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Pressing the Mash

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abraxas:
I have read online that pressing a mash is a bad idea because it can result in excessive tannin extraction from the grain.  Has this held up?  I have read a few conflicting opinions on this.

I know some commercial breweries press and then filter their mash between sparges http://www.alaskanbeer.com/our-brewery/sustainable-brewing/brewhouse-innovation.html

The downside to this seems like pressing the mash would result in messing up the natural filtration system that is the grain bed.

I am starting to think up a new rig, if I could press my mash I would think I would be able to design a two pot no-sparge rims system that would get decent enough efficiency.

Kaiser:
Wow, I didn’t know any micro brewer in the US had a mash filter. Alaskan also states that they are the first and there is a reason for that. For one, those filters are more expensive than mash tuns and more complicated to maintain. From what I read, and it may only apply to older models, there is more tannin extraction with the pulverized grist that commonly used with these systems.

Though I think that it may be possible for a home brewer to build a system that presses the mash it will be more complicated and more trouble than a conventional lauter system. In a mash filter you have a very large filter membrane area which results in a very thin (few cm) grain bed. I doubt that you will be getting good results by pressing the grain bed against the false bottom of a conventional lauter system.

Kai

dean:
From what I could gather, the reason they do it is to save fuel/energy before they dry the spent grains prior to shipping them to farmers and ranchers.  They also are the first or only microbrewer to capture Co2.  Sounds like they are being very eco-friendly.

Kaiser:
Here is something else I found on their site that struck me as being a bit of BS:


--- Quote ---CO2 recovery system

In 1998, Alaskan Brewing became the first craft brewery in the United States to install and operate a carbon dioxide (CO2) reclamation system. The system captures and cleans carbon dioxide, a natural byproduct of the brewing process, and uses it to package the beer and purge oxygen from holding tanks, saving money and the environment. This system prevents approximately 783,000 pounds of CO2, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, from being released into the atmosphere each year. That is equivalent to preventing the emissions from using more than 40,000 gallons of gasoline annually.

--- End quote ---

Either way the CO2 will get in the atmosphere. Brewing produces CO2 and unless they capture it and put it underground it will get in the atmosphere. And it is not such that the external CO2, which they may have been using before, was made just for making CO2. It was either the byproduct of some other process or captured from the air and bottled.

I do believe that we have to reduce our CO2 footprint but I disapprove of statements that make the layman believe that they are actually reducing the release of CO2 to the atmosphere. It is however a good idea for a brewery to reclaim their CO2 just from an economical point of view.

Kai

Kaiser:

--- Quote from: dean on March 11, 2010, 07:38:13 AM ---From what I could gather, the reason they do it is to save fuel/energy before they dry the spent grains prior to shipping them to farmers and ranchers.  They also are the first or only microbrewer to capture Co2.  Sounds like they are being very eco-friendly.

--- End quote ---

Yes the fact that the stabilize their grain before shipment made a compelling argument for a mash filter since the spent grain from those is already drier than convertional lauter tun spent grain. But that should not be reason why home brewers want to go that route.

As for the CO2, see my last post since I consider this a BS statement. What would reduce their carbon footprint is the use of a low evaporation boil system (Merlin for example) and/or extensive energy recycling in the brewery. Using the wort chiller to heat mash and sparge water, recapturing the heat from the steam coming off the boil and more.

Kai

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