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Cammanron

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My first post!
So, several weeks ago I tried my hand at brewing a brown ale. I do BIAB. I didn’t want it to be too “dry”, so I thought I would mash at a higher temperature in order to get some “sweetness “. I emphasize the word SOME. Well, it appears that I mashed at too high a temperature. After all was said and done, everything was quite reasonable but it came out tasting sweet. I’ve done IPAs and wheat beers that have turned out very good. This brown is still fine, but too sweet. The bittering hops were sufficient and that flavour profile was actually good as well.
If I pour it and let it sit a bit, it ages in the glass and is better.
Any ideas on a good mashing temp? Is the 152-155 range recommend? Should I have done a 170 mash out?
 

Immocles

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It's also going to depend on the yeast that you're using. I tend to mash dark ales at about 154. I havent come across a beer that has been too sweet or anything like that, but everyone is going to be different in that taste regard. Where was your FG ended at? Looking back at my last 3-4 dark ales, they generally ended at about 1.013/14. Only exception was when I used Windsor yeast, which ended at 1.017. Nottingham will chew through a lot of gravity points.
Also, what temp did you end up mashing at?
 
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Cammanron

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Not sure what my FG was, I wrote it down somewhere but I don’t remember off hand. I think I used Nottingham yeast but I remember asking about different types, so I may have picked up another. For sure, the mash was way too hot. It was over 160. Lol.
I guess I have to think about adjusting in smaller increments. Again, the beer tastes good, OTHER than the fact it’s too sweet.
 

cactusgarrett

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What temp did you mash at? What was the FG? You can have a beer finish at 1.020 taste drier than a beer that finished at 1.010; it just all depends on the recipe and a number of other factors. The mashout step is typically performed to lock in the fermentability of the wort for those who take a long time (ie. an hour) to sparge. The thought is that if you don't mashout, enzyme activity continues to work though your sparge and you end up getting a more fermentable wort, ending with a thin/watery beer - opposite of the problem you're having.
 
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Cammanron

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Come to think of it, I think I used SA 04
 

Immocles

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Not sure what my FG was, I wrote it down somewhere but I don’t remember off hand. I think I used Nottingham yeast but I remember asking about different types, so I may have picked up another. For sure, the mash was way too hot. It was over 160. Lol.
I guess I have to think about adjusting in smaller increments. Again, the beer tastes good, OTHER than the fact it’s too sweet.
Yeah, 160+ will probably leave a heck of a lot of unfermentable sugars in your beer. Definitely try to stay in that 146-156 range. I'm personally never under 148, or over 154. The difference in that range is probably only 4-5 gravity points in more circumstances, but I like my darker ales a bit more robust and my lighter ales/lagers on the dry side.
I havent used S04 in a long time, but I believe had you been in your recommended mash range (152-155), you'd probably have been where you were wanted to be.
 
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Cammanron

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Yeah, 160+ will probably leave a heck of a lot of unfermentable sugars in your beer. Definitely try to stay in that 146-156 range. I'm personally never under 148, or over 154. The difference in that range is probably only 4-5 gravity points in more circumstances, but I like my darker ales a bit more robust and my lighter ales/lagers on the dry side.
I havent used S04 in a long time, but I believe had you been in your recommended mash range (152-155), you'd probably have been where you were wanted to be.
Yeah, I was thinking about a more “wet” mouthfeel vs. the “dry” mouthfeel. It didn’t enter my mind that it be making brown ale soda pop. (well not that extreme). Lol
 

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Actually if you are curious you can still measure gravity even now. If you have a hydrometer, fill it up and put some saran wrap on it, then leave it for a day or so. Let it get to room temp and go flat. Then take a measurement.
 

cactusgarrett

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Brulosophy looked at the low vs high mash temp twice (with regards to regular OG beers). A helles and a porter. The resulting FGs were as expected (1.00X vs 1.02X). However, what's interesting is that despite the drastic FG differences, tasters (yeah yeah, n=2) in the helles trial couldn't (statistically) tell the difference, and the one (thanks, COVID) taster for the porter noted "oddly enough, it felt to me like the lower mash temperature beer was heavier and fuller bodied."

tl;dr - mashing extremely high won't necessarily result in a noticeably sweeter beer in the end. There are a lot more factors at play.
 
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Cammanron

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Brulosophy looked at the low vs high mash temp twice (with regards to regular OG beers). A helles and a porter. The resulting FGs were as expected (1.00X vs 1.02X). However, what's interesting is that despite the drastic FG differences, tasters (yeah yeah, n=2) in the helles trial couldn't (statistically) tell the difference, and the one (thanks, COVID) taster for the porter noted "oddly enough, it felt to me like the lower mash temperature beer was heavier and fuller bodied."

tl;dr - mashing extremely high won't necessarily result in a noticeably sweeter beer in the end. There are a lot more factors at play.
Interesting..... I don’t know what happened then. I’m sure the high mash temp did me no favours, though.
But I will say one thing is guaranteed.....
I will drink it all...
 

cactusgarrett

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Don't get me wrong - 90% of the time your issue will be a result of high mash temp. I mean, if it LOOKS and SOUNDS like a duck.....
 

DannyBoy270

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Sounds like your yeasties tuckered out for one reason or another. I'd be curious what your FG actually ended up at. If you mashed at 160+ that could be the culprit, as you may not have ended up with enough fermentable sugars, but I've mashed at 158F with no issues. Drop it down a little the next go around and see what happens :mug:
 

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I like step mashes. beta-amylase works best around 142F and alpha-amylase peak activity is around 158F so if you use a single temperature, 153F is a good target.temperature. I've attached a graph that illustrates this well. I will usually start around 140F and slowly raise through 155F over a 60 - 90 min period (spending most of the time around150F) then mash out at 170F at which temp both amylases denature. You want o minimize dextrins favored over 155F and maximize fermentables for high brewhouse efficiency.
 

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BreweryD

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I like step mashes. beta-amylase works best around 142F and alpha-amylase peak activity is around 158F so if you use a single temperature, 153F is a good target.temperature. I've attached a graph that illustrates this well. U will usually start around 140F and slowly raise through 155F over a 60 - 90 min period (spending most of the time around150F) then mash out at 170F at which temp both amylases denature. You want o minimize dextrins favored over 155F and maximize fermentables for high brewhouse efficiency.
Jerry, thanks for the chart! I've been focusing on ciders, but shifting over to more ales - stouts, porters, so my questions is more new-be...I understand the different functions of beta and alpha during the mash, but I'm confused by your comments and the original poster's comments of reaching 170F. At this temperature, is the wort essentially locked into (or out of) its ability to ferment, based on the amylases denature?
 

jerrylotto

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Above 170F amylase activity is essentially shut down and after some time non-recoverable. If most of the starches have been broken down already this can be a good thing because there are other enzyme pathways which produce less desirable results. This is all about mashing (conversion of starch to sugars) and has nothing to do with fermentation other than its goal is to prepare a wort that can be fermented.
 

DannyBoy270

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At mashout (170F) you're working under the assumption that you've achieved full conversion based on your target mash temp. You mashout to maintain that profile, be it more dextinous or more attenuable, and to also prevent extraction of undesirable tannins,etc. So yes, you're correct that you've more or less locked in fermentability, but it's for the sake of maintaining whatever target profile your after.
 
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