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Old 10-02-2012, 08:27 PM   #1
RoKozak
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Default Strike Temperature Question

I understand that strike water should be used to preheat the MLT and that it will drop when you add room temp grains (~68-70 degrees).

When doughing in, is there a temperature you want to avoid adding the grains? For example, if my target mash temp is 155 and the water is sitting at 175 degrees, is this too high for the grains to be added?

I guess I am wondering if there is a point when the grains can be "shocked" while either adding them to hotter strike water or while waiting for the temp to cool to my target mash temperature.

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Old 10-02-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
Frodo
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I think the key is not to take way too long to dough in if you're adding your grain to the strike water and not vice versa (which is the other option). I try to add about 1/2 my grains, stir that up so there aren't any dough balls, then add the other half and repeat; I try to do this as quickly as reasonable so it's not starting to convert sugars at higher temps than I really want for my mash. I don't think enzymes can be denatured (i.e. temps above 170F) unless they've already been activated, but I'm not sure.

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Old 10-02-2012, 08:35 PM   #3
foos-n-brew
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My process is to hear the strike water to about 180, transfer it to my mashtun (igloo cube). Close the lid for 10 minutes to preheat the mashtun.

Then I open it an stir til I hit my indicated strike temp. Usually somewhere around 163 or so, add my grains and stir well.

Keep storing if it's too high until it hits my mash temp. Close the lid and wait.

Your strike temp is usually detemined by software. Just overshoot it by 15 degrees or so to allow your cooler to heat up.

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Old 10-02-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
HIlife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo
I think the key is not to take way too long to dough in if you're adding your grain to the strike water and not vice versa (which is the other option). I try to add about 1/2 my grains, stir that up so there aren't any dough balls, then add the other half and repeat; I try to do this as quickly as reasonable so it's not starting to convert sugars at higher temps than I really want for my mash. I don't think enzymes can be denatured (i.e. temps above 170F) unless they've already been activated, but I'm not sure.
Proteins can and will be denatured under high enough temperatures regardless of any previous activity. I don't know the temperatures that the malt proteins denature at mashing pH but I've always been surprised that they're active at all at normal mash temps.

Mash out temperatures stop enzymatic activity either by 1) moving the temperature far enough away from optimal that activity is negligible or 2) denaturing the enzymes and eliminating all activity. I haven't read enough about mash enzymology to know which it is but I would be wary about starting too high.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by HIlife View Post
Proteins can and will be denatured under high enough temperatures regardless of any previous activity. I don't know the temperatures that the malt proteins denature at mashing pH but I've always been surprised that they're active at all at normal mash temps.

Mash out temperatures stop enzymatic activity either by 1) moving the temperature far enough away from optimal that activity is negligible or 2) denaturing the enzymes and eliminating all activity. I haven't read enough about mash enzymology to know which it is but I would be wary about starting too high.
Ah I see. This is from wikipedia: "When food is cooked, some of its proteins become denatured. This is why boiled eggs become hard and cooked meat becomes firm."

I try to dough in as quickly as possible so I get the mash to the target temp as quickly as possible, mostly because I don't know enough about proteins, starch, and enzymes to know what's going on, specifically what "bad" things might be happening at higher temps. I only tried adding water to the grain once, and missed my temp horribly, so I quickly resorted to preheating my cooler tun with the strike water and then adding the grain (but quickly).
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