Author Topic: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?  (Read 12517 times)

Offline roguejim

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Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« on: July 17, 2012, 01:50:48 PM »
In Jamil/Palmer's Classic Styles book, there is a hefe recipe that uses a single infusion mash. Is this the best way to go for a hefe? I'm not looking for the easiest way, but the best. I wonder if there have been any triangle tests comparing hefes brewed with single infusion, step mashes, and decoction...

In reality, I think I would consider a step mash if I was convinced that it would produce a better hefe.  Not ready for decoction, yet...I did a search and found this below.  Are all these steps of equal importance?  And, how long for each step?

"...The flavor benefits from ferulic acid formation at the 95-113F temp range, which promotes the banana/clove characteristic in the yeast profile (and it also helps lower pH for the mash as well as providing a tartness in the finish).  A 122F-131F step helps break proteins down to shorter chains for better head formation and retention. A beta rest (140s) helps develop fermentables and a 154F rest will provide dextrins and mouth feel..."
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 02:14:35 PM by roguejim »

Offline majorvices

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Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2012, 08:16:56 PM »
IME a ferulic acid rest may help help pronounce some clove characteristic. It's hard to say exactly since it is nothing I have ever done side by side, but it seems to give me more clove-like phenols. Some breweries also do a protease rest to help break down the beta glucans and help the lauter go easier. I don't bother with it, personally. I have brewed some great weissbiers employing a double decoction. But it is a hell of a lot of work. I'm lazy now and the last few I have brewed have all been single infusion, with satisfactory results.
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Offline euge

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2012, 10:51:40 PM »
My last was fermented at 60-62 instead of my normal 65F. The phenols were significantly more pronounced and I wasn't very impressed with the beer.

Didn't employ a step mash so can't comment as to the effectiveness, but if Jamil suggests it should be done then it might be worth investigating. FWIW I've only done single infusions with decoctions and feel this gives satisfactory results.
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Offline roguejim

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2012, 12:16:24 AM »
Well, the recipe in Jamil's book employs a single infusion-no step mash or decoction.  But, it seems like the guys who brew hefes on a regular basis, seem to use a combo of step mashes and decoctions.

Offline mmitchem

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2012, 05:30:49 AM »
I heard Jamil once say that he couldn't really tell a big difference between decoction mashing and single infusion, so he goes with the easier method of single infusion. Opinions vary on this topic, so experiment and see if you can tell a difference, and in turn find out which method you prefer.
Most guys I know do step mashes on Hefe's FWIW...
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Offline dbarber

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 05:35:41 AM »
I've done both a triple decoction and a 2-step mash (111 and 152) and although I didn't taste them side by side both were excellent.
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Offline thebigbaker

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 06:00:55 AM »
I've done several Hefe brews with batch sparge/single infusion method and they have all turned out great.  My brew set up doesn't allow me to do step mash easily, so I've never attempted to do so.  Interested to hear if a step mash does make a significant difference in a Hefe.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2012, 06:30:29 AM »
http://braukaiser.com/lifetype2/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=130&blogId=1

"Conclusion: For the chosen yeast holding the ferulic acid rest didn't make any noticeable difference in the clove flavor that was produced during fermentation. While additional experiments should be made to confirm these findings it is very much possible that this rest is not worth the additional work. "
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Offline majorvices

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Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2012, 06:40:40 AM »
http://braukaiser.com/lifetype2/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=130&blogId=1

"Conclusion: For the chosen yeast holding the ferulic acid rest didn't make any noticeable difference in the clove flavor that was produced during fermentation. While additional experiments should be made to confirm these findings it is very much possible that this rest is not worth the additional work. "

Yeah, I remember Kai posting those findings. I'm not sure that his findings match my experience. Ferulic acid rest does seem to increase the clove-like phenols to me. I do agreee that yeast selection and fermentation temp is more important. I certainly do enjoy my single infusion weissbiers but the double decoction, step mash with ferulic acid rest always just seemed to be better.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 06:45:31 AM »
I think with a beer this dependent on yeast character, the fermentation schedule is more important than the mash schedule.

As with Belgian strains, the beer's character can be dialed in with fermentation temp, pitch rate, and O2 concentration.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 07:09:40 AM »
Here's an interesting thread to read through, in case any of your missed it: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=9206.15

I'm going to copy and paste what Ron said, because I thought it was really interesting:
I want to get the 4-vinyl guiacol or clove like phenol. An acid rest at 111F helps to produce ferulic acid which helps promote 4VG upon fermentation.

