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Old 09-24-2013, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default Q: Mash Temperature for American Strong Ale (19c)

An American strong ale recipe I have calls for a mash temperature of 150F - which seems a bit low to me. OG: 1.104 and FG: 1.024.

When you're doing a A.S.A. what mash temp do you prefer? Does 150F seem out of line?


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Old 09-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #2
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150F sounds about right. It's a big beer, and you don't want it to finish at an overly high FG, so that would work well.


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Old 09-24-2013, 05:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
150F sounds about right. It's a big beer, and you don't want it to finish at an overly high FG, so that would work well.
+1. Going from 1.104 to 1.024 is about 77% attenuation. You need to mash pretty low to get 77% attenuation in such a high alcohol beer. I mashed a 1.091 barleywine at 149F and was able to get it to 1.018 with Nottingham. So I would say 148F to 150F is good. Especially for an American Barleywine which you don't want to be too sweet.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:07 PM   #4
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What is the recipe? If it has no simple sugar added, frankly I'd say 150F is a little high. With a pound of sugar making up that OG, sure. Without it, I'd mash at 148F for 90 minutes.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:37 PM   #5
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I do most of mine high...because I like them that way and LOVE Strongs that are sweet, full bodied and caramel bombs. I also like how higher mash temps give you more of a grain bill to play with. I'll be brewing my wee heavy (10.4%) next month and the higher mash temps really allowed me room to play around with the grains and flavors I wanted. I'm not saying you can't do this at a lower temp...but the higher temp gives you a little more poundage to work with.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Calichusetts View Post
I do most of mine high...because I like them that way and LOVE Strongs that are sweet, full bodied and caramel bombs. I also like how higher mash temps give you more of a grain bill to play with. I'll be brewing my wee heavy (10.4%) next month and the higher mash temps really allowed me room to play around with the grains and flavors I wanted. I'm not saying you can't do this at a lower temp...but the higher temp gives you a little more poundage to work with.
Why would a higher mash temp affect the amount of grain you use? Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying? I would think you would be able to add more specialty grains if you had a lower mash temp rather than higher, because the specialty grains would be less fermentable.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:22 PM   #7
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Why would a higher mash temp affect the amount of grain you use? Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying? I would think you would be able to add more specialty grains if you had a lower mash temp rather than higher, because the specialty grains would be less fermentable.
To get the same ABV, a given beer needs more grain for a higher mash temp because of the production of more unfermentables at higher mash temps.
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Old 09-25-2013, 03:36 AM   #8
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It's 90% two row and 10% Crystal 120 or 150. I'll be fermenting it with WLP007 from a 2L or 3L decanted starter.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterj View Post
Why would a higher mash temp affect the amount of grain you use? Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying? I would think you would be able to add more specialty grains if you had a lower mash temp rather than higher, because the specialty grains would be less fermentable.
Higher mash temps produce less fermentable beer for all grains. From 148 to 158, you will see that you will need A LOT more grain to get the same ABV. Throw a recipe in beersmith or something similar and change the temp, you will see what I am saying. My wee heavy (a little over 10%) will have 4 pounds and this is for a 1 gallon brew. And if you don't like fuller beers you can simply add sugar or rack on to fruit or whatever later down the road to thin it out
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Old 09-25-2013, 01:10 PM   #10
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Ok, I see what you're saying I guess. I think I just don't really consider ABV until after I've already formulated a recipe. I don't usually try to attain a certain ABV, I try to attain a certain flavor and OG from the grainbill. Then I think about mash temperature and where I want the beer to finish and whether I want a fuller beer with more unfermentables or a dryer beer with less unfermentables. Then I just go with whatever the ABV happens to be.

In a situation where I would want to get a certain ABV, I think I would put whatever specialty malts I wanted to get the flavor I was going for, and then just add more or less base malt to get the ABV I wanted.

Just different ways to the same end... BEER!


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