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Messages - HoosierBrew

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46
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash Temps
« on: August 22, 2016, 05:41:18 PM »
If someone were to do a longer rest at beta temps (like 60-90 min) then mash at alpha temps for like 30-40, it seems like you would get the best of both worlds right?


You just hit on the reason some brewers (especially lager brewers) like to step mash a beer - to have the best of both temp ranges. Alpha works best at 154-162°F, while beta works best between 131-150°F. So if I mash a helles for 45 minutes at 145F and 45 minutes at 160F, I've created a beer that will both attenuate well with a nice drinkability (from the beta rest), and also have some nice body and foam stability (from the alpha rest).


Jury's still out if you ask me.  More experiments are needed.  Personally I'd rather save the time and extra dorking around for something that we most likely can't probably taste the difference anyway, just split the difference, mash in the 150s for 45 or 90 minutes as you prefer, and call it good.

Another thing I wonder about.... if beta amylase doesn't all die right away at 154 F or so, doesn't it make more sense to do a reverse "step" mash (actually more of a "smooth" mash) starting at that point, not insulating, and allowing the temperature to fall to the mid 140s by the end of the mash?  Anyway, that's what I do almost all the time, without thinking too hard about it and without worrying, and with very good results IMHO.  Way less effort for probably very similar results.

But, you know, many people just can't help but play with their food.  Insulated mash tuns.... bah... humbug.  :D



I agree that the jury's out, too. I've been experimenting with step mashing (again) for about a year now. The one difference I'm absolutely convinced of is the benefit of better foam from the alpha rest @ 160-162F. It's an easily noticeable difference IMO. Flavor wise, I don't find a single infused lager to be inferior in any way (if mashed right).

47
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash Temps
« on: August 22, 2016, 05:13:13 PM »
If someone were to do a longer rest at beta temps (like 60-90 min) then mash at alpha temps for like 30-40, it seems like you would get the best of both worlds right?


You just hit on the reason some brewers (especially lager brewers) like to step mash a beer - to have the best of both temp ranges. Alpha works best at 154-162°F, while beta works best between 131-150°F. So if I mash a helles for 45 minutes at 145F and 45 minutes at 160F, I've created a beer that will both attenuate well with a nice drinkability (from the beta rest), and also have some nice body and foam stability (from the alpha rest).


Edit - Step mashing is still fairly common in Belgium as well.

48
All Grain Brewing / Re: where did I go wrong
« on: August 22, 2016, 04:18:56 PM »
Got the ice cube trick from you and Denny here!  I make mine with distilled water so as not to offset the pH too much. Works great.


Nice. I make RO cubes. Same idea !

49
All Grain Brewing / Re: where did I go wrong
« on: August 22, 2016, 03:25:19 PM »
I usually err on a degree or two hotter than what specific mash temp I am shooting for.  It is always easier to cool down a mash with a couple ice cubes/gentle stirring vs heating up a "cooler"...


^^ No joke.

50
General Homebrew Discussion / Re: Mash Temps
« on: August 22, 2016, 02:36:30 PM »
I don't feel that a 151F mash is noticeably different than 150F, or that 155F is noticeably different than 156F, in terms of body or FG. But I do feel that in a given grist and using a given strain, a sub-150F mash is noticeably lighter in body and lower in FG, and that a mash above 156F gives a noticeably fuller body and higher FG. The middle range between 151F and 156F (given same grist and strain) has only very subtle differences in terms of body or FG IMO.

51
All Grain Brewing / Re: First all-grain, water concern
« on: August 21, 2016, 03:16:45 PM »
I've seen mineral water containing 400+ ppm bicarbonate, so all in all that's a bit scary when the information is not present...


Exactly. That was the reason I suggested RO water - at least it's a roughly known quantity. RO from machines is sub 50ppm TDS, often far under that. Denny is right that spring water offers a few more minerals which could be conducive, but there can be a ton of variance in spring water in terms of minerality IME. Still, for OP's first batch, spring or RO water would work nicely.

