Mash clarification and a few small beginner questions

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Jerryskate, May 9, 2017.

  1. Jerryskate

    Jerryskate New Member

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    Hi guys!

    New to the forum, and new to brewing. Im doing All grain brewing, and just made my first batch of an Pale ALe which turned out rally good (clone of Omnipollo Mazarin).

    For the next one I want to do a Vanilla cream Ale, and found a recipe on here - but unsure on the mash on this on. The first one I only did a single temperature infusion for an hour - on this one its a bit different.

    The recipe I want to try is this one: https://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/1633/vanilla-cream-ale

    Can someone easily explain how the mash works with the guideline below:

    Mash Guidelines
    Amount Description Type Temp Time
    15 qt rest at 150 Infusion 168 F 75 min
    7 qt stir and rest at 165 - mashout Infusion 212 F 15 min
    18 qt to volume-7.5 gal. Fly Sparge 170 F 45 min


    Lastly - for the first batch I had a recipe on how long to wait before bottling - how do I know when to go to secondary/and when do I know when to bottle it? On secondary I guess its base don doing an SG sample?

    Sorry for the "stupid" questions!

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    How I'm reading it, you take 15 quarts of water and heat it up to 168. That will drop when you add the grains. Should drop to 150. Mash for 75 mins
    Next you take 7 quarts at 212, use that to mashout. Mashout for 15 mins
    Then, sparge with 170 degree water for 45 mins. The amount you use here is whatever it takes to get your pre boil volume.

    Sounds like this recipe was really dialed in for the guys system, double check that it makes sense for yours too

    For your 2nd question, gravity is the only way to know for sure. Personally, I let primary go for 1 week or so, then secondary for 1 week or so. This is for your average ale
     
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  3. Jerryskate

    Jerryskate New Member

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    Thanks - that makes it a lot clearer!
     
  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Recipes you find on this site or any other are going to be ingredient lists with guidelines, really. Mash temps should be noted, but quantities of strike, sparge, etc have to be worked out to fit your own equipment and process. Use the mash calculator - https://www.brewersfriend.com/mash/ - and you'll be able to work out in detail just what you need to do.

    That particular recipe looks more complex than you really need for a good Cream Ale (though it does seem to be a proven recipe). I've been making one that's just Pilsner (could use any 2-row) with 20% Flaked Maize. I give it a short dextrin rest at 158 or so to improve body, but I'm not sure it's really necessary. Turns out great.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    Im guessing the above recipe came from a cooler type mash tun that had no heat so you use the water to adjust the temps, old school but still works
     
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  6. Jerryskate

    Jerryskate New Member

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    Thanks guys, things are getting clearer by the minute :)
     
  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I brewed up sticks vanilla cream ale i added 4 vanilla pods from memory but id not soak em in vodka next time but split em up and give them a short pasturization to killany baddies and pitch straight to fermentor after primary fermentation is finnished that way plenty alcohol present in wort.
    When i mashed in on this recipe i used same steps but as Ozarks said if you have a direct fired mash tun you dont need to add heated water to raise mash temp you just light the flame and kill it when your next mash temp is reached.

    All in all a nice beer ive got a thread on here in the recipe ideas section i think if you wanna check it out.
     
  8. Jerryskate

    Jerryskate New Member

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    Thanks t

    Thanks, will check it out. Im using a cooler mash tun, so Im a bit unsure how to raise the temp without dilute the mash - maybe I can't? Might be a too big step for the second brew maybe, i might try to adjust it for the cooler mash instead.
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I think there is a fair bit of adjuncts in there and that's the reason for the protine rest at the start but I'm sure a single infusion mash at 65c sorry no Fahrenheit here :rolleyes: will be fine just mash long like 90 mins that way making sure it's all converted.

    What's others opinions on this?
     
  10. Jerryskate

    Jerryskate New Member

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    Don't worry, Im a Celcius guy myself :)
     
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  11. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I'd agree, adjust it to work on your system.

    You could always remove a portion of the mash, heat that up then dump it back in to raise the temps but not dilute it. But then, you're going into decoction territory, which may or may not be desirable for the style
     
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  12. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Damn metric squirrels again!
     
  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've done that with just the wort and no grain when I've had trouble heating up to mash-out. It's the same effect as direct heat, but just not adding directly to the mash tun vessel.
     
  14. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    in decoction you boil the mash, its ok people have done it done years
     
  15. das alte

    das alte Member

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    I think there is a fair bit of adjuncts in there and that's the reason for the protine rest at the start but I'm sure a single infusion mash at 65c sorry no Fahrenheit here :rolleyes: will be fine just mash long like 90 mins that way making sure it's all converted.

    What's others opinions on this?

