Author Topic: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?  (Read 1261 times)

Offline imperialstout

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Enzymes convert starch to sugar. It makes sense to me that an increase in enzyme activity would increase the efficiency of converting starch to sugar.

Light body beers are mashed at a lower temp which increases enzyme activity and results in a lighter body beer (and higher efficiency?)
Full body beers are mashed at a higher temp which decreases enzyme activity and results in a fuller body beer (and lower efficiency?)

Just read this in Beer Smith under mash profiles help.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2013, 12:03:04 PM »
Enzymes convert starch to sugar. It makes sense to me that an increase in enzyme activity would increase the efficiency of converting starch to sugar.

Not sure that's the way it works.  The increased activity that happens at lower mash temp is more about converting more of the more complex (unfermentable) sugars into simpler (fermentable) sugars thus a more fermentable wort and lighter body.  But, regardless of whether they are complex or simple sugars, they all count toward gravity and hence efficiency.  That is, 80% efficiency means you got 80% of the potential out of your grain.  It says nothing about how much of that 80% is fermentable and how much is not.
Joe

Offline BrewArk

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2013, 12:09:26 PM »
Depends on what "efficiency" you are talking about.  There are multiple enzymes in barley, and each as an optimal temperature range.

If your goal is strictly to maximize your alcohol production, then you would indeed want to mash at a slightly lower temperature that favors those enzymes that produce fermentable sugars.  Other enzymes convert starches to non-fermentable sugars.

There are a lot of efficiency claims thrown out on this board.

Don't go out and buy blue spray paint for your boil kettle to try to up your "efficiency".
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2013, 12:15:53 PM »
As mentioned above, there are different enzymes to consider.  When you mash low to favor the beta amylase, you are increasing the activity of that enzyme, but the activity of the alpha amylase is not at it's peak.  When you mash higher you are favoring the alpha amylase, but at the expense of the beta amylase.  But the products of both beta and alpha amylase are still soluble and would be measured when you are trying to calculate your efficiency.  If you are way out of the range for both of those enzymes then your efficiency will take a hit.

Don't go out and buy blue spray paint for your boil kettle to try to up your "efficiency".
True, spray paint doesn't work.  It has to be blue naturally. ;)
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Offline denny

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2013, 12:28:49 PM »
Just read this in Beer Smith under mash profiles help.

Boy, I kinda hope you misunderstood what Beersmith is saying.  Otherwise Brad needs to do some rewriting.
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Offline BrewArk

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2013, 12:39:47 PM »
Don't go out and buy blue spray paint for your boil kettle to try to up your "efficiency".
True, spray paint doesn't work.  It has to be blue naturally. ;)


An important distinction - Thank's for having my back ;)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2013, 07:24:01 PM by BrewArk »
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Offline denny

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2013, 12:49:33 PM »
FWIW, here's the quote from the mash profile section of the help...you decide.....

"The light body profiles mash at a lower temperature resulting in higher enzyme activity and a cleaner lighter overall profile.  Full body profiles mash at a higher temperature resulting in less enzymatic activity and more unfermentable sugars in the finished beer - providing a fuller body to the finished beer."
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Offline repo

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 02:56:38 PM »
FWIW, here's the quote from the mash profile section of the help...you decide.....

"The light body profiles mash at a lower temperature resulting in higher enzyme activity and a cleaner lighter overall profile.  Full body profiles mash at a higher temperature resulting in less enzymatic activity and more unfermentable sugars in the finished beer - providing a fuller body to the finished beer."

Just missing one word-twice? Could be an easy fix, maybe.
"The light body profiles mash at a lower temperature resulting in higher BETA enzyme activity and a cleaner lighter overall profile.  Full body profiles mash at a higher temperature resulting in less BETA enzymatic activity and more unfermentable sugars in the finished beer - providing a fuller body to the finished beer."

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2013, 11:39:15 PM »
Others might beg to differ, but in my experience...

Mash temperature has negligible effect on efficiency.  Ditto for mash time.  Ditto for water to grain ratio (i.e., qts/lb).  If you mash in some water at 148 to 154 F for 40+ minutes, you're going to make beer at an efficiency that is mostly affected only by the extent of the crush.  Beyond the crush, very little matters.

My experience.  YMMV... but I doubt it.
Dave

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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 06:29:05 AM »
+ 1 for everything Dave mentions, excepting that runoff time is the next most important variable after crush.  Those two factors are what I feel are the most important for efficiency.
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Offline woodlandbrew

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 06:32:49 AM »
Others might beg to differ, but in my experience...

Mash temperature has negligible effect on efficiency.  Ditto for mash time.  Ditto for water to grain ratio (i.e., qts/lb).  If you mash in some water at 148 to 154 F for 40+ minutes, you're going to make beer at an efficiency that is mostly affected only by the extent of the crush.  Beyond the crush, very little matters.

My experience.  YMMV... but I doubt it.
This has been my experience as well.  60 minute or 90 minute seems to provide the same conversion efficiency for the most part.  To get a more fermentable mash, low temperatures and (perhaps to a lesser degree) long times seem to help.

Crush is king when it comes to conversion efficiency.  When it comes to laugtering efficiency it seems mostly driven by the amount of water collected compared to the amount of water added to the mash.

See here for details:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2013/01/mash-temperature-theory.html
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Offline repo

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2013, 10:07:03 AM »
Others might beg to differ, but in my experience...

Mash temperature has negligible effect on efficiency.  Ditto for mash time.  Ditto for water to grain ratio (i.e., qts/lb).  If you mash in some water at 148 to 154 F for 40+ minutes, you're going to make beer at an efficiency that is mostly affected only by the extent of the crush.  Beyond the crush, very little matters.

My experience.  YMMV... but I doubt it.

Here are some experiments which came to some different conclusions. I have found them helpful and consistent with my experience.
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Effects_of_mash_parameters_on_fermentability_and_efficiency_in_single_infusion_mashing#Mash_thickness

Offline denny

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 10:59:13 AM »
+ 1 for everything Dave mentions, excepting that runoff time is the next most important variable after crush.  Those two factors are what I feel are the most important for efficiency.

Unless you're batch sparging, in which case runoff speed makes no difference.

Dave, I found that my efficiency went up 2-3 points on a consistent basis when I increased my mash ratio from 1.33 qt./lb. to 1.65-75.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2013, 04:31:02 AM »
Mash efficiency tends to be higher for mashes performed at the high end of the range over the low end.  This is probably due to improved starch gelatinization at higher temperatures, but might also be affected by greater enzyme activity at higher temperatures.  It's a balance with enzyme denaturation, but chemical reactions occur more rapidly as temperature increases.  Both of these factors become less of a factor with a finer crush and a higher water to grain ratio.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Does mashing for a light or full body beer affect the efficiency?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2013, 04:27:41 PM »
At lower mash temp efficiency can suffer.but that can be compensated for by mashing longer or addition of a higher temp mash step.

Kai