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Old 08-08-2012, 04:19 AM   #1
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Default Conversion in 5 minutes?

I took a tour of the Coop Ale Works brewery in Oklahoma City a few days ago and got a chance to talk with their brewer. He was telling my that their supplier for grain at Cargill told them that "all of the needed sugar conversion generally takes place within five minutes and anyone doing 60 minute mashes are wasting 55 minutes". He told me that they have drastically reduced their mashing time and haven't noticed a difference in efficiency.

I guess I was just wondering if this accurate? Has anyone else heard this recently or read any literature on the subject?


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Old 08-08-2012, 04:38 AM   #2
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I have heard of this before. I think in general most conversion follows a logarithmic scale where most of the conversion is done within the first 5-10 minutes of the mash but a small amount continues throughout the mash. With that said I think your end product might be vastly different depending on what you are shooting for. The chemistry side of me wants to say that while a 10 minute mash @ 150 degrees might yield a wort at X gravity, the same mash for 60 minutes would deliver the same OG and a beer that is much drier (lower finishing gravity).

That is just speculation on my part, I haven't done any side by sides to confirm.


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Old 08-08-2012, 04:44 AM   #3
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I'd like to see the science of that statement.

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Old 08-08-2012, 05:12 AM   #4
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A mash temp of 150 would activate much more beta amylase than alpha. While the sugars may be available after 10 minutes, the same sugars in the presence of the beta amylase for a full hour will give the enzymes more time to chop up the sugar chains providing a more fermentable wort. The end result being a lower finishing gravity while starting with the same OG.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Challenger440 View Post
A mash temp of 150 would activate much more beta glucans than alpha. While the sugars may be available after 10 minutes, the same sugars in the presence of the beta glucans for a full hour will give the enzymes more time to chop up the sugar chains providing a more fermentable wort. The end result being a lower finishing gravity while starting with the same OG
good to hear. i'd hate to think i've wasted years of my life just drinking beer waiting on the mash... wait... did i just say wasting time drinking beer? senior moment...
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:26 AM   #6
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See the chart in this article by Kai:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...rch_Conversion

The chart shows a fairly minimal increase in fermentable extract after the 10 minute mark, and what is arguably a negligible increase after 30 minutes (particularly at the higher temperatures shown).

His article about iodine starch testing shows an empirical example which he considers to be "iodine negative" after a 40 minute mash.

Link here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Iodine_Test

Shortening mash times is not a new suggestion. Here's another thread on the topic: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/20-minute-mash-302811/

A very short mash with complete conversion and proper fermentability depends on making conditions as ideal as possible. An inability (or lack of desire) to control grain crush, mash thickness, mash temperature, water chemistry, and/or pH to within rather tight tolerances will lead to suboptimal results. A longer mash will overcome many adverse conditions.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:31 AM   #7
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So does Kai's article (thank you, by the way) jive with what challenger said about making more short-chains, the end result being lower FG for the same OG?

I only had time to glance through Kai's article.
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage View Post
See the chart in this article by Kai:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...rch_Conversion

The chart shows a fairly minimal increase in fermentable extract after the 10 minute mark, and what is arguably a negligible increase after 30 minutes (particularly at the higher temperatures shown).

His article about iodine starch testing shows an empirical example which he considers to be "iodine negative" after a 40 minute mash.

Link here: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Iodine_Test

Shortening mash times is not a new suggestion. Here's another thread on the topic: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/20-minute-mash-302811/

A very short mash with complete conversion and proper fermentability depends on making conditions as ideal as possible. An inability (or lack of desire) to control grain crush, mash thickness, mash temperature, water chemistry, and/or pH to within rather tight tolerances will lead to suboptimal results. A longer mash will overcome many adverse conditions.
Thanks for the break down. When I was told this I was naturally interested, as anyone would be, in making my setup less time consuming if possible. I guess it all boils down to experimentation and finding what works best for each brewer/setup....
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:46 AM   #9
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It indirectly supports Challenger's suggestion, but Challenger's explanation is slightly oversimplified and not necessarily universal. The chart shows two measurements: extract and fermentable extract. Extract is simply a measure of brewhouse efficiency. Fermentable extract (as I understand the experiment) is a measure of the limit of attenuation. In all cases, the extract and fermentable extract figures continue to rise at varying rates over time. Depending on mash temperature, the limit of each value is reached sooner. At 150 F, both values cease increasing after the 30 minute mark.

It's worth noting that brewers should not necessarily be aiming to reach the upper limit of either extract or fermentable extract. Increasing brewhouse efficiency to the maximum possible will not necessarily produce the highest quality wort (tannin extraction being a very real risk when pushing the limit of efficiency). Increasing the fermentable extract content to its limit will result in dry beer. That may be the goal for some styles, but it's not necessarily a measure of wort quality. By varying mash parameters, we control the fermentable sugar content in the resulting wort. Unfermentable content is highly desirable in some styles.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:45 AM   #10
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awesome! thanks yuri

i heart the science


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