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Author Topic: Step Mash for NEIPA?  (Read 452 times)

Offline skyler

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Step Mash for NEIPA?
« on: May 10, 2024, 10:51:08 am »
Does anyone employ a step mash in a NEIPA? Is there any benefit?

I brew one hazy IPA a year for my daughter’s birthday party because that’s what dads who come and know I brew beer want to drink. I don’t love the style, but I try to brew it well. I brew in a 240v Anvil Foundry now, with the same pump I always used in my old DIY “Frankenstein” system.

I don’t need to hear advice on O2 scrubbing, as I am already aware of all I can and can’t do to remove O2 from the brew. I still choose to use the pump to recirculate, despite the O2 pickup (the beer gets consumed in one day or at least within 2 weeks, FWIW.

But since it is easy for me to run a step mash with the Foundry, I often opt to run a 145-158-168F mash with this setup for beers that I would usually have just run at 152F for 60 mins with no mashout in my older system. I don’t always see a benefit, but just enjoy that I can do it, and haven’t made a bad beer doing this. However, I know with Hazies sometimes get mashed very high (156 to 160F) to maximize body without employing crystal malts. Is there a downside to employing a 30-45 min rest at 145/146F? Is there a downside to adding dextrose to bump up ABV a bit? I also see sugar in a lot of hazy recipes out there, so it seems like that’s okay, but since I brew and drink these infrequently, I’m curious what the consensus is.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Step Mash for NEIPA?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2024, 08:42:57 am »
I think that really depends on the recipe and the desired end result. If you're already using adjuncts like oats for mouthfeel, then I don't know that you absolutely need to mash high on top of that. But if you're shooting for a milkshake with a high FG, then you're probably working against yourself by doing a step mash.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Step Mash for NEIPA?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2024, 11:56:47 pm »
I guess I am too ignorant of the style to know what I am shooting for. Balanced enough that it isn’t weird, but NEIPA-enough that it tastes like a NEIPA and not a bad WCIPA? Recipes I have seen have been all over the place, but I have noted higher mash temps like 156F seem common. In the past I used a lot of flaked adjuncts, but this time just a bit of wheat malt and golden naked oats, as well as some carafoam on top of US 2-row. I used pretty soft water with a 3/1 chloride/sulfate ratio. I did opt to do 145-158-168F just because no one had replied to me before I wanted to brew. So we’ll see if I regret the 145F rest. Hopped to about 35 IBUs with a little Centennial CO2 extract, some Idaho 7 at 5 mins, and Idaho 7, Citra, Cryo Mosaic, and Strata in the whirlpool. Will dry hop a little Citra just as Krausen thins, then dump 1 oz/gallon of hops in just after Krausen falls. Then I’ll decide whether I want to force carbonate or keg condition.


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Offline erockrph

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Re: Step Mash for NEIPA?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2024, 10:17:11 am »
I guess I am too ignorant of the style to know what I am shooting for. Balanced enough that it isn’t weird, but NEIPA-enough that it tastes like a NEIPA and not a bad WCIPA? Recipes I have seen have been all over the place, but I have noted higher mash temps like 156F seem common. In the past I used a lot of flaked adjuncts, but this time just a bit of wheat malt and golden naked oats, as well as some carafoam on top of US 2-row. I used pretty soft water with a 3/1 chloride/sulfate ratio. I did opt to do 145-158-168F just because no one had replied to me before I wanted to brew. So we’ll see if I regret the 145F rest. Hopped to about 35 IBUs with a little Centennial CO2 extract, some Idaho 7 at 5 mins, and Idaho 7, Citra, Cryo Mosaic, and Strata in the whirlpool. Will dry hop a little Citra just as Krausen thins, then dump 1 oz/gallon of hops in just after Krausen falls. Then I’ll decide whether I want to force carbonate or keg condition.
Of all the factors contributing to how this beer will turn out, your mash schedule will have the least impact in my opinion.
Eric B.

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Offline majorvices

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Re: Step Mash for NEIPA?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2024, 07:43:02 am »
Agree with erockrph -- what do you think you will achieve with a step mash? Single infusion will be fine for this --- and most beers for that matter with most (but not all!) malts. For a NEIPA focus on your hopping--short boil is common, all hops added within last 10 minutes with heavy emphasis on WP hopping and add hops during active fermentation. Yeast selection is crucial -- I have good results with the Cosmic Punch "thiolized" yeast by Omega.

Offline HEUBrewer

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Re: Step Mash for NEIPA?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2024, 06:00:40 pm »
If you are using modern well modified malts I don’t see the point.  If not then step mash away.   


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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Step Mash for NEIPA?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2024, 02:40:12 pm »
If you are using modern well modified malts I don’t see the point.  If not then step mash away.   

For a mash that targets a temperature above the gelatinization temperature for all the grains in the grist, then there probably isn't a lot of benefit. But reportedly, the gelatinization temperature of many grains has increased in the last decades and it is possible that some lower temperature steps might not be high enough to gelatinize the extract from the grist. That temp varies, but I understand that some are now falling in the range around 150F and some brewers mash at a slightly lower temp and can have problems with the mash for that reason.
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