    150F is not an optimum protine (protein) rest temperature. Resting mash for 90 minutes is a waste of time. Use iodine to determine the presents of starch. The malt is so poor that the enzymes are weak or the malt is slack if it requires 90 minutes for saccharification to occur unless, there are a lot of adjuncts like corn mixed in. A half a pound of corn isn't a lot. The six row makes up for it. Right from the start modern, high modified malt is enzyme deficient. The only enzyme left in the malt strong enough to do anything is Alpha. For that reason only a single temperature in the optimum range of Alpha is needed. The problem, on its own Alpha cannot produce Ale or Lager but it can produce home made style beer. Alpha is not responsible for conversion, Beta is. Beta is a weak enzyme and depending on the quality of the malt it may not exist or it can be very weak or there isn't enough of it to do the job, make beer. Since, a maltose rest wasn't performed conversion did not occur and if the malt was poor it wouldn't have taken place, anyway.

    "I give it a short dextrin rest at 158 or so to improve body, but I'm not sure it's really necessary. Turns out great."

    A certain type of protein and complex starch are needed for producing body. If mash isn't boiled the complex starch ends up in the compost pile. Call the starch money out the window. Alpha I range is 158F. Alpha creates two types of sugar, sweet, tasting, non-fermenting types of sugar and a simple sugar called Glucose. Since, complex starch did not enter into solution mainly sweet sugar was released and less Glucose was released from simple starch called amylose. Amylo-pectin is the starch responsible for a type of sugar called limit dextrin. A and B limit dextrin are types of tasteless, non-fermenting types of sugar which are responsible for body.
    A temperature which activates proteinase is needed to produce the right protein and the mash needs to be boiled to remove protein gum.

    "You could always remove a portion of the mash, heat that up then dump it back in to raise the temps but not dilute it. But then, you're going into decoction territory, which may or may not be desirable for the style"

    I'm not sure why the decoction method "may or not be desirable." Can you explain the statement?

    This is the way that I would produce the beer.
    Too much going on with the recipe.
    I would eliminate the wheat malt, the instructions do nothing to deal with the high protein and high PPM Beta Glucan content. In it's place I would use a high grade of malt similar to Weyermann Pils floor malt. Same thing with less expensive, modern, high modified 2 row malt, exchange it for a higher grade of malt. The flaked, crystal and honey would go. I would reduce the amount of six row, one pound is plenty, make up the difference with a higher grade malt. Six row is high protein malt, it is lacking in sugar content. It's good malt for grain distillation.
    Procedure:
    1. Crush the six row and an equal amount of two row into a kettle and mix the corn in. ( When wheat is used add it in.) Crush the rest of the malt into the MLT or mash tun. We'll deal with it later.
    2. Dough in the corn and malt mixture with cool RO water at 1 qt/lb. The mash temperature desired is around 60F. Allow the mash to rest for at least 15 minutes. During the rest the inherent pH of the malt will stabilize mash pH before enzymes activate. After 15 minutes add enough sauer malz to reduce pH to at least 5.5 and no lower than 5.3.
    3. When pH is stable begin to heat the mash to around 122 to 125F, proteinase will activate. Rest the mash for 15 to 20 minutes.
    4. Increase the mash temperature to 155F. Alpha will begin to liquefy the amylose in the malt and glucose will be released, along with non-fermenting, sweet sugar. Rest the mash for 20 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes.
    5. Begin to boil the mixture without scorching it. If needed thin down the mash. Continue to boil the mash, skim off hot break as it forms. Now, we will deal with the dry main mash.
    6. After the mash has been boiling for 20 minutes. Dough in the main mash with hot RO water at 1qt/lb. The temperature of the mash should be somewhere between 95 and 100F during this step. When the temperature of the mash is stabile add sauer malz and lower the pH to 5.5 and no lower than 5.3. Close the lid but, stir the mash once in a while and ensure to keep temperature close. Slight acidification will occur during the rest.
    7. After the malt/corn mix has boiled for 40 to 45 minutes, add it into the main mash. The temperature needs to be 130 and no higher than 135F during the rest. Use boiling water if necessary. During the rest proteinase releases glucose from Beta Glucan and mash viscosity reduces. Stir the mash a few times and hold the temperature close during the rest period. During the next couple of steps we will deal with the glucose that was released right up to this point.
    8. When the mash temperature is stabile remove about 1/3 of it. For horseshoe and hand grenade accuracy assume that a gallon of thick mash weighs about eight pound or so and go from there. Gently pour it into the boiler, no violent slopping in or stirring mash at any time when it is hot. Oxidation happens during mashing, too.
    9. Quickly raise the temperature of the 1/3 volume mash to 140 and no higher than 145F and hold the temperature close. The rest is the maltose rest. During the rest conversion begins. Beta begins to convert simple sugar glucose which Alpha and proteinase released earlier into complex types of sugar called maltose and malto-triose. Hold the temperature close and rest the mash for 20 minutes.
    10. Begin to boil the mash. Boil it for 20 minutes. Skim off hot break as it surfaces. After the mash has boiled for 20 minutes add it into the main mash. The temperature of the mash during the next rest should be 153F, make adjustments as needed. Reduce mash pH with sauer malz to 5.2 and no lower than 5.
    When the mash was boiled amylo-pectin entered into solution. During the rest Alpha will have two types of starch to liquefy, simple starch, amylose and complex starch, amylo-pectin. Dextrinization will begin and saccharification will continue. The types of sugar responsible for body are released during the rest, A limit and B limit dextrin. Beta will continue with conversion until it denatures. Alpha will continue to release glucose and sweet sugar.
    11. After the mash has rested for 20 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes infuse boiling water to increase mash temperature to 158F for ten minutes. Then add more boiling water to increase mash temperature to 162F and rest the mash for 10 minutes.
    12. This step can be eliminated. Mash out shouldn't be needed because the enzymes were pretty much worked to death through out the procedure and with adding boiling water the mash thinned down. But, anyway, the mash liquid can be removed and boiled and returned to raise the mash temperature to 168F. Usually, there isn't enough mash water and boiling water is needed.
    13. Stir the mash a couple of times and let it rest. A layer of mud will form on top of the filter bed, try not to disturb it during vorlauf and sparge. Keep about an inch or two of liquid above the grain bed until the end of sparge.
    14. Begin to run off the extract. As soon as the bottom of the boiler is covered with extract toss in a very small amount of hops and fire the boiler. The hops causes the hot break to form early on. The wort will be cleaner when the bittering hops are added. Less hops are needed. Allow the wort to come to boiling before pumping more wort in. As the wort boils skim off hot break. When hot break ceases to form add bittering hops and skim off the second break. Run off extract to 1020, stop sparge and drain the tun, stopping when gravity drops to 1015.
    15. The beer will require second fermentation. The beer will naturally carbonate during the aging cycle, sugar priming or CO2 injection won't be needed.
     
