Author Topic: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?  (Read 8704 times)

Offline dilluh98

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 575
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #90 on: December 03, 2015, 10:08:14 PM »
Folks, we're not trying to cure cancer here...we're making beer at home.  That doesn't warrant the animosity.  Bryan, I have no doubt that all those texts have some great data for the circumstances they tested.  But those are very different circumstances than I or most other homebrewers have or care about.  I have done MANY decoction and step mashes of all types and my conclusion is that for me, they don't make any/enough difference to matter.  If you find something different in your circumstances, so be it.  But if you condescendingly tell me I don't know something that I've tested many times, then I will take exception.

See there in lies the problem, and admittedly its all mine. I am not "just trying to make beer at home", I refuse to accept that I made beer at home, and in that people can tell I made it at home attitude. I am trying to make the beer Ayinger does, and I stack my beer directly against that. If it does not pass a triple blind test, or whatever other means there is, its NOT acceptable to me. Again this is where I differ, and people who understand what that means will as well. There very dominant attitude here that I am going to go whatever is fastest, simplest and the least amount of work...Which is totally cool if that why you are here.. again I get it, its a hobby and all that. But there are some of us, who are meticulous when it comes to this, and flat out you have to be to make beers that you can test against the examples I cited. So there in lies again the problem (again mine) when I see people say hey I made this Helles with a ale yeast and it is the best, but I refuse to compare against any Continental example because its not the same. No, no you didn't. If it was as easy as that I am pretty sure I would have "stumbled" upon it in my some odd 700 batches of beer made.

The problem here, Bryan, is that you take "beer made at home" to be of lesser quailty, when that is not what I mean.  What I'm getting at is that it's just not that important...it's a freakin' hobby, dude.  Why do you suppose I don't have the same goals as you, to make a beer indistinguishable from Ayinger, for instance?  The difference is that we have different ways to go about it and you can't seem to accept that there are other approaches and other ideas about how to do it.  You seem to miss the corollary to my "best beer possible with the least effort possible while having the most fun possible".  It's that you do whatever it takes to make THE BEST BEER POSSIBLE, but you don't bother with things that don't further that goal.  I, and a lot of others, have determined for ourselves what is and isn't necessary.  And we did it by brewing and tasting, not by blindly following what a book told us.  Open your mind.


See... I don't even mind if a person takes brewing (or any other hobby) to a level that is beyond what most of us would consider a hobby. I don't even mind if they're snooty about it. In fact, if his goal is to make great German lager, I totally appreciate his approach and would expect nothing less than total dedication to all aspects of doing so. More power to you man. But if you're going to go down the path of a more scientific and vigorous approach, then hiding your results, withholding data, speaking in vagaries of "it," whispering in hushed tones about brewing practices that non-German readers have no access to, all the while berating everyone else for not doing whatever "it" is right - that's BS. Put up or shut up if you are as serious as you seem to be about brewing the best beer possible because at this point this is clearly no longer a hobby to you. If you've got nothing to learn and nothing to share... what's the point?

Offline Kit B

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
  • Kit B - Bottineau Prairie, MN
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #91 on: December 03, 2015, 10:27:09 PM »
I got caught up on this riveting thread. I felt bad for Amanda, kind of like she fixed thanksgiving dinner for us and we ransaked the place... feeling. Then I took a shower because, im just waking up and need to get ready to go make the donuts.

The thought I had, I've seen numerous times where this forum has been adamant toward people such as Marshall,  that unless you follow the exact same process, with the exact same timing, and exact same ingredients, there will always be a difference. We cheer these guys when they go to great lengths to exactly replicate those issues. Mull that over and apply it to the idea that german techniques and ingredients aren't important when trying to brew their beers as similarly as possible. I fully understand the "not enough difference for me" thinking. I'm not trying to defend or attack anyone. I'm just sharing some passing thoughts. If we should pay no attention to what german brewers do when trying to homebrew german beers, then I might suggest that we ignore what sour beer brewers are doing... throw out your oak. Ignore what west coast IPA brewers are doing... quit wasting dry hops, throw out your hop rockets hop backs and torpedos. Etc etc....

