Mash Temp Question

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Haldedrums

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Could someone explain how important mash temperature is. I am sure this has been asked before, but I am new to all-grain brewing and can't seem to get an easy as definite answer.

I have brewed multiple batches of both a Carmel Porter and a Honey Hefeweizen, but at slightly different mash temps. The first two were at approx. 160F to 168F, the latter at about 140F. The lower temp mash brews didn't seem to actively ferment like the first few. I do know that the activity in my water trap is not the only indication of fermentation, but my ABV wad a bit lower in the low mash temps. Is the difference in temps the reason why?
 

Crinkle

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I'll let someone more technical give you a more in depth answer, but you should try and stick between 150-160 for mash temps. For a slightly fuller mouthfeel stay closer to 150. There, no someone else can give you the explanation and science behind it.
 

VanHorneDog

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Yes there is a correlation. Part of it has to do with that the higher temps strip sugars from the grain more quickly, and the lower temp doesnt. but they both do, so you would just have to have the 140 mash last longer to get more extraction.

there are a lot of factors involved, but hitting a 150-155 temp range is considered optimal due to the steady extraction (60-75min) it will give and the consistency in the quality of the beer.

For an AG brewer one of the most important things is consistency in mash temperature, especially if you want to reproduce a beer.

there is more to this, ill let somebody else get into more details. as there is a specific science involved that i know about but dont feel confident speaking about.
 

Benthic

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As the others have said, you really want to be between 150 and 155 (or maybe 150 and 160) for your single rest mash. Lower temperatures will yield a more fermentable wort (leading to a drier beer and better attenuation) while the higher temperatures in that range will yield a more dextrinous wort (more body to the finished beer). I frequently mash at 154 with good results.

You can read a LOT of information on mashing and lautering in the All-Grain section of John Palmer's How To Brew if you have a copy. If you don't have a copy you can read it for free here: http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/index.html


Brian
 
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Mike M

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Here is a good place to start on your quest for understanding the impact of mash temperature on the finished product. Simply put, higher temperatures produce wort with sugars that are less fermentable than lower temperatures.

http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14.html
 

JayB

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If you an iPhone..... Go to the App Store and search for Sparge Pal. I use the cool app to calculate mash tun water temps.
 

MashTun-Kutcher

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Without going into a whole lot of nerdy detail, There are 2 enzymes that convert starch into sugars during a mash. The first one thrives at a lower mash temps, (lets say 140-150) and the other thrives at somewhere like (150-160). You probably have noticed most people mash at 154F because its somewhat in the middle of our mash temperature spectrum so your are basically utilizing the most of both enzymes at once. A nice, general rule to keep in mind is, the higher temp you mash at, the less fermentable your wort will be, but the wort will also keep more proteins. Giving your final product more body/mouthfeel and also a better head retention. Mashing at a lower temp will make your beer more fermentable but with less body as and end result. So what im trying to say is mash temperature should differ from beer style to beer style. A IIPA for example will need more body to stand up to the bitter hops and such, while a blonde ale or cream ale will need to be more fermentable to create a crisp, dry, light beer.

Hope this helps!
 

RMitch

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My strike water I set at about 170. The grain is going to brind the temp down 15-degrees or so, right into the money spot.
 

wlffmnnn

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New to AG also. Mashing at this moment a fat tire clone since we can't get the beer here. My temp is at 163. Trying to shoot for 154. Recipe calls for 90 minute mash. Should I let the temp work it's way down, or try to cool it some. Also when running off do I go till empty, or try to get a certain amount, like 6 - 6.5 gal. Thanks for the input.
 

RMitch

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You'll have higher efficiency if you run-off smaller amounts of water. If you're brewing a 5-gal batch, do perhaps a 3.0gal runoff. Then fill it up with another 3.5gal, do another run off, etc. Once you get that all into the boil kettle, boil it down to your desired volume.

You don't want a lot of leftover mash water in the MT.
 
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