"Mash Temp" of Extract

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corwin3083

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I'm moving into partial mashing, and to assist in continuing to make the beers that I like, I'm curious if anyone has any idea, even roughly, what the "mash temp" would be for your average LME or DME.

Example: I made an extract cream ale a while back that turned out very, very well. I just tried to recreate it with a partial mash, and it appears to have a much thinner body than my previous, extract, version, despite the fact that I used, and held, a mash temp of 154*F.

Does extract just generally have an equivalent fermentability to a higher mash temp, say ~156*F or so?
 

davefleck

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Each manufacturer will be a little different. I would bet more flavor differences would come from the reduction to concentrated extract then just the mash process.

Don't focus on making a recipie to mimic extract. You have far more opportunities with your mash process. Focus on learning those nuances
 

bknifefight

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I agree with davefleck. If you want to recreate the extract recipe, why not use the extract?
 
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corwin3083

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Flavor has nothing to do with my question. I'm entirely concerned with body at the moment.

My extract recipes have consistently had a thicker, chewier, more satisfying body than my partial mash recipes; I'm attempting to determine if I need to be mashing higher, say at 156-158*F, in order to replicate the body that I get from extract.

I am aware that I could just throw some maltodextrin in there to bring the body back up, but I'd prefer to fix this problem via mash temp if possible.
 
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corwin3083

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I agree with davefleck. If you want to recreate the extract recipe, why not use the extract?
Because partial mash recipes cost me $10-15 less, on average, than a comparable extract recipe, and I think I should at least pretend to be trying to save money on this hobby.
 

bknifefight

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Are you certain you are getting a consistent temperature of 154 in your mash? That should give you plenty of body. I doubt extract makers mash above that.
 
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corwin3083

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Are you certain you are getting a consistent temperature of 154 in your mash? That should give you plenty of body. I doubt extract makers mash above that.
For the partial mash cream ale, I'm about 85% certain that I did get a consistent 154*F for the mash; I measured temp before and after to confirm. However, I've only done (4) PM batches so far, so could have missed something or mismeasured something.

The recipe, for reference, was as follows:

.5# light DME
7.25# 2-row
.25# carapils
1# cane sugar (added after primary fermentation was complete, as with a tripel)

.25oz warrior @ 60min
.4z cascade @ 15min

Starter of WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale

If [email protected] should have provided plenty of body, perhaps I could try another batch of this recipe at 156*F for comparison... After all, either way I end up with beer where there was no beer before.
 

smalliewader

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I could be way off here, but 7 lb's of 2 row doesn't even equal 3 lbs of DME. So the recipe really only has 3 maybe 3.5 lbs of "DME". There's your problem. 7.5-9 lbs of grain is a typical sized grain bill for when I do 3 gallon AG batches.
 
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corwin3083

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I could be way off here, but 7 lb's of 2 row doesn't even equal 3 lbs of DME. So the recipe really only has 3 maybe 3.5 lbs of "DME". There's your problem. 7.5-9 lbs of grain is a typical sized grain bill for when I do 3 gallon AG batches.
Dang, guess I need a new, bigger mash tun...
 

smalliewader

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If all your PM's have been lacking body it's because you aren't using enough grain in place of the DME. You could keep roughly the grains you used in this batch, but only using 1/2 lb of DME isn't enough. You need more like 3+ lbs of DME for that recipe you posted.
 

weirdboy

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If he hasn't been using enough grain, wouldn't he notice when he measured OG and found it was off by 25% or whatever?

Another possibility is that the thermometer being used to measure mash temps is not reading accurately in that range, or that he is not measuring the mash temp correctly, not mixing the grist enough before measuring, etc.
 

smalliewader

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No idea, he didn't post that info. All I know is that grain bill and only 1/2 lb. of DME is going to make a pretty thin 5G batch.

From looking at my past recipes, a typical extract cream ale has 5.5-6 lbs of DME, that recipe really only has ~3.5 lbs, so 2+ more lbs of DME would need added to the grains listed.
 

smalliewader

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Dang, guess I need a new, bigger mash tun...
Not really, if you are going to stick to PM, you just need to add the appropriate amount of DME. Using more grains and only 1/2 lb of DME....you might as well get a larger tun and go all grain because you aren't using much DME at all.
 
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corwin3083

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Unfortunately, I don't have an OG for the cream ale, as I broke my third hydrometer while brewing it. I can say that I've been operating under the impression that body and OG were not necessarily connected, given proper mash temperatures, which apparently was a mistake on my part.

