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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: gymrat on June 13, 2011, 11:29:57 PM

Title: Mash out questions
Post by: gymrat on June 13, 2011, 11:29:57 PM
1. What does it do?
2. How do you perform it?
3. Is it necessary?
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: jamminbrew on June 13, 2011, 11:39:01 PM
1.  Mash out basically stops the enzymatic activity, stops the conversion of starches in the grain to fermentable sugars.
2. Raising the temp of the mash to approx. 168* and holding for 10-15 mins.
3. Debatable, I have and I have forgotten, and noticed no difference.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: dannyjed on June 13, 2011, 11:47:24 PM
I did it my first 5-6 all grain batches and with the advice from some on this forum I found it not necessary.  Some have stated that a mash out helps boost efficiency and I don't believe it since it stops conversion.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tubercle on June 13, 2011, 11:59:52 PM
1. Don't know
2. Don't know
3. Don't know

Tubercle suggest:

1. Mash
2. Sparge
3. Enjoy
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tygo on June 14, 2011, 12:08:05 AM
Boost the temp up to around 170F and hold it there a good long while, say 20 minutes.   It should denature the majority of the enzymes and lock in the fermentation profile.  Many people think it's not necessary but like many other things in brewing it all depends on your system.

My wort tends to sit in the kettle for awhile during the runoff at 140-150F so if I'm trying to achieve the effects of a mash temp at 150+ I will usually do a mashout prior to starting the runoff.  If I'm brewing up a Belgian Strong Golden ale and mashing at 148 anyway then I don't bother. 
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: jgl2ltts on June 14, 2011, 01:39:55 AM
Mashing out supposedly increases efficiency by solubilizing more fermentable sugar in the grain than would be extracted at the lower mash temperature.

My experience is consistent with the previous respondent, I've forgotten to mash out and found no difference in the final outcomes.  Perhaps it's more significant when mashing larger volumes of wort (I generally do 10 gallon batches).
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: dannyjed on June 14, 2011, 07:08:31 PM
I agree that to do or not to do a mash out depends on your set up and equipment.  I don't and I'm happier that I have one less thing to forget ;)
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tom on June 14, 2011, 07:19:19 PM
I agree that "it depends".
I believe that the increased temperature doesn't lock in the fermentability profile.  Alpha amylase works well into the upper 160's and it takes longer than 20 minutes to denature it.  I do it because I can (direct-fired RIMS) and I think I get a little bit more efficiency and clearer beer.  Neither are scientifically proven though, nor terribly important.  I am trying to make my brewing process consistent for now.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: mabrungard on June 14, 2011, 07:43:32 PM
I also use a RIMS and its easy to set my heater controller to ramp the mash temp up.  I consistently measure several points Brix increase in the wort gravity with the mashout heating and recirculation.  Since its not a big deal for my system, I always do it.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: ccarlson on June 14, 2011, 08:48:02 PM
1. It denatures the enzymes and thins the sugars. Your efficiency will increase a little and it helps prevent stuck sparges.

2. I add boiling water.

3. Not absolutely necessary, but I think it's worth the effort.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: Kirk on June 16, 2011, 02:03:41 AM
If you're shooting for a final gravity target higher than all out conversion, then it's important. Because if you don't denature the enzymes, especially beta, then there's a good chance you will still be converting while you're sparging, and you're FG will be lower than you were shooting for.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: nyakavt on June 16, 2011, 04:44:54 PM
I also use a RIMS and its easy to set my heater controller to ramp the mash temp up.  I consistently measure several points Brix increase in the wort gravity with the mashout heating and recirculation.  Since its not a big deal for my system, I always do it.

This has been my experience as well.  There have been two or so batches where there was no difference in mash gravity (out of 20 sampled) before and after mashout, but most of them have showed a 1-2 brix increase after mashout. 

What I really want to know is if this same conversion happens as the wort in the kettle is heated to a boil?  Although the same thing would be happening the the enzymes as the temperature is raised, the starches that would be solubilized by the higher temp are still, presumably, in the MT, and therefore not exposed to the enzymes for conversion.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tschmidlin on June 20, 2011, 05:53:53 PM
I also use a RIMS and its easy to set my heater controller to ramp the mash temp up.  I consistently measure several points Brix increase in the wort gravity with the mashout heating and recirculation.  Since its not a big deal for my system, I always do it.
If you ever feel like testing it Martin, I would love to see what happens on your system if you just did the recirculation while keeping the temperature the same.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: ccarlson on June 21, 2011, 12:34:28 AM
I also use a RIMS and its easy to set my heater controller to ramp the mash temp up.  I consistently measure several points Brix increase in the wort gravity with the mashout heating and recirculation.  Since its not a big deal for my system, I always do it.

