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Old 06-02-2011, 01:09 AM   #1
marcopolo
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Default step mashing

Does anybody do step mashing ? Is it possible to step mash with a direct fire mash tun using low heat, but not using a pump to recirculate the wort or is that too risky? Is there a formula for step mashing in a cooler using indirect heat ? Is step mashing considered obsolete because modern day malts are so well-modified ? Just wondering ? Looking for real world experiences as opposed to theoretical answers. Thanks !



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Old 06-02-2011, 02:53 AM   #2
Nateo
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Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Does anybody do step mashing ?
Yes, I do.

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Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Is it possible to step mash with a direct fire mash tun using low heat, but not using a pump to recirculate the wort or is that too risky?
I do this sometimes, but my mash tun is also my boil kettle. Just mash in around 2-3 quarts/lbs and stir frequently and you shouldn't get any scorching. It will take a while to heat up though, so I usually use decoctions or boiling water infusions instead.

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Is step mashing considered obsolete because modern day malts are so well-modified ? Just wondering ? Looking for real world experiences as opposed to theoretical answers. Thanks !
A lot of people will tell you step mashing isn't necessary because "modern malts" are so well modified. The problem is, not all "modern malts" are equal in their modification. Get a typical malt analysis for the malts you use, and look at this:
http://brewingtechniques.com/bmg/noonan.html

You might be surprised that a lot of "modern" malts aren't as well modified as some other malts. Are they modified "well enough" for you? That's a different question. Every "modern" malt will make decent-to-good beer with single-temp infusion mashes for most brewers most of the time. A single-infusion mash may not make the best possible beer, depending on the malt. That's what the malt analysis will tell you.

Where things like diastatic power become very important are when making beers with large amounts of unmalted or toasted grains. You need ~50* of diastatic power to get decent conversion.


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Old 06-02-2011, 02:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by marcopolo View Post
Does anybody do step mashing ? Is it possible to step mash with a direct fire mash tun using low heat, but not using a pump to recirculate the wort or is that too risky? Is there a formula for step mashing in a cooler using indirect heat ? Is step mashing considered obsolete because modern day malts are so well-modified ? Just wondering ? Looking for real world experiences as opposed to theoretical answers. Thanks !
I step mash.

Not so much through the acid and protein rest phases, but I like to step mash on beers that I want to ferment out dry. I will start out low, around 148 or so for 45 minutes, then do a boiling water infusion to get up to 156 or so for another 20 minutes. This give you a very fermentable wort and makes for a nice dry beer. You can adjust for body and mouthfeel with recipe. Add carapils or whatever to make up for the body you will lose in the mash.
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Old 06-03-2011, 01:05 AM   #4
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I just finished a Hefeweizen with a step mash. I used a direct fired SS pot as my mash tun. I just stirred continuously until the next temperature was reached. I still used 1.25 qt/lb. I had no issues at all.

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