What I think I should do, and I welcome input on this plan, is pick up a new hydrometer and brew a nice simple bitter:

7# maris otter
1oz cascade @ 60min
1oz cascade @ 10min
WLP002 english ale

Mash for 60min @ 154*F, using deathbrewer's stovetop partial mash instructions.

At what point(s) during this process should I take a gravity reading, apart from once the wort is in the bucket and I've measured my volume?
 

bknifefight

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Again, you're really low on your grains. We're talking 5 gallon batches, right?

You want to check your efficiency which would be a gravity reading after your mash and before you add any extract. With this SG you'll take into consideration the volume of the wort. Once you have that figured, the extract will give you consistent SG additions so there is no need to take another reading unless your volume gets screwed up somehow.
 

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Unfortunately, I don't have an OG for the cream ale, as I broke my third hydrometer while brewing it. I can say that I've been operating under the impression that body and OG were not necessarily connected, given proper mash temperatures, which apparently was a mistake on my part.

What I think I should do, and I welcome input on this plan, is pick up a new hydrometer and brew a nice simple bitter:

7# maris otter
1oz cascade @ 60min
1oz cascade @ 10min
WLP002 english ale

Mash for 60min @ 154*F, using deathbrewer's stovetop partial mash instructions.

At what point(s) during this process should I take a gravity reading, apart from once the wort is in the bucket and I've measured my volume?
Take a preboil gravity (cool the sample to under 100 degrees first, then convert it!) and you can pour it back into the boil. You'll need to know your volume for this to be accurate.

An OG in the fermenter after the wort has cooled would be the next SG.

A couple of things I was thinking about- a beer with only 7 pounds of grain will taste rather thin even if you mash at 158. It's just because it IS thin. Just like a cup of coffee. If you use one scoop of coffee in the coffeemaker, the coffee is light and flavorless. If you use 4 scoops of coffee, it'll have more "coffeeness" to it. Same is true with malt- a light grainbill can make a very light beer unless it's filled with "richer" malts. For example- you can make a great mild with only 8 pounds of grain but it's hard to do well and you need some crystal malts to "help" it feel thicker than it is. With only 7 pounds of grain, you may have an OG of 1.035! Which is very hard to get to have a full rich mouthfeel.

I'd also double check the thermometer in boiling water/freezing water because if your thermometer is even 2 degrees off, you're not mashing where you think you are!
 

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For the partial mash cream ale, I'm about 85% certain that I did get a consistent 154*F for the mash; I measured temp before and after to confirm. However, I've only done (4) PM batches so far, so could have missed something or mismeasured something.

The recipe, for reference, was as follows:

.5# light DME
7.25# 2-row
.25# carapils
1# cane sugar (added after primary fermentation was complete, as with a tripel)

.25oz warrior @ 60min
.4z cascade @ 15min

Starter of WLP510 Bastogne Belgian Ale

If [email protected] should have provided plenty of body, perhaps I could try another batch of this recipe at 156*F for comparison... After all, either way I end up with beer where there was no beer before.
As another example, this is a very light beer. 7.5 pounds of grain, and a pound of corn sugar, plus .5 pound of DME means that you have over 11% simple sugar in a beer with an OG of 1.050ish. No specialty malts, except for .25 pounds of carapils, means that there is nothing in that beer to provide fullness and body but the simple sugar will make it even thinner feeling.

I'd take a look at all of the recipes you've done, and see where they are lacking. If a typical grainbill is 7.5 pounds or so, that could be a large part of it, and you need some specialty grains as "body builders".
 
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corwin3083

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Hmm. Well, if I need more specialty grains to make recipes work in terms of body, how would you alter this recipe to correct it, or is it simply not worth doing a partial mash with these volumes of grain? Would it be more effective simply to get a cooler/MLT to replace my 3gal MLT pot?

7# maris otter
1oz cascade @ 60min
1oz cascade @ 10min
WLP002 english ale
 

weirdboy

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What kind of beer are you trying to make, and how much of it?

For a 5 gallon batch, 7 pounds of grain is very low.

Adding specialty malts can certainly add body. However, I don't think just adding some specialty malts to the above grain bill is going to make a palatable 5-gallon batch of IPA, for example.

On the other hand if you are making, say, a 2.5 or 3 gallon batch then you are in much better shape.
 
