Author Topic: Multi-step Mash  (Read 10683 times)

Offline dharalson

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Multi-step Mash
« on: February 14, 2011, 12:30:04 PM »
I have a two part question on Mutli-Step Mash

My system is set up for 5 gallons, with a 10 gal round cooler MLT (with RIMS) and a 8 gal BK.
This past weekend I brewed a Dusseldorf Altbier with a three step mash  122d / 147d / 158d and mashout.
[The first step was by decoction]

My first question is interpreting Beersmith step times.  Since there is a required time to heat up between steps,
is the time from Beersmith the temperature hold time? or does it include temperature ramp time?

The second question is much deeper.  At 147d most of the enzyme activity is the Beta Amylase converting to Maltose.  At 158d most the enzyme activity is Alpha Amylase converting to less-fermentable sugars.  If I spend to long at the lower temperature will there be any starch left to convert at the higher temp.  I know the Beta Amylase will work slower and take longer, but how long?  Is there a rule of thumb for the percentage converted per time?  Is there any good way to measure the amount of convert at each step? or is this all trial and error?

The only way I know (or can at least think of) is the measure of FG.  If it is low, then I converted mostly to maltose, if it is higher then maybe a bit of each.

Any one, Any one?

David

Offline slowpokescotty

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2011, 02:51:00 PM »
I'm a real green horn but going to the alpha amylase temp first seems smarter then first going to the cooler temp that allows beta to work best.

The only problem i see with this method((step mashing) is that if we convert too many starches in those 2 steps, we may sacrifice flavor for alcohol.

Ive never done it yet but after much reading i may choose to go to prox 147 deg and just convert at that single temperature.

Originally,  I purchased a pound each of alpha and beta amylase thinking I would add them at the proper temperatures to get maximum conversion but now i am rethinking the procedure.

I am very anxious to see the responses of the experienced brewers ;D

THESE ARE THE STEPS I HAD IN MY PROPOSED  METHOD before i  thought about losing flavor.

7—Raise the temperature to 152 degrees and add alpha amylase. This slightly warmer than optimum temperature for the alpha to work will actually cause more dextrin’s to be produced thereby giving  the  beta  more to later convert to maltose.
8-- Hold this temperature for 1 ½ hours. Stir every 15 minutes to prevent clumping.
9— next, bring the temperature down to 135 degrees f. check and adjust ph to between 4 and 5.2 if necessary. 
10—Set the heat control for 135 degrees at a low wattage and Add the beta amylase and just leave the mash to work on its own for ?????
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 05:17:16 PM by slowpokescotty »
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Offline Beer_Tigger

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2011, 05:40:56 AM »
Maybe I'm just lazy, but single step, no mash out always works for me.  It's amazing how easily my little effort turns into great beers.  Just choose full, medium, or light body. 

When the simple easy ways no longer produces the beer you need, then think about increasing the complexity to fine tune your results.

My 2 cents.
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Offline dharalson

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2011, 09:12:21 AM »
It's a hobby.  I can get mostly good beer at the store for a lot less cost and effort.  I know there are simpler methods and I do use them, but on occasion I like to challenge myself to see where I can go. 

:-)

David

Offline MikeinWA

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2011, 05:17:41 PM »
It's a hobby.  I can get mostly good beer at the store for a lot less cost and effort.  I know there are simpler methods and I do use them, but on occasion I like to challenge myself to see where I can go. 

:-)

David

Not to change the topic...but...

Where do you live?  A six pack of good beer here runs $7 to $8. >:( 

Offline dharalson

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2011, 12:44:06 PM »
I brew with three other highly experienced Aerospace Engineers (and VP's)
I figure about $40 in material and about $2400 in labor for 40 "Grolsch" bottles.
That works out to $61 / bottle 

 :D

David

Offline Love2Brew

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2011, 02:11:33 AM »
Ive been step mashing from the time I started all grain and one thing I have noticed is you wanted to start at 152 and than go to 135. You can't go high and than go down it jacks up the enzymes that are doing the job at low temps when you get out of there range. Take for instance your brewing a Pilsner and want a low body high alcohol brew and it needs to sit at 52 deg. for two weeks than crash to 34 for another two. You start out low say mash in at between 114 to 120 for a preteen rest to build up the amino acids that feeds the yeast for a long cold ferment. Than step up to say 152 to build up the fermentables for the alcohol level and than you can kick it up to either 158 for a little higher body if you like or just jump to mash out at 168 to 170. If you go to 152 first you stop the amino acids you wanted to feed your yeast and can't go back and expect them to work. If you go to Google and put in "how to brew" by John Palmer it explains it a lot better than I can in the section called lets mash. With today's grains you really don't need to step mash but it gives you more control over things like yeast enzymes and body and such but you can get away with one stepping a mash and still get very good beer. I use it because I like the control it gives you and I can taylor a brew how I want it. If you just single step than what you get is what you get. Just remember you can always go up but you can never go back down.
I am there for I step mash....

Offline slowpokescotty

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2011, 04:40:33 AM »
Im still not sure why you cant go back down with the temperature. could you please explain it again . we are talking the  woort  not the fermenting of it. :)
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Offline dharalson

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2011, 02:00:58 PM »
Scotty

During the mash there are a number of different bio-chemical reactions that occur at different temperature ranges.  In almost all cases the enzymes that cause the conversions / reactions that occur at the lower temperature at denatured "killed off" at the higher temperatures.  Therefore trying to lower the mash from a high temperature to a lower temperature will not work because the enzymes that work at the lower temperatures are already dead.

That I am sure is a very simplistic view, but I believe it is the general consensus.

I would strongly suggest a copy of John Palmer's book "How to Brew".  At the very least, Google John Palmer; there is a early version of the book online.

All the best, David

Offline slowpokescotty

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 06:36:32 AM »
This is where adding beta amylase  after going back down  from high temp  might be the solution to haveog denatures the betas by going to the  higher temperature first.

but im still concerned about flavor in doing this.
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Offline DC Brewing

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Re: Multi-step Mash
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 12:35:45 PM »
This is where adding beta amylase  after going back down  from high temp  might be the solution to haveog denatures the betas by going to the  higher temperature first.

but im still concerned about flavor in doing this.

I think you might be confused with what alpha amylase and beta amylase actually are.  They are enzymes that you are getting out of the grains....... you can't go to you LHBS and buy a pound of alpha and beta. That is why you want to hit your lower temps first and work your way upward in temp.

Darin

 

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