Single Mash vs Step Mash

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TahoePowderHound

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So I'm finally jumping into all-grain. I have the enzymes and I know GFHB recommends a 2 step mash to achieve higher conversion. 90-120 minutes TWICE sounds like a long time. Has anyone tried both methods and have any conversion numbers? Which method do you use and why?
 

glutarded-chris

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My current process has a gelatinization rest at ~170F with two tablespoons of Termamyl enzyme for 10 or 15 minutes and then drop temp to somewhere between 145F to 155F with Diatase enzyme. I monitor gravity readings during the mash and it has been finishing at about 90 minutes into the second rest.

I think the temperature stable Termamyl in the gelatinization rest is the key to faster and better conversion in the second rest.
https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/lets-talk-about-enzymes.639379/
 
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TahoePowderHound

TahoePowderHound

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Thanks Chris. I’d skimmed through that thread before but didn’t pick up on the rest times for each step.

I picked up the SEBAmyl-bal 100 instead of the Termamyl, which might have been a mistake for step mashing as it seems less thermoastable. I have SEBamyl L instead of Diatase for conversion. Oh well, I’m goin’ for it this weekend, we’ll see how it goes!
 

skleice

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I'm doing my first step mash next week and was just wondering the same thing. It seems the jury is still out on how long the rests should be and how much enzymes to add. Ten minutes to 120 minutes is quite a wide window for the first rest. Also, GFHB's last blog post talked about using as much as 2oz of enzmes vs 2 tsp I've seen other places.
 
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TahoePowderHound

TahoePowderHound

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Yeah, that’s a huge spread for enzyme amounts. Based on the enzyme thread I think I’ll start around 2 tbl.

Did you decide how long you’re going to do the first rest? I would love to bring that 90-120 down to 15min like Chris does, but I’m worried the difference between Termamyl and SEBAmyl-BAL 100 won’t achieve the same results.

I think I'll just take gravity readings every 15 min and hope I achieve my target sooner rather than later. I'll let you know how it goes, hoping to brew on Sunday.
 
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JMath

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Since you're using GFHB's new enzymes, I would follow their instructions because I don't think many of us around here have tried them yet (you might be the first I've seen post about using them). Personally I have been doing the 15 minute 170°F rest with Termamyl and 2 hours at 150F° with AMG-300L. I have gotten excellent conversion, but I have a Grainfather with automatic temperature control and circulation, so the long rests aren't a big deal. I will definitely move to the new enzymes when mine run out. Interested in how they work out for you.
 

Steveruch

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So I'm finally jumping into all-grain. I have the enzymes and I know GFHB recommends a 2 step mash to achieve higher conversion. 90-120 minutes TWICE sounds like a long time. Has anyone tried both methods and have any conversion numbers? Which method do you use and why?
Recipe?
 

glutarded-chris

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Thanks Chris. I’d skimmed through that thread before but didn’t pick up on the rest times for each step.

I picked up the SEBAmyl-bal 100 instead of the Termamyl, which might have been a mistake for step mashing as it seems less thermoastable. I have SEBamyl L instead of Diatase for conversion. Oh well, I’m goin’ for it this weekend, we’ll see how it goes!
Go for it and post your results. If you end up picking up some Termamyl, you could run a similar batch for comparison. I suspect that a temperature stable enzyme for the gelatinization step is important, but there are probably several good options for the final rest at lower temps. SEBamyl L might work really well.
 

rjmaillie

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I've been using G-Chris' method - short gelatinization step with Termamyl with a drop down to a 90 min sacc rest - for a while now with excellent results.

My best best guess for GFHBs long initial rest is they don’t go high enough temperature wise, but even then two hours seems extreme (not to mention using a half bottle of enzymes!?). With the right mash temps and enzymes it’s possible to keep your mash times to two hours or less.
 

skleice

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Do u guys do a Beta-Glucan rest to start?
Do u mash out?

I'm also using the Grainfather (for the first time), so these temp shifts should be easy.

I think I'm going to brew on Wednesday. I'll most likely do the 15 minute + 90 minute mash, but I have to double check what enzmes I have. I will be doing a number of half batches for the sake of experimentation.
 

rjmaillie

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Do u guys do a Beta-Glucan rest to start?
Do u mash out?

I'm also using the Grainfather (for the first time), so these temp shifts should be easy.

I think I'm going to brew on Wednesday. I'll most likely do the 15 minute + 90 minute mash, but I have to double check what enzmes I have. I will be doing a number of half batches for the sake of experimentation.
A beta-glucan rest can't hurt if you're recirculating. I've though about skipping it (I'm a Grainfather user also), but I get a lot of conversion using Termamyl at mash in and then the slow rise from 104 to 168. I'm usually at 50% conversion by the time I hit 168, so i've been reducing my Sacc rest instead. I'm at 75 minutes right now with no reduction in efficiency. That being said, I think Termamyl is the key, giving the ability to hit the higher temps without denaturing.
 
