Mashing with Dr Charlie Bamforth – BeerSmith Podcast #14

by Brad Smith on April 20, 2011 · 6 comments

This week I interview Dr Charles Bamforth, the Anheuser-Busch endowed Professor of Brewing Science a the University of California at Davis. We talk about the entire all grain mashing process for beer brewing from start to finish. Charlie explains how mashing actually works, how changes in the process affect the finished beer, and the role that multiple step mashing, decoction mashing and lautering play in brewing beer.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (42:41)

  • This week’s guest is Dr Charlie Bamforth, Professor of Brewing Science at the University of California at Davis.
  • Dr Bamforth starts by explaining his endowed chair at UC, Davis
  • We overview the mashing process itself – starting with a simple single infusion mash
  • Dr Bamforth explains how the mashing process breaks malt sugars down into simple sugars that can be fermented. He also talks about the role that alpha amylase, beta amylase and limit dextrinase play in mashing all grain brewing.
  • We talk about how malting temperature affects the body of the beer and also fermentability of the beer.
  • The role that malt modification plays in brewing beer – and how the highly modified modern malts have changed things from many early brewing methods.
  • Charlie explains why a single step infusion mash is perfect for just about any barley based beer, and additional steps are not really needed.
  • We talk about decoction mashing as a method – and why its probably not needed with modern ingredients
  • Charlie explains some of the reasons to do a mash out – though he agrees it not always needed in all cases
  • The iodine test and how it can be used to determine that a mash is complete
  • We talk about mash hopping – though we both agree that it is unlikely that mash hopping provides any real benefit other than slightly lowering the pH
  • Charlie shares a few sparging tips as well as a quick tip for homebrewers on hygiene

Thanks again to Dr Charles Bamforth of UC Davis who was kind enough to appear on the show!

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