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Old 06-29-2012, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Mash Thickness and Sparging as it relates to Tannins

Just wondering if it is better to Mash thinner and sparge with less water, will this make a better Wort? I have experimented with 1.1 to 1.5 and I know some go even thinner... is it a trade off of eff vs. tannins? Also the thinner mash lets me break up my dough balls easier..

Thanks for thoughts


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Old 06-29-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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Just wondering if it is better to Mash thinner and sparge with less water, will this make a better Wort? I have experimented with 1.1 to 1.5 and I know some go even thinner... is it a trade off of eff vs. tannins? Also the thinner mash lets me break up my dough balls easier..

Thanks for thoughts
I've gone up to 2 quarts/pound sucessfully, without noticing much change in the quality of the wort. The key to avoiding tannin extraction is mash and sparge pH. Acidifying your sparge water (if not using RO water) is one of the easiest ways to avoid tannin extraction.


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Old 06-29-2012, 11:43 PM   #3
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Do you specifically mash thinner for a particular style, by habit I just go thinner with bigger beers.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:43 PM   #4
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I use thick mashes as it related to better body and enzyme activity. I use thin mashes when doing a decoction mash because of the boil off ratio. All in all I really don't see it playing a major roll in the entire process, depends on what you prefer.
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Old 07-01-2012, 05:50 AM   #5
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I use thick mashes as it related to better body and enzyme activity. I use thin mashes when doing a decoction mash because of the boil off ratio. All in all I really don't see it playing a major roll in the entire process, depends on what you prefer.
Is that just from your personal experience or is there something to prove that thick mashes promote better body and enzyme activity? Just curious because I've always mashed thin.
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:07 AM   #6
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There was a presentation about mash efficiency in the 2010 American Homebrewers Association National Homebrewers Conference. In the presentation the subject of mash thickness is discussed. It has been a while since I read it but I believe it leads to the fact that a thinner mash will actually be more beneficial for brewing. http://www.ahaconference.org/wp-cont...i_Troester.pdf I believe that link should take you straight to it. As I have found with homebrewing though and discussing things on a forum, someone somewhere has a reference that contradicts this, so different strokes for different folks... Thick or thin mash, at the end of it all you will still make beer.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:45 PM   #7
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While working in breweries the explanation I was given is that when mashing thin, not just thin but on the extreme side of thin, the enzymes are diluted and is harder for them to work which will need a longer mash. When brewing lagers, which is lighter in body, it was suggested to try and use a thinner mash for this reason if possible with. We had no means of heating the mash tun so once doughed in whatever temperature was reached is what we had, so I saved that extra room incase I needed to add hot water to adjust. If mashed thin I would loose that safty net. While brewing at home I have always stuck to thick mashes unless using a decoction mash which I think voids comparison. Also I'm not sure what page but I do recall in Ray Daniels Designing Great Beers he touches on this subject as well as Steve Snyders The Brewmasters Bible, with the same view as what I stated. I have not had a chance to read the link above but am interested in doing so when I get a chance. All in all on homebrewing side I really don't see a huge difference.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Let's talk some turkey, thin and thick are too general, esp. if we are going to start saying too thin or too thick... I've been mashing my ESB's and Stouts at 1.5qt/#, I do this because my friend who works at a brewery in the UK told me to :-) They like this ratio for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is less potential of restricted surface area for enzymes in dough balls that may not stir apart as easily in thicker mashes... That said, I make American Ales at 1.2qt/#, don't ask me why... hey, this is kinda why I asked in the first place... And, yes it will all turn out beer but as 'craft(y)' brewers we always seek the 'step up' in quality.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:57 AM   #9
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My mashes on average are around the same as yours at 1.5qt/# for single infusion mashes. For those I don't measure out my mash liquor and mash in by sight. I don't do water adjustment so see no need to do so, although I do measure by runnings.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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From the link above (Kai Troesters PDF)

>>mash thickness: thinner mashes convert faster and more easily. Thick
mashes impede starch gelatinization and inhibit alpha amylase activity. Even
6 l/kg (3 qt/lb) is not too thin.

Why is this the case? I would think a thick mash concentrates the enzymes, that it would be beneficial to mash "thick" rather than "thin".
(thick and thin are ??? 3 and < 1 ???)


Great article by Kai by the way.

Wort Strength in Plato = 100 *
(M extract)
/
(M extract + M water)

M stands for what? Mass? How is this measured?


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