That's about what I see as well.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on June 21, 2011, 11:59:32 AM
Can we dispel the myth that mashing out @ 168* F stops all enzymatic activity in this thread?  AFAIK, mashing out denatures the beta amylase (which affects the fermentability) but the alpha amylase (reducing starch to long-chained sugars and long-chained sugars to shorter ones) is still chugging along @ 168* F.  So imo it's correct to say it 'locks in the fermentability' but not correct to say it 'stops all enzyme activity' or 'stops conversion'.

From Kaiser's Theory of Mashing article (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/The_Theory_of_Mashing):
Quote
Beta amylase produces Maltose, the main wort sugar, by splitting 2 glucose molecules from the non-reducing end of a glucose chain. It is therefore able to completely convert Amylose. But since it cannot get past the branch joins, Amylopectin cannot completely be converted by beta amylase. The optimal pH range for beta amylase between 5.4 and 5.6 and the optimal temperature range is between 140ºF (60ºC) and 150ºF (65ºC). Above 160ºF (70ºC) beta amylase is quickly deactivated [Narziss, 2005].

Alpha Amylase is able to split 1-4 links within glucose chains. By doing so, it exposes additional non-reducing ends for the beta amylase. This allows for the further conversion of Amylopectin. The optimal pH range is between 5.6 and 5.8 and the optimal temperature range is between 162ºF (72ºC) and 167ºF (75ºC). Above 176ºF (80ºC) alpha amylase is quickly deactivated [Narziss, 2005]

Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: denny on June 21, 2011, 03:25:17 PM
Agreed, Matt.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: ccarlson on June 21, 2011, 10:54:52 PM
I rarely get my mash temp hot enough to denature anyway, but the other advantages of heating the mash (eliminating stuck sparges, improved efficiency, etc) make it worth the effort.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tschmidlin on June 21, 2011, 10:57:17 PM
I rarely get my mash temp hot enough to denature anyway, but the other advantages of heating the mash (eliminating stuck sparges, improved efficiency, etc) is still worth the effort.
If you believe that to be true.  I've begun to question if I've ever really checked my efficiency rigorously enough to compare the two, and have never had a stuck sparge so . . .
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: ccarlson on June 21, 2011, 11:32:55 PM
I rarely get my mash temp hot enough to denature anyway, but the other advantages of heating the mash (eliminating stuck sparges, improved efficiency, etc) is still worth the effort.
If you believe that to be true.  I've begun to question if I've ever really checked my efficiency rigorously enough to compare the two, and have never had a stuck sparge so . . .

I've tried it many ways and have kept fairly good notes. I have no doubt that it helps. Preventing stuck sparges is pretty subjective, but the efficiency increase is based on numbers.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tygo on June 21, 2011, 11:58:17 PM
I've experienced slightly higher efficiency when bumping up the temp at the end for a 15-20 minute rest.  However, I experience that bump whether it's at 160F or 170F.  Also, I haven't eliminated the possibility that the efficiency bump is due more to giving it a good stirring while stepping up the temp than the temp itself.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tschmidlin on June 22, 2011, 05:02:05 AM
Right, is the bump in efficiency due to the temp rise, the stirring, the longer mash . . . all of them?  I haven't tested it rigorously, and I suspect most people haven't either.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: denny on June 22, 2011, 03:26:42 PM
Based on Kai's experiments using cool water to sparge without an efficiency loss, I've come to believe that efficiency increases due to adding hot water to the mash happen because of increased conversion from the hot water.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: ccarlson on June 22, 2011, 03:57:24 PM
Based on Kai's experiments using cool water to sparge without an efficiency loss, I've come to believe that efficiency increases due to adding hot water to the mash happen because of increased conversion from the hot water.

Are there other cold water sparge experiments that Kai or yourself ran, or is it just the one that's posted on his site?
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: denny on June 22, 2011, 04:03:16 PM
I'm pretty sure the only one Kai has done is on his website.  I didn't do ant formal experiments, but I did try sparging with 60F water a couple times just to see what happened.  I got the same efficiency that I do when I brew that recipe with hot sparge water.  In that recipe, even using hot sparge water, the mash temp never gets above about 158.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: ccarlson on June 22, 2011, 04:12:50 PM
I'm pretty sure the only one Kai has done is on his website.  I didn't do ant formal experiments, but I did try sparging with 60F water a couple times just to see what happened.  I got the same efficiency that I do when I brew that recipe with hot sparge water.  In that recipe, even using hot sparge water, the mash temp never gets above about 158.

