Author Topic: Do I need a rest?  (Read 2093 times)

Offline dons

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Do I need a rest?
« on: January 27, 2011, 05:52:58 AM »
I'm fairly new to home brewing and have "lurked" on this board a while and learned a LOT. 
I currently have my first all grain in bottles and waiting for the taste, but my expectation is
that it will be good, but thin and watery as my extract batches have been. 

Desparately trying to figure out the reason (and part of it is that my sparging equipment is
woefully inadequate for the new quantity of mash), I came across varied opinions on rests
during the brewing process.  Those are Protein Rest, Sachrification (sp?) Rest and Acid
Rest. 

Apparently Acid rest is not needed any longer.  Protein rest seems to be rather in vogue,
but John Palmer writes "In fact, using a protein rest on fully modified malts tends to remove
most of the body of a beer, leaving it thin and watery. Most base malt in use in the world today
is fully modified."  I'm wondering then if my "rests" are doing exactly what he's suggesting.

Many thanks in advance for any comments - please KIS for the noob.

Don
I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 06:14:56 AM »
I consider Palmer's advice on modern malts to be accurate.  You really don't need to do anything other than a saccharification rest to achieve good results. 

The only time I feel that a brewer should consider a low temp rest is to promote the formation of Ferulic compounds and 4VG for that clove component in German Weizens. 

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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 08:57:16 AM »
For me it kind of depends on the style I'm brewing.  If I'm brewing a German style that traditionally uses a step/decoction mash with the various rests, I might go ahead and do that.  I'd keep the protein rest short, I don't think you are going to go from good to no body in 15 minutes.  I also use the malts specific to that country, I figure they are part of the reason behind using the specific mashes to begin with.

This doesn't mean that it is absolutely necessary, in fact people argue the heck about decoction mashing.  Its kind of fun to fiddle with the stuff though, and experience the traditional ways to get a full sense of the depth of brewing.
Lennie
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 08:59:28 AM »
And oddly enough, even though I've brewed quite a few weizens I haven't done the ferulic acid rest.  I started off not really liking the clove aspect of the beers, its grown on me but I feel like I get plenty without trying to accentuate it further.

Putting this on my mental list of things to try soon...
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline denny

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 09:41:23 AM »
Don, the main difference in all those rests is temp.  If you've been doing a single rest in the area of 152-158F, you should be good.  If you;ve been resting at lower temps, it could be adversely affecting the body of your beer.  I'm curious, though, why you would expect this beer to be thin like your extract beers.  You;re using totally different ingredients and process, so I'd expect totally different results.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 10:14:07 AM »
I presume you are using a single infusion with a batch sparge. In order to achieve more body in your finished product is to mash (saccharification rest) higher. I would infuse the grist to hit a mash temp of 154-158F. Let it rest there for at least 60min. This will give your beer more body.
Ron Price

Offline denny

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 11:00:18 AM »
I think it's important to note that Don doesn't know if he's got a body problem with this beer.  It's his first AG and he hasn't tasted it yet.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 11:02:29 AM »
I think it's important to note that Don doesn't know if he's got a body problem with this beer.  It's his first AG and he hasn't tasted it yet.

True. He may find it to be just fine.
Ron Price

Offline denny

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 11:34:47 AM »
Worrying about a problem you may not have is like paying interest on a debt you may not owe!
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Offline dons

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 11:46:54 AM »
Well, the reason I'm worried about the body is threefold.  My last 5 batches have been thin.  Secondly, the tasting at bottling time, while pretty good, was watery.  Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, no one (I knew) told me about the issue with sparging an all-grain;  that is, that my tiny little masher (coleman mini-cooler from a kit some time ago), while fine for extract beers, was overwhelmed with the quantity of mash.  I KNOW I did not get a good sparge at all - left a ton of sugars, but I made the decision to move on.

As a friend said,  "call it lite, live and learn, have a home brew".  My learning entailed doing a bunch of research and I think I now have a good solution for me.  I am going to use Papazian's suggestion for a lauter tun (page 276, Zapap) and jack up the amount of water I sparge with from 3 to 3.5 gallons and work like heck until I'm sure the sugars are seeped out.

