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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: drtanglebones on September 22, 2010, 12:50:54 pm

Title: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: drtanglebones on September 22, 2010, 12:50:54 pm
Looking for advice here!  I have a Morebeer 1550 brew sculpture and have yet to do a step mash with it.  I would like to attempt with my next brew (a dark Belgian Strong ale.)  I'm using a base of bohemian pilsner malt with several specialty malts and a bit of dark candi syrup.  Any thoughts on a good mash schedule for this one?
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: denny on September 22, 2010, 01:01:23 pm
I'm making a Rochefort clone this weekend and I'll probably do a step mash.  145-147 for 30 min. and 158 for 60.  I have doubts about the benefits of a step mash, but I still do them occasionally to see if I'm missing something.
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: witsok on September 22, 2010, 06:06:22 pm
de Clerk describes "typical" mashing schedule in Belgium as:

113-122 F (45-50C) for 30-45 minutes
144-145 F (62-63C) for 30-45 minutes
158 F (70C) for 30-45 minutes
167 F (75C) mashout for 10-15 minutes

In BLAM, Rochefort uses 135-145-165-172 temperature regimen.

I don't like using such a low protein rest.  The schedule I've been using for abbey styes is:

136 F for 10-15 minutes
146 F for 30 minutes
161 F for 30 minutes
172 F mashout for 10 minutes
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: denny on September 22, 2010, 06:09:37 pm
I don't like doing a p rest at all and I haven't found it necessary for the style.
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: gordonstrong on September 23, 2010, 09:05:20 am
de Clerck (note spelling) probably wrote that over 50 years ago.  Are the malts the same as then?

When I use a lot of continental pilsner malt, I like to do a rest at 131F for 10-15 minutes.  I find it helps with clarity.

I generally do something like 131-144-158-168 when I want something well-attenuated but still having body.  Seems similar enough to the ones just proposed that I'd call them the same.  They work.
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: tygo on September 23, 2010, 09:09:38 am
I generally do something like 131-144-158-168 when I want something well-attenuated but still having body.  Seems similar enough to the ones just proposed that I'd call them the same.  They work.

With similar rest times as above?  131 for 10-15 minutes and then 30 or so minutes for the next two and 10 minute mashout?
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: gordonstrong on September 23, 2010, 09:22:22 am
Yeah.  The first rest shouldn't be too long; you don't want to over-do it. The second rest is where most of the conversion takes place so give that time (look at it to see how it's going); 30-60 minutes is typical, I think.  I usually do 15-30 minutes at 158 (it's a slower conversion, but it depends on how much body you want).  The last one is really just a mashout, so it doesn't matter how long it takes; 10-15 minutes is fine.  Long enough for you to be able to start your vorlauf.
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: denny on September 23, 2010, 09:33:02 am
de Clerck (note spelling) probably wrote that over 50 years ago.  Are the malts the same as then?

Can I get a big AMEN for Brother Gordon?  AMEN!!!

Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: tygo on September 23, 2010, 10:09:05 pm
Thanks Gordon.  I'm interested in trying this when I'm using continental malts.  I may be brewing up a BoPils this weekend however I think I'll need to wait a bit on step mashing since I just got a new kettle and need to settle out my brewing process again before I introduce anything else new.
Title: Re: Step mash for Dark Belgian Strong ale
Post by: drtanglebones on September 28, 2010, 07:52:09 am
Thanks for the info guys!  I'm about to try this now.  Will post later and update on how it goes.