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A couple of quick mashing questions

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DeathBrewer

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Still pretty new to AG...haven't quite figured everything out yet. I have some questions now and may come up with more as the current brew session. I'm making a Belgian Pale.

1. Does barley have an absorbancy level? how do i predict how much it will absorb and what my first run-offs will be so i can estimate my sparge? I can't boil too much on my stove.

2. So i get 170F water and mix it (at 1.25lbs/qt) with my grains to get 154F, then i set my timer for 60 minutes and stir every 15 minutes. Is this considered "mashing in @ 154F"?

3. what is "mashing out"? I thought it was just the final temperature, but i see in promash that there is a time field and it's confusing me.

3. I generally pour my sparge water in, then stir well and take the temperature before making my runnings. i've read many people do a "10 minute sparge" and don't really understand why. why should i let it rest before doing my final runnings?

i've read a bunch about AG before i started doing it, but it was confusing...i just bought ray daniels book and will read more, but i need help this session :)

Much thanks!

:mug:
 

Dark_Ale

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1. Go ahead and figure you will loose about 1/2 your in grain....You will have to measure and calcuate you get you exact amount lost everyones will differ a little

2. It would be better to get your water hotter in your mash tun, let it stablize to about 165 then doe in...or add your grain....You will have to determine your heat lost based on your set up, grain temp if your using a cooler you will loose about 10 degrees...I only stir a couple of times during the mash, in the beginning its important to stir otherwise you will get hot spots and cold spots,

3. I dont have promash, Are you batch sparging or fly sparging?

4. I sometimes add a couple of gallons after the mash circulate and drain. Sometimes I drain add a couple of gallons recirc and drain only if my gravity is high enough. A refractometer works great for this, but to prevent oversparging you can take a gravity ready and dont drain anymore when your gravity falls below...I cant remember 4brix not sure on SG look up a Brix SG conversion chart. I stop at 5brix just to be safe. Your PH also will be a key player in your sparge which can also extract tannins....along with oversparging, and too high sparge temp.......Good Luck
 

Dark_Ale

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Yes and that may work great for some brewers but I dont like to push it, I have not done enough experiments but in my own honest opinion I dont push 165~167....But thats just me. To answer your question yes you want the mash at 170. Some heat above 170 so when they add the total mash is at 170...I add 170 water and my mash is slighty lower after all the water is added but thats just me.
 

Dark_Ale

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Correction you only want the mash at 170 when you are sparging...Thats what I meant
 
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DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

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1. 1/2 loss...ok, and i shouldn't lose much if any from my sparge...so if i want 6.5 gallons at 4 gallon mash, i will sparge with 4 gallons. PERFECT! that's what i have heating up.

2. i used the green bay rackers calculator and estimated the water temperature...it worked perfectly. i basically added a little water, added some grain, added some water, stirring all along, then gave it a good stir. when i checked the mash it was perfect at 154. this seems like a good method, correct me if i'm wrong. i really just don't understand the terminology.

3a. whoops...i have 2 "3"s lol...once again i just would like to understand what "mashing out" means and entails.

3b. i'm batch sparging.

4. i generally get between 75-80% efficiency so far...i'm not really TOO concerned about that...i'm more concerned about temperature and the amount i need to boil.
 
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DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

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just smelled my starter (WLP 550 Belgian Ale with Pilsner Extract)

damn, it smells Great! VERY fruity...almost want to drink it now, but don't want to waste it (or put my lips on the flask)

:D
 

Dark_Ale

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mash out
The final stage of decoction and step mashing. During the mash out the mash temperature is raised to 168 °F (76 °C) and allowed to rest for five minutes. This procedure is used to terminate enzymatic activity and to improve the flow of the sugar solution during lautering.