I'm still learning and will be forever at this.  That's what makes it fun, right?  ...   Right?    ...  Right?  lol
Thanks, guys!
Don (aka Oscar)
I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Offline denny

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 11:55:10 AM »
Don, check out my Cheap'n'Easy method at www.dennybrew.com.

I'm still not convinced you have a problem and if this is your first AG then there's really no comparison to previous batches.  Another thing to do would be to check your thermometer calibration.  If it reads high, you're mashing at too low a temp which will lead to a beer with less body.  And while you're here, post you recipe...it will help us get a better idea of where you're heading.  I don't think the amount of sparge water you used has anything to do with it.
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Offline dons

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2011, 12:18:17 PM »
Thanks, Denny.  For what it's worth, here is the recipe I used (is a collaboration between me, a friend and brew store).  Actually, this is kind of a diary of the process.

10.5 pounds domestic 2-row malt
.5 pounds Crystal 45
.5 pounds Cara pils malt
1 ounce Perle pellets 90min
4 ounces Nugget pellets 15min
2 ounces Cascade whole hops 1min
1 ounce WL001  White Labs Calif 001

Brewed on January 1.  Hydrometer 1.044 at 75 degrees.  Mashed with 3.5 gallons of water at 155 degrees for 1 hour.  Sparged with 2.5 gallons at 160degrees.  90 minute boil at medium/hard.  Actually boiled down to 4.5 gallons.  

Racked to secondary  January 8.   Yeast seemed to go completely dormant after 1 day - as opposed to the usual 10 or so days I was used to.  So the worrying started.  No, I did not take multiple hydrometer readings (should have), but I'm sure it was "dead".  Presume there was nothing left to feed the yeast because of my miserable job at sparging.
  
Bottled on January 23.  I was out of town and had to wait longer than normal.  Taste was smooth, no phenol tastes, very pure tasting, but very little body.  Again, this seems like it will be a drinkable beer with no bad tastes, but very “watery” tasting.  Final hydrometer reading was 1.016 at 67 degrees.  Makes for an ABV of  3.79 percent.

I apologize for being (well, FEELING like) a complete noob here amongst all of you accomplished brewers. I'm more than just a LITTLE in awe of the knowledge shown on these boards.  I guess ya gotta start somewhere.

As always, thank you.
Don

« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 12:26:46 PM by dons »
I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Offline bluesman

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2011, 12:42:59 PM »

I apologize for being (well, FEELING like) a complete noob here amongst all of you accomplished brewers. I'm more than just a LITTLE in awe of the knowledge shown on these boards.  I guess ya gotta start somewhere.

As always, thank you.
Don


There's no need to apologize. Yo've done nothing wrong. We are here to help. Before we can recommend adjustments, we need to know your results. Did you measure the actual mash and sparge temps. The reason I ask is that you mention mashing with water at 155F. I take that as you added water at 155F to the grain. Is this the case?
Ron Price

Offline dons

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2011, 01:14:39 PM »
Well, I was careful with the temps.  I added the grain to the water when it was 155, then held for an hour.  Then moved the mash to my sparge bucket and sparged with water at 160 - perhaps less by the time i was done monkeying around with the wrong equipment.  Funny you should mention, but this was one of my departures from the original recipe.  That one called for mashing an hour at 126, then 30 more minutes at 160.  My partner and I found no reason that (step mashing?) was necessary.  Not sure, in fact, how I ended up at 155 - just what it was.
I've finally figured out my problem.  I have Cenosillicaphobia.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Do I need a rest?
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2011, 01:47:14 PM »
Well, I was careful with the temps.  I added the grain to the water when it was 155, then held for an hour.  

I think he's asking if you measured the temp of the mash AFTER you added the grains.  Your statement would seem to imply that the water was at 155 before you added the grains.  Adding the grains normally drops the overall temp 10-15 degrees.  That could mean that your 1 hour mash was really at 140-145 which would lead to a very fermentable wort.
Joe