Author Topic: Protein Coagulation  (Read 4032 times)

Offline Kirk

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Protein Coagulation
« on: February 22, 2011, 03:07:13 PM »
If I could attach a picture of my mash tun after sparge, I would.  But since I'm struggling with that, I'll accept that you know what I'm writing about.  Kai, in his video on decoction mashing, calls it protein coagulation.  To me it's a thing of beauty, removing all that protein from the wort before it gets into the boil.  For me, it is a relatively new phenomena, but my questions are:  Is it due to decoction mashing primarily?, or is it mainly the protein rest I do as part of it?, or is it due to controlling the mash ph which is also new for me?, or is it due to adjusting my water chemistry to fit guidelines? or some of everything?
Also, is it unanimous that this is a good thing? or is there newer evidence that protein coagulation is not so great?  Is it possible to get this kind of coagulation with single infusion mashing?

« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 04:48:06 PM by Kirk »
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Offline denny

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 04:03:55 PM »
Is it possible to get this kind of coagulation with single infusion mashing?

Yes, it is.
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 06:11:08 PM »
From what I understand, most malts we buy these days are so well modified, that decoction is not needed.
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Offline Kirk

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 07:06:39 PM »
OK, so if it is possible, how?  I've never seen it.
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Offline oscarvan

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 08:00:30 PM »
From what I understand, most malts we buy these days are so well modified, that decoction is not needed.

That is the premise that I am operating under. So far, so good.
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 08:24:09 PM »
OK, so if it is possible, how?  I've never seen it.

I'm not sure I understand what you're describing.  Protein coagulation is most noticeable in the boil kettle just prior to and just after the boil begins, and when the beer is cooled after boiling.  In both cases, the protein coagulation will cause the wort to look like egg drop soup (small masses of whitish proteins suspended in wort).

If you're just describing the sediment that ends up on the top of the grainbed after vorlauf, that's a natural occurrence in just about any mash, and I'm not even sure that it's made up solely of proteins.  I think much of it is grain flour, i.e., endosperm particles.

In any case, whatever proteins are coagulated in the mash tun have a pretty negligible effect on the finished beer, IME.  If noticeable coagulation is a concern of yours, you should be paying attention to the hot and cold break in the boil kettle.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 08:26:47 PM by Pawtucket Patriot »
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 08:25:58 PM »
you get protein coagulation with every mashing style, but you'll get more with decoction mashing since the mash is subjected to higher temperatures which increases the amount of coagulation.

Kai

Offline Kirk

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 10:18:43 PM »
you get protein coagulation with every mashing style, but you'll get more with decoction mashing since the mash is subjected to higher temperatures which increases the amount of coagulation.

Kai

Thanks Kai, I thought I was being clear.  Since I've begun decoction mashing I've had boucoup coagulation in the mash, and it's very noticeable, unmistakeable, pasty goop on top of the grain bed.  Now I think that is a super thing to have.  Apparently, some of you don't experience that because you do single infusion mashes, and your proteins coagulate more in the boil.  So I guess to each his own, but for now, I'm sticking with decoction.  I presume that ph control and mineral additions help you get your egg drop soup effect in the boil, and then it gets left behind in the bottom of the brew kettle.  And if so, then the end result is basically the same.  But that is the discussion I was hoping would be generated in this thread, from you who have years of experience and science to back it up, but it seems we're stuck in the weeds.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2011, 04:14:45 AM »
Brewing Science and Practice by Briggs, et al, p121, says that the Oberteig (which is what this layer of mud is called) is made of a gel-like material made of about 20% Protein and 40% Carbohydrates and micro-aggregates made of about 4-21% Starch, 3-19% ß-Glucan, 5-31% Pentosan, and 26-42% Protein. 

I get significant amounts of Oberteig even when I use a single infusion.  I may get more when I step mash (independent of whether I decoct), but I've never tried to quantify it in any way.  I may just expect more because I expect time at a higher temperature should result in more precipitation.  I do modify my water to correct pH and Calcium levels, which should be a factor, just as it is in the boil.  I also tend to get crystal clear beers without significant cold conditioning, often right out of primary or within a couple days of completing carbonation.

I can't find the reference at the moment, but I've read that significantly more protein precipitates in the mash, actually, than in the boil.

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 07:03:26 AM »
I can't find the reference at the moment, but I've read that significantly more protein precipitates in the mash, actually, than in the boil.

It's also in the Briggs book.

I don't think it matters much where the protein is left behind.

Kai

Offline denny

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 08:59:05 AM »
I also find it to be somewhat related to whose malt I use, which seems only natural.
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Offline davisdandrew

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2011, 11:22:57 PM »
Quote
I also find it to be somewhat related to whose malt I use, which seems only natural.
Ihave also noticed that. I find pils malt to give a ton of hot break while munich malt seems to give very little hot break even after a long boil. has anyone else noticed that or is ti just me?

Offline 1vertical

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2011, 08:48:19 AM »
I think what Kai said is so true and it does not matter where you leave it behind.
Reason I say that is because I put cold break and all into my primary and after
the ferment, it gets left in the bottom of the primary, what my racking technique
misses settles out to the bottom in secondary. My beers have been nice and clear
with no chill haze or haze at all...
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Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2011, 12:59:07 PM »
I think what Kai said is so true and it does not matter where you leave it behind.
Reason I say that is because I put cold break and all into my primary and after
the ferment, it gets left in the bottom of the primary, what my racking technique
misses settles out to the bottom in secondary. My beers have been nice and clear
with no chill haze or haze at all...

+1 That's been my experience too.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Protein Coagulation
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2011, 06:27:57 PM »
I find pils malt to give a ton of hot break

Yeah, I've noticed that as well.