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Old 03-10-2010, 03:32 PM   #1
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Default Protein rest techniques for cooler mash tuns

I have been looking into doing a protein rest on my special alt (similar to the Northern Brewer Super Alt) in a 10 gallon batch. I am using 3 lbs of Weyermann light wheat malt and 23 lbs of Munich (and about 2 lbs pound of other caraamber/carafa grains)

I have played with the calculations for a protein rest and then a single step mash as well as a protein rest with alpha and beta sacch rests and I don't seem to have enough volume of water left to perform a sparge that gets me up to 167.

I have played with doing a protein rest with only the wheat malt in a separate cooler and then dumping in with other grains before mashing in. This would allow me the required water volume to perform the desired 3-step process. I am sure I am making it more difficult on myself by trying to do the 3-step but that's the kind of guy I am, LOL...

Who has done a separate protein rest with only the desired grains from the rest of the main grain bill and has it made any difference in the outcome (if you have tried it both ways)?

Am I proposing something that will make NO difference in final product given the 10-12% of the grain bill being wheat malt?

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:02 PM   #2
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I just did a 3 step mash for the first time a few weeks ago on my dopplebock. I used a protein rest. My efficiency jumped almost 15% because of the longer mash times. There were a few other variables in there too, but it definately helped. Haven't tried the finished beer though.

As for not having enough room in your cooler...when you mash in, what is your liquor/grist ratio? I normally mash around 1.5-2 qts/lb with normal beers, but because I had so many additions to make to hit 169F, I had to start out with .75 qts/lb. It was super thick and hard to get evenly stirred, but after your second addition, you'll be fine.

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Old 03-10-2010, 04:56 PM   #3
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Why not try using a single decoction? I plan on trying it for the first time on my next brew.

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Old 03-10-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
I just did a 3 step mash for the first time a few weeks ago on my dopplebock. I used a protein rest. My efficiency jumped almost 15% because of the longer mash times. There were a few other variables in there too, but it definately helped. Haven't tried the finished beer though.

As for not having enough room in your cooler...when you mash in, what is your liquor/grist ratio? I normally mash around 1.5-2 qts/lb with normal beers, but because I had so many additions to make to hit 169F, I had to start out with .75 qts/lb. It was super thick and hard to get evenly stirred, but after your second addition, you'll be fine.

Yeah, I was planning to use 0.9 qt/lb for the rest and then work up from there. I hadn't really considered starting as low starting as 0.75. Using the Munich malt (pretty well modified) and the other CaraAmber/Carafa, I had some concern about keeping them in for the protein rest and figured it was best to just do those 2 steps separately.

Was looking to see if anyone had done this primarily. It was intriguing to me to mix the protein rest needs of the wheat with the well modified malts in a single batch and be able to address 2 issues at once (by doing the protein rest on the wheat alone I can address total volume and temp capacity of my MT as well as doing the protein rest on the wheat and not the other malts).

Best of both worlds or just pointless?
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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Why not try using a single decoction? I plan on trying it for the first time on my next brew.
Seems like more brew day work/mess to me than the 3 step single MT I described above (which requires more pre-planning and calculating). Primarily my reasoning, but I have never done a decoction mash, so I have no practical experience to say yay/nay. Also don't want to darken the beer any more than already planned.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:14 PM   #6
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Decoctions for temperature adjustment don't have to be something feared. They're relatively simple and can be easily calculated in BeerSmith, ProMash, or BTP. As far as scorching your brew too much, just constantly stir and for a single decoction just pull thick portions of your mash so you don't kill too many of the enzymes converting your starches in the main mash.

Check out Braukaiser's page for more info on the process if you're interested.

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Old 03-10-2010, 09:10 PM   #7
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Yeah, I was planning to use 0.9 qt/lb for the rest and then work up from there. I hadn't really considered starting as low starting as 0.75. Using the Munich malt (pretty well modified) and the other CaraAmber/Carafa, I had some concern about keeping them in for the protein rest and figured it was best to just do those 2 steps separately.

Was looking to see if anyone had done this primarily. It was intriguing to me to mix the protein rest needs of the wheat with the well modified malts in a single batch and be able to address 2 issues at once (by doing the protein rest on the wheat alone I can address total volume and temp capacity of my MT as well as doing the protein rest on the wheat and not the other malts).

Best of both worlds or just pointless?
My recipe for my dopplebock consisted of over 7lbs of various Munich malts. I don't forsee any taste issues and since brew day went great, I'm rather excited to try it. I can't see a protein rest hurting you with any of those malts. I say just dump 'em in and do your thing.

As for a decoction mash...I debated the same thing on my dopplebock. Bocks technically should use a decoction mash schedule, but I figured it wasn't going to make that much difference.
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