Belgian Pilsner Malt conversion?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by llvtt, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. llvtt

    llvtt New Member

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    I've made three beers so far with Castle Pilsner malt. Each time, I get around 60% conversion; about 20% lower than my average. I've used it on its own and with other grains, and I get the same result.

    Mash schedules I've tried, with more or less the same results:

    - 149F for two hours, single-infusion
    - 104 dough in, rest at 149F for 1 hour, mash out
    - 152F for 90 minutes, single-infusion

    Has anyone else also had trouble with this grain, and if so, what has been your solution? The specification for this malt claims that it is well-modified, so I haven't been doing a protein rest. Do you?

    Also, if anyone has any suggestions for other sweet, strongly grain-flavored pilsner malts that convert well, I'd love to hear your opinions.
     
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  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I think I'm using Avengard. Very good conversion. I've also used the Weyerman that my LHBS keeps in their bin. That converts well, too 80% or more in all the batches I've done since I dialled in my current system..
     
  3. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    I use rahr pretty much for everything and it never lets me down
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Dingemans Pilsner malt here great conversion I protein rested 56c last mash 20 mins just because I wanted too not sure if any assistance in conversion. How are you milling it that can change things up I hear?
     
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  5. llvtt

    llvtt New Member

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    I'm getting it pre-milled from MoreBeer. Their crush does usually seem pretty coarse, but it's generally consistent across all the grains I get from them. I've been meaning to get a mill for awhile just to make sure that everything is crushed the same way and boost efficiency when needed...

    Why do a protein rest with Dingemans? Has it made a difference versus doing without?
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I have used 150 lbs of Castle Pils with 90+ conversion consistently. I mill my own and tend to have a pretty fine grind. Don't recall the setting on my mill though but I do get quite a bit of flour. Makes a great base malt for Trappists.
     
  7. llvtt

    llvtt New Member

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    Does Castle's conversion compare similarly to other base malt from your experience? Do you do any particular mash schedule with Castle malt? Any other grains that you use in conjunction?
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    EBC 2.8 - 3.5 (mash required): Dingemans Pilsner Malt is light and low in protein, Dingemans Pilsen is produced from the finest European two-row barley. This malt is well modified and can easily be mashed with a single-temperature infusion. Dingemans Pils is an excellent malt for many styles, including full-flavored lager, Belgian ale and European style wheat beer. Dingemans Pilsen being low in protein, results in a remarkably clean and light finished product.

    That's the specks from a home brew sight on net. This is why I got the Dingermans over the Weyermann pils malt more modified so single infusion mash ok (weyermanns didn't mention modifications).Like I said I mashed in at 56 not that I needed too my last mash efficiency was 92% I just milled it on reverse in thermomix in 500g batches some grains weren't split on inspection of grains post mash so will just blitz it more next time.

    But to answer your question 1 st brew with this malt so can't say if protein rest is necessary many more brews to come with this malt as I bought a bag of the stuff:D.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I use whatever is in the bins at the LHBS and generally average around 80% conversion. I always adjust the RA for my mash so keeping the mash in the correct pH range would be where I'd start to find out why my conversion efficiency is relatively high.
     
  10. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I'm assuming you have used other grains without this low conversion problem and you have achieved at least 75% efficiency.

    That being said; pH plays a big role in the conversion process. At low temperatures (@140-148F) the beta enzyme is most active and works better with a higher pH (5.4-5.6 at mash temperature; 5.6 to 5.8 @ 80F). As the mash temperature rises, the alpha enzyme becomes more active and a decrease in mash pH improves the activity of the alpha enzyme (5.0 to 5.4 at mash temperature; 5.2 to 5.6 at 80F)

    If the mash pH is off, it could have an impact on the overall efficiency of the mash, maybe as much as 5-15% depending on the how far off the pH is.

    I always do a mashout, it improves the overall efficiency of the mash and that may help as well (alpha enzymes are active up to 168F for a short period of time before denaturing).

    I use Wyermann Pilsner or Wyermann Bohemian Pilsner only because they have a nice malt/grainy European flavor, convert nicely and are widely available (but not the cheapest).

    I have tried Best, Global, and floor malted Wyermann Pilsner and of the 3, I like Global best. It was cheaper, converted nicely and had a nice flavor.

    Best Malz and Wyermann floor malted pilsner were not good at all for flavor. They were both had a kind of weird malt flavor.

    That's my 2 cents.
     
  11. llvtt

    llvtt New Member

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    That's correct; I'm usually getting around 80% conversion when I use my "standard" base malt (Great Western pale malt).

    The problem could very well be pH. I don't measure pH, because I don't have any methods for measuring it that I trust. I have a few pH strips that measure in the 4 - 6 pH range, but I can't tell that the strips actually do anything. I've used them to measure wort, water, sanitizer, vinegar, etc. as a sanity test, and the strip is always the same color. Maybe they're old. They came from a dusty shelf at the LHBS.

    I usually estimate pH using the Brewers Friend water calc. I sent my water for testing in a lab a few months ago, so I have some idea of what the pH of my water is on its own (7.9).

    That said, other malts I've used don't have as much trouble converting, so something must be going "right enough" with the pH that conversion goes well. Maybe Castle changes the pH differently than other malts?

    Never heard of Best or Global. I'll have to check around to see if I can find any. I've had some success with Weyermann Pilsner (not the floor-malted kind), but always in a beer with lots of other grain, so I don't know how it tastes on its own. Definitely not the cheapest, as you said, but neither is Castle. Maybe I'll switch to Weyermann for a few brews and see how it goes.
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I use the Brewers friend water calculators grist mash ph calculator for estimated mash ph I don't have a ph meter neither and just base my ph on Brewers friend calculator and crappy ph strips. Now to those savvy fellows on this sight who have splashed out and bought a decent ph meter have youse found that the Brewers friend mash water ph calculator is an accurate estimate of your actual ph recordings. Would love to know?
     
  13. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Yes they all do about the same. Great Western, Castles, Malt Europe, etc. I usually give it an iodine test to double check before I mash out and have given some extra time once in a while, 10min or so but I allways check PH when first mashed in no matter what. Different grain bills vary the PH enough that I don't trust calculators for this. A PH meter is not that expensive for what it does for you. I use phosphoric acid or with recipes I have brewed multiple times and the PH is consistent the proper amount of acidulated malt added in the grain bill works fine too. PH is too important to not pay attention to IMHO. Whatever grains you use with it will change the PH depending on the color.
     
  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Cheers mate was just wondering how accurate the water chemistry grist mash ph calculator is a ph meter is on my wish list.
     
  15. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree. Different grains, even different lots from the same maltster, will vary the pH.
     
  16. BrewerRick

    BrewerRick Member

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    What we do when making a pills is add two row with pils about 50 50 turns out great
     

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