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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Question on Step Mashing. Please Help
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:02 PM   #1
Kriegerbrauer
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Default Question on Step Mashing. Please Help

Hello All,

According to Papazian's TCJOHB, Alpha works best between 149-150 deg F, while Beta works best at lower temps. It also says that Beta amylase will become deactivated in about 40 min at 149 deg F. If I am looking for a highly fermentable, light bodied beer, wouldn't it make sense to Mash in at 150 for about 5 min to allow Alphas to do their thing, then drop to 135-140 for a longer period to maximize Betas' activity? The Betas would not be deactivated in such a short amount of time, would they?

I've looked around and no one seems to be doing this so I figure that there must be a good reason. Please clue me in.

Thanks in advance for you time. Semper Fi.

-Kriegerbrauer

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Old 09-19-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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Check out chapter 14.6 in How To Brew, to me, regarding alpha and beta amylase, it is more about PH rather than temps. Palmer says you need a balance of alpha and beta. You do this by profiling your water.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14-6.html

"A compromise of all factors yields the standard mash conditions for most homebrewers: a mash ratio of about 1.5 quarts of water per pound grain, pH of 5.3, temperature of 150-155°F and a time of about one hour. These conditions yield a wort with a nice maltiness and good fermentability."
-Palmer

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Old 09-19-2011, 10:55 PM   #3
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thanks for the help

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Old 09-20-2011, 04:25 AM   #4
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If you really wanted to get crazy and shoot for really fermentable beer (not sure why, but let's pretend its useful for some reason), you could mash at the higher alpha temp (let's say 158) for an hour to chop up plenty of moderately-sized sugars, drop the mash temp to about 140 or so and mash in another few pounds of 6-row and mash for another hour. This would replace a bunch of the beta you lost at the higher temp that should chew up plenty of fermentable sugars from whatever the alpha produced.

Now this is going to take twice as long (if not longer at the second mash if you really want it fermentable) and I'm not sure what you'd gain by it. I guess if you were able to really get it low in non-fermentable sugars you could try it on a lawnmower beer (snowblower beer?) and aim for an OG around 1.040 but really fermentable so it finishes around 1.005 or even lower. Don't know how it would taste, but might be worth a shot!

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