Author Topic: Quick question about attenuation  (Read 2785 times)

Offline dzlater

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 10:07:23 PM »
I thought session beers were mashed at low temps. to make them drier, and therefore more drinkable?
I mash my low gravity saison, bitter, dry stout, and cream ale at 149f usually for 90 minutes.  They are dry and crisp, but I wouldn't say watery. So if mashed higher they would have better mouthfeel , but not taste too sweet?
Dan S. from NJ

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2014, 10:22:23 PM »
I thought session beers were mashed at low temps. to make them drier, and therefore more drinkable?
I mash my low gravity saison, bitter, dry stout, and cream ale at 149f usually for 90 minutes.  They are dry and crisp, but I wouldn't say watery. So if mashed higher they would have better mouthfeel , but not taste too sweet?

Correct, the kind of body/mouthfeel left behind by a less fermentable wort is not sweet, just full and malty. Whereas, underattenuation says to me that the yeast didn't finish with all the (sweeter) fermentable sugars that are there and is less pleasant to me.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 11:31:34 PM by morticaixavier »
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2014, 11:21:05 PM »
FWIW, Greg Doss found the greatest fermentability at 154F IIRC.
It was 153F for Pils malt. There was a local maximum. Fairly flat at lower temps until 148 or 149, then it increases with the peak at 153, then decreases with a steady slope as the temp increases.

The yeast used will have a big influence, one should consider that also. Greg had data for yeast strains also.

I also believe he conducted his mash for 45 minutes regardless of temperature. I always suspected that you may see the fermentability of the lower-temp mashes in this study increase if they were given more time.



+1.  That's my feeling. While 153F may have proven out in a mash of that duration, I still feel that a 75 -90 minute mash @ 148F wins, in terms of fermentability. Obviously recipe design comes into play heavily regardless.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2014, 12:00:53 AM »
FWIW, Greg Doss found the greatest fermentability at 154F IIRC.
It was 153F for Pils malt. There was a local maximum. Fairly flat at lower temps until 148 or 149, then it increases with the peak at 153, then decreases with a steady slope as the temp increases.

The yeast used will have a big influence, one should consider that also. Greg had data for yeast strains also.

I also believe he conducted his mash for 45 minutes regardless of temperature. I always suspected that you may see the fermentability of the lower-temp mashes in this study increase if they were given more time.



+1.  That's my feeling. While 153F may have proven out in a mash of that duration, I still feel that a 75 -90 minute mash @ 148F wins, in terms of fermentability. Obviously recipe design comes into play heavily regardless.

IIRC he did a test with longer times, 75 minutes at 153F was better than 45 minutes at 153F.

I might have to read that one again.
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Offline dzlater

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 12:01:40 AM »
I thought session beers were mashed at low temps. to make them drier, and therefore more drinkable?
I mash my low gravity saison, bitter, dry stout, and cream ale at 149f usually for 90 minutes.  They are dry and crisp, but I wouldn't say watery. So if mashed higher they would have better mouthfeel , but not taste too sweet?

Correct, the kind of body/mouthfeel left behind by a less fermentable wort is not sweet, just full and malty. Whereas, underattenuation says to be that the yeast didn't finish with all the (sweeter) fermentable sugars that are there and is less pleasant to me.

So is the goal to have the same % attenuation but a higher FG?
With a mash @ 150, and an OG of 1.039 and an FG of 1.011, thats 72% atten.
You're saying shoot for maybe an FG of 1.016. So I would have to shoot for an OG of 1.057 to wind up at 1.016 with 72% attenuation?
But 1.039 to 1.011 I end up with a 3.7% beer.
and going from 1.057 to 1.016 I end up with 5.4% beer.
Also I can't imagine the styles I listed in my other post would taste better finishing at 1.016.
I'm sure I'm misunderstanding something here?



Dan S. from NJ

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2014, 12:13:13 AM »
FWIW, Greg Doss found the greatest fermentability at 154F IIRC.
It was 153F for Pils malt. There was a local maximum. Fairly flat at lower temps until 148 or 149, then it increases with the peak at 153, then decreases with a steady slope as the temp increases.

The yeast used will have a big influence, one should consider that also. Greg had data for yeast strains also.

I also believe he conducted his mash for 45 minutes regardless of temperature. I always suspected that you may see the fermentability of the lower-temp mashes in this study increase if they were given more time.



+1.  That's my feeling. While 153F may have proven out in a mash of that duration, I still feel that a 75 -90 minute mash @ 148F wins, in terms of fermentability. Obviously recipe design comes into play heavily regardless.

IIRC he did a test with longer times, 75 minutes at 153F was better than 45 minutes at 153F.

I might have to read that one again.

Guess I need to read more on it - I thought the test he did was only @ 45 minutes. Thanks.  I always wondered if the 153F test was like watching 2 top fuel dragsters come off the line - one goes out to an early lead but gets passed at the finish line, with a lower/longer mash temp working better over time. Maybe 153F wins across all time frames.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 01:18:05 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2014, 01:22:38 AM »
I thought session beers were mashed at low temps. to make them drier, and therefore more drinkable?
I mash my low gravity saison, bitter, dry stout, and cream ale at 149f usually for 90 minutes.  They are dry and crisp, but I wouldn't say watery. So if mashed higher they would have better mouthfeel , but not taste too sweet?

