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Old 01-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #1
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Default Thin body on AG brews? Mash temp?

I've been brewing AG for over 6 months now and it's going pretty well. Except that several of my beers have been very thin feeling. I've been mashing with BeerSmith's "medium body" profile, so a mash temp of 152. Do I need to mash higher? Stir the mash?

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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Are your beers over-attenuating?

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:37 PM   #3
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Everybody's setup works differently. Maybe on some people's setup 152 is "medium body" but on yours for whatever reason it comes out light bodied. Maybe it's a bit cooler towards the outside or the bottom or something. You have to adjust your mash to your equipment and tastes. I would suggest raising the mash temp. Maybe on your mashtun 154 or 156 is "medium body". I would try 154, then increase it next time if it is still too thin.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:43 PM   #4
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Peterj- that's exactly what I was thinking. Thanks for the input!

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #5
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Double check that your thermometer is accurate in the 145 to 165 range if you can. If not, at least check that it reads boiling water at the right temp. I use distilled water and then adjust the boiling point for my house and air pressure with this website.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:57 PM   #6
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Recipes? Ingredients like wheat and oatmeal have higher protein levels and can improve the body of a beer. I personally like this approach to adding body. I personally find that when I mash higher, yes the beer are fuller bodied, but sometimes it comes across as a bit thick (to me). I have found that by messing with the protein levels in my beers that I can achieve the body I am looking for at a cooler mash temp, resulting in a beer that has plenty of body, yet doesn't taste heavy.

Choice of yeast can make a big difference too. An easy experiment is simply to brew as you have been, but pick a yeast with a low attenuation rate (like WLP002).

And of course mash temp has a big affect on body.

So that's three different things you can adjust to alter the body of your beer. You can do the proper scientific thing and try one variable at a time (my preference), or you can go ahead and mess with all three! Keep in mind though that each one lends a slightly different affect on the body.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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Here is a detailed analysis of mash temperature affects on attenuation. It includes 3 sets of data including 2 carefully controlled sets and one real world set.
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...e-effects.html

Mash temperature has the largest contribution compared to yeast selection, fermentation temperature and even recipe. (short of adding sucrose or lactose)
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...stal-malt.html

Determining the compensation factor for your thermometer is crucial to dialing in your final gravity.

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Old 01-09-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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I have the same issues. I have been brewing AG for about the same time frame as you and experience lower than desired FG. I'm typically getting < 1.010. On one brew I bumped my mash temp up 3* from what the recipe indicated and what do you know, 1.012. I get so nervous deviating from a recipe/beersmith when mashing, but every time I used the recommended temps I get over attenuation and I can tell in the final product. I have also read on this forum that flaked barley and/or carapils can add head retention and body to a brew.

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