Author Topic: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!  (Read 3615 times)

Offline brulosopher

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The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« on: October 12, 2015, 12:01:19 PM »
Conventional wisdom says to mash low for a crisp and dry beer, mash high for a sweet and chewy beer. Since I began brewing all grain, this is the rule I followed, and it always seemed to work, though I couldn't help but wonder if mash temp really makes all that big of a difference? To test it out, I split a batch of BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde and put this one to the test. Results are in!

http://brulosophy.com/2015/10/12/the-mash-high-vs-low-temperature-exbeeriment-results/

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 12:08:45 PM »
amount of hops/IBU in a beer can certainty mask sweetness or increase perception of dryness.

do this for a pils-interested to see results. 
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

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

evil_morty

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 12:16:36 PM »
Conventional wisdom says to mash low for a crisp and dry beer, mash high for a sweet and chewy beer. Since I began brewing all grain, this is the rule I followed, and it always seemed to work, though I couldn't help but wonder if mash temp really makes all that big of a difference? To test it out, I split a batch of BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde and put this one to the test. Results are in!

http://brulosophy.com/2015/10/12/the-mash-high-vs-low-temperature-exbeeriment-results/

I'm kind of surprised you couldn't tell the difference.  Whenever I've had a beer that seemed "too sweet" it had a higher FG.  the difference though is that my few instances of high FG were not due to high mash temp.  it was usually high OG, too much crystal/roasted malts, or a yeast that didn't attenuate as much as I expected.  maybe there is something magical about the sugars created by the higher mash temp.  this makes me want to give something like this a try.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2015, 12:20:24 PM »
Conventional wisdom says to mash low for a crisp and dry beer, mash high for a sweet and chewy beer. Since I began brewing all grain, this is the rule I followed, and it always seemed to work, though I couldn't help but wonder if mash temp really makes all that big of a difference? To test it out, I split a batch of BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde and put this one to the test. Results are in!

http://brulosophy.com/2015/10/12/the-mash-high-vs-low-temperature-exbeeriment-results/

I'm kind of surprised you couldn't tell the difference.  Whenever I've had a beer that seemed "too sweet" it had a higher FG.  the difference though is that my few instances of high FG were not due to high mash temp.  it was usually high OG, too much crystal/roasted malts, or a yeast that didn't attenuate as much as I expected.  maybe there is something magical about the sugars created by the higher mash temp.  this makes me want to give something like this a try.

loads of crystal and higher FG can be really unappealing and cloying sweetness takes over. 

the recipe he used doesn't have that working against it:

****10-Gallon Batch****
Batch Size: 11.00 gal
Boil Size: 13.69 gal
Estimated OG: 1.039 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 21.6 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 70.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
14.00 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM)
1.25 lb Cara-Pils/Dextrine (2.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 10L (10.0 SRM)
1.00 lb Vienna Malt (3.5 SRM)
0.50 oz Centennial [9.50%] (55 min)
0.50 oz Centennial [9.50%] (35 min)
0.50 oz Cascade [7.80%] (20 min)
0.50 oz Cascade [7.80%] (5 min)
1 Pkgs Nottingham (Danstar #-) (Hydrated)
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

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

Offline brulosopher

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2015, 12:24:15 PM »

amount of hops/IBU in a beer can certainty mask sweetness or increase perception of dryness.

do this for a pils-interested to see results.
Agreed, but there aren't many hops at all in this beer, 1 oz per 5 gallon, and it certainly isn't very bitter.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2015, 12:27:36 PM »

amount of hops/IBU in a beer can certainty mask sweetness or increase perception of dryness.

do this for a pils-interested to see results.
Agreed, but there aren't many hops at all in this beer, 1 oz per 5 gallon, and it certainly isn't very bitter.

agreed- just a general statement not specific to this recipe.

some beers are really not so different when FG aren't the same- i've found it hard to discern that also.

Others- well much more discernible to me at least. Ive made some pilsners in early days that finished 1.013,1,014 and that just didn't cut it for me...lacking that crisp dryness and leaving you quenched and ready for another.
Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
CPT, U.S.Army
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Harveys-Brewhaus/405092862905115

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Science_of_Mashing

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

rabeb25

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2015, 12:35:52 PM »

amount of hops/IBU in a beer can certainty mask sweetness or increase perception of dryness.

do this for a pils-interested to see results.
Agreed, but there aren't many hops at all in this beer, 1 oz per 5 gallon, and it certainly isn't very bitter.

agreed- just a general statement not specific to this recipe.

some beers are really not so different when FG aren't the same- i've found it hard to discern that also.

Others- well much more discernible to me at least. Ive made some pilsners in early days that finished 1.013,1,014 and that just didn't cut it for me...lacking that crisp dryness and leaving you quenched and ready for another.

Correct.

Offline charles1968

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 12:45:39 PM »
Quote from Denny on an other thread:

An interesting note...in his book "Homebrew Beyond the Basics", Mike Karnowski relates an experiment he did.  He brewed 2 versions of a recipe, one mashed at 146 and the other at 164.  The low mash temp batch finished at 1.006 and the high mash temp finished at 1.016.  In a tasting with 10 commercial brewers and judges, 9 of them chose the low temp, low FG batch as having more body.  So, does mash temp and FG really matter that much?

What I think is going on here is that higher alcohol compensates to some extent for lower sugar, so the drier beers still tastes as full and sweet as the other. I think the two beers might have tasted different if you'd started with different OGs but used different mash temps to end up with the same abv but different FGs. But that's just a hunch.

