Author Topic: Infusion Step mashing and pH management  (Read 1931 times)

Offline VictorBrew

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Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« on: December 28, 2015, 01:03:14 AM »
How do you mange pH if you decide you want to do step mashing via infusion of hot water for each step.  As you add your infusions the pH will change so I am trying to figure out at which infusion point should estimate your acid and salt additions against. 

Does pH matter for an Acid Rest in 100F range or Protein Rest in the 122-133F range?  Which Step is it most important to hit your desired pH?  Is it just your Sac temp rest that pH has the most critical impact? 

Offline blbvtec

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2015, 01:01:59 AM »
You could go through and create your water profile for different steps in one of the tools like Bru N Water.

1st time use water volume of your initial mash-in to calculate additions.
Figure out how much water to raise the temp your desired amount.
Add that water to tool, figure out what changes need made to get pH back in line.
Repeat for each mash step.

Heat all your additional water in a 2nd pot.
Add minerals/acid to mash, put needed hot water in.
Repeat for each step.


Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2015, 02:33:09 AM »
I would calculate and add just like a normal mash n sparge. Then when you need to do a step, use the already adjusted sparge water. Am I guaranteeing it will be 100% accurate right down the line? No. But it would be very close and has the least chance for failure compared to a bunch of convoluted calculations. Remember the mash is staying put. So it wont need much adjusting. But you will have the same total volume as with a single infusion. So ought to work.

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2015, 05:00:20 PM »
I would calculate and add just like a normal mash n sparge. Then when you need to do a step, use the already adjusted sparge water. Am I guaranteeing it will be 100% accurate right down the line? No. But it would be very close and has the least chance for failure compared to a bunch of convoluted calculations. Remember the mash is staying put. So it wont need much adjusting. But you will have the same total volume as with a single infusion. So ought to work.

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

Jim- anything you can perceive in the stepped lagers; taste, mouthfeel, head, etc?  I just did an alt, and so far all i can report is theincreased efficiency....96% vs normal 87-88%. wont be kegging for another two weeks, and have only tasted a sample during gravity check.

I do plan on doing a lager this weekend with same step schedule-145F for 30 minutes at about 5.3PH, 158F for 45 minutes at about 5.4-5.5PH.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2015, 05:42:25 PM »
I would calculate and add just like a normal mash n sparge. Then when you need to do a step, use the already adjusted sparge water. Am I guaranteeing it will be 100% accurate right down the line? No. But it would be very close and has the least chance for failure compared to a bunch of convoluted calculations. Remember the mash is staying put. So it wont need much adjusting. But you will have the same total volume as with a single infusion. So ought to work.

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

Jim- anything you can perceive in the stepped lagers; taste, mouthfeel, head, etc?  I just did an alt, and so far all i can report is theincreased efficiency....96% vs normal 87-88%. wont be kegging for another two weeks, and have only tasted a sample during gravity check.

I do plan on doing a lager this weekend with same step schedule-145F for 30 minutes at about 5.3PH, 158F for 45 minutes at about 5.4-5.5PH.
Perhaps it takes an acutely trained palate but the hoch mash rest of 158-162 is supposed to give a full bodied beer and improve head retention. The idea is working different enzymes separately instead of working a little of both in a single infusion. I guess you already knew that, but some will say they can tell a difference. Still waiting to hear results from Amanda's step mash deal.
Personally, I'm not sure if I can tell a difference or not.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 07:55:18 PM »
I would calculate and add just like a normal mash n sparge. Then when you need to do a step, use the already adjusted sparge water. Am I guaranteeing it will be 100% accurate right down the line? No. But it would be very close and has the least chance for failure compared to a bunch of convoluted calculations. Remember the mash is staying put. So it wont need much adjusting. But you will have the same total volume as with a single infusion. So ought to work.

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

Jim- anything you can perceive in the stepped lagers; taste, mouthfeel, head, etc?  I just did an alt, and so far all i can report is theincreased efficiency....96% vs normal 87-88%. wont be kegging for another two weeks, and have only tasted a sample during gravity check.

I do plan on doing a lager this weekend with same step schedule-145F for 30 minutes at about 5.3PH, 158F for 45 minutes at about 5.4-5.5PH.
My steps were 132/15 142/45 158/45 with increases between rests done by direct fire recirculation and taking about 5 minutes each. I found no demonstrable difference other than lack of body and head retention. I got normal efficiency and normal attenuation


Now, admittedly I gave step mashing one try. Well, two but on the same day. If someone is having success with it thats great. I didnt and im convinced that I can get closer to what I want by using a single infusion of the right temp and time, and by addressing the flavors and aromas I'm seeking with specialty malts. Ive only tried it that one day, but at least I did try it. So now when I say I'm not a fan, its from experience rather than something I heard or read.

