Author Topic: Humdinger Attenuation Issue  (Read 6086 times)

Offline hokerer

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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2012, 06:47:39 PM »
Will leaving the main mash at beta temps for that long basically set the fermentability of my wort?  In other words, even if I raise the main mash to alpha temps after adding back the decoction, will the alpha rest actually make the wort less fermentable?

This is exactly what I was thinking as I read your mash procedure.  The rest at 145F is going to break down the max amount of the available fermentables.  As far as I understand it, there's nothing that raising the mash to 158F can do to "un-break-down" what's already been broken down.

Wonder if something like pulling your first decotion almost immediately after mash-in would work.  You'd only be beta resting 2/3 of the mash at 145F for as long as your decoction takes.  You'd be losing the enzymes from the 1/3 you pulled but, with all that Pils, you've probably got tons plenty of enzymes.
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2012, 07:43:52 PM »
Yeah, I agree.  It's the very long rest at 145 that's giving you a very fermentable wort.  For my BoPils I start at 131F and infuse to 148F.  My objective is to spend no more than 30 minutes at 148-149 before I get the first decoction back into the mash tun to raise the temp.  So I only boil that first decoction for 10-15 minutes.

My last one went from 1.052 to 1.013.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2012, 09:38:20 PM »
1.007??? What the %&*#

That's totally unexpected considering your recipe and process. Some of your measurements have to be off. Either your thermometer or your hydrometer. I know you previously stated that you have calibrated them, but this is very odd. I would not expect a final gravity that low.

What yeast did you use?

I can certainly understand your frustration.
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2012, 10:30:04 PM »
I don't think his measurements are off.  If you mash at 145 for 60+ minutes you're going to get numbers like that.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2012, 10:55:16 PM »
I don't think his measurements are off.  If you mash at 145 for 60+ minutes you're going to get numbers like that.

I understand... but 145 for 25min is a typical "step mash" programmed step, unless he his timing was off.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2012, 06:02:45 AM »
1.007??? What the %&*#

That's totally unexpected considering your recipe and process. Some of your measurements have to be off. Either your thermometer or your hydrometer. I know you previously stated that you have calibrated them, but this is very odd. I would not expect a final gravity that low.

What yeast did you use?

I can certainly understand your frustration.

I'm still pretty confident that my thermometers are properly calibrated.  But I just ordered a thermapen in hopes of putting that issue to rest (and because I've always wanted one!).

Although my mash program indicates a beta step time of 25 minutes, the mash sat at beta temps for much longer than that.  I pulled the decoction at 25 minutes and then rested the decoction for 15 minutes at 158 before boiling it for 30 minutes.  So the mash really sat at beta temps for over an hour.  Based on some of the responses I've gotten on this issue, I'm reasonably confident at this point that the high attenuation is due to the prolonged beta rest.

Going forward, I may try pulling the decoction at mash in, as Tygo suggested, but then I think I risk having the main mash temperature drop significantly due to the lack of thermal mass.  Also, I just don't know if I could get the rested and boiled decoction back into the mash tun within 20-30 minutes, which is my typical beta rest time.

So, I think what I'll most likely do is either: (1) step mash using only using infusions since I can control the step times much more that way; or (2) accept the limitations of my cooler mash tun system and avoid step mashing.  Under either scenario, I can still do a decoction to hit mash out temps if I want.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 06:09:55 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2012, 06:26:58 AM »
After you get to the beta rest, let it sit for 10 minutes, then pull the decoction and bring it straight to a boil, boil it for 10 minutes, and then back into mash tun.  You should be able to accomplish that within 30 minutes.

Now, that doesn't allow for the traditional rest of the decoction at 156 or whatever it is but I don't bother.  I figure there are enough enzymes left in the mash to convert the part I've pulled.

And then, like you said, you can do a longer boil on the 2nd decoction if you want for flavor purposes.

