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Author Topic: Mash thickness?  (Read 8761 times)

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2015, 12:15:21 pm »
how are you adding Mg?

MgSO4 (Epsom salt) or MgCl2

Offline charles1968

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2015, 12:43:56 pm »
And us BIABers mash much, much thinner than traditional mashes with no ill effects. It really doesn't matter as long as you account for pH.

I don't brew in a bag but I mash about as thin, usually 6 litres water per Kg (nearly 3 quarts per pound). I get about 82% efficiency. Mashing thick followed by a long sparge is a huge time-waster with no benefits. As you say, you need to control mash pH as the dilute mash has a higher pH untreated.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 12:45:42 pm by charles1968 »

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2015, 06:52:34 am »
For those that do mash thin/have a high water to grain ratio have you noticed a difference in mouthfeel of the beer?...Compared to a thicker mash of course. When I do mash thinner I see a bit more effeciency but there seems to be a realationship between mash thickness and mouthfeel in the finished beer. To me it's similar to diferences in mash temp. I know some feel it's negligible but I feel it's enough of a factor. Just wanted to see if anyone has compared a difference?

Offline charles1968

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2015, 02:31:28 pm »
For those that do mash thin/have a high water to grain ratio have you noticed a difference in mouthfeel of the beer?...Compared to a thicker mash of course. When I do mash thinner I see a bit more effeciency but there seems to be a realationship between mash thickness and mouthfeel in the finished beer. To me it's similar to diferences in mash temp. I know some feel it's negligible but I feel it's enough of a factor. Just wanted to see if anyone has compared a difference?

I haven't noticed a difference, but in the absence of a blind tasting trial, feel free to disregard my biased and anecdotal report.

What I can say with confidence is that mashing thin simplifies and shortens my brew day. Bear in mind also that a dilute mash has less buffering capacity than a thick one so you need to take care with water chemistry to hit your target mash pH.

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2015, 05:05:45 pm »
Charles what works for you is what its all about. I have done the same many times. Even tried a few no sparge batches.  Just wondering if anyone noted a difference. 

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2015, 05:17:53 pm »
I've mashed thick and thin and haven't noticed much difference - meaning from 1.1 - 2 qts/lb. I like a thinner mash for the ease of a quicker runoff. For the record, I batch sparge.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2015, 11:02:59 am »
For those that do mash thin/have a high water to grain ratio have you noticed a difference in mouthfeel of the beer?...Compared to a thicker mash of course. When I do mash thinner I see a bit more effeciency but there seems to be a realationship between mash thickness and mouthfeel in the finished beer. To me it's similar to diferences in mash temp. I know some feel it's negligible but I feel it's enough of a factor. Just wanted to see if anyone has compared a difference?

No difference whatsoever.  Why would there be?
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2015, 07:19:49 pm »
I mash at between 1.25 and 1.4 quarts per pound.  I continuous sparge.

Ditto
Jeff B

Offline bierview

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2015, 04:19:18 am »
I was a bit surprised at the amounts of water used by many on this post.  I usually stay around 1.25 per pound. 

RPIScotty

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2015, 05:07:04 am »
I was a bit surprised at the amounts of water used by many on this post.  I usually stay around 1.25 per pound.

Why the surprise?

Offline tesgüino

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #25 on: October 28, 2015, 06:58:26 am »
I've mashed thick and thin and haven't noticed much difference - meaning from 1.1 - 2 qts/lb. I like a thinner mash for the ease of a quicker runoff. For the record, I batch sparge.
Isn't up to 2 qts/lb safe with limited pH worries.

Offline charles1968

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #26 on: October 28, 2015, 07:28:20 am »
some info from Kai Troester's website:

Quote
Mash thickness
The results for mash thickness were somewhat surprising. Contrary to common believe no attenuation difference was seen between a thick mash (2.57 l/kg or 1.21 qt/lb) and a thin mash (5 l/kg or 2.37 qt/lb). Home brewing literature suggests that thin mashes lead to more fermentable worts, but technical brewing literature suggests that the mash concentration doesn't have much effect in well modified malts [Narziss, 2005]. Briggs cites data that doesn't show a change in fermentability when the mash thickness is changed [Briggs, 2004]. This was confirmed by these experiments where all the data points were on the same curve that had already been established in the temperature experiment.

