Author Topic: Mash Temps  (Read 1506 times)

Offline zwiller

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2016, 09:56:39 AM »
The one difference I'm absolutely convinced of is the benefit of better foam from the alpha rest @ 160-162F. It's an easily noticeable difference IMO.

Interesting.  I haven't heard of that but might have to toy with it now based on your endorsement of it.

Sub 160 it's not as pronounced, but 160-162F for 45 mins and the foam has been thicker and more persistent than the single mashed lagers for me every time.


Edit - Though adding ~ 2.5% flaked barley does seem to approximate that in a single infused beer IMO.

I did a real short step (uber hochkurz  ;D) 15m per step and even then I noticed the foam improvement too.  Is it necessary?  I don't know but it was noticeable and pretty cool.  I use 5% flaked wheat in my infusions to achieve similar results.   

It's pretty much like anything, try things and find out for yourself and enjoy the ride.  Dare I say this but I would say there is probably only a 10% difference in all various mashing techniques.  I remember at one time worrying a 3 hour decoction mash would result in a super malty sweet beer and then it basically the same results as an infusion...  Going back to pH, I find higher to be more malty and lower drier and the flavor impact far more than temp.  That said, the grist still is king.
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Offline denny

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2016, 10:42:33 AM »
Oh I'm not say g it's bad to do biab. Not in the least bit. I would just like to get to the point where I'm using a 3 kettle system. Kinda experience everything in the whole brew. I did my first biab for my most recent brew. Still fermenting now but the flavor from my samples for Gravity tests are AWESOME. I used brulosophys (m)Oktoberfest recipe. This is also the first time I really paid a lot of attention to fermentation temps so that could be part of it. Just glad to be getting better at this!


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Of course, you can use any equipment you want to.  But lemme tell ya, there's nothing magical about a 3 kettle system that will make better beer.  I have used a very basic system for 19 years and over 500 batches and I have no intention of changing.  Not to mention that I've won a lot of awards with it.  Take a look at www.dennybrew.com for how simple it can be to make great beer and have a great time doing it.  And as you say, fermentation temps are what makes the difference.  If you can't control your fermentation, all the other work you've done is wasted.
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Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2016, 11:45:06 AM »
Oh I'm not say g it's bad to do biab. Not in the least bit. I would just like to get to the point where I'm using a 3 kettle system. Kinda experience everything in the whole brew. I did my first biab for my most recent brew. Still fermenting now but the flavor from my samples for Gravity tests are AWESOME. I used brulosophys (m)Oktoberfest recipe. This is also the first time I really paid a lot of attention to fermentation temps so that could be part of it. Just glad to be getting better at this!


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Of course, you can use any equipment you want to.  But lemme tell ya, there's nothing magical about a 3 kettle system that will make better beer.  I have used a very basic system for 19 years and over 500 batches and I have no intention of changing.  Not to mention that I've won a lot of awards with it.  Take a look at www.dennybrew.com for how simple it can be to make great beer and have a great time doing it.  And as you say, fermentation temps are what makes the difference.  If you can't control your fermentation, all the other work you've done is wasted.

I actually just checked that out on my lunch break! Pretty informative!

And I know the differences are minor. It's more of a desire to give it a try to see how I like it. I should prolly check out a local brew club to actually witness a 3 tier setup. Who knows. I may like it better than Biab. But I enjoyed Biab more than extract so far. At least for this one time I have done it. Not knocking on extract, I just felt like I was a little more in control of the process.

Offline denny

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2016, 11:49:57 AM »
I actually just checked that out on my lunch break! Pretty informative!

And I know the differences are minor. It's more of a desire to give it a try to see how I like it. I should prolly check out a local brew club to actually witness a 3 tier setup. Who knows. I may like it better than Biab. But I enjoyed Biab more than extract so far. At least for this one time I have done it. Not knocking on extract, I just felt like I was a little more in control of the process.

Start simple and work up to it.  That was my plan.  I figured I'd use that equipment for while then get a big fancy setup.  But I never found a reason to do that!  If you start with a setup like mine, you can start doing AG easily and inexpensively.  And nearly everything there can also be used for a bigger setup if you decide that's what you want to do.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2016, 11:52:15 AM »
I actually just checked that out on my lunch break! Pretty informative!

And I know the differences are minor. It's more of a desire to give it a try to see how I like it. I should prolly check out a local brew club to actually witness a 3 tier setup. Who knows. I may like it better than Biab. But I enjoyed Biab more than extract so far. At least for this one time I have done it. Not knocking on extract, I just felt like I was a little more in control of the process.

Start simple and work up to it.  That was my plan.  I figured I'd use that equipment for while then get a big fancy setup.  But I never found a reason to do that!  If you start with a setup like mine, you can start doing AG easily and inexpensively.  And nearly everything there can also be used for a bigger setup if you decide that's what you want to do.


Never found a reason to upgrade either. I love the simplicity and consistency of cooler mashing (and dennybrew.com, too).
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2016, 12:10:30 PM »
FWIW, I had a full PID controlled electric setup, and switched to Denny's method. It isn't as precise, but the beer is just as good and it's much easier for me to setup/teardown, and clean.
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Offline denny

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2016, 12:24:51 PM »
FWIW, I had a full PID controlled electric setup, and switched to Denny's method. It isn't as precise, but the beer is just as good and it's much easier for me to setup/teardown, and clean.

One of the people who convinced me to switch to batch sparging in 1998 stopped using a full blown Sabco Brew Magic and went to batch sparging in a cooler.  I had so much respect for him that I decided I needed to try it myself.  I was hooked.
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Offline zwiller

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #37 on: August 23, 2016, 01:47:16 PM »
I actually just checked that out on my lunch break! Pretty informative!

