Author Topic: Step mashing timing  (Read 4289 times)

Offline embchess

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #45 on: May 19, 2017, 12:02:24 AM »
This was my first question posted to the forum and am really surprised at how sideways it all went. Thank you to those who actually answered it. In case you're curious, I'm doing a step mash because I can. I've read a bunch about step vs single infusion, have done a bunch of all-grain brewing with friends (single infusion) and figured for a Hefeweizen I've wanted for the summer after upgrading my own equipment, let's go for it.  Will it be my go-to approach, who knows? Even though not about my original question, I will say the most helpful comments were the ones that did bring some, dare I say, balance. There is enough opinion out in the world presented as truth, I was surprised to see that from fellow homebrewers. Anyway, thanks everyone for jumping in and I do look forward to learning more from all of you. FWIW.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #46 on: May 19, 2017, 12:19:16 AM »
FWIW, when I step mash, I follow the Hochkurz method, just skipping the protein rest. This method is best outlined here:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Decoction_Mashing#Hochkurz_Double_Decoction

And also FWIW, I do think step mashing brings something to the table, though I'll add that I feel like I need to test things more before I can form a definitive opinion. My thought it that it produces a dryer, more quaffable beer, just not in the traditional FG-type dryness, if that makes sense.

My "best" hochkurz mash beer was a Czech lager that finished at 1.007, down from a 1.058 OG. Usually I'd need sugar to do that, but this was an all-malt grain bill. (Just pils malt and saaz hops.) Again, while I can't definitively say this happened because of the step mash, I do think it brings something to the table.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2017, 12:31:51 AM »
Let's not forget.  Each and every one of us is a moron to somebody.   8)

Only to my wife

Offline Stevie

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2017, 12:36:44 AM »
 If I could do it easily, I'd do it every time. My brew days are a race against the wind which picks up around 11. I need my beer chilled and in the fermenter by then. Adding time for ramps and steps isn't happening. Someday I'll have a b****in auto-magic electric system.

Offline The Beerery

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Step mashing timing
« Reply #49 on: May 19, 2017, 12:55:09 AM »
This was my first question posted to the forum and am really surprised at how sideways it all went. Thank you to those who actually answered it. In case you're curious, I'm doing a step mash because I can. I've read a bunch about step vs single infusion, have done a bunch of all-grain brewing with friends (single infusion) and figured for a Hefeweizen I've wanted for the summer after upgrading my own equipment, let's go for it.  Will it be my go-to approach, who knows? Even though not about my original question, I will say the most helpful comments were the ones that did bring some, dare I say, balance. There is enough opinion out in the world presented as truth, I was surprised to see that from fellow homebrewers. Anyway, thanks everyone for jumping in and I do look forward to learning more from all of you. FWIW.

Awesome! 
I have good luck with this mash schedule. 


The reason for the multiple beta rests is the high gelatinization temp of the malt this year.  When step mashing you have to be in tune with your malt.  Beta enzymes have a half life of about 20 minutes.  You probably won't get anymore beta in the 3rd rest(153) but it's cheap insurance. With step mashing attenuation is set in the mash tun.  This is the same profile I use for hefe weissbier and helles.  Good luck!

Edit: attaching some documentation.
http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/pddvxvf.pdf

http://www.lowoxygenbrewing.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/pkjdf.pdf


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« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 01:02:31 AM by The Beerery »

Offline homoeccentricus

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #50 on: May 19, 2017, 08:13:17 AM »
I was active on this forum for a couple of years, and while I had little fundamental to contribute I did learn a lot from you guys, and had quite a bit of fun while doing so. Alas, there's no more fun to be had here. I do admire the people who try to continue to provide good information.
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Offline zwiller

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #51 on: May 19, 2017, 02:56:52 PM »
I found this thread quite entertaining and didn't see any real harm with the exception of the OT stuff.  If people are offended by this stuff they should visit my family during the holidays where a "spirited" debate is encouraged.   ;D

The hefe is a great style to step mash!  I do a "uber" hochkurz only 15m for both steps so you don't need to go ape to get results.  Just like the pic, foam is silky and lasts along time and there is this richness or thickness added to body but yet attenuation is still great.  To me as BJCP the effect is very authentic compared to infusion BUT a wee bit of flaked wheat would prolly get you similar results.  Like I said though, that is all provided you got your AG process down.  My suggestion to you is to try using all distilled or RO water and add 8oz acid malt (for 5G) to the grist.  That should get you close to something authentic right out of the gate.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #52 on: May 19, 2017, 03:13:29 PM »
I found this thread quite entertaining and didn't see any real harm with the exception of the OT stuff.  If people are offended by this stuff they should visit my family during the holidays where a "spirited" debate is encouraged.   ;D

I don't think "offended" is the right word.  We've grown weary of it, because it's the same bickering that chases from thread to thread.  It's not necessary.  As you can see it's driving people away.

Unlike the holidays, which come but once a year, this crap seems to go on constantly.

