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Old 10-22-2010, 02:27 PM   #1
Yalpe
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Default Should I raise the temp of the first runnings?

Hello everyone!

I started brewing in june, and I'm currently planning my 5th batch. From what I've experienced with my brews so far, they are all too dry/don't have a lot of body. I'm trying to debug the problem and one theory seems to fit. Please correct me if I'm wrong!

I am mashing in a 48qt cooler and I do batch sparging. I have 2 pots to handle water volumes, 1 for heating water/boil, and 1 for storing the runnings. What I usually do is I'll let the first runnings sit in the storage pot until I am ready to sparge. Obviously, the temperature in there will lower overtime as it takes over 20 minutes to fully sparge (stir, let it sit, vorlauf, collect). Would that cause beta amylase to act on the unfermentable sugars, resulting in a thinner body? If that is the case, should I quickly heat it to 168 degrees ASAP to denature them?


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Old 10-22-2010, 02:33 PM   #2
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There was thread the other day with this exact issue. I don't remember where it is, but it was recommend to either 1) do a mashout before collecting any runnings or 2) collect first runnins and bring to 170F and then sparge with hot enough water to get your grainbed to 170F.

I'd say give either method a shot and see how it works out.


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Old 10-22-2010, 02:36 PM   #3
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I usually start heating my first runnings as soon as I'm done collecting it, for just the reason you bring up, as well as to decrease the time of my brew day. No reason to let them sit around when you could be adding heat and decrease the time to get everything to a boil.

You might also look into modifiying your setup in order to collect faster (larger outflow valve and hose) Just a thought.
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the fast replies. I am using a 3/8" ball valve. I currently don't have a hose as I was not able to find anything that can hold high temps (I can only find vinyl and polyethylene tubing. It would help so much with the process its not even funny...

Can hot side aeration happen when collecting run offs?
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Old 10-22-2010, 02:43 PM   #5
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No worries about HSA, hot water does not readily dissolve oxygen (or many other gases).

FWIW, I use vinyl tubing to collect runoff and don't have any problems. You can also order silicone tubing from various place online - it's high heat and available in food grade.
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:28 PM   #6
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same here...I have vinyl tubing coming from my MT
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:40 PM   #7
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You really need some tubing- not because of HSA (which is debatable), but because that piece of tubing really helps siphon out your runnings. You'll leave less wort behind under your false bottom/manifold with the tubing- trust me! I just use the cheap tubing (vinyl) from Lowe's. Try it- you'll be happier with it.

Secondly, you probably should start those first runnings onto boil right away. That would help preserve the mash temperature. You can always add the second (and third) runnings to it. That will bring it to a boil faster, and keep the mash profile intact.

As far as having a lower bodied beer than you like, I also think you can do a couple of other things besides the things I've already listed. One is to double (and triple) check your thermometer. Mine was off three degrees- when I thought I was mashing at 153, I was mashing at 150! Also, double check your recipes to make sure they have the correct ingredients for a fuller bodied beer. For example, adjuncts like corn, lack of crystal malt, etc, will all point to a thinner, drier beer. Ingredients like crystal malts, more highly kilned base malts (Munich malt), etc will help with a fuller bodied beer.

Mash thickness plays a role, too, but not as big a part. Try to keep the mash at 1.25-1.5 quarts per pound for best results with body if you're mashing thinner than that.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:14 PM   #8
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If you're going to order anything online some time time soon, I'd really recommend getting the silicone tubing. I used the vinyl tubing for my first few AG batches and while it worked alright, the heat would cause it to fold and would be hot to the touch. Silicone tubing is so much easier to deal with...but as Yooper said, tubing really is a necessity.

Surprised no one has asked this yet, but what temps are you mashing at, and what sort of recipes are you making? Is the cooler holding temperature the entire duration of the mash?
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:04 PM   #9
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I usually do 1.25qt/# for the mash. The cooler holds the temps fine, maybe 0.5-1 Celcius loss over 60 mins usually. I will have to double check the thermometer for sure, I'm not sure I have.

I have tried various temps, 158 (scottish 80), 153 (hefe), 154(stout). I have soft water however with a hardness of 52. Maybe that is not helping?
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper_Brew View Post
Mash thickness plays a role, too, but not as big a part. Try to keep the mash at 1.25-1.5 quarts per pound for best results with body if you're mashing thinner than that.
I don't notice any difference with the body when mashing with a thickness between 1.25 qt / lb all the way up to 2 qt / lb
But when reducing the mash thickness to 1 qt / lb, the difference is very noticeable. It is rather like comparing Twiggy (>= 1.25 qt / lb) to Marylin Monroe (1 qt / lb).
Greg Noonan states
"Mash thickness also affects the fermentability of the wort. A thick mash (less than three-tenths of a gallon of water per pound of malt) induces the greatest overall extraction. Am much thinner mash increases the proportion of maltose, and thus wort attenuation."
I must admit, that when I did some comparisons of mash thickness, I was using English pale malt (Maris Otter) to brew English style Bitters (and according to Ray Daniels, 1 qt / lb is normal for the style). You may not get the same effect using different malts.

-a.


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