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Old 01-08-2007, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default When to step mash?

Can someone tell me when I should do I step mash? I just did one last weekend kinda for the hell of it, I went 122 for 30 140 for 30 and 152 for 30 and was PITA. Does the type of grain matter for this kind of mash? One thing I did noticed is my final gravity came out to 1.002 I never had it so low before and I was using dry yeast.

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Old 01-08-2007, 01:02 PM   #2
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Most modern malts don't need it. If you have the facility and you want something a single temp mash wont give you then go for it.
You may end up with a better beer but unless it's easy then I personally don't think I'd bother
If you say BMC is 10% on quality and you get beer 95% quality but you must have 100% then go for it but if you're happy with what you get then why go to the extra trouble.

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Old 01-08-2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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I've never step-mashed yet and yield an efficiency on avg in the 70-80% range and make tasty brews.

The only one I may step at 122 is a wheat the next time I do one. My efficiency is always low (62-66%) with a higher volume of wheat in my mash. Want to see if this rest fixes that.

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Old 01-08-2007, 03:22 PM   #4
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I don't know if the extra rest will, help, I've done it with my 50% wheat beers and it didn't seem to make much difference (I have the same problem, 65% eff. on wheats). I want to try double crushing my wheat next time, I'll let you know if that does anything.

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Old 01-08-2007, 03:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-boy
Can someone tell me when I should do I step mash? I just did one last weekend kinda for the hell of it, I went 122 for 30 140 for 30 and 152 for 30 and was PITA. Does the type of grain matter for this kind of mash? One thing I did noticed is my final gravity came out to 1.002 I never had it so low before and I was using dry yeast.
I follow Papazian's step-mash schedule. 30 mins @ 133f, 45 mins @ 149-155f, 10-20 mins @ 158f, finish out with 167f, sparge w/ 170f water. It works for me...I get pretty good efficiency.
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Old 01-08-2007, 04:00 PM   #6
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I'm waiting for the Kaiser to chime in any minute now...

Incidentally, anyone listen to the most recent Basic Brewing Radio podcast? Kinda dull, talking about the different semantics between "craft brewing" and "homebrewing" around the world, but I'm 99.9999999% sure it was an email from one of our own that was read; not sure how many Kai's from Massachusetts speak eloquently on step mashing and regularly read German homebrewing books and web boards...

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Old 01-08-2007, 06:54 PM   #7
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I'v started doing a 30 minute rest at around 125 deg. when I have more than a pound or two of pilsner malt in my recipe... seems to improve my efficiency by 5 - 10 percent.

p

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Old 01-08-2007, 08:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_bird
but I'm 99.9999999% sure it was an email from one of our own that was read;
Yes, I had to comment on the extract vs. AG brewing in Germany. The show was never meant to happen anyway and I think that James made one because he had this great assesment of homebrewing culture from Sanders from Australia.

But it is also interesting to see how the different brewing histories influence the techniques used in home brewing as well. I could easily see somewone on a German board asking, "can I mash with a single temp infusion".

As others already pointed out, choose a mash schedule that suits the style and grain you are using. If you are brewing english or american beers with english or domestic 2-row single, a single infusion mash is the way to go. That's what most of the micros are doing and that is what defines some of the flavor for these beers.

If you use European lager malts (or domestic lager malt that is less modified, though there are some highly modified lager malts as well. Durst TurboPils is one of them as far as I know) you may want to look into using a protein rest in your mash. I have tried to use Weyermann Pilsner in a single infusion mash and the beer never cleared up like it used to when it was brewed with Briess 2-row.

Currently, with the Weyermann malts I'm using, I like to dough in around 53*C, hold that for 20min and infuse to 66*C with boiling water. The thinner mash and controlled infusions makes it much easier for me to hit my temp for the saccrification rest.

Many brewers adoped the higher protein rest temp that Papazian suggests. At 133F (55C) you get more activity from enzymes that prouce medium chained proteins which are good for head retention and mouthfeel and less activity from enzymes that convert these enzymes into shorter chains/amino acids. This is important for many modern malts since you can easily deplete the pool of medium chained proteins by resting at a lower protein rest temp.

Kai
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-boy
I went 122 for 30 140 for 30 and 152 for 30 and was PITA. Does the type of grain matter for this kind of mash? One thing I did noticed is my final gravity came out to 1.002 I never had it so low before and I was using dry yeast.
How did you incease the temp (direct heat or infusion)?
What was the starting gravity?
How long did sparging take and at what temp?

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Old 01-09-2007, 02:24 AM   #10
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Kaiser,

Is it important to point out to Brew-boy (like you pointed out to me) that another consideration for a step mash is whether or not you want to fine-tune your saccharification rests?

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