While I totally get the idea of a never ending search for an esoteric character, I also have a bit of a pragmatic gene that pulls me back to reality. Plus, I dont really want to be a Munich Helles expert. Id rather be able to make lots of styles pretty well. Not willing to go OCD on this for ten years.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2015, 08:15:56 PM by klickitat jim »

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2015, 08:19:56 PM »
I would calculate and add just like a normal mash n sparge. Then when you need to do a step, use the already adjusted sparge water. Am I guaranteeing it will be 100% accurate right down the line? No. But it would be very close and has the least chance for failure compared to a bunch of convoluted calculations. Remember the mash is staying put. So it wont need much adjusting. But you will have the same total volume as with a single infusion. So ought to work.

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

Jim- anything you can perceive in the stepped lagers; taste, mouthfeel, head, etc?  I just did an alt, and so far all i can report is theincreased efficiency....96% vs normal 87-88%. wont be kegging for another two weeks, and have only tasted a sample during gravity check.

I do plan on doing a lager this weekend with same step schedule-145F for 30 minutes at about 5.3PH, 158F for 45 minutes at about 5.4-5.5PH.
My steps were 132/15 142/45 158/45 with increases between rests done by direct fire recirculation and taking about 5 minutes each. I found no demonstrable difference other than lack of body and head retention. I got normal efficiency and normal attenuation


Now, admittedly I gave step mashing one try. Well, two but on the same day. If someone is having success with it thats great. I didnt and im convinced that I can get closer to what I want by using a single infusion of the right temp and time, and by addressing the flavors and aromas I'm seeking with specialty malts. Ive only tried it that one day, but at least I did try it. So now when I say I'm not a fan, its from experience rather than something I heard or read.

While I totally get the idea of a never ending search for an esoteric character, I also have a bit of a pragmatic gene that pulls me back to reality. Plus, I dont really want to be a Munich Helles expert. Id rather be able to make lots of styles pretty well. Not willing to go OCD on this for ten years.

I've done it quite a few times and always reached the conclusion you did.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2015, 08:32:17 PM »
I would calculate and add just like a normal mash n sparge. Then when you need to do a step, use the already adjusted sparge water. Am I guaranteeing it will be 100% accurate right down the line? No. But it would be very close and has the least chance for failure compared to a bunch of convoluted calculations. Remember the mash is staying put. So it wont need much adjusting. But you will have the same total volume as with a single infusion. So ought to work.

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

Jim- anything you can perceive in the stepped lagers; taste, mouthfeel, head, etc?  I just did an alt, and so far all i can report is theincreased efficiency....96% vs normal 87-88%. wont be kegging for another two weeks, and have only tasted a sample during gravity check.

I do plan on doing a lager this weekend with same step schedule-145F for 30 minutes at about 5.3PH, 158F for 45 minutes at about 5.4-5.5PH.
My steps were 132/15 142/45 158/45 with increases between rests done by direct fire recirculation and taking about 5 minutes each. I found no demonstrable difference other than lack of body and head retention. I got normal efficiency and normal attenuation


Now, admittedly I gave step mashing one try. Well, two but on the same day. If someone is having success with it thats great. I didnt and im convinced that I can get closer to what I want by using a single infusion of the right temp and time, and by addressing the flavors and aromas I'm seeking with specialty malts. Ive only tried it that one day, but at least I did try it. So now when I say I'm not a fan, its from experience rather than something I heard or read.

While I totally get the idea of a never ending search for an esoteric character, I also have a bit of a pragmatic gene that pulls me back to reality. Plus, I dont really want to be a Munich Helles expert. Id rather be able to make lots of styles pretty well. Not willing to go OCD on this for ten years.

I've done it quite a few times and always reached the conclusion you did.
More confirmation. Again though, if others are getting 50pt beers with it, thats great. Im not on a crusade for sure.

Offline VictorBrew

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2016, 04:17:36 PM »
...

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

All - Thanks for the many replies and insights.

Jim - You are exactly right ... I am experimenting with step mashing,  specifically around some of the historical beers.  In this case it is Piwo Grodziske, which I was 'Volunteered' for as part of group of us studying up for BJCP certs.  As 100% wheat beer I figured a step mash could be benefical.  This was driven by a write up in Zymurgy (Nov/Dec 2012) on this style with a 5 step mash (100/30, 125/30, 150/10, 158/30, mash out).  What I am unable to figure out is the modification level of the Weyermann Oak Smoked Wheat and if it warrants the steps or if the fact that we are dealing with 100% wheat warrants it.   Either way, I plan on making this beer twice; single infusion and stepped, so I can tell first hand.  I am just trying to get some insights on how to approach the steps by using infusion of hot water to bring down the ramp times. 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2016, 04:28:48 PM »
...