Correct, the kind of body/mouthfeel left behind by a less fermentable wort is not sweet, just full and malty. Whereas, underattenuation says to be that the yeast didn't finish with all the (sweeter) fermentable sugars that are there and is less pleasant to me.

So is the goal to have the same % attenuation but a higher FG?
With a mash @ 150, and an OG of 1.039 and an FG of 1.011, thats 72% atten.
You're saying shoot for maybe an FG of 1.016. So I would have to shoot for an OG of 1.057 to wind up at 1.016 with 72% attenuation?
But 1.039 to 1.011 I end up with a 3.7% beer.
and going from 1.057 to 1.016 I end up with 5.4% beer.
Also I can't imagine the styles I listed in my other post would taste better finishing at 1.016.
I'm sure I'm misunderstanding something here?

The idea is to have a higher FG at the same OG. For Example, my Dark Mild starts at 1.042 and ends at 1.024. Its actually less than 50% AA, and is only 2.6% ABV calculated. It has a full body, but not very much residual sweetness.

If I want a full malt flavor, I mash high for a less fermentable wort, which makes it taste like a bigger beer than it is.

I would mash a table saison low, because crisp/thin and drinkable are a hallmark of the style. Same with the hoppier/drier styles.

Does that make sense?

Offline erockrph

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2014, 01:23:00 AM »
I thought session beers were mashed at low temps. to make them drier, and therefore more drinkable?
I mash my low gravity saison, bitter, dry stout, and cream ale at 149f usually for 90 minutes.  They are dry and crisp, but I wouldn't say watery. So if mashed higher they would have better mouthfeel , but not taste too sweet?

Correct, the kind of body/mouthfeel left behind by a less fermentable wort is not sweet, just full and malty. Whereas, underattenuation says to be that the yeast didn't finish with all the (sweeter) fermentable sugars that are there and is less pleasant to me.

So is the goal to have the same % attenuation but a higher FG?
With a mash @ 150, and an OG of 1.039 and an FG of 1.011, thats 72% atten.
You're saying shoot for maybe an FG of 1.016. So I would have to shoot for an OG of 1.057 to wind up at 1.016 with 72% attenuation?
But 1.039 to 1.011 I end up with a 3.7% beer.
and going from 1.057 to 1.016 I end up with 5.4% beer.
Also I can't imagine the styles I listed in my other post would taste better finishing at 1.016.
I'm sure I'm misunderstanding something here?

No, in this case the goal is lower attenuation. When I brew a session beer, I generally want to shoot for the ballpark of what a normal gravity version of the same beer would finish at (or maybe a few points lower, but not by much). I've found that if I get the same attenuation % as a normal-gravity beer, then there isn't enough body and the beer seems thin and watery.

But not all FG's are the same. A beer that was mashed at a higher temp doesn't tend to finish as sweet as a beer that was brewed with more crystal malt but mashed at a lower temp, even though they may finish at the same gravity.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2014, 01:32:16 AM »
I think the degree of attenuation is influenced by everything. Water, nutrients, pH, grist, mash temp, bla bla , the particular yeast strain itself, and thier health, but in my opinion the greatest contributor is fermentor temp. Namely stability.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2014, 06:29:19 AM »
I think the degree of attenuation is influenced by everything. Water, nutrients, pH, grist, mash temp, bla bla , the particular yeast strain itself, and thier health, but in my opinion the greatest contributor is fermentor temp. Namely stability.

again though, you're talking about not letting the yeast finish which in under attenuation rather than lower attenuation. a fully attenuated session beer that was done at 55%AA is better in my opinion than a beer that wanted to finish at say 70% but through mishandling was caused to finish at 55% the second one is going to taste sweet and, well, unfinished, while the first will taste malty and finished but with lot's of body and a full mouthfeel.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2014, 06:38:55 AM »
I think the degree of attenuation is influenced by everything. Water, nutrients, pH, grist, mash temp, bla bla , the particular yeast strain itself, and thier health, but in my opinion the greatest contributor is fermentor temp. Namely stability.

again though, you're talking about not letting the yeast finish which in under attenuation rather than lower attenuation. a fully attenuated session beer that was done at 55%AA is better in my opinion than a beer that wanted to finish at say 70% but through mishandling was caused to finish at 55% the second one is going to taste sweet and, well, unfinished, while the first will taste malty and finished but with lot's of body and a full mouthfeel.

It took me a couple reads, but ya, I fully agree. And, no I wasn't suggesting trying to lower attenuation by fiddling with fermentor temp (didn't intend to anyway) I was pointing out (meant to point out)  that you can dial in everything but if your fermentor is swinging temps very much, all that dialing is for nothing.

