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Old 06-28-2010, 12:29 PM   #1
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Default Step mashing without a heated tun

I have a cooler for my MLT and don't want to put a heating element in it. If I want to do step mashing, I'm curious which of the following ideas is better:

1. Start with the protein rest, drain off all the liquid, heat it in a pot to the saccarification temp and add it back in.

2. Add 200F water after the protein test to bring the temp up to saccarification temp, accepting that the mash is now very loose (probably over 2 qt per lb)

thanks for any thought or advice!

-ben

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Old 06-28-2010, 12:40 PM   #2
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#1 is like a decoction but in a decoction you'd pull out grain too.
#2 would be easier and is another perfectly acceptable way to do it.

You could rig a pressure cooker and inject steam if you don't want to go the RIMS/HERMS route.

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Old 06-28-2010, 12:44 PM   #3
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#1 IS decoction - thin decoction. Probably not the best idea because the enzymes tend to go into solution and you don't want to kill them all off yet.*

With an unheated tun you can do any combination of decoction and infusion.


*Though apparently this is how turbid mashes are conducted....

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Old 06-28-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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#1 is a decoction, but you'd be better off pulling off small portaion a thick mash and bringing it to boil. It has more thermal mass and you wouldn't be destroying all the enzymes in the process.

#2 is probably more common but you don't have to end up with a completely thin mash if you start with a thick mash for the protein rest. 1 qt per pound is fine, then use boiling water for the step infusion to reduce the amount of water you need. 2qt per pound final isn't that big of a deal. It's even preferred by some.

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Old 06-28-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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#1 is not a decoction it is a turbid mash...not the same. It is used to make wits and lambics and leaves you with a starchy wort.

I would start with a thick mash and add the hot water to raise the temp.

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Old 06-28-2010, 02:19 PM   #6
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I think it's debatable. It may be a turbid mash because he said "drain ALL of the liquid" but I view turbid mashing as an intentional process to denature most of the enzymes when using a high proportion of unmalted grains. If the intent is to raise the mash temp without denaturing, it's closer to a decoction. I would agree that neither term is exact for this purpose and the infusion is the better solution.

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Old 06-28-2010, 03:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
I think it's debatable. It may be a turbid mash because he said "drain ALL of the liquid" but I view turbid mashing as an intentional process to denature most of the enzymes when using a high proportion of unmalted grains. If the intent is to raise the mash temp without denaturing, it's closer to a decoction. I would agree that neither term is exact for this purpose and the infusion is the better solution.
True that,
I think you are on to something there, maybe a hybrid of the two…. turcoction
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:52 PM   #8
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BTW… it’s nice getting corrected by one of my heroes

Your YouTube videos rock

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Old 06-28-2010, 03:56 PM   #9
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Or you could use a combination of both methods. Start by pulling a couple of quarts of liquid and heat it to your desired temp. and return to the tun. Repeat this until you get the temp. up to maybe halfway to where you want to be, at which point this method becomes impractical due to the small delta between the actual and desired temperatures. Then do the boiling water infusion to get the rest of the temp. increase. Heating a couple of quarts by 20 or 30 degrees F will not take long, so you need to keep a close watch on your temperature. This method would require adding less water than method 2 and would avoid thinning the mash too much, if you are concerned about that. Note - I haven't tried this myself, but it seems like it could work.

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