52
All Grain Brewing / Re: First all-grain, water concern
« on: August 21, 2016, 08:34:05 AM »
For now, using RO (reverse osmosis ) water from grocery store machines would be the best option as opposed to your unknown local water or water through a softener which is often too high in sodium for beer. I live in Indiana where the water is not good for brewing most beers to say the least. I use RO water along with Brunwater software which is excellent for helping you predict and control your pH, as well as using the right water profile for the right beer. But until you have time or inclination to get into water further, RO water is a good start. Good luck.

https://sites.google.com/site/brunwater/


Edit -  A tsp of gypsum (from your homebrew shop)added to the kettle on your pale ale is a nice addition - it helps accentuate hop character.

53
All Grain Brewing / Re: kolsch grain bill
« on: August 21, 2016, 07:57:15 AM »
I do like about 75/25% pils/Kolsch malt.


Pretty close to what I did on my last one - liked it a lot.

55
All Grain Brewing / Re: Supposed to be a Saison became a Belgian
« on: August 20, 2016, 10:01:09 AM »
I've tasted plenty of Saisons to realize that it's way too Belgiany and yeasty to be a true Saison. But, it's a pretty good Belgiany tasting beer.



What about the taste does not make it saison-like?



Yeah, Dupont is the gold standard for saison and it is from Belgium, so I'm confused as to how using one of their sub-strains wouldn't make a 'true saison'. I think people try the (mostly) vastly inferior domestic versions made with milder strains and assume that they're drinking the real deal. Having said that, temp profile makes a huge difference in the final product of a saison. And if the beer is yeasty as OP said, it probably needs to clear at cold temps a bit more to make a final judgement. 

56
The Pub / Re: note to self
« on: August 20, 2016, 08:26:40 AM »
Funny stuff ! I posted it in a different thread lately, but just because you're a hophead doesn't make eating hop pellets or Hop Shot a remotely good move.   :(

57
Commercial Beer Reviews / Re: Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
« on: August 20, 2016, 06:05:34 AM »
Drinking this now. Can't say I have ever had a festbier before. To me, this tastes like a slightly maltier pils with a strange tangy thing going on. I am literally picking up the tiniest amount of malt aroma and nothing else. I probably don't fully understand the style.

There were so many good looking 'oktoberfest/marzens' that I wasn't sure what to choose. A little disappointed in my selection. Wish I would have chosen the Odell or Prost offerings...
Festbiers are stong Helles, not quit Bocks. Malty from Pils and a portion of Munich malt. The Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest uses the Record hop that is said to be spicy. I am giving up on finding it on draft locally, may get bottles soon.


Come down to my house Jeff - my friend got me a keg and a sankey to homebrew fittings adapter as a housewarming gift.  Tapping it later today


Whoa, nice!

58
Yeah, thanks for posting, Jeff. I'm definitely on board with Brewtan B, have purged kegs with CO2 for awhile, and am experimenting with kegging with ascorbic again. I'm looking forward to cracking these bottles of Ofest and NG Pils that I bottled from the kegs and sampling at 6 months. That'll be the final test.

59
All Grain Brewing / Re: kolsch grain bill
« on: August 19, 2016, 11:13:11 AM »
Pretty much the same fermentation schedule for me. I held 58 for 2 days, then bumped up a couple dF/day.

60
All Grain Brewing / Re: kolsch grain bill
« on: August 19, 2016, 10:41:50 AM »
Jon and/or majorvices, what mash temp do you use for your kölsch? Assuming pretty low for that crisp dry finish? Not brewing this anytime soon, but will likely be on the schedule for next spring


This time I went 150F/75 mins. I think it ended up at 1.009ish (with 2565) . Was crisp,dry, and tasty.


Edit - I've step mashed it before, but I like this temp/time for kolsch. Quick and easy.   

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