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Kayos

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I have seen many threads about mashing temps and read the books, too, but they all seem to be very technical. There are a lot of us who have made FlyGuy's cooler MLT and do not step mash or do decoctions yet. What do you all mash at --beer specific. Stouts vs. Pale's and everywhere in between. Is there a general rule? I have always done the 154 rule, but if a few degrees makes a difference, why not? It would give me something new to do.
 

slnies

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154 is a good rule. If you like your brew sweeter, than a slightly higher temp, if you like your beer dryer than a lower temp. The temps are basicly to get you into a ball park for the different enzymes to do there work. What it boils down to is this, at a higher temperature sugars are being broken down, but not to fermentable sugars. so your beer tastes sweet after the ferment. At a lower temp. a different enzyme is at work breaking sugars down to fermentable tid bits. This makes your beer dryer and more alcoholic. That doesn't mean that the other enzymes are not at work, they are just not as active and the higher the temps get the more likely it is to denature the enzymes that work best in the lower ranges. So 154 is supposed to be the balance.

I am sure some of the others can explain it better, but that is the jist of it. S.
 

ajf

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For English Pale Ales (and related beers), I always mash at 153 - 154 degrees using 1 qt water per lb grain.
For English IPA's, I mash at 152 - 153, and still keep the ratio to 1 qt to 1 lb.
I am not very happy with my stouts, so I won't make any recommendation there.
My last brew was an American Pale Ale because some of the people who drink my beer think it has too much body (but it doesn't stop them drinking it). For that, I mashed at 150, using 1.25 qts per lb. It's still in primary, so I don't know how it's going to turn out.

-a.
 
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Kayos

Kayos

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Cool and basic explanation, slnies, I like it!

So does the qt h20 vs. lb of grain also make a difference in body/malty vs. hoppy?
 

TexLaw

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Yes, that ratio does make a difference. Thicker mashes tend to make less fermentable wort and, thus, sweeter beers with more body. Thinner mashes tend to do the opposite.


TL
 

jdoiv

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Yes. A thinner mash will give you a more fermentable wort than a thicker one. The differences in mash thickness are very subtle. Mash time can also affect this as well. A longer mash will produce a drier beer and also a higher efficiency. Though temp is the biggest deciding factor in all of this. Thickness and time will make more subtle differences than temp alone.
 

Soulive

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Another thing to consider is the expected attenuation of your yeast. Mashing @ 154F for Nottingham is not going to yield the same results as mashing @ 154F for S-04...
 
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Kayos

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Soulive said:
Another thing to consider is the expected attenuation of your yeast. Mashing @ 154F for Nottingham is not going to yield the same results as mashing @ 154F for S-04...
Someone wanna explain this to me?
 

slnies

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Kayos said:
Someone wanna explain this to me?
The biologist in me says this all has to do with fermentable sugars, salinity, and Ph buffering. Yeasties are living creatures that need a :drunk: controlled nursery, AKA "wort" in a fermenter. Different strains of yeast do different things in your wort because there environments were controlled over a period of time. Let me make sense here. Yeast is privy to natural selection, this process is a adaptation mechanism, through this process we derive the different strains of yeast. The easiest variables to control are environment (wort). So theory would dictate if we were to take a yeast, say an ale strain, that works well in the warm temperature ranges over time if we lowered the temps gradually, the yeast would adapt and eventually you would have a lager yeast. This is just a simple explanation, but it works. There are in-fact many variables to consider and a lot of thought that goes into strain creation, but I expect that the difference between Safal-04 and Nottingham is the Yeast. They are different strains and thus will have different results in the same wort and it really doesn't matter much if you hit there ideal wort, yeast is selected for flavor profile, attenuation, and the such. Is it more clear, like mud.:drunk:
 

the_bird

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TexLaw said:
Yes, that ratio does make a difference. Thicker mashes tend to make less fermentable wort and, thus, sweeter beers with more body. Thinner mashes tend to do the opposite.


TL
Would you agree, though, that the impact of mash thickness is less important than the impact of temperature? I.e., if you want a more full-bodied beer, it's easier to get there by keeping the mash temps on the higher side rather than thickening the mash?

I've also always been under the impression (and my experience does not counteract this) that higher temps result in more dextrines - but dextrines themselves are not inherently sweet. There's a difference between a beer being full-bodied and being sweet. If you want a thick, sweet beer (Hobgoblin as an example), use more crystal malt for both sweetness AND body, don't just increase the mash temp.
 