Also, I see nothing wrong with just infusing and using a decoction for the mash out.  Just for me by the time I infuse enough to get from protein to beta I pretty much have as much water in the tun as I want.
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2012, 07:53:48 AM »
After you get to the beta rest, let it sit for 10 minutes, then pull the decoction and bring it straight to a boil, boil it for 10 minutes, and then back into mash tun.  You should be able to accomplish that within 30 minutes.

I think I'll give this a shot; it sounds doable.  Thanks for the suggestion!

Do you think I should aim for a slightly higher beta rest temp given that the main mash will likely drop several degrees after I pull the decoction?  Yesterday, when I brewed my double-decocted dunkel, the beta rest temp fell from 148 to around 142-144 after I pulled the decoction.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 08:01:37 AM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2012, 09:06:45 AM »
I usually try for 148-149F.  I guess I wouldn't go much higher than that otherwise you're starting to get into the beta deactivation temps.
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2012, 11:22:43 AM »
Now, that doesn't allow for the traditional rest of the decoction at 156 or whatever it is but I don't bother.  I figure there are enough enzymes left in the mash to convert the part I've pulled.

Also, as you're bringing the decoction up to a boil, you're probably getting at least some conversion as the decoction passes through the beta and alpha amylase ranges, right?

Man, I want to rebrew my dunkel today with your suggestions.  I have a feeling it's going to turn out dry like my BoPils. >:(
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2012, 07:11:22 PM »
Yeah, I guess you'll probably get some conversion as the temp comes up, but you'll be bringing it to a boil pretty quickly so probably not much.  Either way there are lots of enzymes in the main mash to take care of that once you add it back in.
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2012, 01:15:57 PM »
Based on the mash profile, that's actually a little higher than I'd expect the beer to finish. You're essentially mashing for maximum fermentability and then hoping for moderate attenuation.

If you want to keep the decoction but reduce fermentability, you could always skip the beta rest. Mash in at ~152°F and decoct to 158°F. That should still give you 75-80% ADF if my experiences with 206 are any indication.
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2012, 02:02:11 PM »
I did a Hochkurz decoction on my last German pils, and the attenuation was good but not excessive.  The main mash spent 30 minutes at 144 before pulling about 1/3 of it for a (relatively) thick decoction.  I'd say there was a 30 minute ramp up time and a 20 minute boil for the decoction.  It was then returned to the mash for 30 minutes at 158.  OG 1.051, FG 1.011 using a large starter of WLP830.

The original beers that you had a problem with were mashed at 150, so I don't think your latest issue is entirely due to the decoction.
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Re: Humdinger Attenuation Issue
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2012, 03:22:00 PM »
Quote from: a10t2
Based on the mash profile, that's actually a little higher than I'd expect the beer to finish. You're essentially mashing for maximum fermentability and then hoping for moderate attenuation.

If you want to keep the decoction but reduce fermentability, you could always skip the beta rest. Mash in at ~152°F and decoct to 158°F. That should still give you 75-80% ADF if my experiences with 206 are any indication.

This is a good point.  I probably need to take a closer look at why I'm decocting in the first place (it's not to maximize fermentability).  What I'm shooting for is moderate attenuation with the rounded mouthfeel some brewers associate with step-mashed beers.  But for my system, I might just be better off sticking to single-infusion mashes and using specialty grains to enhance mouthfeel (assuming that without mouthfeel-enhancing specialty grains, my single-infusion beers will be inferior to my step-mashed beers).

The original beers that you had a problem with were mashed at 150, so I don't think your latest issue is entirely due to the decoction.

Good catch...there are really two separate issues here: (1) overattenuation for single-infusion mashes; and (2) overattenuation in some recent double-decocted mashes.  I think the solution to the first issue is to simply mash higher.  As for the second issue, I'm going to try pulling the first decoction 10 minutes into the beta rest, ramping it up to boiling and adding it back after a 30-minute total beta rest.  If this has the desired effect (less attenuated beer + enhanced mouthfeel), I'll try working with that mash program.  If it doesn't work out, I'll probably just revert to single-infusion mashing.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 03:54:42 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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