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  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I should properly call that rest at 158 Alpha rest rather than Dextrin rest, understanding that there's more at play than just dextrin production. I admit that I'm not familiar with all the complex converstions that take place, but I understand the importance of maximizing conversion at different temperatures. Do you think that raising temperature through direct fire and boiling water additions is as effective as decocting mash for achieving conversion and interaction at the various temperature steps? Of course the Maillard reactions and other desirable aspects of the boiling mash in decoction won't be achieved, but is "step infusion" or Hochkurz mashing an effective way to improve beer quality as opposed to single infusion mashing?

    Thanks very much for taking time to share this detailed information. :)
     
  17. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    I meant the decoction might bring darker color and more caramilzation than what you want for that style. For instance a pilsner or other light beer like that
     
  18. das alte

    das alte Member

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    Dextrinization takes place at high temperature 158F when amylo-pectin is in solution. Dextrinization begins at 149F, it is not conversion. However, it can occur during conversion. I knew what you were getting at. Home brewers are told that high temperature creates body and it does, when amylo-pectin is in solution, Oh, but I lied. Once in a while, Mother Nature throws a special link in the amylose starch chain and when that happens Alpha releases limit dextrin. Sometimes, a batch of beer turns out exceptional. But, when an attempt to duplicate it went on, it didn't happen. I just told you one of the reasons why. The wort was sugar balanced and Mother Nature did it without anyone knowing. It's a rare occurrence that drove me crazy when it hit. I couldn't figure it out in the beginning. I think that it wasn't until 1986/87 when I started to get a handle on it.

    Good Question..
    "Do you think that raising temperature through direct fire and boiling water additions is as effective as decocting mash for achieving conversion and interaction at the various temperature steps?"
    I use four 55 gallon Blichmann kettles and a 20 gallon decoction kettle all direct fire.. I apply direct fire to maintain temperature and when stepping the decoctions. Main mash temperature is increased with decoctions. I do not add water other than dough in water, except at the end to thin down the mash before sparge but, only when the mash is too thick to sparge. Plus, the extra water for sparge. The enzymes are beat and thinning will have no affect on them.
    Temperature is temperature, the quicker the temp rises the better, the closer temperatures are maintained the better. The issue with water infusion. Unless, the mash is very thick, water infusion thins the mash too much. An impact on enzymatic action occurs, and depending on when the mash is thinned the impact can be negative. Decoction, along with direct fire are best because water infusions are rarely needed. Limit boiling water infusions to maintaining temperature during a rest. Just do not over thin the mash. There's a lot to it.
    The part about maximizing conversion and about achieving conversion. Mother Nature, Beta, temperature and pH determines when it occurs. Bring everything together and it all works out. Enzymes do not convert starch into anything. The proper brewing term is mash conversion. Enzymes liquefy/soften starch. Our saliva is loaded with Alpha amylase. The only job that The Great Magnet assigned to Alpha is to release the most prolific sugar wrapped up in the starch, glucose and for desert, sweet tasting, non-fermenting sugar. Glucose is a building block of life. It is in the seed for fuel for the plant, it is fuel for yeast and fuel for people. Alpha activates at cool, earth temperature when the seed is rained on, it works rapidly at 98.6F and denatures at 168F. It is called Alpha for a reason. The purpose behind the decoction method is to produce pristine wort. To produce a stable, sugar balanced product, capable of withstanding months of aging without changing character or deteriorating, by using the finest brewing ingredients.

