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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Steam infusion hefe-weizen success!
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:54 PM   #1
FlyGuy
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Default Steam infusion hefe-weizen success!

Last night I brewed my first AG multi-step mash using my new steam infusion mash system (details here). Despite some initial disappointment I had testing the system (see previous thread), the SIMS worked flawlessly!



I did a 6 gallon hefe-weizen with a 14 lb grainbill in my 10 gal cooler MLT (see construction here). I mashed in with 4.5 gallons of water and did a 30 min protein rest at 122 deg F. Then I opened the steam jets and stepped up to 152 F. Worked fabulously -- heating took about 12 mins, and I probably could have gone faster if I had wanted to. Once at 152, I did another rest for 40 minutes, and stepped up to 168 F for a mash out. (I have never done a mash out before, since I have only used single infusions in the cooler, but I think it really helped my sparging - I was worried about all the wheat causing a stuck sparger, but that blast of heat really thinned out the mash and made it super easy to sparge.) Anyways, I sparged and did a 75 minute boil. My efficiency was a little higher than expected (I expected 65%, got 68%). So overall, I was really pleased with the brew!

Here is a shot of my el cheapo 3-tier, split pot system in action:



I am really pleased at how easy it was to do a step mash in a cooler. Also, the SIMS was EXCEPTIONALLY easy to build, and cost all of about $30 (much less if you already have a pressure cooker). I would definitely recommend this approach to anyone, especially if you are limited to mashing in a cooler. I will definitely be using step mashes again in the future.

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Old 03-30-2007, 04:58 PM   #2
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Sweet! How did you keep from overshoot? Did you manually step back the valve as you got within a certain temperature of your target?

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Old 03-30-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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Honestly, I just got lucky. I thought I had overshot my sacchrification (sp?) rest badly, so I just halted the steam supply. But it was just a hot pocket that my thermometer was reading. Once I stirred a bit, the temps evened out right at my rest temp.

One issue (and maybe this applies to a direct-fired mash step, as well, using a burner) is that the SIMS generated a lot of hot and cold spots. I really don't think that scorching/overheating parts of the mash were ever an issue, but you do have to stir to keep the heat evenly distributed in the cooler. With the tests I did on plain water, this didn't seem to be the case, but I guess the mash is just that much thicker.

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Old 03-30-2007, 05:25 PM   #4
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One experiment I can think of is to use vertical perforated rods, this would really help distribution of the steam.

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Old 03-31-2007, 02:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebisch01
One experiment I can think of is to use vertical perforated rods, this would really help distribution of the steam.
Or a multi-tier set of rings. Either might resolve the stirring issue, but I don't know how easy it would be to wet the mash at mash in if you couldn't stir it. A complex manifold like that might get in the way. Hmm..
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