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TahoePowderHound

TahoePowderHound

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If any of you are mashing in a cooler with false bottom, how are you effectively reducing the temperature between steps? Immersion chiller?
 

glutarded-chris

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I chill a few quarts in an ice bath ahead of time. I dough in to hit the gelatinization temp and add the chilled water to drop to final rest temp. I calculate so that i hit about 1.5 quarts/pound ratio for the final rest.
 
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TahoePowderHound

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Well, I just wrapped up my brew day. I used 2 Tbl of SEBAmyl-BAL 100 for gelatinization rest at 160 F. To stay on the safe side I went all 120 minutes. I then added 2 Tbl of the SEBamyl-L at 145 F. This step is also recommended for 90-120 minutes, but I had a good gravity reading at 30 minutes, which remained unchanged through 60 minutes, so I decided to start sparging at that point.

It's possible that the SEBamyl-L has a really efficient conversion. I did end up coming a little short on my gravity, and without any proof, I think the SEBamyl-BAL-100 is the blame. I have a bottle of Termamyl on the way, next time I will try the 15min/90min using Termamyl and SEBamyl-L for comparison.
 

JMath

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Are you guys checking for conversion with an iodine test, or another method?
 

Silly Yak

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Have you guys read through these recommendations by grouse?

http://grouseco.com/recommendations/

The temps, times & enzyme amounts are very different than what we're all typically doing.
No wonder my first all grain attempt was so cloudy. I skipped the vorlauf entirely. Next brew I'm going to try a step mash and definitely vorlauf. I have some of the "old" Amg-300L enzyme and I'm wavering on getting SEBamyl L and SEB BAL.
 

glutarded-chris

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Grouse has been pushing SEB products from the beginning they opened. I just think SEB doesn't have a temperature stable enzyme like Termamyl. Perhaps Grouse just does the best they can with their supplier's products. I have done step mashes, decoction mashes, and long rests. The best I every got with the previous processes I can get easier with Termamyl. I get better consistency batch to batch and shorter brew days. Unless someone shows that what we are doing generates off flavors compared to the other processes, Grouse is behind the times.

If you have a proper mash tun, then vorlauf is definitely beneficial for a clear wart going into the fermenter. If you brew using a bag, then vorlauf is not really possible. It goes into the fermenter with more sediment, but it clears up just fine. Don't know if a clearer starting wart has a noticeable impact on flavor. If you can do it with your rig, definitely vorlauf.

Palmer's book talks about the benefits of step mashes. I experimented with multiple step mashes even to the extent first put out by Andrew Laverly and did not notice a huge flavor benefit. Doesn't mean it wasn't there, I just couldn't tell as there were other factors that were much more dominating. If you are using something like the Grainfather that allows for easy step mashes, then go for it, otherwise I don't think it is worth the extra effort.
 

skleice

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Grouse has been pushing SEB products from the beginning they opened. I just think SEB doesn't have a temperature stable enzyme like Termamyl. Perhaps Grouse just does the best they can with their supplier's products. I have done step mashes, decoction mashes, and long rests. The best I every got with the previous processes I can get easier with Termamyl. I get better consistency batch to batch and shorter brew days. Unless someone shows that what we are doing generates off flavors compared to the other processes, Grouse is behind the times.

If you have a proper mash tun, then vorlauf is definitely beneficial for a clear wart going into the fermenter. If you brew using a bag, then vorlauf is not really possible. It goes into the fermenter with more sediment, but it clears up just fine. Don't know if a clearer starting wart has a noticeable impact on flavor. If you can do it with your rig, definitely vorlauf.

Palmer's book talks about the benefits of step mashes. I experimented with multiple step mashes even to the extent first put out by Andrew Laverly and did not notice a huge flavor benefit. Doesn't mean it wasn't there, I just couldn't tell as there were other factors that were much more dominating. If you are using something like the Grainfather that allows for easy step mashes, then go for it, otherwise I don't think it is worth the extra effort.
Thanks, this is exactly what I was after. I wasn't sure if this was current or out dated info. I'll continue to use the the method shared by many of u here based on your extensive experimentation. I will continue to use Termamyl. I'm finishing off my AMG and have Sebamyl L in the fridge. I'll probably try some diatase for comparison in the future.
 

chaps

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Does anyone know the brulosophy people? Maybe we could ask (beg) them to do a exbeeriment on enzymes. Not sure if anyone else noticed but I’m pretty sure the guest brewer that GFHB had talk about enzyme use was a beginning brewer.
 

JMath

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Yeah I wouldn't worry about what Grouse says about enzymes. This forum, along with the information put out by glutenfreehomebrewing.org is the cutting edge right now.
 
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