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Old 02-18-2010, 03:51 PM   #401
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No, I sometimes mash for several hours. All it means is that you'll get great efficiency...although you don't want to lose TOO MUCH heat. I figure as long as it doesn't fall below 140°F in the time it takes me to go out for dinner and drinks, then I'm fine

A long sparge COULD extract tannins, as it could leave the temperature too high for too long. Temperature is more important, tho. Once you've killed those enzymes (at about 162°F) there is no more conversion taking place and if you go much further above that (the consensus is 170°F, tops) for a long period, then there could be a problem. Think of it like leaving your tea bag in the hot water for too long and it becomes astringent.

I did a SMaSH recently that tastes somewhat astringent and the only thing I can think of was that it had a long, hot sparge. That being said, I wouldn't worry about it much...just err on the side of caution.

How was your efficiency?



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Old 02-18-2010, 03:56 PM   #402
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Good point. Perhaps I should do a "mashing" FAQ and use that as one pointed section of my all encompassing tutorial.

I don't know if you want to, but you could call it "Brew in a Bag", however I think your forum attracts people that have never heard of "BIAB", or else they would be in a BIAB forum. I think the words Easy and Mashing/all grain is what attracted people to the forum, there are plenty of BIAB forums if you know what you are looking for. For me, I never heard of BIAB before I saw the partial mash forum.

Also, I suggest you take all the good questions people asked in the later pages, and put a short Q and A on the first post. How many times have you answered the same questions?


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Old 02-18-2010, 04:03 PM   #403
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First of all, when I read this first I thought, "No way is it this simple. If it's this easy, why is there such a big deal about going all grain?!" Honestly, my incredulity kept me from doing it more than my fear. I just tried it last night and it went great, as expected.

My primary question has to do with mash and sparge length. Is there a problem with mashing for longer than 60 minutes? How about a longer sparge? Will these increase efficiency or, perhaps, extract tannins or other Bad Things? I (inadvertently) mashed for 90 minutes and sparged from 20 minutes last night. I'm not too worried, more curious for the future. Thanks!

At no point is doing this method hard. Perhaps grasping it is confusing a little. I had a friend who didn't understand ANYTHING about mashing. I brought him over to watch while I do this method and he may not know much more about mash pH, but he knows it is easy enough for him to start getting into all grain. That is the beauty of this method, once you do it, you start to gain the understanding on your own. At this point, I have enough confidence that I could build a proper mash tun if necessary (although it isnt because this method works like a charm)

As for your sparging and mash length question, people mash for up and sometimes over 90 minutes. I know people that do partigyles that let the grains mash for 24 hours after the first one. At that point you will have a little bit of sourness from the tannins extracted, but there are sour beers. Most of the conversion in the mash gets done in the first 15 minutes. The length after that can effect the beer characteristics, but most of the sugar you get is done within 15 minutes. Mashing longer just gets those few extra extraction efficiency points. As for the sparge, this is up to however you find works best. A longer/hotter sparge has the potential to extract tannins, but I don't think changing it from 10 to 20 minutes will be much of a difference. I sparged 20 minutes when I did my first wort hop addition and it was fine. If you are fine with your mash, you could not sparge at all, or just dip and dunk shortly.
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Old 02-18-2010, 04:28 PM   #404
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Is there any reason why this method wouldn't be appropriate for a german style weizen?
I've read bits about stuck sparges, etc, but that shouldnt matter with a bag.

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Old 02-18-2010, 04:35 PM   #405
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Is there any reason why this method wouldn't be appropriate for a german style weizen?
I've read bits about stuck sparges, etc, but that shouldnt matter with a bag.

I don't see what about a german weizen would make a sparge stuck more than a pale ale or something else. Usually mushy things like pumpkin can cause a stuck sparge, or milling your grain too fine. You have nothing to worry about with the bag, it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a stuck sparge. The beauty with this is you can mill your grain as fine as the bag can handle, which will give you better efficiency without having to worry about stuck sparges. Usually at the LHB store they mill assuming you are mashing the traditional way, so they don't mill to fine. You can let them know to mill the crap out of it, just make sure it doesn't fall through your bag (You can always get a finer mesh).

Back to the weizen though, some beer styles like a pilsner require some sort of step mashing technique. This requires a little practice to hit your temps correctly, but stepping isn't usually required for beers. Pilsners are a little bit of an exception because of the large quantity of base malt. It all depends on the malt...a weizen sounds pretty good. I'll be doing my fair share once the weather lightens up a little, I do dunkels in the colder months.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:00 PM   #406
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Weizens use a lot of wheat which does not have a husk. Thus when using a large percentage of wheat there may not be enough husk material to form an adequate filter bed. That is why you will see a lot of people use rice hulls when using wheat or rye. When doing this or any other brew in a bag method there is no reason to worry.

As for mash times. I mash for 90 minutes minimum no matter what beer.

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Old 02-18-2010, 05:38 PM   #407
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6 lbs Wheat Malt
3 lbs Pilsner Malt
2 ounces Aromatic Malt

Mash at 150°F

Use about 0.75 ounces of hallertau, tettnanger or saaz for a 90 minute boil (check your IBUs based on the Alpha Acid content)

Pitch WLP300
That is the recipe I'm making tomorrow (well, kinda...I'm using FWH, too) and it is something that will work perfectly with a bag. Weizens are one of the best beers to brew using this method and one of my favorites in general.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #408
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Weizens use a lot of wheat which does not have a husk. Thus when using a large percentage of wheat there may not be enough husk material to form an adequate filter bed. That is why you will see a lot of people use rice hulls when using wheat or rye. When doing this or any other brew in a bag method there is no reason to worry.

As for mash times. I mash for 90 minutes minimum no matter what beer.
True, as goes with any de-husked grain. Another tip to prevent the stuck sparge is to use oats. Unlike the rice hulls, you'll get a little bit of conversion out of them, and I enjoy the character they give to the beer
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:45 PM   #409
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That is the recipe I'm making tomorrow (well, kinda...I'm using FWH, too) and it is something that will work perfectly with a bag. Weizens are one of the best beers to brew using this method and one of my favorites in general.
What are you doing for FWH addition? I just put mine in the sparge kettle (which is what I was boiling in) underneath the bag. I hear people like to mash with them as well. What is your plan of attack?
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:15 PM   #410
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I'm using my cooler, so I get a longer period of FWH with the first runnings. I suppose with a bag you could just add the FWH to your mash water near the end of your mash so it sits long enough to extract some flavor. I've done that before, and it does work.

NOTE: I do not usually boil my FWH...they are mainly for flavor and the hops themselves do not get boiled, just the compounds they leave behind.

Mash hops work just as well, however, and I've found hefeweizens actually taste more like the german commercial styles when using FWH or Mash Hops.

Doh! Just gave up the goose



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