Bobby_M

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I keep my thickness pretty constant at 1.2 to 1.3 qts/lb and adjust fermentability with temp. Yes, the yeast's potential attenuation matters a bit but I'd think only a few points up or down. Now, you mess up on the mash temp and we're talking about 0-5ish points up or down. I don't like messing with 155 or higher. If your thermo is off by just a bit or you happen to be testing a small "cool" pocket, you're in for a cloying brew. Of course, you could offset that with slightly higher IBU, but that's something you have to anticipate prior to hopping. Certainly for the first few AG batches, I recommend sticking with the middle at about 151/152.
 

TexLaw

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the_bird said:
Would you agree, though, that the impact of mash thickness is less important than the impact of temperature?
Not only would I agree with that, I do.

I've also always been under the impression (and my experience does not counteract this) that higher temps result in more dextrines - but dextrines themselves are not inherently sweet. There's a difference between a beer being full-bodied and being sweet. If you want a thick, sweet beer (Hobgoblin as an example), use more crystal malt for both sweetness AND body, don't just increase the mash temp.
I also agree. "Dextrines" is an inclusive term, describing the longer chain saccharides between the sugars and the starches. I've seen folks count trisaccharides as dextrins and others leave them out, but I really don't remember what I learned back in the day. Depending on the chain length (and, maybe, the person), some are sweeter than others. Perhaps, the increased body also lends to some perception of sweetness or maltiness, but I do perceive more sweetness in beers fermented from worts mashed at higher temperatures.


TL
 
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Kayos

Kayos

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slnies said:
The biologist in me says this all has to do with fermentable sugars, salinity, and Ph buffering. Yeasties are living creatures that need a :drunk: controlled nursery, AKA "wort" in a fermenter. Different strains of yeast do different things in your wort because there environments were controlled over a period of time. Let me make sense here. Yeast is privy to natural selection, this process is a adaptation mechanism, through this process we derive the different strains of yeast. The easiest variables to control are environment (wort). So theory would dictate if we were to take a yeast, say an ale strain, that works well in the warm temperature ranges over time if we lowered the temps gradually, the yeast would adapt and eventually you would have a lager yeast. This is just a simple explanation, but it works. There are in-fact many variables to consider and a lot of thought that goes into strain creation, but I expect that the difference between Safal-04 and Nottingham is the Yeast. They are different strains and thus will have different results in the same wort and it really doesn't matter much if you hit there ideal wort, yeast is selected for flavor profile, attenuation, and the such. Is it more clear, like mud.:drunk:
SLINES-- I am continually impressed by your explainations. Very cool and easy to understand for us lower life forms. I guess my question was even more basic than this. When you say "attenuation" does that mean the amount of sugar the yeast will "convert" to alcohol? So a higher attenuation would be better for pales and a lower for body?
 

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I agree with the bird that the amount of unfermentable and left-over fermentable sugars matters. The amount of unfermentable sugars is controlled by mashing and the amount of left-over fermentable sugars is a function of the fermentation process and yeast strain.

I try to contol both. For my Doppelbock, I like to have the yeast finish about 5-6% points below the limit of attenuation (total amount of fermentable sugars) which will give me a nicly malty and sweeter beer. It also becomes difficult to get them to go further dure to the higher alcohol level than weakens the yeast. But for my Alt, which I want drier I want the final attenuation to be within 0.5 % points of the limit of attenuation. This makes for a dier beer.

Kai
 

slnies

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Kayos said:
SLINES-- I am continually impressed by your explainations. Very cool and easy to understand for us lower life forms. I guess my question was even more basic than this. When you say "attenuation" does that mean the amount of sugar the yeast will "convert" to alcohol? So a higher attenuation would be better for pales and a lower for body?
Since my explanation of attenuation could not measure up to Palmer's, here is his explanation, from his book How To Brew Beer
"Attenuation This term is usually given as a percentage to describe the percent of malt sugar that is converted by the yeast strain to ethanol and CO2. Most yeast strains attenuate in the range of 65 - 80%. More specifically, this range is the "Apparent" attenuation. The apparent attenuation is determined by comparing the Original and Final gravities of the beer. A 1.040 OG that ferments to a 1.010 FG would have an apparent attenuation of 75%.

(From FG = OG - (OG x %) => % att. = (OG-FG)/OG)

The "Real" attenuation is less. Pure ethanol has a gravity of about 0.800. If you had a 1.040 OG beer and got 100% real attenuation, the resulting specific gravity would be about 0.991 (corresponding to about 5% alcohol by weight). The apparent attenuation of this beer would be 122%. The apparent attenuation of a yeast strain will vary depending on the types of sugars in the wort that the yeast is fermenting. Thus the number quoted for a particular yeast is an average. For purposes of discussion, apparent attenuation is ranked as low, medium, and high by the following percentages:
65-70% = Low
71-75% = Medium
76-80% = High"
I hope this helps answer your question. S.
 
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