a tad slower.

Case in point is a recent beer with wheat. I did a protien rest at 113 stepped up to 146 and immediayely started to slowly ramp up to 160.

Beer was dryer than expected.
Agreed. You have to be careful and monitor conversion as you mash
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Old 10-25-2013, 12:04 PM   #7
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How do you monitor the conversion?

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Old 10-25-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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I use a refractometer. I calculate what the final gravity of the mash should be and go by that. One can also use an iodine test to get a ballpark estimate.

It takes a few times to figure it all out to get a good feel for how fast conversion is occurring in your system so you can adjust your rest times accordingly.

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Old 10-27-2013, 09:04 PM   #9
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A single infusion is a compromise (and easier though). I always use two saccharification rests - a rest at 146F and one at 160F. The time at each rest depends on the beer style. This is good even for today's well modified malts. I like to do them as I get a really clean tasting product. A protein rest is another subject - so this refers only to doing two saccharification steps. I have a direct fired mash tun so this makes it easy for me to do this. It works well for me, but everyone's experience is unique. If it would be difficult to do a multi step mash with your setup, then I wouldn't bother.

For light crisp beers, the danger is being too thin from mashing at a lower temperature, so folks typically push the temps down to far. A way around this is to mash in around 146 F and when conversion is nearly complete (say ~95% - depends on how fast you can ramp), ramp it up to 160 F and finish conversion there. This way you get a highly fermentable wort due to the favorable temps for beta-amylase, but it will have some bigger dextrins from the higher temp rest (too hot for beta-amylase activity, but still have alpha-amylase acitivity), and give you some nice body in a lighter beer

Conversely for richer beers, the danger is being too thick. My way around this is to start out at a lower temp and get some good beta-amylase action going on. Then maybe half-way through conversion (depending on the beer) ramp it up to the high temp to stop the beta-amylase and let alpha amylase finish the job. This way you still get lots of dextrins to provide body, but you also have more maltose in the wort than if you had done a single high temp infusion. This way you can get a beer with lots of body, but it won't be as heavy (and will have a lower FG)
Thank you! This is exactly what I was looking for. I'm attempting a dunkelweizen soon and I'd like to use a decoction mash for it- although I've never tried a decoction nor have I tried a multi-step mash. From the research I've done, it seems advisable to skip the protein rest altogether, although I'm debating whether I should mash-in around 105-110 for a ferulic acid rest to bring out more clove flavors. The issue with that would then be bringing it up to a 146 beta-amalyse rest as you say you do with enough heat to prevent hitting temperature ranges for a protein rest. And then, I would do one more rest, as you say at 160 for the alpha rest.

However, I'm confused about your terminology- you use "rich", "thick", and "heavy"- what do you mean specifically by those?

And thanks for all the responses!
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:38 PM   #10
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However, I'm confused about your terminology- you use "rich", "thick", and "heavy"- what do you mean specifically by those?

And thanks for all the responses!
Specifically, it means a higher FG. The higher the FG, the richer/fuller tasting, but if you go too high with the FG, it ends up tasting heavy (although for some beers you might want this). That is a danger when you do a single infusion at a high temperature.
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