Author Topic: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)  (Read 383 times)

Offline mabrungard

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Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« on: May 30, 2022, 05:14:49 pm »
Here is a short article on a likely reason brewers have trouble with getting enough body in their dark beers.

https://www.brunwater.com/articles/adding-body-to-your-stout

Brought to you by Bru'n Water, be sure to check out the other brewing articles on the site. 
Martin B
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2022, 06:13:06 pm »
Good article. Thx for posting.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2022, 08:24:19 pm »
i liked the pH parts, but inb4 certain posters (who i do in fact trust the opinion of) debate the "flaked barley adds body with muh beta glucans".

i used to believe in that bit as a default thing, but have really questioned it over the past 3 stouts with varying amts of flaked barley ive done (questioned, not entirely dismissed)

Offline erockrph

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2022, 07:36:04 am »
Interesting post. The biggest improvement I've ever made to my porters and stouts was moving to a target of 5.5-5.6 for my mash pH range. The quality of the roast flavor improved dramatically - much less acrid/ashtray.

The proteolytic enzyme activity thing is interesting. What enzymes have activity at mash temps? And wouldn't it stand to reason that other beers would experience the same decreased body issues when mashed at a lower pH, not just dark beer?
Eric B.

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Offline narvin

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2022, 08:25:46 am »
Interesting post. The biggest improvement I've ever made to my porters and stouts was moving to a target of 5.5-5.6 for my mash pH range. The quality of the roast flavor improved dramatically - much less acrid/ashtray.

The proteolytic enzyme activity thing is interesting. What enzymes have activity at mash temps? And wouldn't it stand to reason that other beers would experience the same decreased body issues when mashed at a lower pH, not just dark beer?

Yes, and in fact this is one reason that there is often a separate mash addition and boil/knockout addition of acid for pale beers that benefit from a low pH.  I'm sure Narziss has something to say about it in German.

Offline Cliffs

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2022, 08:57:46 am »
Interesting post. The biggest improvement I've ever made to my porters and stouts was moving to a target of 5.5-5.6 for my mash pH range. The quality of the roast flavor improved dramatically - much less acrid/ashtray.

The proteolytic enzyme activity thing is interesting. What enzymes have activity at mash temps? And wouldn't it stand to reason that other beers would experience the same decreased body issues when mashed at a lower pH, not just dark beer?

Just my 2 cents that arent worth a penny, but yeast choice is massive when it comes to dark beers. WLP028 is an amazing yeast to use for darker beers. It  emphasizes a round malt profile.

Offline fredthecat

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2022, 11:05:08 am »
Interesting post. The biggest improvement I've ever made to my porters and stouts was moving to a target of 5.5-5.6 for my mash pH range. The quality of the roast flavor improved dramatically - much less acrid/ashtray.

The proteolytic enzyme activity thing is interesting. What enzymes have activity at mash temps? And wouldn't it stand to reason that other beers would experience the same decreased body issues when mashed at a lower pH, not just dark beer?

Just my 2 cents that arent worth a penny, but yeast choice is massive when it comes to dark beers. WLP028 is an amazing yeast to use for darker beers. It  emphasizes a round malt profile.

yes, definitely. i used a relative of WLP007 from omega and it really shows off hops, but is pretty weak on malt flavours. a bad choice i found out for a stout.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2022, 02:41:02 pm »
And wouldn't it stand to reason that other beers would experience the same decreased body issues when mashed at a lower pH, not just dark beer?

Definitely!  I've made the mistake of mashing a pale beer at too low of a pH and it did lack body.  It was nice and cleanly fermented, but damage done to the wort body during mashing was too much.  While it takes a bit more effort to produce an overly low pH when mashing a pale beer, it is possible...and not desirable. 
Martin B
Carmel, IN

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Offline erockrph

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2022, 02:53:00 pm »
And wouldn't it stand to reason that other beers would experience the same decreased body issues when mashed at a lower pH, not just dark beer?

Definitely!  I've made the mistake of mashing a pale beer at too low of a pH and it did lack body.  It was nice and cleanly fermented, but damage done to the wort body during mashing was too much.  While it takes a bit more effort to produce an overly low pH when mashing a pale beer, it is possible...and not desirable.
Interesting! Since I no-sparge I've always just planned one salt and acid addition in my mash water and let it ride from there. I might have to play with multiple acid additions in small beers to see if I notice any change in the body of the beer by mashing closer to 5.6
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline narvin

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Re: Adding Body to your Stout (and other dark styles)
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2022, 03:49:51 pm »
And wouldn't it stand to reason that other beers would experience the same decreased body issues when mashed at a lower pH, not just dark beer?

Definitely!  I've made the mistake of mashing a pale beer at too low of a pH and it did lack body.  It was nice and cleanly fermented, but damage done to the wort body during mashing was too much.  While it takes a bit more effort to produce an overly low pH when mashing a pale beer, it is possible...and not desirable.
Interesting! Since I no-sparge I've always just planned one salt and acid addition in my mash water and let it ride from there. I might have to play with multiple acid additions in small beers to see if I notice any change in the body of the beer by mashing closer to 5.6

This is just my experience, but I wouldnt sweat a mash pH of 5.4.  I am more careful about acidifying post boil when Im aiming for 5.2 or so (room temp).  But its worth trying for dark beers.  i havent mashed at 5.6 in a while but I might give it a go again for my next porter.