What's the Useful Range of Mash Temps?

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Sir Humpsalot

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I'm wondering what the useful range is for mash temps. I know 152F is sort of the standard baseline and you can go higher or lower. What I'm trying to figure out is how much higher you can go, and how much lower. Of course, the sky is the limit from a theoretical standpoint, but practically speaking, for the thinnest and the maltiest beers around, what's the range?

Of course, for decoctions, you'll be boiling the liquor, but for just a regular mashout, assuming one or maybe two steps, might you go all the way up to just below the mashout temp (170 degrees)? Would you mash at 168?

And how low would you go?
 

Dude

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Toot said:
Is 131 to 162 the definitive practical answer? I understand that that's the theoretical answer. So are you saying that a very light BMC beer will really be mashed at 131 or 132?
Where are you getting that?

No matter what kind of beer you are making, you need to mash in the beta and alpha amylase range. Lower in the beta range for drier beers, higher in the alpha for maltier beers. A happy medium is 150ish.
 
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Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

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I'm getting that from the link posted by evanmars which states that the beta range starts at 131 and the alpha range ends at 163. I did believe that to be incorrect. That's why I'm asking the question that I asked to begin with...


What is the practical range of brewing temps?


What I'm getting at, is I want to know how "cool" to mash for a BMC clone and how "warm" to mash for a malty malty barleywine. I want to know what the RANGE of values is for common mashing techniques.


Now, if that is not an easy question to answer, and I suppose that perhaps it is not, then I would like to know what other considerations are there which I am not taking into account....
 

Orfy

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It depends if you are doing a single or multi step mash.

If it's single then yes you are looking at around 150 to 154
If it is multi then You'd normally start lower and then raise it to the final temp.
I don't do it and can't be bothered looking it up.
 

casebrew

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So, according to that chart, we ought to be combining the grains with the water before heating? Then heat slowly to 152 ? Or would that totally convert , and leave no maltiness?

I guess I better go read a book ertoo...

ETA, while reading the Palmer link above, I remembered that accodrding to Papazian, more rests only improve efficiency by about 3%. BMC wil find it important, but not us HBer's.

You'll have to read about 5-6 pages of Palmer, starting at the link above. Page 14.5 says 150 for dry, to 156 for malty.
 
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Sir Humpsalot

Sir Humpsalot

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Most people skip words and look for pictures. I'm sort of the opposite, I guess. :eek:


It looks like about 148 to 155 is the range. My mash is sitting at 156 right now... I guess I can live with that since my target is a Malty ESB.
 

Grimsawyer

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I'm really not sure if any of you are getting what Toot is asking.
Question 1. What is the lowest temperature that starches will convert to sugars. The EXTREME LOWEST TEMPERATURE, PERIOD. Not what most people do, THE MOST EXTREME LOWEST POSSIBLE TEMP YOU CAN SUCCESSFULLY MASH AT.

Question 2. What is the highest temperature that starches will convert to sugars. THE EXTREME HIGHEST TEMPERATURE, PERIOD! Not oh, people typically..... THE EXTREME HIGHEST TEMP YOU CAN SUCCESSFULLY MASH AT!

From what I can gather, my friend, is 131-162. I'm sure after reading this Toot was wondering eventhough that's what the chart says, now please pay close attention, CAN YOU CONVERT STARCHES TO SUGARS BELOW 131 Degrees F? Or does it just not happen? And, now I'm going to spell it out again so nobody is confused. The chart says 162 degrees, not what some people might do or what common sense might say, or what might make the most balanced beer, or any other reason, CAN STARCHES BE CONVERTED TO SUGARS ABOVE 162 DEGREES F?

Toot, is this really what you were asking?
 

Dude

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It shouldn't matter. Look at the picture and notice the red area. That is where you want to mash at. Anything outside of that area and you'll have a subpar beer. It will either have too much fermentable sugars (too dry) or not enough (too sweet).

The picture doesn't lie. You have to find a happy medium between the enzymes to get a balanced beer.

I think anything other than that you are making this too difficult.

Toot said:
What I'm getting at, is I want to know how "cool" to mash for a BMC clone and how "warm" to mash for a malty malty barleywine. I want to know what the RANGE of values is for common mashing techniques...
I'm not entirely sure you should be thinking down this road....it isn't correct, and in turn, not a good analogy.
 

cweston

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Toot said:
What is the practical range of brewing temps?
As others have said, the practical range for a single infusion mash is about 149-156. The only beer I've ever mashed with a target of 149 was a wit (which I obviously wanted to be quite dry).

I'm not sure if I agree with your use of "malty" as the opposite of "dry." I think maltiness is not the same thing as sweetness and body. IMHO, maltiness comes primarily form the grainbill and from choosing a yeast strain the promotes maltiness, and optionally from decoction mashing.
 
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