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

All - Thanks for the many replies and insights.

Jim - You are exactly right ... I am experimenting with step mashing,  specifically around some of the historical beers.  In this case it is Piwo Grodziske, which I was 'Volunteered' for as part of group of us studying up for BJCP certs.  As 100% wheat beer I figured a step mash could be benefical.  This was driven by a write up in Zymurgy (Nov/Dec 2012) on this style with a 5 step mash (100/30, 125/30, 150/10, 158/30, mash out).  What I am unable to figure out is the modification level of the Weyermann Oak Smoked Wheat and if it warrants the steps or if the fact that we are dealing with 100% wheat warrants it.   Either way, I plan on making this beer twice; single infusion and stepped, so I can tell first hand.  I am just trying to get some insights on how to approach the steps by using infusion of hot water to bring down the ramp times.
If you use a water addition calculator/spreadsheet, try an exercise. Calculate the mash pH acid required for your step one volume. Then bump the volume up to equate what it would be after your step water is added, see how much the required acid changes. I suspect it won't change much at all.

I just did a theory test in brewers friend... 4G mash 4G sparge 10lbs pils 5.4ph with my well water, needs 6ml lac mash 2ml lac sparge. I changed it to 6G mash 2G sparge and it moved 1ml lactic from sparge to mash water. 7ml mash 1 ml sparge.

So, I would treat my mash as normal, sparge as normal, then take from the treated sparge water, boil, add to mash...
« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 04:36:48 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2016, 05:40:09 PM »
When I do multi-rest mashes I usually do it as a decoction mash but when I do multiple infusions I just collect all the mash water in one kettle and add the minerals/acid so the water profile is set for all the infusions. Then I heat what I need for each infusion.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2016, 06:03:55 PM »
When I do multi-rest mashes I usually do it as a decoction mash but when I do multiple infusions I just collect all the mash water in one kettle and add the minerals/acid so the water profile is set for all the infusions. Then I heat what I need for each infusion.
This is what I do as well.
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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2016, 08:54:22 PM »
...

Having said that, are you trying the steps just to see what happens? I did that very recently and have been publishing the results along the way. Its a fun experiment which is leading me to a fairly strong opinion that with modern malts its hard to beat a single infusion and using the vast malt selection we have as a way to drive flavors, and adjuncts and temp for body control. Dig in though! There's nothing like learning first hand and not vehemently attacking something you've never tried. Its always better to say "I have found" rather than "I have read".

All - Thanks for the many replies and insights.

Jim - You are exactly right ... I am experimenting with step mashing,  specifically around some of the historical beers.  In this case it is Piwo Grodziske, which I was 'Volunteered' for as part of group of us studying up for BJCP certs.  As 100% wheat beer I figured a step mash could be benefical.  This was driven by a write up in Zymurgy (Nov/Dec 2012) on this style with a 5 step mash (100/30, 125/30, 150/10, 158/30, mash out).  What I am unable to figure out is the modification level of the Weyermann Oak Smoked Wheat and if it warrants the steps or if the fact that we are dealing with 100% wheat warrants it.   Either way, I plan on making this beer twice; single infusion and stepped, so I can tell first hand.  I am just trying to get some insights on how to approach the steps by using infusion of hot water to bring down the ramp times.
The water is alkaline in Grodzisk, the acid rest is drop the pH. The protein rest is not a bad idea with 100% wheat malt. I did an protein rest on the one I did, as Mosher recommended it in his book.

I know Weyermann made the Oak Smoked wheat malt for American Brewers that were requesting it. The stuff in Poland could have different modification levels, but who would know besides Stan Hieronymus?
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Offline VictorBrew

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2016, 04:15:33 PM »
The water is alkaline in Grodzisk, the acid rest is drop the pH. The protein rest is not a bad idea with 100% wheat malt. I did an protein rest on the one I did, as Mosher recommended it in his book.

So based on using alternate methods for acidifying you suggest skipping the acid rest.  I was thinking the same and actually doing the protein rest in the 130 range.

Thanks for everyone's input ... I have plenty to go on and try things out.  I appreciate the the time spent on providing input.

Rob

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Re: Infusion Step mashing and pH management
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2016, 05:16:32 PM »
The water is alkaline in Grodzisk, the acid rest is drop the pH. The protein rest is not a bad idea with 100% wheat malt. I did an protein rest on the one I did, as Mosher recommended it in his book.

So based on using alternate methods for acidifying you suggest skipping the acid rest.  I was thinking the same and actually doing the protein rest in the 130 range.

Thanks for everyone's input ... I have plenty to go on and try things out.  I appreciate the the time spent on providing input.

Rob

I used RO water and then Brunwater to dial the pH in.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild
AHA Governing Committee
BJCP National
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!