As for step mashing, I have nothing to contribute.  I did it once ages and ages ago before I realized I could do an infusion mash which, for my money, works just fine. 
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Offline chinaski

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #53 on: May 19, 2017, 03:22:48 PM »
Sorry chief. They are not my beliefs they are proven scientific and sensory analysis reports.

As a scientist and educator, I have to take issue with the term "proven."  Good science doesn't prove anything; it just tests if existing data are consistent with a hypothesis.  This is what makes science a process- its always open to additional data that questions previous results.

I tell all of my students this, and its a pet peeve of mine to ever use the word "proven" or "proof" when talking about science.  The term misrepresents what science is, and causes a lot of confusion.  Just look at climate change deniers for a shining example.

Onward!

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #54 on: May 19, 2017, 03:29:14 PM »
This was my first question posted to the forum and am really surprised at how sideways it all went. Thank you to those who actually answered it. In case you're curious, I'm doing a step mash because I can. I've read a bunch about step vs single infusion, have done a bunch of all-grain brewing with friends (single infusion) and figured for a Hefeweizen I've wanted for the summer after upgrading my own equipment, let's go for it.  Will it be my go-to approach, who knows? Even though not about my original question, I will say the most helpful comments were the ones that did bring some, dare I say, balance. There is enough opinion out in the world presented as truth, I was surprised to see that from fellow homebrewers. Anyway, thanks everyone for jumping in and I do look forward to learning more from all of you. FWIW.

Doing a step mash or decoction mash, "because I can and want to" is the best reason.
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Offline stpug

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2017, 05:39:25 PM »
This was my first question posted to the forum and am really surprised at how sideways it all went. Thank you to those who actually answered it. In case you're curious, I'm doing a step mash because I can. I've read a bunch about step vs single infusion, have done a bunch of all-grain brewing with friends (single infusion) and figured for a Hefeweizen I've wanted for the summer after upgrading my own equipment, let's go for it.  Will it be my go-to approach, who knows? Even though not about my original question, I will say the most helpful comments were the ones that did bring some, dare I say, balance. There is enough opinion out in the world presented as truth, I was surprised to see that from fellow homebrewers. Anyway, thanks everyone for jumping in and I do look forward to learning more from all of you. FWIW.

I didn't realize you were already pretty familiar with all grain brewing. I thought you were basically stepping out from partial boil extract batches into your first all grain without any actual first-hand experience.  Since you have experience with all grain and are versed in the methods, then I'll change my recommendation.  I previously suggested starting with a single-infusion, but considering the new information I think a step mash is superior.  I've run the gambit of brewing methods and have settled on step mashing for every beer - I cannot perceive a downside, and I DO perceive many upsides (i.e. improved foam retention, improved body, refined residual sweetness, increase extraction).  It comes at the cost of a little extra mashing time, but for me the benefits outweigh the costs.  I also do a med-low beta rest (144-146), high alpha rest (160-164), finished with mashout (170-172); each with varying times depending on my finished beer profile desires of the aforementioned beer qualities.

I would love to hear back on your brewday when you finally get around to brewing this step mashed beer.  I'm interested in your perceptions of the difficulty and success of hitting your steps.  Cheers and have fun with it - it's just beer!  ;D

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #56 on: May 20, 2017, 12:31:28 AM »
I've read that there is a chance with highly modified malts that a step mash (the protein rest, specifically) may degrade proteins too much and can cause a loss of body and head. With beers that have some sugar in them, the danger is greater.


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Offline The Beerery

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Step mashing timing
« Reply #57 on: May 20, 2017, 01:13:29 AM »
Yes on the protein. There is really no reason to dough in below 131, except for Weiss of course (acid rest), even then though I ramp right though traditional protein temps. I dough in all other beers at 131 as it allows me to start recirculating, get pH correct, get flow correct, etc and proceed before any enzymatic activity starts so I can be in prime time when they start chomping.


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« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 01:15:57 AM by The Beerery »

Offline scrap iron

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #58 on: May 20, 2017, 12:49:58 PM »
Some people have busy lives and don't have alot of time for their hobbies. Others have more time, like me I'm retired. Some people like things simple and others are more curious. I am a former mechanic and Army  Engineer, I like to tinker with things. This is the reason I step mash, I got time and I like to tinker. I have noticed an improvement in dept of flavor and foam in my beers. To the OP go for it, but leave out the Protein Rest if using highly modified malts.    This constant friction on the forum sucks, different strokes for different folks, live and let live, do your thing and I'll do mine.    "Sometimes it be like that"- my friend Reggie.                                 
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Offline chumley

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Re: Step mashing timing
« Reply #59 on: May 20, 2017, 01:43:07 PM »
I am another fan of step mashes, especially for Belgian beers.  They just seem a little more complex, not too dry, not underattenuated, just right.

I like this one posted earlier in this thread:



I would combine the 144 and 148 into one rest, and skip the 170 mashout (I batch sparge and the sparge will take care of the 170 mashout).