Author Topic: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...  (Read 1997 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« on: October 03, 2015, 12:14:59 PM »
Gang:  As I continue to brew, I realize that I like beers to finish on the dry side.  Not mouth-puckeringly dry but dry.  I have occasionally had beers that had a little too much sweetness in the finish and so I have found myself lowering my single-infusion mash temps.  I only single infuse because I do not have a direct-fired MT.  I have been using a Thermapen to measure mash temp so I'm confident in my measurements although I also realize that everyone's system is different.  My mash temp range was small to begin with.  I rarely mashed lower than 150 and rarely higher than 152.  Those recipes I mashed at 152 I now bring down around 150 and some recipes that were 150 have been brought down closer to 149.  Is it possible that I could mash all my beers around the same temp and the "fullness" or "maltiness" of some beers would be brought out by the grain bill and possibly the attenuation level of the yeast as opposed to the mash temp?  I recently made a 100% RedX beer (well, 100% base malt along with some british crystal and Special B) and I probably should have mashed it lower than 150 because it's very malty and it doesn't finish quite as dry as I would like.  I occasionally see people say that they mash at 156 or 158 and I can't comprehend how that could be unless they have 500ppm of sulfate in their water or something.  This is a ramble, I know.  What say the board?

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2015, 12:25:29 PM »
For the same reasons you have cited above, personally I mash every beer between 148 and 152 F, and my overall average is about 149 F.  You could go as low as about 147 F if you want.  Ignore those who mash hot; it doesn't make better beer in my experience, at least not for 95% of beer styles.

You can also play around with mash times.  Most people mash for 60 minutes.  Personally I find no benefit after about 40 minutes, so that's what I do.  But if you want to maximize dryness even more than via temperature, you could do the full 60 or even extend your mash time to 75 or 90 minutes, or even longer if you wanted.  This will gain you another 1-2% attenuation.  Hasn't been necessary for me, seems more of just a waste of time to me, but to you it might not be a waste.
Dave

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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2015, 12:46:50 PM »
I don't think I can detect a difference in finished beer mashed at 150 vs 152. Maybe 145 for 90 min vs 155 for 60 min, then I probably could. I think recipe, water, and yeast health/temp stability play more into attenuation than a few degrees difference in mash temp.

Offline charles1968

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2015, 12:50:20 PM »
I like beers to finish on the dry side too. I would mash at 149, but if that doesn't work you've got lots of other options:

* cut the % of crystal or carapils in your recipe.
* raise the IBU level to counterbalance the cloying sweetness.
* add invert sugar to the boil - traditionally done in British bitters up to 10% of the fermentables. Belgian beers use candi sugar for similar reason and need to finish very dry as they tend to have very low IBU.
* add boiled rice to the mash - good for making crisp lager as it's more fermentable than barley.
* use a more attenuative yeast.

Regarding the last point, I recently made a 100% pilsner malt lager mashed overnight starting 153 Fahrenheit and split the 1044 wort between 5 different yeasts. Final gravities varied from 1005 to 1013. I used Wyeast 3711 French saison for the batch that got down to 1005 - made an amazingly delicious lager-like beer with a Saison twang. That yeast will chew through anything and guarantees dry finish.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2015, 12:58:21 PM »
I should mention too that I don't make giant beers or a lot of porters, stouts, etc. where a higher mash temp may be proper.  But a pilsner with mostly pilsner malt, Wyeast 2278 and a mash temp of 150 should be dry.  An English Bitter with Maris Otter or a good pale ale malt, some british crystal and Wyeast 1968 (a low attenuater) also mashed at 150 should be a very different beer.  So I guess I'm saying to adjust the ingredients more than the mash temp on various styles.  Some other brewers mentioned to me, "You're always mashing around 150 or 151... what's the deal!!??" :D

Offline charles1968

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2015, 01:10:03 PM »
A pilsner made from 100% pilsner malt won't be as dry as commercial lagers that are made with corn or rice to lower the final gravity. If you don't add some kind of highly fermentable adjunct to the recipe, I'd aim for a higher IBU to balance the beer. Czech or German pilsner can have up to 45 IBUs according to Brewing Classic Styles by Jamil Zainasheff. If you use 100% pilsner/pale malt and have only 20-25 IBUs then it could be a bit cloying and might taste like it ought to be drier.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2015, 01:13:57 PM »
recipe/style and yeast does splay a role in how i mash. i like my pils dry, but also like the dextrins from long mash and some carapils. i will  mash this at about 148F max for 90 minutes using wlp830-FG target is 1.008-009.

my munich dunkel get s 149F for 90 minutes for FG of 1.010-.011

most PA or IPA -149F for 75 minutes for FG 1.009-010
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2015, 01:17:21 PM »
Though new to all grain brewing, I normally mash at 154*F because I like a sweeter/maltier beer vs a crisp one. Dry beers just seem watery to me. I also try for a balanced to low hop presence for the same reasons. I rarely brew a Pale Ale or IPA due to the hoppiness. Though occasionally I'll go there. When I do I mash lower to about 150*F.
Huntsville AL

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2015, 01:19:48 PM »
If you want a dry pilsner, try 2206 yeast instead of 2278.
Dave

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Offline troybinso

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2015, 01:52:02 PM »
Hey Brulosopher,

please do an exbeeriment with mash temps. I would bet that one beer mashed at 148 and another at 158 would be indistinguishable to most tasters. Malt bill and yeast choice are far more important factors in attenuation than mash temperature.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2015, 01:53:40 PM »
Hey Brulosopher,

please do an exbeeriment with mash temps. I would bet that one beer mashed at 148 and another at 158 would be indistinguishable to most tasters. Malt bill and yeast choice are far more important factors in attenuation than mash temperature.

+1.  I second that emotion.
Dave

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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2015, 01:54:08 PM »
Hey Brulosopher,

please do an exbeeriment with mash temps. I would bet that one beer mashed at 148 and another at 158 would be indistinguishable to most tasters. Malt bill and yeast choice are far more important factors in attenuation than mash temperature.

+1.  I second that emotion.

+2
Jon H.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2015, 02:06:29 PM »

Hey Brulosopher,

please do an exbeeriment with mash temps. I would bet that one beer mashed at 148 and another at 158 would be indistinguishable to most tasters. Malt bill and yeast choice are far more important factors in attenuation than mash temperature.
Hmm. Well I've made a few pils early on at 154f with wlp830. FG lands at 1.014... Not to my liking. Dropped mash temp to 148f and finishes much drier at 1.009. I can taste that difference.


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Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

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Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2015, 02:11:43 PM »
I wasn't very clear - I'd like to see Marshall experiment with mash temps, but while I don't think there's a lot of difference in 2 degree increments, I definitely don't see mash temps as meaningless either. 148 for 90 minutes makes a quite a bit different beer from 154 for 60 mins IMO.
Jon H.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: I've been rubbing my chin about mash temps lately...
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2015, 02:16:06 PM »
What we really need for an experiment is a spectrum -- can folks taste the differences between, say, 3 or 4 different beers mashed at maybe 148 F, 151 F, 154 F, and 157 F?  Something like that.  So, it might no longer be the ideal triangle test, because I really think you'd want to compare a whole bunch of samples at one time.  The triangle test might be overused and is not perfect IMHO.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.