Author Topic: Starting the mash COLD ?  (Read 1544 times)

Offline beerocd

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Starting the mash COLD ?
« on: August 09, 2010, 12:51:03 PM »
Ice cold tap water, I threw in the grains and have it coming up to holding temp. Does this change anything in the final product? I suppose it may depend how quickly I get the temp rise. It was done for no special reason on my part - I could just wait a while and I will find out I guess.

Edit: OK on the way up, the grain will trap heat and cause a BURP. I have maybe half a shot glass on the stove. No biggie.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 01:30:08 PM by beerocd »
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Offline narvin

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 01:00:58 PM »
Some commercial breweries (Dupont, IIRC) use a long rising infusion mash for very high fermentability.  That said, it's going to depend on how long it takes you to get from dough in to your alpha rest (150s).
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Offline witsok

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 06:25:05 PM »
Actually I dough-in with cold tap water.  In the summer that will be in the 60's and in the winter high 40's to low 50's.  I get this all mixed together to start hydrating the malt while I bring my first infusion to a boil.  Generally this take 15-20 minutes.  I find this much faster and easier than trying to hit just the intermediate right temperature.  Plus I don't have to worry about dough balls.

X amount of cold water + Y amount boil water equals just the right intermedate temperature.  The calculations are not difficult, you can find them in my article in the May/June 2005 Zymurgy, Maximize Your Mash

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2010, 08:16:57 PM »
I also heard that Czech breweries are doughing in at 90F well under any particular rest temps.
Once the whole grain amount is in then they raise the temp.
It depends how fast you are raising your temp.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2010, 09:03:37 PM »
I also heard that Czech breweries are doughing in at 90F well under any particular rest temps.
Once the whole grain amount is in then they raise the temp.
It depends how fast you are raising your temp.
Actually, 90F is in the acid rest range, where phytase helps acidify the mash.

Do you think Czech breweries are still doing that?  I figured with the modern understanding of malting and mashing, they would know how to acidify the mash without it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline babalu87

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 05:38:07 AM »
Something I always think of when I am dumping all that hot water on those cool grains is the effect it might be having on them.
Not the whole grist but the part that is in contact with the hot water at the start.

Something worth thinking about anyway.
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Offline denny

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2010, 08:18:15 AM »
Something I always think of when I am dumping all that hot water on those cool grains is the effect it might be having on them.
Not the whole grist but the part that is in contact with the hot water at the start.

Something worth thinking about anyway.

I don't think there's really any ill effect at all.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2010, 08:42:35 AM »
Something I always think of when I am dumping all that hot water on those cool grains is the effect it might be having on them.
Not the whole grist but the part that is in contact with the hot water at the start.

Something worth thinking about anyway.

I don't think there's really any ill effect at all.
Yeah, I'm with Denny.  What sort of effects are you thinking about?
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Offline babalu87

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2010, 09:04:56 AM »
I dont know IF there are any ill effects at all.

Come Winter (my basement hits 45 or so and thats where the grains are)  I am dumping grain into gallons of water that are around 180. We all know enzymatic action starts to happen about instantly.

Most commercial/micro/pub brewers mix the grist/water as it goes into the mash tun. One obvious reason would be that it is because of the system.
Well why was the system invented, purely out of convenience/production speed?

Surely it would be impossible for Bud to have someone standing on a cat walk stirring one of those giant mash tuns they use.

The only way to know what, if any effect it might have is to brew the same batch with the only difference being:

One is mashed in with cool water and heated, the other done as we all currently mash.

Jeff

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Offline beerocd

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2010, 09:17:42 AM »

Yeah, I'm with Denny.  What sort of effects are you thinking about?

I'm with babalu, not that it would make the beer better or worse necessarily - at least not to a perceptible level. But think of bread flour; fresh ground has more nutrients because it hasn't oxidized yet. Conversely, you can make a more pliable dough with flour that has been aired out a few days. So things like - do the yeast have an easier time in fresh ground grist; am I getting the max out of my grain by starting out with hot or cold mash water. Inconsequential really, but still just something one wonders about. I think this type of minutiae are not studied much probably because beer is not thought of as a nutritive food.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2010, 09:50:04 AM »
I guess there's only one way to find out. 

Brew back to back batches with the same recipe only changing the mash schedule and do a blind tasting.
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Offline beerocd

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2010, 09:53:57 AM »
It'll be a while. I did back to back last night and it was a comedy of errors. From having to take the mill apart, to pitching the yeast I harvested into the wrong batch, and then some...  >:(

It's beer anyway.
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2010, 10:01:33 AM »
Something I always think of when I am dumping all that hot water on those cool grains is the effect it might be having on them.
Not the whole grist but the part that is in contact with the hot water at the start.

Something worth thinking about anyway.

Essentially, even at 180F, the enzymes do not denature "instantly".  Yes, some will, but because only a small percentage of the grist is subjec to the temperature for such a short time, my intuition is that there is not much to worry about.  If you do denature a quantity of enzymes, then you just have to let the mash go a little longer before full conversion.  If you denature a disproportionate amount of Alpha vs Beta amalyse, then adjust your mash temperature up or down to compensate.

In the end, if you are producing the kind of wort you want, then relax and have a homebrew :D !  If not, then just compensate with time or temp.

Also, I know that there are some "pro brewer's" papers that have been written about enzymes and the half lives at different temperatures.  If you are looking for some hard data, then looking one of those up may be your answer.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2010, 10:50:44 AM »
shouldn't have any problem, and enzymes don't denature instantly but will denature quite quickly.  and once denatured. they don't reform by cooling back down
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Offline susanr

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Re: Starting the mash COLD ?
« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2010, 11:11:21 AM »
Ice cold tap water, I threw in the grains and have it coming up to holding temp. Does this change anything in the final product? I suppose it may depend how quickly I get the temp rise. It was done for no special reason on my part - I could just wait a while and I will find out I guess.

Edit: OK on the way up, the grain will trap heat and cause a BURP. I have maybe half a shot glass on the stove. No biggie.

Hi,  The short answer to this is that you should make a very good beer whether you mash in cold (acid rest) - or whether you choose to mash in at the protein rest or at sachrification.

The long answer is that the different methods will make different beers - if you heat quickly up to around 150 quite quickly - not much different - slower and you will hit each rest for a short time as you go up - and how this effects the final beer is very dependent on the beer style you are making and whether you are using American or European grains.  Books could be written on this and then they would have to be rewritten as the malts and malting companies change their procedures.

I would worry more about the heat trapped in the mash - if you are heating your grain in this manner you should stir constantly to avoid heat pockets and scorching. 

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Susan
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