 
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DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

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cool. google would've probably worked just as well in that case, eh? :drunk:

i did not do that properly this time. i'll be sure to read up more before tomorrow's batch and then i'll be sitting down with Designing Great Beers over the next couple of weeks

:mug:
 

malkore

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Hey DB,

you might wanna download the evaluation copy of ProMash. it's very helpful for figuring strike water temp (the 'mash in' water temp..aka doughing in). It also calculates grain absorption, which I think is something like .2 gallons per 1lb of grain.
I only use the eval version...its only crippled in how it can't save/import recipes...but the calculators work fine.

the reason you pour sparge water in and wait, is because that disturbs your grain bed ,plus you need to stir so you rinse the sugar out of the grain with the fresh water. then it needs to sit and settle, so you can drain and recirculate (vorlauf).

I find with my SS braid I only have to wait about 5 minutes after I vorlauf before I can drain the sparge water.
 

Jack

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malkore said:
the reason you pour sparge water in and wait, is because that disturbs your grain bed ,plus you need to stir so you rinse the sugar out of the grain with the fresh water. then it needs to sit and settle, so you can drain and recirculate (vorlauf).
Plus, it's possible that you might get more conversion, resulting in higher mash efficiency. I think that's what it says in "How to Brew" at least when he recommends waiting fifteen minutes before draining your sparge water.

(I've never tested to see if it helps your mash efficiency.)
 
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DeathBrewer

DeathBrewer

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malkore said:
Hey DB,

you might wanna download the evaluation copy of ProMash. it's very helpful for figuring strike water temp (the 'mash in' water temp..aka doughing in). It also calculates grain absorption, which I think is something like .2 gallons per 1lb of grain.
I only use the eval version...its only crippled in how it can't save/import recipes...but the calculators work fine.

the reason you pour sparge water in and wait, is because that disturbs your grain bed ,plus you need to stir so you rinse the sugar out of the grain with the fresh water. then it needs to sit and settle, so you can drain and recirculate (vorlauf).

I find with my SS braid I only have to wait about 5 minutes after I vorlauf before I can drain the sparge water.
I have ProMash...i've only used it up to this point for recipes, i need to really check out it's other features.

i understand the mash out rest now, too. i was actually hoping for some drier beers with my last few batches, so hopefully it will be good that i didn't raise the temperature. i tried it today and it didn't have the right effect (didn't raise the temp by much when i added the water)

i have been vorlaufing, definitely a necessary process...tons of grains come out at first.

with the sparge i'll generally stir it up, take the temp, then let it sit for a bit before i make my final runnings.

thanks for your advice! :mug:

it sounds like i'm doing ok but could make some improvements to my process. i'm reading up more on the matter, so hopefully between that and HBT i'll be able to come up with a good system for myself.

Thanks again everyone! HBT is the ****! :D

:rockin:
 

Kaiser

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Dark_Ale said:
mash out
The final stage of decoction and step mashing. During the mash out the mash temperature is raised to 168 °F (76 °C) and allowed to rest for five minutes. This procedure is used to terminate enzymatic activity and to improve the flow of the sugar solution during lautering.
mash-out is actually not intended to stop all enzymatic activity (I used to think this as well). The opposite is actually true. A temp of about 168 *F will supercharge the alpha amylase such that it can convert any yet unconverted starches that are released during lautering. The higher temps also improve the flow of the lauter which might be the major benefit that the home-brewer is getting out of a mash-out.

DeathBrewer,

If you are batch sparging and don't know the exact absoption ratio of your grist, don't sweat it. Keep a little more sparge water handy and once you are done with your 2nd-to-last run-off, look how much pre-boil volume is missing and use this amount as your final sparge amount.

Kai
 

slnies

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Kaiser said:
mash-out is actually not intended to stop all enzymatic activity (I used to think this as well). The opposite is actually true. A temp of about 168 *F will supercharge the alpha amylase such that it can convert any yet unconverted starches that are released during lautering. The higher temps also improve the flow of the lauter which might be the major benefit that the home-brewer is getting out of a mash-out.

DeathBrewer,

If you are batch sparging and don't know the exact absoption ratio of your grist, don't sweat it. Keep a little more sparge water handy and once you are done with your 2nd-to-last run-off, look how much pre-boil volume is missing and use this amount as your final sparge amount.

Kai
That is some good stuff to know. Thanks. S.
 
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