This is very close to what I've been trying to say, in the past.
Obviously, this kind of discussion belongs in a thread that is different than Amanda's.
Sorry Amanda, for side tracking.

I applaud you, for doing this comparison.
The small problem I see lies in the fact that it is a ramped mash running through all temperatures, utilizing a lengthened single saccharification rest vs a ramped mash with 2 lengthened rests at alpha & beta temps.
It's different than what I had originally thought she was attempting, because it's not a "single infusion" vs "step mash".
So...It's MY understanding of what was originally stated that is the problematic flaw.

Amanda...Nice experiment.
I have a feeling you'll see the results are similar, because you have hit all the same temperatures.
Only time will tell, as your results are realized.

The unfortunate thing I find with this particular forum is that when you go against a theory that something is "not necessary" or "not worth doing", you get jumped on.
The whole "It's been proven to me by my quadruple hexagonal blind upside-down study & my group of anonymous goatherds, in the Andes" is great...
But, proving something to one group doesn't make it fact, for the entire world of brewing.
Furthermore, I believe that when we evaluate homebrew, by comparing it to other homebrew, we completely miss the point of the BJCP's use of classic examples in their calibration.
If a VAST amount of German beers within those classic examples have IT & a homebrew scores in the "classic example" range without having IT...I feel that was a flawed scoring of that homebrew.

I can't speak on whether Denny's lagers have "IT".
I've never tasted them, to be able to compare them to the classic examples.

Bryan is absolutely not saying homebrew is a lesser product...
He's saying that he holds HIS brews to a higher standard than many folks do.
He wants his basement brewery to be every bit as good as a professional brewery, in Munich that produces a classic example bier.
No one should ever fault him, for that.
A group of us work damn hard at weeding out what we know doesn't work.
When we find what absolutely does...Maybe we'll let you in on the secret.
But...
Maybe...
Just maybe...
We won't.
Why would anyone want to drink stale beer?

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #92 on: December 03, 2015, 10:34:42 PM »
...kind of like she fixed thanksgiving dinner for us and we ransaked the place...

Meh, it's happened before. Except it was a 3 course NYE dinner... and I don't cook for those people anymore.  ;)

Some people, recent posters included, have misunderstood the point of my curiousity. I'm not saying that we should ignore the German brewers. I'm not saying that a single infusion is better (or even similar). I listen to Kai during work and am reading (currently) Fix during my lunch break. I just want to be able to prove to myself, once and for all, that there is a discernible difference between these two techniques. I fully expect the 145/158 to be different (and better, IMO) than the 150 beer.

However, for those people who do not worry too much about this or do not have the ability to step mash, perhaps whatever results I find will allow them to have a little piece of mind that a 'normal' mash is good enough for them.
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline dilluh98

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 575
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #93 on: December 03, 2015, 10:48:38 PM »
A group of us work damn hard at weeding out what we know doesn't work.
When we find what absolutely does...Maybe we'll let you in on the secret.
But...
Maybe...
Just maybe...
We won't.

If you've got nothing to learn and nothing to share... what's the point?

Offline narvin

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2262
  • Baltimore
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #94 on: December 03, 2015, 11:20:29 PM »
I'm pretty sure no one said we should ignore German brewers.  What was said is that:

- Don't be a dick.
- Don't be blinded by reading Narziss.  Try it on your home system in a blind taste test.
- If you haven't found the solution, don't discount what other people have to say.
- If you have found the solution and come here just to be superior without telling us what it is, see #1.
Please do not reply if your[sic] an evil alien!
Thanks

Offline Kit B

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
  • Kit B - Bottineau Prairie, MN
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #95 on: December 03, 2015, 11:21:23 PM »
Well...
I apologized to Amanda, for one & I like to learn.
If it becomes mandatory to freely share all your knowledge& the fruits of your labor, Brewer's Publications won't sell too many books...will they?
Why would anyone want to drink stale beer?