    Although, maintaining rest temperature is important with any brewing method, it isn't the main purpose for using the decoction method.
    The decoction method takes advantage of everything in the malt that is why high quality malt is used. The starch that isn't used during the infusion method is utilized. The starch was paid for so why not use it? Also, when mash is boiled protein gum boils away, wort is cleaner. Magnesium and Potassium phosphate precipitate. Nutrients are created during certain rest periods. The grain bed settles evenly because oxygen is boiled out of the husk. Chance of high side oxidation is reduced. The brewery smells good when the mash is cooking.

    "I admit that I'm not familiar with all the complex converstions"

    That's OK. The majority of home brewers aren't. Hang in there!!!

    Conversion is simple to understand, Beta lops off two molecules of glucose and maltose is produced. When Beta lops off three molecules of glucose malto-triose is produced. The trick is to use brewers grade malt like Weyermann floor malt instead of less expensive, modern malt and utilize a maltose rest before raising temperature. Second fermentation should be used. A second conversion occurs during secondary fermentation.

    "is "step infusion" or Hochkurz mashing an effective way to improve beer quality as opposed to single infusion mashing?"

    GREAT QUESTIONS!!
    Most of the recipes on Weyermann's website recommends step mashing their malt. Again, the finer the malt, more temperatures are needed. The malt will cost more so, try to get your moneys worth out of it.

    Hochkurz method came out in 1960. The method will produce a more stable and balanced product than step mashing. The malt should be brewers grade. The method was developed during a time when breweries began to focus on profit margin and less on quality. The method removes a step. Hence, the final product lacks what would have been produced during the step.

    For single infusion to work to produce Ale or Lager, the malt would need to be very unique. All of the enzymes contained within the malt would need to work in perfect harmony at a single temperature, a single pH for one rest period. It would be fantastic malt, it just doesn't exist.
    The infusion methods are fun to use and time can be found to make beer, and as long as it is fun and interesting, that's what's important. I do not want to give anyone the impression that a brewing method needs to be changed. To be quite honest, I had more fun using the infusion method than I have using the decoction method. It is a ton of work and concentration. The time is coming when I won't be strong enough to use the method so, I'll play around with infusion methods. I can bang out a lotta beer in a day using infusions.


    jmcnamara.
    "I meant the decoction might bring darker color and more caramilzation than what you want for that style. For instance a pilsner or other light beer like that"

    I agree with you 100%. Consideration of the style of beer is very important. GREAT input!!

    Mash darkens during saccharification, it isn't to be confused with darkening caused by maillard reaction. After saccharification mash lightens up as it boils. Maillard reaction color is lighter hued than the color formed when saccharification occurs. When melanoidin malt is used it has to be boiled. I'm not sure about home brew instructions for using the malt. Maybe, toss it in with everything?
    Tri-decoction beer is lighter in color and brighter due to the wort being pristine. The finest and lightest Pils, Ale and Lager are produced by decoction.
    Caramelizing? Perhaps, maillard reaction and then, melanoidin if the ducks line up and it takes at least an hour of boiling mash to line up the ducks for melanoidin to form. The ducks are amino acid, protein and sugar. The time when melanoidin is created is during the first decoction. The first decoction can be boiled for a long period of time because enzymatic action is nil in the main mash. Actually, melanoidin doesn't form quickly. The mash begins to darken near the edges forming narrow ribbons. When the ribbons are stirred in they disappear. You have to see it, it is hard to describe. Kind of like ribbons of light color, thin, chocolate syrup that collects at the edge of the mash where it touches the sides of the kettle. Darkening comes first, it's maillard reaction. The ribbons stand out because the rest of the mash is lighter. When I produce Oktoberfest and Bock style beer I boil the first decoction for a minimum of one hour.
     
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  19. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Rdwhahb
     
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  20. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Longest and shortest posts ever!
     
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