Protein Rest vs. Mashout vs. Chill Haze vs AHHHHHHHHHH CONFUSION
One of the things I love about this hobby is that there are a lot of ways to reach the final end product of quality beer. However, the discussions of different ways to reach the goal confuse me sometimes.
Today I'm brewing a Wheat IPA:
OG: (still brewing, I don't know it yet, predicted at 1.059)
FG: predicted to be 1.012
Batch Size 5.5 gallons
7.5lbs Rahr 2-row
5.5lbs Weyermann Pale Wheat Malt
.5lbs Breiss Crystal 20
1.25oz Centennial 8.6% 60min
1.00oz Amarillo 10.6% 10min
1.00oz Amarillo 10.6% 5min
1.00oz Zythos 10.6% 5min
1.00oz Amarillo 10.6% 0min
1.00oz Zythos 10.6% 0min
1oz each Amarillo and Zythos in the keg
WLP090 Super San Diego
Mash Profile: (BIAB)
Dough-in at 110F with 7.5 gallons
Protein Rest at 124F for 20min
Infusion Rest at 152 for 60min
Mashout at 170 for 10min
Drain and Rinse grains with 3 gallons 170F water
Can we have another discussion about these topics? I understand that a protein rest is not necessary with today's malts, but does it truly improve the clarity more so than techniques like Whirlfloc and Gelatin or Cold Conditioning?
Honestly, it's a wheat beer so clarity really isn't or shouldn't be the question....
I personally mash the way you've laid it out because I like the results better with my wheats than a single infusion mash. Since wheats are supposed to be cloudy and such I really don't worry about protein haze or the likes.
Some will do decoction mashes to build up the body and flavor profile but to me it's just a PITA although a friend does and his beers are great too.
Let me take your process apart a bit. You're doing this as a BIAB batch. You don't have to depend on gravity to get the wort out of a mash tun, you have the grain in a bag and can squeeze the bag to get the wort out. Since you are going to squeeze the wort out and have a fine mesh bag to make your filter, you don't need to worry about how sticky the mash is so you can drop the beta glucan rest. It's a wheat beer and clarity isn't expected so you don't need a protein rest either. Now that leaves you with a single infusion at 152. Much easier.
When the mash is over you are going to pull the bag of grains out and start heating the wort toward the boil. That will stop the enzyme action so you don't need a mashout. Squeeze the wort out of the bag of grains and return this to the boil pot. You aren't leaving much liquid in that bag of grains so unless you like to spend money on fuel to boil a bunch of water to steam, you can start with a smaller amount of water too, perhaps 7 gallons or a little less depending on how hard you squeeze that bag of grains to get the wort out. I usually start with a little less water and then pour a little cold water into the bag of grains after I have squeezed it as that little bit more water cools the grains which makes it easier to squeeze and rinses out more sugars.
Do you have your own mill? If so, make sure the grains are milled fine, really fine. Mine look like coarse corn meal with the grain husks all torn to shreds. It's OK, I have a bag to make a filter so I don't have to give up efficiency with the coarser milling necessary for a conventional mash tun. Now with the grains milled so fine the water wets them quickly and leaches the sugars back out quickly so instead of waiting for the 60 minutes for the mash, I only wait 30. Using an iodine test on my wort I find that conversion happens in less than 10.
OG? I always have trouble with that because I don't yet believe the efficiency that I can get with BIAB. I set the software for 80% efficiency and nearly always overshoot my predicted OG. I wouldn't be surprised that if your grains are milled fine so your conversion and extraction are good that your OG doesn't exceed 1.070 with that amount of grains.
I actually hit 1.070 on the nose. I'm glad because it seemed like I was really getting my BU:GU way off even for an IPA.
I know I don't necessarily need all those steps for BIAB, but I did the protein rest more as a challenge to myself and I do the mash out and hot water rinse/sparge because that's really improved my efficiency. Wednesday I did a stout without the mashout and I only hit 72%. I was a bit low on my volume yesterday (only 4.75G to the fermenter) but I believe I was in the mid 80's. (82% calculated)
I've actually been taking the grain bag and putting it over a bucket then using file clips to hold the grain above the liquid. I pour about two quarts of water through then the hot water. The wort in the kettle read 14 %Bx and the liquid in the bucket read 9 %Bx, and the resulting grain afterwards tasted like almost nothing.
I'm going to use a cold crash and gelatin in the keg to help clear then beer, I was just using the wheat as a secondary source of sugars.
You can also try acidifying the wort for the boil and extending the length of the boil (say to 90 minutes) to help get rid of coagulable proteins.
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