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Old 12-30-2008, 02:41 PM   #1
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Default Trying to get more "body" in my beers... Techniques?

I have done a ton of reading, searching, etc, however I'm not really finding a direct answer to my question.

As an example, my IPA came out a little "thinner" than I'd like.

The grain bill (5 gallons) was:

12 lbs Pale 2 Row
1 lb Carapils
1 lb Crystal 60

Mashed at 153*F for ~60 minutes.

I did not lose any temp and hit my efficiency right around 75%.

Any help would be appreciated. I thought between the Crystal and the Carapils, I would get some decent body and head retention. The head retention is definitely there, however the body is not where I'd like it to be.

Thanks!



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Old 12-30-2008, 02:48 PM   #2
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It's definitely a delicate balance. You can go 155F on the mash temp, but you also have to edge up your IBUs to take care of the residual sweetness you'll be left with.



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Old 12-30-2008, 02:51 PM   #3
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Is raising the mash temp going to effect my beer's body that much?

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony_Lopez View Post
Is raising the mash temp going to effect my beer's body that much?
Yes, it can be considerable. Higher mash temps favor long chain dextrins, which give much of the weighty 'chewiness' in, say, an RIS or similar. Mashing higher is especially useful when making low ABV session ales that can be seem thin. When I last made my dark mild (3.8% ABV), I mashed at 158 for 45 to give that 'chew' factor.

But, as Bobby pointed out, it is a rather fine line to walk to keep the beer balanced. Another consideration is your yeast strain- what did you use with the IPA?
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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I mash almost all of my single infusion mashes at 1.25 quarts per pound and for an hour. I've read that a thicker mash and less time would give a tendency toward heavier bodied less fermentable worts also. I think that would be a lesser consideration than mash temp, but it might be worth a try.

As the others said, though, it might be a delicate balance because you don't want to end up with an underattenuated beer. I mash almost all of my APAs and IPAs in the 154 range, as I like them medium bodied.

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Old 12-30-2008, 03:19 PM   #6
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You have a couple of options to increase body/mouthfeel:

  1. Add maltodextrin powder. This is the simplest solution.
  2. Add long-chain unfermentables (e.g., caramel malt, unmalted wheat, or oats). A protein rest at 122F is advantageous if using unmalted wheat/oats.
  3. Mash at a higher temperature (e.g., 156F). Results in a sweeter beer too.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:59 PM   #7
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As stated, the mash was 153*F. Perhaps I'll try a slightly higher mash (154-155) and step up my hop bill to balance out the IPA. I use 1056 yeast exclusively for my IPAs and APAs. In the case of one of my IPAs that had a slow yeast starter, I also used a pack of S-05 to try and clean out any of the flavors that may have been present due to yeast stress.

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Old 12-30-2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
It's definitely a delicate balance. You can go 155F on the mash temp, but you also have to edge up your IBUs to take care of the residual sweetness you'll be left with.
I did not want to hijack this thread, but Bobby did get me thinking. So, I posted a thread over in the, "Brewing Software" forum. In short, I am wondering if when using Beersmith will it change the hop IBU schedule if I change Mash Profiles in BS.

If I find it does, then the OP'er here may benefit by using a software package.

I dunno.

See: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f84/mash-profiles-hop-addition-ibu-changes-95117/#post1033463
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
It's definitely a delicate balance. You can go 155F on the mash temp, but you also have to edge up your IBUs to take care of the residual sweetness you'll be left with.
How noticeable is the difference between 153F and 155F ? Would there be anyway to objectively measure the difference ? I'd be interested in knowing the subjective differences (eg: taste? body? mouthfeel ?) that are noticed as well if you don't mind sharing.

Somehow I had gotten the (wrong?) idea that 153F was already on the warmer/more dextrines/more body end of the mash temperature spectrum and that 155-156 was beginning to get into the warm enough to stop conversion entirely spectrum.
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Old 12-30-2008, 05:03 PM   #10
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You could also try an English yeast. They tend not to strip out the malty flavours as much as the American yeasts, but may not be suitable for and American Ale.
Another option would be to use an English malt such as Maris Otter as the base malt. Plenty of Americans use that for American ales, and it adds a decidedly malty profile to the beer.

-a.



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