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #96 on: December 03, 2015, 11:24:53 PM »
Well...
I apologized to Amanda, for one & I like to learn.
If it becomes mandatory to freely share all your knowledge& the fruits of your labor, Brewer's Publications won't sell too many books...will they?

The point of a forum is to learn together through sharing and discussion. "Figure it out" doesn't belong. Leading and steering others to their own conclusion is not the same as "I did it on my own, so you need to figure it out on your own.

Offline narvin

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2262
  • Baltimore
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #97 on: December 03, 2015, 11:25:03 PM »
Well...
I apologized to Amanda, for one & I like to learn.
If it becomes mandatory to freely share all your knowledge& the fruits of your labor, Brewer's Publications won't sell too many books...will they?

Nothing is mandatory.  But what is the point in coming here and saying that you've cracked the code to German lagers without telling anyone what it is?  Or even worse, coming in here, saying that you haven't cracked the code, but that your secret ideas are still better than everyone else's?
Please do not reply if your[sic] an evil alien!
Thanks

Offline Kit B

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 607
  • Kit B - Bottineau Prairie, MN
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #98 on: December 03, 2015, 11:29:22 PM »
Well...
I apologized to Amanda, for one & I like to learn.
If it becomes mandatory to freely share all your knowledge& the fruits of your labor, Brewer's Publications won't sell too many books...will they?

Nothing is mandatory.  But what is the point in coming here and saying that you've cracked the code to German lagers without telling anyone what it is?  Or even worse, coming in here, saying that you haven't cracked the code, but that your secret ideas are still better than everyone else's?
Where did I say either?

Again...Sorry, Amanda.
I look forward to your findings.
Why would anyone want to drink stale beer?

Offline tommymorris

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2096
  • Tommy M.
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #99 on: December 04, 2015, 05:27:51 AM »

So, we've all heard that there is definitely a difference between mashing with a single infusion and mashing using a step Hochkurz. Better malt character/better attenuation/better efficiency with the 145F/158F of the Hochkurz, etc. I believe(d?) it. I did it. I probably even spouted the same thing as fact.

But is there really a difference?

Now that we have a Zymatic and can perform very precise measurements/procedures, I'm giving a real comparison a shot. I've brewed two identical German Pilsners using these two mashing techniques, taking readings at nearly every chance I could. I dumped the logged data out, overlaid the gravity readings, and now I'm sharing.

Recipe, for each brew day:
German Pils - based on Wort HOG's recipe
Batch size: 2.5g
OG: 1.053
FG (anticipated): 1.012
IBU: 53
SRM: 5
-------------------------
5.5 lbs Best Pilsner
4 oz Carapils
4 oz Melanoidin
-------------------------
Bru'n Water: Yellow Dry
Ca 40, Mg 8, Na 8, SO4 91, Cl 29
-------------------------
60' - Herkules - 15.8% - 0.35 oz
15' - Vanguard - 4.8% - 0.75 oz
15' - Saaz - 3.5% - 0.5 oz
-------------------------
WY2206, 2L starter in 5L flask. Shaken, not stirred. Pitched at high krausen.

Beer #1 (150F):
Mash times/temps: 104F dough-in for 10', 150F sacc rest for 80', 175F mash out for 10'
Target mash pH: 5.45
Actual mash pH: 5.47
Pre-boil SG: 1.051
Target boil pH: 5.0-5.1
Adjusted pH in 'kettle' to 5.01, 1.8mL 88% lactic
Post-boil SG: 1.053
Fast-ferment test (w/ bread yeast, expected to be 0.2 Brix high): 1.013



Beer #2 (145/158F):
Mash times/temps: 104F dough-in for 10', 145F beta rest for 40', 158F alpha rest for 20', 175F mash out for 10'
Target mash pH: 5.45
Actual mash pH: 5.47
Pre-boil SG: 1.051
Target boil pH: 5.0-5.1
Adjusted pH in 'kettle' to 5.01, 1.8mL 88% lactic
Post-boil SG: 1.053
Fast-ferment test (w/ bread yeast, expected to be 0.2 Brix high): 1.013



Full data set here.

