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Old 05-21-2009, 12:42 AM   #1
Khirsah17
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Hello all,

I wanted to try a step mash for the first time and was wondering if there is anything wrong with this procedure. Letís say I do a protein rest at 120F for 30 mins, then want to raise the mash temp up to 150F. I don't have a direct fire mash tun or anything, so I plan on adding the right amount of boiling water to do so. Will I be denaturing/killing off my enzymes by adding boiling water?

Thanks!

 
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:54 AM   #2
ggoodman
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depending on grain bill may be no point in the protein rest and if anything it could do harm. boiling water is also a no no.
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:30 AM   #3
knowltonm
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I agree that a protein rest for most malts will do more harm than good, but I routinely add boiling water to the mash to raise temp. The heat gets transferred around pretty quickly when you dump it in there and stir well. Decoction boils are added back in at boiling to raise temp as well; same thing if you ask me.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:16 AM   #4
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I've never used a protein rest and my beers turn out fine, if not great. Just do the single rest
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:31 AM   #5
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Do a decoction mash. That's what I would do. It can improve the complexity of the flavor of the beer, too, and in some cases, like a Bavarian Wheat, it's part of the style.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:40 PM   #6
Khirsah17
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I'm making a summer Kolsch, and the majority of the grain bill is pilsner malt. I've seen recipes that do protein rests and others that don't. Just figured I'd try it and see if it makes a difference.

Reading up on decoction mash, it seems like you bring a portion, even up to a third of the grain to boiling. If boiling destroys enzymes, it seems like that process would do a lot of damage.

While we're on the subject, is there any problem of using boiling water to raise the temp to 170F after the mash?

 
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Old 05-21-2009, 02:00 PM   #7
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Nothing wrong with using boiling water to infuse but the mash temp will likely overshoot a little bit because it takes a little bit of time for the mash tun to absorb the heat and stabilize at the higher temp. The heat absorbed by mash tun comes from the mash itself, so when you first add the hot water the mash heats up to a certain temp...then the mash loses some of it's heat to the mash tun and the mash temp will drop a little. I usually add boiling water in steps and stir between each step.

In a decoction, most of the enzymes are dissolved in the liquid. When you pull the decoction you usually pull mostly grain (thick-mash decoction) and leave as much liquid behind as possible. Then when you add the decoction back to the mash, the enzymes that stayed behind in the main mash convert everything. The decoction used for a mash-out is usually a thin-mash decoction (mostly if not all liquid) but everything is converted at that point.

Also, if you do your step mash like in the op then you will want to make the first rest a fairly thick mash. It's gonna take quite a bit of water (even if it's boiling) to raise the mash temp from 120-ish to 150-ish and you don't want the mash to end up so thin that you don't have hardly any sparge water left.
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:14 PM   #8
thedude123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpanishCastleAle View Post

In a decoction, most of the enzymes are dissolved in the liquid. When you pull the decoction you usually pull mostly grain (thick-mash decoction) and leave as much liquid behind as possible. Then when you add the decoction back to the mash, the enzymes that stayed behind in the main mash convert everything. The decoction used for a mash-out is usually a thin-mash decoction (mostly if not all liquid) but everything is converted at that point.
I am not sure what your talking about with the pulling of the grain. I have done a decoction mast a few times and I have never pulled any grain.

 
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khirsah17 View Post
I wanted to try a step mash for the first time and was wondering if there is anything wrong with this procedure. Letís say I do a protein rest at 120F for 30 mins, then want to raise the mash temp up to 150F. I don't have a direct fire mash tun or anything, so I plan on adding the right amount of boiling water to do so. Will I be denaturing/killing off my enzymes by adding boiling water?
I do step mashes all the time with simple water additions. Works great. One tip is to start with a very thick mash - say 1qt/lb for your protein rest - then you don't need to worry about the pH going all wonky from too thin a mash later on. 30 min is way too long for a protein rest though IMO. IF I do a protein rest, it's for 10-15 min, tops.

The enzymes are far tougher than you think. A few seconds of boiling water contact while stirring in won't hurt a bit.

 
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Old 05-21-2009, 03:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedude123 View Post
I am not sure what your talking about with the pulling of the grain. I have done a decoction mast a few times and I have never pulled any grain.
There must be a misunderstanding. Decoction is pulling grain (mash), heating it to a certain saccharification temp., then boiling it and returning it to the main mash to raise the whole mash temp to the next rest temp.
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