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Author Topic: How Important is a Mash Out?  (Read 13964 times)

Offline KellerBrauer

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How Important is a Mash Out?
« on: May 22, 2021, 06:16:51 am »
The simple question is: How important is a mash out?

Most of my mash schedules include a mash out, but is it effective?  In order to do a mash out, I have to add additional water.  Now the water column increases which - I assume - compresses the grain bed.  So in that case, is a mash out really doing anything useful?
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Offline HopDen

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 06:22:00 am »
The simple question is: How important is a mash out?

Most of my mash schedules include a mash out, but is it effective?  In order to do a mash out, I have to add additional water.  Now the water column increases which - I assume - compresses the grain bed.  So in that case, is a mash out really doing anything useful?

System: 3 vessel herms. I stopped doing mash outs a while back. I think but I may be incorrect but mashing out denatures enzymes. Someone correct me if that is wrong. I figured that I can do that by taking the mash straight to the BK. Time saver for me.

Offline BrewBama

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How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2021, 07:00:30 am »
“On the commercial scale, employing a mashout is important for the purposes of consistency, predictability, and yield.” — Palmer, How to Brew

As it is with many brewing processes, some homebrewers have adopted the method because that’s how commercial brewers brew so that’s how they must brew.

Some say if using a lot of ‘sticky’ grains (i.e. wheat) then a mash out helps with viscosity reducing the chance of a stuck lauter.

Others ignore it altogether under the belief it has no impact on a homebrew scale.

I began using a mash out recently but the reason has nothing to do with enzymes or stuck lauter. I began holding crystal and roast malts to the mash out vorlauf + sparge vorlauf (I do 15 min each now) for a 30 minute total hot steep of those grains.



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« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 12:14:14 pm by BrewBama »

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2021, 07:13:14 am »
Mashout is done to denature all the enzymes and limit fermentability.

After the mash is complete, if you can runoff and bring your wort to a boil within an hour, then you are mashing out on the way up to the boil anyway.  This will result in a typical, "normal" beer that is not too dry and not too full, not too thin and not too sweet, etc.  So then a separate mashout step is completely worthless.

If you're going to dork around for a few hours, then a mashout is useful if you don't want super high fermentability, high ABV, low final gravity, thin body.  But if you don't care about those parameters, then again, mashout is not necessary.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2021, 07:23:19 am »
On the commercial scale, employing a mashout is important for the purposes of consistency, predictability, and yield.

I've worked at 3 commercial breweries and not one of them bothers doing a mash out. Most commercial breweries are either trying to get the first mash run over into the BK or the last mash empty so the brewer can go home.

A lot of time the mash will raise up to 165 during the sparge anyway. There's no convenient way to mash out commercially without adding a lot of extra time to the brew day.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 07:26:39 am by majorvices »

Offline majorvices

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2021, 07:24:38 am »
Mashout is done to denature all the enzymes and limit fermentability.

After the mash is complete, if you can runoff and bring your wort to a boil within an hour, then you are mashing out on the way up to the boil anyway.

+1 --  The enzymes probably take longer to denature than 10 minutes anyway. Best just to move on to a boil. No real need to mash out.

Offline denny

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2021, 08:25:36 am »
With my system its easy to do step mashes so I've tested identical recipes with and without a mashout many times.  I can't tell a difference.
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Offline denny

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2021, 08:26:16 am »
Mashout is done to denature all the enzymes and limit fermentability.

After the mash is complete, if you can runoff and bring your wort to a boil within an hour, then you are mashing out on the way up to the boil anyway.

+1 --  The enzymes probably take longer to denature than 10 minutes anyway. Best just to move on to a boil. No real need to mash out.

20 min. is the minimum time usually cited.
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Offline narcout

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2021, 08:49:36 am »
My standard mash is a two step with rests at around 148° and 163°.  When I had a RIMS, I added a final rest at 170°.  What I noticed is that the wort in the sight glass would be very clear after the 163° rest, but it be absolutely crystal clear after just a few minutes at 170°. 

My assumption is that there must have been some final bits of starch that didn't get converted until that final rest.  Whether or not that's important, I don't know.  Maybe those final bits get converted in the kettle as the wort is coming up to a boil anyway.

Anecdotally, I think there may be some benefits for foam retention.  But I'm not positive, and I don't know what the mechanism would be (glycoprotein formation?).

If I build or buy another recirculating system (and there must be something wrong with me because I've already starting planning it out), I'll be adding that final 170° rest back.
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Offline RC

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2021, 11:13:39 am »
The arguments for mashing out are bunk. By the time you would mash out, nearly all of the starches that are going to be converted have been converted, unless you really screwed up the mash. You're not "locking in" the wort profile in any meaningful way by mashing out. As for the viscosity argument, on the list of variables that are important to control in brewing, the difference in wort viscosity between 160 degrees vs. 170 degrees is at the very the bottom for me...actually it's not even on the list. Where I worked, we viewed mashing out as pointless and never did it.

Mashing out is a holdover from the days of under-modified malt, where there were still enough beta-glucan sugars remaining in the grain that could lead to a more viscous mash that might cause problems lautering. Mashing out might thus be useful for a commercial brewery using under-modified malt. At the homebrew level, IMO it's useless no matter what kind of malt is used.

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2021, 01:13:47 pm »
All fascinating answers and I learned a lot!  Thank you all!!  It seems I’m spinning my wheels with a mash out as that step does not pay any dividends.

Thanks brewers!
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Offline Richard

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2021, 03:04:14 pm »
I have an electric BIAB system, and I pull the bag of grains at around 168-170. I don't do a full rest there, but I do notice that I get 1-2 gravity points on the way up from 162 to 168, which is why I wait until then to pull the bag.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2021, 10:22:47 pm »
I have an electric BIAB system, and I pull the bag of grains at around 168-170. I don't do a full rest there, but I do notice that I get 1-2 gravity points on the way up from 162 to 168, which is why I wait until then to pull the bag.
Similar thing here. I have a Foundry and my mash is pretty much a slow ramp from 147F to 172F. I pull my grains between 172F and 175F. I seem to be getting a bit more efficiency, although I think it is more from having a longer mash than the temperature schedule.

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Offline ravenwater

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2021, 11:31:00 am »
Have never done mash outs in 10+ years of brewing, never seen a need to. For me it would be time wasted in my process. As already pointed out, sparging directly from my mash tun at whatever my mash temp is into my kettle that then immediately gets brought to a boil, there is no need for mash out and enzymes get denatured quickly.
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Offline Cliffs

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Re: How Important is a Mash Out?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2021, 11:49:04 am »
I have a single vessel electric BIAB, so raising temps for my system is easy and quick, I feel like I get clearer wort going to the boil, so I employ a mash out.