Several interesting observations:
  • There is a huge difference in speed of conversion between 145F and 150F. The 150F mash converted in about 30' while the 145F mash never got to the same conversion in the 40' and only reached that same conversion during the 158F rest. I thought it would be slower, but I didn't think it would be that much slower.
  • Each batch had EXACTLY the same gravity. The Z is basically a fully recirculating "brew in a bin" HERMS, I'm not sure if that has something to do with all of this, but it should be said.
  • I'm also surprised at the work the mashout did on increasing the gravity. Here, it increased the SG by 17%. This is similar to what I've seen for other batches on the Z (+16-17%) for the mashout.
  • The fast-ferment test indicated exactly the same FG for these batches, which also goes against what I've thought in the past. (More malt flavor, more fermentability.)

Some pictures:
Actual brew day, for the uninitiated:


The fast ferment test all set up:


Right after pitching the Hochkurz one (pitched the 150F about 12 hours ahead of time, since that was brewed in the morning and the other in the evening):


These have been rocking since 11/22/2015, and I'm about to take my first gravity readings and samples tonight. Pitched at 48F, fermented until 11/29 at 50F, now at 56F.

I do hope to do blind triangle tests on these and maybe trick some local judges into filling out scoresheets on them. We have some really great tasters in the area, so perhaps they could provide more insight/detail than "yes it's different" or "they are the same". (I wanted to do this on the Kolschs, but the beer did not turn out like I wanted, so it was not given out for that purpose.)
I am curious about your graphs. Did you take all those gravity readings manually or is that a feature of the Zymatic? I am guessing manual. If so, that was hard work.

Second question on both graphs the temp drops suddenly about 3/4 way along the mash and then jumps back up. What's happening there? Just curious. I don't see a programmed drop on the mash temp editor screen shot you added later in the thread.

I like the way you're using the Zymatic. Great idea using it for experiments.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #100 on: December 04, 2015, 12:54:17 PM »
I am curious about your graphs. Did you take all those gravity readings manually or is that a feature of the Zymatic? I am guessing manual. If so, that was hard work.

Second question on both graphs the temp drops suddenly about 3/4 way along the mash and then jumps back up. What's happening there? Just curious. I don't see a programmed drop on the mash temp editor screenshot you added later in the thread.

I like the way you're using the Zymatic. Great idea using it for experiments.

The Zymatic is run via a wifi controlled Ardrino - so it logs nearly everything that it does. I did nothing in regards to the temperature logging. You can add recipe notes, such as SG, but they only show up as a dot on the graph and not as I had shown them in the Excel version on the first post. Here is a screenshot from my online account:


Those dips you see are the temperature readings while there is little wort near the wort temp probe, which is when the system drains (after the mash it drains for 8 min into the keg for "boiling") and sometimes when it pauses (see the chilling dip in temp that comes up? The system pauses there to allow me to connect my chiller. I restart it when we are all hooked up.)

I hope to do many, many more experiments with this thing (even if it's just for my own curiosity). For me, that's the best part about this little system. It is highly controllable and incredibly accurate. I wish they would advertise it like that, because it certainly isn't something I would recommend for the 'new brewer' audience they are aiming for.
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline beersk

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3484
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #101 on: December 04, 2015, 01:46:53 PM »
I got caught up on this riveting thread. I felt bad for Amanda, kind of like she fixed thanksgiving dinner for us and we ransaked the place... feeling. Then I took a shower because, im just waking up and need to get ready to go make the donuts.