And I know the differences are minor. It's more of a desire to give it a try to see how I like it. I should prolly check out a local brew club to actually witness a 3 tier setup. Who knows. I may like it better than Biab. But I enjoyed Biab more than extract so far. At least for this one time I have done it. Not knocking on extract, I just felt like I was a little more in control of the process.

Start simple and work up to it.  That was my plan.  I figured I'd use that equipment for while then get a big fancy setup.  But I never found a reason to do that!  If you start with a setup like mine, you can start doing AG easily and inexpensively.  And nearly everything there can also be used for a bigger setup if you decide that's what you want to do.
Never found a reason to upgrade either. I love the simplicity and consistency of cooler mashing (and dennybrew.com, too).
+1  I am 100% confident that I would not be here without trying the batch sparge.  OMG the 6-8 hour brew days in the day... 

The 3 tier systems seem dangerous to me and I am a pretty laidback dude.
Sam
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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #38 on: August 23, 2016, 02:31:24 PM »
+1  I am 100% confident that I would not be here without trying the batch sparge.  OMG the 6-8 hour brew days in the day... 

The 3 tier systems seem dangerous to me and I am a pretty laidback dude.



Couldn't agree more. I remember those long, frustrating brew days (former fly sparger back in the day). Now brew days are so much smoother and easier.
Jon H.

Offline deadpoetic0077

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #39 on: August 23, 2016, 03:16:36 PM »
Maybe I'm getting mixed up on my terminology. I'm talking like using the dennybrew setup. That looked like what I would like to get to eventually. But for now, BIAB seems like a lot of fun and really easy to do. Who knows, I may just stay with Biab. My efficiency for my first go around was 72% and the flavor so far is good. I mean I don't have much of a reason to change as of now.

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #40 on: August 23, 2016, 03:25:49 PM »
Maybe I'm getting mixed up on my terminology. I'm talking like using the dennybrew setup. That looked like what I would like to get to eventually. But for now, BIAB seems like a lot of fun and really easy to do. Who knows, I may just stay with Biab. My efficiency for my first go around was 72% and the flavor so far is good. I mean I don't have much of a reason to change as of now.


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Offline Visor

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #41 on: August 23, 2016, 04:08:24 PM »
You should be able to get that down to 1 degree or less with enough gentle stirring.

Yep. I don't have trouble getting a uniform mash temp. I wonder about Visor's thermometer.
  Oh sure, blame the inanimate object ;). I learned a very long time ago to never place total trust in anything that has moving parts, which includes thermometers. I typically use a floating thermo and a lab thermo rubber banded together with the sensing bulbs parallel [and some of you thought you were anal]. The two meters register about a degree and a half different so I split the difference. I also do stir more than I should if HSA is taken into consideration. My point is that I suspect what takes place in my mash tun is pretty typical of what takes place in almost everyone else's mash tun, and that is that we're not achieving the degree of temperature control that we'd like to believe we are getting, and yet for most brewers the beer turns out quite drinkable, at the very least. If you can dial your mash temp in to within 1/2 a degree without busting a gut, cool. If not, don't sweat the petty stuff.
   And FWIW, my brew day is never less than 6 hours and batch sparging hasn't significantly shortened it, but it has improved yields and is a lot less dickin' around than fly sparging.
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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2016, 04:27:47 PM »
You should be able to get that down to 1 degree or less with enough gentle stirring.

Yep. I don't have trouble getting a uniform mash temp. I wonder about Visor's thermometer.
  Oh sure, blame the inanimate object ;). I learned a very long time ago to never place total trust in anything that has moving parts, which includes thermometers. I typically use a floating thermo and a lab thermo rubber banded together with the sensing bulbs parallel [and some of you thought you were anal]. The two meters register about a degree and a half different so I split the difference. I also do stir more than I should if HSA is taken into consideration. My point is that I suspect what takes place in my mash tun is pretty typical of what takes place in almost everyone else's mash tun, and that is that we're not achieving the degree of temperature control that we'd like to believe we are getting, and yet for most brewers the beer turns out quite drinkable, at the very least. If you can dial your mash temp in to within 1/2 a degree without busting a gut, cool. If not, don't sweat the petty stuff.
   And FWIW, my brew day is never less than 6 hours and batch sparging hasn't significantly shortened it, but it has improved yields and is a lot less dickin' around than fly sparging.




I'm definitely not ever convinced that my thermometer reads exactly accurately (though Thermowerks makes nice products). But it reads accurately and consistently enough to help me make good beer. It's just that when I read that you're reading "10 or 15 degrees difference in areas only a few inches apart, although usually it's closer to 5 or so degrees", it generally makes me think it's one of two things:  1/ Mash not stirred thoroughly enough, which seems to not be the case here, or   2/ Thermometer inaccuracy. I meant no offense by it whatsoever, but I've brewed for over two decades and am able to reach a mash temp within a degree F in maybe 5 minutes of gentle stirring each time. I was just puzzled.
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Offline Visor

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2016, 05:59:24 AM »
   No offense was taken [at least not by me, the inanimate object I'm sure has no feelings to hurt]. I do stir pretty thoroughly but not continuously. I always can find spots with a temperature several degrees higher or lower than the bulk of the mash, as I said usually not more than 5 degrees but occasionally as much as 10 or 15 degrees. It probably isn't an ideal situation, but I don't freak out about it. I may be more anal than most about sampling temps in a number of spots, that could partially explain my different experience.
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Offline santoch

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Re: Mash Temps
« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2016, 07:38:27 PM »
Go with a batch sparge using a water/grist ratio of about 1.75 to 2 qts/lb, stir the heck out of it, and recirculate a little bit (even manually using a pitcher or something like that) after stirring to help set up your grain bed and flush out some of the particulate from in your line.  Your mash temp will be very uniform after that.
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