As you say in the write-up, it's great news for people experimenting with low abv beers, which I do quite a lot. Also great news for people with dodgy thermometers who don't hit the right strike/mash temp - clearly it doesn't matter much.

Great exbeeriment, keep them coming.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 12:47:59 PM by charles1968 »

Offline brulosopher

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The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 01:15:14 PM »
Quote from Denny on an other thread:

An interesting note...in his book "Homebrew Beyond the Basics", Mike Karnowski relates an experiment he did.  He brewed 2 versions of a recipe, one mashed at 146 and the other at 164.  The low mash temp batch finished at 1.006 and the high mash temp finished at 1.016.  In a tasting with 10 commercial brewers and judges, 9 of them chose the low temp, low FG batch as having more body.  So, does mash temp and FG really matter that much?

What I think is going on here is that higher alcohol compensates to some extent for lower sugar, so the drier beers still tastes as full and sweet as the other. I think the two beers might have tasted different if you'd started with different OGs but used different mash temps to end up with the same abv but different FGs. But that's just a hunch.

As you say in the write-up, it's great news for people experimenting with low abv beers, which I do quite a lot. Also great news for people with dodgy thermometers who don't hit the right strike/mash temp - clearly it doesn't matter much.

Great exbeeriment, keep them coming.

Interesting theory, perhaps some sort of alcohol compensation is at play.

Offline TexasHumuluslupulushead

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 01:31:15 PM »
Conventional wisdom says to mash low for a crisp and dry beer, mash high for a sweet and chewy beer. Since I began brewing all grain, this is the rule I followed, and it always seemed to work, though I couldn't help but wonder if mash temp really makes all that big of a difference? To test it out, I split a batch of BierMuncher's Centennial Blonde and put this one to the test. Results are in!

http://brulosophy.com/2015/10/12/the-mash-high-vs-low-temperature-exbeeriment-results/

I'm kind of surprised you couldn't tell the difference.  Whenever I've had a beer that seemed "too sweet" it had a higher FG.  the difference though is that my few instances of high FG were not due to high mash temp.  it was usually high OG, too much crystal/roasted malts, or a yeast that didn't attenuate as much as I expected.  maybe there is something magical about the sugars created by the higher mash temp.  this makes me want to give something like this a try.

+1 totally agree
I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.    -- Dean Martin

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 03:52:30 PM »
Did you do any follow up gravity readings? 6 days with a 1 day break between FG readings seems quick. 1056 can keep working pretty cold. I wonder if the 1.014 didn't drop another 3 or 4 points in the keg. If you still have some left try degassing it and taking another reading.

Offline brulosopher

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The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2015, 03:55:54 PM »
If this experiment was repeated with a 1.064 OG beer, would the results be the same? I don't know!
Me either... we'll just have to see!
Did you do any follow up gravity readings? 6 days with a 1 day break between FG readings seems quick. 1056 can keep working pretty cold. I wonder if the 1.014 didn't drop another 3 or 4 points in the keg. If you still have some left try degassing it and taking another reading.
I always take 2-3 hydrometer measurements to confirm FG is stable, 2-3 days apart. It was for these beers, no change at all.

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2015, 04:38:47 PM »
Quote from Denny on an other thread:

An interesting note...in his book "Homebrew Beyond the Basics", Mike Karnowski relates an experiment he did.  He brewed 2 versions of a recipe, one mashed at 146 and the other at 164.  The low mash temp batch finished at 1.006 and the high mash temp finished at 1.016.  In a tasting with 10 commercial brewers and judges, 9 of them chose the low temp, low FG batch as having more body.  So, does mash temp and FG really matter that much?

What I think is going on here is that higher alcohol compensates to some extent for lower sugar, so the drier beers still tastes as full and sweet as the other. I think the two beers might have tasted different if you'd started with different OGs but used different mash temps to end up with the same abv but different FGs. But that's just a hunch.

As you say in the write-up, it's great news for people experimenting with low abv beers, which I do quite a lot. Also great news for people with dodgy thermometers who don't hit the right strike/mash temp - clearly it doesn't matter much.

Great exbeeriment, keep them coming.

Interesting theory, perhaps some sort of alcohol compensation is at play.

I would not be surprised at all.  I have taken to mashing my Scotch ale relatively low (~149F) for the last few batches.  It definitely finishes dryer, but there is still the perception of being full-bodied.

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2015, 05:53:21 PM »
If this experiment was repeated with a 1.064 OG beer, would the results be the same? I don't know!
Me either... we'll just have to see!
Did you do any follow up gravity readings? 6 days with a 1 day break between FG readings seems quick. 1056 can keep working pretty cold. I wonder if the 1.014 didn't drop another 3 or 4 points in the keg. If you still have some left try degassing it and taking another reading.
I always take 2-3 hydrometer measurements to confirm FG is stable, 2-3 days apart. It was for these beers, no change at all.
This is what I was going by...
"I took the first hydrometer measurement once signs of fermentation activity had waned, then confirmed it hadn’t changed the following day, 6 since brewing the beer. The .009 SG difference was initially pretty shocking to me though ultimately left me feeling confident such a highly discussed process component actually did what it’s purported to do– science works! I proceeded to cold crash, fine with gelatin, and package in kegs."

I'm not poopooing the eXbmt, just puzzling over things that may have happened. Frankly, I think it would be awesome if there was proof that you need drastically different mash temps to make noticeable differences in the glass.

Offline brulosopher

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Re: The Mash: High vs. Low Temperature | exBEERiment Results!
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2015, 05:54:28 PM »
Just degassed and took hydro measure, took a bit to get all CO2 out and warm up, but no change.