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Old 06-09-2010, 05:52 PM   #1
Bane
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Default Mash Temp?

I have only been brewing a short time with extracts and am no venturing into partial mash and all grain brewing. My question is, how do I determine what my mash temperature should be? I have seen lots of recipes where a specific temp is listed, but have been unable to find anything that really explains how to determine what my temp should be.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 06-09-2010, 06:00 PM   #2
erkwist
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You want to mash at a temp that will convert the starches to fermentable sugars, the temps that this happens at are roughly 150 - 160. You can get very deep into the chemestry of this if you like, detailing the beta and alpha amylase (one is highly fermentable and the other less so) but a good mix of the two make good beer.

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Old 06-09-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
KingKegII
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From a previous post on this topic: what erkwist has said is correct. 153 F is a compromise to get good activity from the malt enzymes beta amylase and alpha amylase; shoot for that temp and you can't go wrong. This is especially true for your first few batches until you get your system dialed in. Once it's dialed in, you can play w/ your mash temp to tweak the beer: lower mash temps will result in a thinner, drier beer; higher mash temps will result in a sweeter/maltier beer. Here's a good, concise summary on mashing: http://www.realbeer.com/jjpalmer/ch14.html

Assuming you will be batch sparging for now, just remember that to hit 153, the water you add to the mash tun will have to be hotter than that to account for thermal absorption of the grain and the tun itself, you'll also be stirring the water into the mash and will lose a degree or two to the air. There is software and online tools to help you calculate your stike water temperature. Here are two:
http://www.krotchrott.com/calc.html
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

Cheers.

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