Author Topic: Step Mash For Kolsch...  (Read 6309 times)

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Step Mash For Kolsch...
« on: February 17, 2016, 12:34:53 PM »
I do not know a lot about this technique but in short Im looking at brewing a Kolsch and seen in Gordons new book he has a step mash schedule for his Kolsch. What are the benifits or reasons for doing so on a beer like this? I have always been a single infusion and batch sparge brewer but now that I have my HERMS up and running  it would be easy to run through the temps.

So basically...is it worth it?



Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2016, 12:40:02 PM »
Well...... no.

Gordon is an expert beer judge, but not necessarily an expert brewer.  As an opposing view, Jamil Z *is* an expert brewer, and he doesn't do step mashes.  And personally, I only do step mashes "for fun" occasionally, but not because I believe it does a whole lot for the beer.  The one exception might be for beers where you want to guarantee clarity and low body.  You may incorporate a very brief 5-10 minute protein rest at 131 F for these beers.  However, it's easily over-done or screwed up so typically I would not recommend this even.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 12:43:08 PM by dmtaylor »
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2016, 01:23:14 PM »
Single infusion at 150 is all you need, trust me on that.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2016, 01:27:39 PM »
Single infusion at 150 is all you need, trust me on that.


Same thing I do. Still not sold on step and I've tried it. I may revisit soon.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2016, 02:09:03 PM »
Ditto.  And, for only 40 minutes.  ;)
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2016, 02:48:38 PM »
Gordon is an expert beer judge, but not necessarily an expert brewer.  As an opposing view, Jamil Z *is* an expert brewer, and he doesn't do step mashes. 

Gordon won Ninkasi more times, and more recently than JZ. I trust Gordon's cred as a brewer as much as I trust JZ's. That said, you have two excellent brewers who have produced award-winning beers with different methods. That tells me that either method has the potential to produce excellent beer.

Personally, I'm perfectly happy with my beers brewed using a single-infusion mash.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2016, 02:57:07 PM »
Oh... yeah!  Total brain fart.   :-[
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2016, 03:30:16 PM »
I have never won a medal in the NHC, so they are better than I. 
I spent a lot to make my HERMS.  Ask me how often I use it now.......like zero, thanks for asking though.  I never could see any benefit. 
When brewing my Kolsch I mash at 150 too.  The yeast choice makes or breaks this style for me.     
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Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2016, 03:41:14 PM »
Pretty much what I was expecting to hear. I guess it was one of those things I havent tried yet so it came to mind.

150* was the mash temp I had in mind as well.  Thanks ya'll.

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2016, 04:26:44 PM »
I am a very minor award winning brewer, but I am a pragmatic brewer who pays attention to and tests processes.  I have not found any advantage to a step mash that would make me want to do one for any reason other than curiosity.
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Offline beersk

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2016, 04:47:50 PM »
Gonna be the odd man out and say that you SHOULD do a Hochkurz step mash: 145 for 30 minutes (I start with around 1.3qt/lb) infuse with 4-5qts boiling water up to 160 for 45 minutes. Sparge as usual. It's not hard, really, it isn't. This is for 5.25 gallons.
I notice a fuller body with this mash schedule for these styles of beer. Do what you want though... doesn't hurt to try it.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2016, 04:50:48 PM by beersk »
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2016, 05:06:44 PM »
I've been experimenting with step mashing lately myself (hockhurz). I noticed a couple things - I'm seeing more consistent and higher conversion efficiency (which I realize could well be a factor of the longer mash in general) and a bit more control over fermentability.

I'm no expert yet but the jist is the lower beta rest length helps influence attenuation and a long high rest (160f or so) improves body/foam/mouthfeel.

I don't think it's a major, major game changer but I have seen the benefits on consistency, foam, and efficiency.

Offline mpietropaoli

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2016, 06:01:58 PM »
following this thread primarily for the head stability/formation argument.  Reading a lot of German traditionalists will only mash via Hochkurz, contrary to coventional homebrewing wisdom.  I will likely land somewhere between the purists and their 120-minute sparge/lauters and a 40 minute single infusion. 

However, we have noticed on two recent German beers (pils and doppelbock) that while head formation is fine, something is causing it to dissipate quickly.  May give hochkurz a try on our upcoming helles and helles bock.  Or just use some carahell  ;D
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Offline beersk

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2016, 06:49:02 PM »
following this thread primarily for the head stability/formation argument.  Reading a lot of German traditionalists will only mash via Hochkurz, contrary to coventional homebrewing wisdom.  I will likely land somewhere between the purists and their 120-minute sparge/lauters and a 40 minute single infusion. 

However, we have noticed on two recent German beers (pils and doppelbock) that while head formation is fine, something is causing it to dissipate quickly.  May give hochkurz a try on our upcoming helles and helles bock.  Or just use some carahell  ;D
Often times they step up with direct heat and recirculation. Whereas, I'm using infusions...maybe that makes a difference, it's a slower rise. I don't know. I don't have the ability to direct heat for steps, so it's not going to happen. I think the benefits are still there in terms of higher conversion, consistency, and foam stability.
And I'm not sure, Brody, about it necessarily being a longer mash rest, unless you're doing an hour at each step, like Bryan does. I try to make it each to or less than 90 minutes, which is the most I ever do for a single infusion mash.

Try the hochkurz. It's really easy.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Step Mash For Kolsch...
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2016, 06:59:34 PM »
And then there's the decoction advocates....

I think that would be an experiment to do side by side by side.
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