F. Nitzsche

Investigations into Optimizing Wheat Beer QualityBrauwelt, Vol32, 8 Aug 1991
•The taste and smell threshold is 0.8 mg of 4VG/L
•4VG levels over 2 mg/L bring a strong/severe character to the beer
•The fact that the levels of ferulicacid can fluctuate widely in malt can effect the levels of 4VG in beer
•As a rule, wheat malt has less ferulicthan barley malt
•The highest levels of 4VG occur after the final limit of attenuation is reached
•More 4VG is present when the final limit of attenuation is reached in 4 days as opposed to 2 days
•The levels of 4VG don’t decrease significantly with the age of the beer, although other staling by-products may cover up the taste of 4VG
Here's an intersting paper on German Wheat Beers.

Pitching rate and ferm temp are critical for producing that classic German profile in this beer:

Dr. Narziss
16thTechnological Seminar at Weihenstephan1983
Fermentation
•Pitching Rate 12-18 million cells/ml
•Starting Temperature 12-15 C (lower starting temps more common when starting tank is used to settle cold truband then transfer to fermenterbefore start of fermentation where free rise occurs)
•Max temperature 18-22 C
•Main fermentation is 2-4 days
•Maximum Cell count is 60-80 millionBottle Conditioning
•Lager yeast is less likely to autolyzeand settles better
•If top-fermenting yeast is used, shelf life should be limited to 4-6 weeksFermenterShape
•Cylindrical tanks produce only 2/3 the esters of shallow open fermenters
•Horizontal tanks perform like open fermenters

http://www.mbaa.com/Districts/MidSouth/presentations/Wheat_Beer_Yeast__Fermentation2.pdf
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Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2012, 07:17:29 AM »
I wonder how much ferulic acid as actually generated during the ferulic acid rest. If barley generally has more ferulic acid, would a ferulic rest with a 70/30 wheat/barley split have more or less ferulic acid than a single infusion with a 50/50 split? 

The pitching rate is interesting. "Common knowledge" seems to be that underpitching increases ester formation. For a 1.050 hefe I'd bet most people would pitch around 9m/ml, so Narziss' recomendation is quite a lot higher than most people would pitch. I'm sure Narziss is assuming a high level of yeast health, too, so in a homebrew setting you might want even more yeast.

Bottling with lager yeast is something Eric Warner mentioned in his book. Dried lager yeast is kind of pricey for bottle conditioning, so I haven't tried it, but that might be something to look into.
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2012, 07:28:49 AM »
I also remember watching a Northern Brewer video with Wyeast who said that your pitching rate will affect the flavor of the beer. If you underpitch you get banana, overpitch and get clove...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEkwp_2Yezo&feature=youtu.be
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Offline macbrews

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2012, 07:30:05 AM »
Man, I didn't realize how prolific Nietzsche was.....Philosopher, poet, brewer........

F. Nitzsche

Investigations into Optimizing Wheat Beer QualityBrauwelt, Vol32, 8 Aug 1991
•The taste and smell threshold is 0.8 mg of 4VG/L
•4VG levels over 2 mg/L bring a strong/severe character to the beer
•The fact that the levels of ferulicacid can fluctuate widely in malt can effect the levels of 4VG in beer
•As a rule, wheat malt has less ferulicthan barley malt
•The highest levels of 4VG occur after the final limit of attenuation is reached
•More 4VG is present when the final limit of attenuation is reached in 4 days as opposed to 2 days
•The levels of 4VG don’t decrease significantly with the age of the beer, although other staling by-products may cover up the taste of 4VG
Here's an intersting paper on German Wheat Beers.

Pitching rate and ferm temp are critical for producing that classic German profile in this beer:


Offline nateo

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Re: Step Mashing a Hefe...Why?
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2012, 04:54:15 AM »
I was planning on making another batch of weizen soon. Over on the HBD board I saw Chris White recommends 5-7m/ml for a weizen. I've never tried pitching one that low, or as high as what Narziss recommends. It sounds like an experiment is in order. It wouldn't be too hard to do a split batch and see which one turns out better.
In der Kürze liegt die Würze.