Note, that the experiments for the 2.57 l/kg mash were run twice because the initial experiment resulted in a small mash volume that lost 5 degree Celsius over the duration of the mash. To keep the temperature drop between the experiments the same the mash volume was increased and the result was a 2 degree Celsius temperature drop which matched the temperature drop for the 5 l/kg mash. But in the end that didn't make a difference.

A significant difference was however found in the efficiency. The brewhouse efficiency of the tick mashes remained almost constant between 58 and 60% over the temperature range of the experiments, but the brewhouse efficiency for the thinner mash showed a strong dependency on the temperature and was always better than the efficiency of the tick mash. That leads to the conclusion that thinner mashes perform better and allow for better extraction of the grain. Briggs also reports that thinner mashes can convert more starch but that most of the conversion potential is reached at a water to grist ratio of 2.5 l/kg [Briggs, 2004]


Quote
Mash thickness
In order to convert the starches, water is needed. Not only for process of gelatinization or hydration of the enzymes but also for the conversion process itself. Whenever a gluclose chain is split (either to create a sugar molecule or a shorter starch chain) one molecule of water is needed. In addition to the reduced amount of free water the high sugar concentrations in thick mashes also impede the amylase enzymes [Briggs, 2004].

Traditional British style infusion mashes are with about 2-2.5 l/kg (1 - 1.15 qt/lb) very thick and German style mashes are generally much thinner (3.5-5 l/kg / 1.75-2.5 qt/lb). Historically this is rooted in the fact that the latter needed to be pumped and stirred.

In the limit of attenuation experiments it was shown that a 5 l/kg (2.4 qt/lb) mash showed much better conversion efficiency than a 2.5 l/kg (1.2 qt/lb) mash. This is also supported by anecdotal experience from home brewers who found that thin mashes generally lead to better overall efficiency.

While thick mashes help to stabilize the enzymes which makes them active for a longer time, they also inhibit their activity (substrate inhibition) and make it more difficult for the starch to gelatenize. As a result in thinner mashes the conversion processes occur faster. When it comes to conversion efficiency the main enzyme responsible, the alpha amylase, is still fairly stable at common saccharification rest temps and as a result it can take the full benefit from a thinner mash and an increase in conversion efficiency is commonly notes when the mash thickness is decreased. Beta amylase on the other hand is not as stable at these temperatures and it will be denatured more quickly in thinner mashes. But this is compensated by the faster activity of that enzyme which results in no change of the wort fermentability when the mash thickens is changed.

I'm not sure why so many brewers mash thick and then sparge with huge volumes - seems a lot of effort for no gain to me. The only persuasive reason for a thick mash I've come across is that the grain buffers pH well, but that advantage disappears when sparging.

rabeb25

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2015, 07:47:52 am »
For those that do mash thin/have a high water to grain ratio have you noticed a difference in mouthfeel of the beer?...Compared to a thicker mash of course. When I do mash thinner I see a bit more effeciency but there seems to be a realationship between mash thickness and mouthfeel in the finished beer. To me it's similar to diferences in mash temp. I know some feel it's negligible but I feel it's enough of a factor. Just wanted to see if anyone has compared a difference?

 Bear in mind also that a dilute mash has less buffering capacity than a thick one so you need to take care with water chemistry to hit your target mash pH.

Do you step mash? If so, have you seen pH swings based on the temp (the higher the step the higher pH rises) with low amounts of minerals (i.e. pilsen type water)?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #28 on: October 28, 2015, 08:54:50 am »
Capacity is a good reason to mash thick.

RPIScotty

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Re: Mash thickness?
« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2015, 09:22:50 am »
Capacity is a good reason to mash thick.

I use a 2 gallon Coleman Stacker cooler for a mash tun and generally have to use a thicker water to grist ration when doing higher gravity beers.