Probably that's all a no brainer though. What you are saying is more useful. I know that early on I though sugar was sugar, but it's not really. I don't think unfermentable sugars are perceived as sweet like fermentable sugars are. So leaving fermebtable sugars behind (whatever the cause) would result in a sweeter tasting beer than one that was merely mashed higher but fermented out. Not to mention that under fermentation leaves more than just sugar behind in many cases.

Or so I've heard ???
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 07:53:10 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2014, 12:12:07 PM »
Gotcha.

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Offline dzlater

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2014, 12:51:06 PM »
I thought session beers were mashed at low temps. to make them drier, and therefore more drinkable?
I mash my low gravity saison, bitter, dry stout, and cream ale at 149f usually for 90 minutes.  They are dry and crisp, but I wouldn't say watery. So if mashed higher they would have better mouthfeel , but not taste too sweet?

Correct, the kind of body/mouthfeel left behind by a less fermentable wort is not sweet, just full and malty. Whereas, underattenuation says to be that the yeast didn't finish with all the (sweeter) fermentable sugars that are there and is less pleasant to me.

So is the goal to have the same % attenuation but a higher FG?
With a mash @ 150, and an OG of 1.039 and an FG of 1.011, thats 72% atten.
You're saying shoot for maybe an FG of 1.016. So I would have to shoot for an OG of 1.057 to wind up at 1.016 with 72% attenuation?
But 1.039 to 1.011 I end up with a 3.7% beer.
and going from 1.057 to 1.016 I end up with 5.4% beer.
Also I can't imagine the styles I listed in my other post would taste better finishing at 1.016.
I'm sure I'm misunderstanding something here?

The idea is to have a higher FG at the same OG. For Example, my Dark Mild starts at 1.042 and ends at 1.024. Its actually less than 50% AA, and is only 2.6% ABV calculated. It has a full body, but not very much residual sweetness.

If I want a full malt flavor, I mash high for a less fermentable wort, which makes it taste like a bigger beer than it is.

I would mash a table saison low, because crisp/thin and drinkable are a hallmark of the style. Same with the hoppier/drier styles.

Does that make sense?

That makes sense.
I've just seen so many mentions about mashing low gravity beers @ high mash temps. But usually no one ever mentions the style of low gravity beer.
So the whole high mash temp for low gravity beers, isn't for every style.
It seems to me  just use higher mash temps. for a more malty beer whatever the gravity?

Dan S. from NJ

Offline erockrph

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2014, 01:37:46 PM »
I thought session beers were mashed at low temps. to make them drier, and therefore more drinkable?
I mash my low gravity saison, bitter, dry stout, and cream ale at 149f usually for 90 minutes.  They are dry and crisp, but I wouldn't say watery. So if mashed higher they would have better mouthfeel , but not taste too sweet?

Correct, the kind of body/mouthfeel left behind by a less fermentable wort is not sweet, just full and malty. Whereas, underattenuation says to be that the yeast didn't finish with all the (sweeter) fermentable sugars that are there and is less pleasant to me.

So is the goal to have the same % attenuation but a higher FG?
With a mash @ 150, and an OG of 1.039 and an FG of 1.011, thats 72% atten.
You're saying shoot for maybe an FG of 1.016. So I would have to shoot for an OG of 1.057 to wind up at 1.016 with 72% attenuation?
But 1.039 to 1.011 I end up with a 3.7% beer.
and going from 1.057 to 1.016 I end up with 5.4% beer.
Also I can't imagine the styles I listed in my other post would taste better finishing at 1.016.
I'm sure I'm misunderstanding something here?

The idea is to have a higher FG at the same OG. For Example, my Dark Mild starts at 1.042 and ends at 1.024. Its actually less than 50% AA, and is only 2.6% ABV calculated. It has a full body, but not very much residual sweetness.

If I want a full malt flavor, I mash high for a less fermentable wort, which makes it taste like a bigger beer than it is.

I would mash a table saison low, because crisp/thin and drinkable are a hallmark of the style. Same with the hoppier/drier styles.

Does that make sense?

That makes sense.
I've just seen so many mentions about mashing low gravity beers @ high mash temps. But usually no one ever mentions the style of low gravity beer.
So the whole high mash temp for low gravity beers, isn't for every style.
It seems to me  just use higher mash temps. for a more malty beer whatever the gravity?

Style is a factor, but I wouldn't apply that rule across the board. I wouldn't mash a big dopplebock at 162 (for example), it would just end up too thick and heavy.
Eric B.

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Offline dzlater

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Re: Quick question about attenuation
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2014, 01:55:48 PM »
  If I brew a beer with an og of 1.050 and an fg of 1.012, and use a yeast that is estimated at 75% att. That's a fully attenuated beer.
If I brew the same beer with a yeast that is rated at 60% attenuation and I achieve that 60% winding up with a fg of 1.020. Is the beer underattenuated because it could go further, or is it fully attenuated because it has reached the limit of the yeast? And wouldn't it be sweeter because there are more unfermented sugars?
  By the same token if I brew the same beer but use a higher mash temp. so the yeast rated for 75% only attenuates to 60% is that fully attenuated because it's reached it's limit due to less unfermentables.
 To much time off from work is leaving me to much time to think about all this.
Dan S. from NJ