Interesting. That's not at all what I, or a fellow brewer experienced. Oh well, I'll stick with something that I know works.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: denny on June 22, 2011, 04:25:17 PM
I'm pretty sure the only one Kai has done is on his website.  I didn't do ant formal experiments, but I did try sparging with 60F water a couple times just to see what happened.  I got the same efficiency that I do when I brew that recipe with hot sparge water.  In that recipe, even using hot sparge water, the mash temp never gets above about 158.

Interesting. That's not at all what I, or a fellow brewer experienced. Oh well, I'll stick with something that I know works.

I'm definitely not planning on making sparging with cool water a regular part of my brewing!  I was just curious about what would happen.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tschmidlin on June 22, 2011, 09:16:03 PM
I'm pretty sure the only one Kai has done is on his website.  I didn't do ant formal experiments, but I did try sparging with 60F water a couple times just to see what happened.  I got the same efficiency that I do when I brew that recipe with hot sparge water.  In that recipe, even using hot sparge water, the mash temp never gets above about 158.

Interesting. That's not at all what I, or a fellow brewer experienced. Oh well, I'll stick with something that I know works.

I'm definitely not planning on making sparging with cool water a regular part of my brewing!  I was just curious about what would happen.
It would just take that much longer to come to a boil. :)
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: denny on June 22, 2011, 10:37:44 PM

It would just take that much longer to come to a boil. :)

Yep.  It's not a practical thing to do.  Just an experimental exercise.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: Will's Swill on June 23, 2011, 12:40:44 AM
I think it would simplify my process to use cool sparge water - I wouldn't have to use my kettle as an HLT during the sparge, and I wouldn't have to deal with heat loss from the sparge water.  Maybe I'll give it a try.  Any reason not to use cool water for sparging, assuming there's no impact to efficiency and that I wouldn't mash out anyway?
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tschmidlin on June 23, 2011, 03:36:28 AM
Well, for me I would heat it anyway so it would boil faster, but if that doesn't bother you then it's worth a try.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: mabrungard on June 23, 2011, 12:44:35 PM
Tom,

That is a very good point, mashing out is providing an additional heat input that we'll need eventually to boil.  Mash out just makes sense to me.

Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on June 23, 2011, 01:53:31 PM
Devil's advocate here:  It seems that you're heating either way; whether you heat to mash-out or heat the sparge water you're still heating the entire grain bed which ends up being 'wasted' heat because much of that heat remains in the grain bed.  When just heating the kettle up to the boil you're not devoting all that 'thrown away' heat to the grain bed.

I mash-out and sparge hot, just making the point. :)
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: ccarlson on June 23, 2011, 02:19:18 PM
Yes, but if you sparge with cooler water, your efficiency will suffer a little. If energy conservation is more important to you. then your point is well made.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: SpanishCastleAle on June 23, 2011, 03:31:35 PM
The efficiency thing was covered earlier itt.  It seems to make a difference for some and not for others.  I'm not really worried about a slight difference in efficiency (grain is cheap) or a slight difference in propane use (it's a drop in the bucket since I already use a lot).  Like everyone else here, I just want to make the best beer I possibly can.  But old habits die hard (so I still mash-out and sparge hot).
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: tschmidlin on June 23, 2011, 04:06:42 PM
Sure, some heat remains behind in the mash, but more ends up in the mash tun.  This would vary depending on how you mash of course, fly spargers tend to leave more water behind in the mash than batch spargers.
Title: Re: Mash out questions
Post by: morticaixavier on June 23, 2011, 04:09:05 PM
Devil's advocate here:  It seems that you're heating either way; whether you heat to mash-out or heat the sparge water you're still heating the entire grain bed which ends up being 'wasted' heat because much of that heat remains in the grain bed.  When just heating the kettle up to the boil you're not devoting all that 'thrown away' heat to the grain bed.

I mash-out and sparge hot, just making the point. :)

Not only are you not adding more heat to the mash, you are actually moving heat from the mash to the boil kettle. The 60* water you sparge with comes out the other end at 60* + some, depending on the heat of the mash when you add it. I tried this a couple of weeks ago because I forgot to heat my sparge water before starting my sparge so I just dumped it in at like 90 or so (didn't take it's temp) didn't seem to hurt my eff but I am not that exacting so who can say.