The thought I had, I've seen numerous times where this forum has been adamant toward people such as Marshall,  that unless you follow the exact same process, with the exact same timing, and exact same ingredients, there will always be a difference. We cheer these guys when they go to great lengths to exactly replicate those issues. Mull that over and apply it to the idea that german techniques and ingredients aren't important when trying to brew their beers as similarly as possible. I fully understand the "not enough difference for me" thinking. I'm not trying to defend or attack anyone. I'm just sharing some passing thoughts. If we should pay no attention to what german brewers do when trying to homebrew german beers, then I might suggest that we ignore what sour beer brewers are doing... throw out your oak. Ignore what west coast IPA brewers are doing... quit wasting dry hops, throw out your hop rockets hop backs and torpedos. Etc etc....

That's my thinking, too, Jim. There's a lot of us who taste something special - Amanda included - in a lot of good German lagers that is rarely found in homebrew or craft brews. Unless somebody is able to consistently get that quality using the standard American homebrew methods (I haven't been able to), then we need to start paying attention to how the Germans are actually making their beer.
Along the lines of tasting something special in German beers - how would you explain Sam Smith's Organic lager also having this character? Go buy a bottle, it's there. I think a lot of that special flavor is age. But I guess I haven't actually been to Germany and had the beers fresh, so I can't say for certain. But many have said the beers to do taste different there than here.
die Schönheit der bier...

Jesse

Offline mpietropaoli

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 258
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #102 on: December 04, 2015, 02:03:50 PM »
First of all, thanks for posting this Amanda, and sorry the thread got derailed with hobbyist high-ground.

So just to recap, Bryan criticized Amanda's study because it wasn't actually single infusion vs. step mash (read through the thread, and I guess I still missed why the 'single infusion' isn't single infusion). 

Maybe it wasn't in the most constructive or effective way, but assuming he is correct, he did point out a deficiency, which is ANOTHER REASON WHY FORUMS ARE A GREAT PLACE FOR KNOWLEDGE-SHARING AND COLLABORATION. 

So if we can get past the Shaun Hill-esque purposeful vagueness about why he knows what he knows, my question is this: can a Picobrew simulate a single-infusion mash, or is it impossible because of the system's recirc and nature of the heating element? 

The experiment is still measuring something, just not what you thought.  Is it possible to measure what you thought the next time?

Cheers and thanks again!
Bubblin': helles
Flowin': IIPA, Doppelbock, Flanders
Sittin': More Flanders, Braison,
Thinkin': wit, more helles

Offline AmandaK

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1850
  • Redbird Brewhouse
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #103 on: December 04, 2015, 03:07:32 PM »
...my question is this: can a Picobrew simulate a single-infusion mash, or is it impossible because of the system's recirc and nature of the heating element? 

Yes it can:

In this case, it is a 151F mash. No dough in. No mashout. The water only circulates through the mash bed during the time that the brewing liquor is 152F. Then it drains.

My intent behind including a dough in and a mash out in both batches was to eliminate as many variables as I could see fit. The Z heats very quickly for it's size (1.9*F per minute), so I determined that for the variable I wanted tested (i.e. 145/158 versus 150 - not dough in & mashout verus not), it was better to include the dough in and mashout in both batches. (As that is how I brew every time.) I'm more than certain that if I had not included the dough in and mashout in the 150F mash, we would be talking about that instead.
Amanda Burkemper
KC Bier Meisters Education Director
BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline mpietropaoli

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 258
    • View Profile
Re: Hochkurz versus 150F Mash - Is really there a difference?
« Reply #104 on: December 04, 2015, 03:22:38 PM »
I'm really hoping Moore's Law/Wright's Law comes through and I can have one of these in a few years  :)
Bubblin': helles
Flowin': IIPA, Doppelbock, Flanders
Sittin': More Flanders, Braison,
Thinkin': wit, more helles