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corwin3083

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It's just an ordinary bitter:

7# maris otter
1oz cascade @ 60min
1oz cascade @ 10min
WLP002 english ale

According to Beersmith, if I get 65% efficiency, which should be possible using deathbrewer's stovetop partial mash method, (5) gallons of this beer should have the following stats:

Est OG 1.035
Est FG 1.011
Est ABV ~3%
Est IBUs 31

Is Beersmith incorrect? Have I missed some calculatory step? Is this approach even really workable; can I fix it, or would it be easier to just purchase a cooler to replace my current MLT so I can use more than 7# of grain?

I hear all of you when you say that 7# of grain will produce a thin beer; what I need to hear are suggestions for correcting this. What would each of you do in this situation?
 

weirdboy

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Well first off an ordinary bitter isn't exactly supposed to have a lot of body.

However, that said, I would include a bit of caramel/crystal to help round out the aroma and flavor, give the beer a bit more depth/complexity, and color it a bit. If 7 pounds maxes out your MLT you could just as easily add that as a steeping step after you mash out.
 

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It's just an ordinary bitter:

7# maris otter
1oz cascade @ 60min
1oz cascade @ 10min
WLP002 english ale

According to Beersmith, if I get 65% efficiency, which should be possible using deathbrewer's stovetop partial mash method, (5) gallons of this beer should have the following stats:

Est OG 1.035
Est FG 1.011
Est ABV ~3%
Est IBUs 31

Is Beersmith incorrect? Have I missed some calculatory step? Is this approach even really workable; can I fix it, or would it be easier to just purchase a cooler to replace my current MLT so I can use more than 7# of grain?

I hear all of you when you say that 7# of grain will produce a thin beer; what I need to hear are suggestions for correcting this. What would each of you do in this situation?
Hmmmmmm. If I was limited to 7 pounds of grain, I would make each grain count and not fill my mashtun with just basegrain. What I mean is this- check out this recipe: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f67/reapers-mild-1st-place-2011-hbt-competition-239228/

He takes a bit over 7 pounds of grain, and uses plenty of specialty grains (but not too much!) to fill in the body and flavor. Mash at 1.25 quarts per pound, and at 156/158 to get the most dextinous wort you can, and you'll be doing great.

Your recipe for an "ordinary bitter" is lacking to be honest. You're using citrusy American hops and a plain grain bill. It won't be a bad beer, but it won't be what you are looking for. Specialty grains are crucial for these "small beers". They provide body, flavor, mouthfeel, etc that you won't get from a small grainbill of base malt. Using American hops will be even stranger- you need a nice firm malt backbone to support American citrusy hops. You could try using some fuggles or EKG hops and changing the malt bill to include some crystal 120L or 80L or victory malt to provide some interest as well as a more solid backbone for the hops.

Keep in mind that extract isn't just plain old base malt. It's usually got other ingredients- the light DME has carapils in it, for example. The amber LME has crystal malt, and I think Munich malt. That may be why your extract beers were fuller and richer- you're leaving out the specialty grains in the extract.

Using sugar to boost up the gravity in the example above you mentioned is even worse- it causes a thinner bodied beer that finishes drier- the exact opposite of what you want!

If I wanted a bigger beer than 1.038, I'd just use some DME to make up the difference but keep the specialty grains the same and increase the hopping rates for a higher OG. No need to get a bigger MLT unless you want one.
 
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corwin3083

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Excellent, excellent, thank you. This is all very helpful.

What do you think of this recipe revision:

.5# extra light DME
5.5# maris otter
.75# carapils
.75# crystal 20
Hop schedule and yeast same as original.

Should put me somewhere around OG 1.038 at ~65% efficiency, according to Beersmith.
 

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Excellent, excellent, thank you. This is all very helpful.

What do you think of this recipe revision:

.5# extra light DME
5.5# maris otter
.75# carapils
.75# crystal 20
Hop schedule and yeast same as original.

Should put me somewhere around OG 1.038 at ~65% efficiency, according to Beersmith.
Better, but I'd still consider something heftier than carapils and crystal 20L. Maybe 120L, or some biscuit malt. Or crystal 60L or 80L instead of the carapils. Even a pound of Munich malt would give it some more heft.

I'd keep some extra DME on hand, just in case you get terrible efficiency and end up with something like 1.030! Check the preboil gravity (cool the sample to under 100 degrees) and if you're low, you can always add more DME. If you're higher, and get a higher efficiency, then you'll still be fine. So either way, you'd be in good shape!

I was browsing the recipe forum just now, looking at milds since now I have a hankering for one after talking about one! I saw this recipe: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f67/empire-strikes-mildly-251016/ Keep in mind that's an 11 gallon batch, so you'd have to cut it in half, but if you want a beer that would be flavorful and still only with 7 pounds of grain, I think that's a great looking recipe!
 
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