Author Topic: am I wasting my time?  (Read 1359 times)

Offline morticaixavier

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am I wasting my time?
« on: August 20, 2011, 11:27:50 AM »
So I decided to do an experiment. I want Mild Malt but that is not available to me in an organic brand. I do have some pale alt malt and doing some research and comparisons I see that Mild malt is really just pale malt that has been kilned a little higher (around 230*f as far as I can tell) for a color about 1-2* L higher (around 4-5L) So I grab three quarter pounds of pale malt and split it up.

1) Pale malt as is
2) Pale malt toasted in the over at 170 for 15 minutes and at 200 for 30 minutes (no noticible difference in color but a nice nutty flavour that isn't there in the control)
3) Pale malt toasted in the oven at 170 for 15 minutes, 200 for 30 minutes and 230 for 1 hour. Slight darkening of kernel (Groat? Corn?) resulting with a toastier slightly LESS nutty flavour than #2

So not I know that if I toast the pale malt for 1-2 hours at around 230*f I can get close at least to the color I am after. But what have I done to my enzymes? They denature at 170 ish right? as far as I can tell that is not true with dry malt (perhaps one of you science guys or gals can elucidate) Pale malt is kilned around 95-105*c so I guess not. But just to be sure I am mashing each sample now

Mashed in each sample with 2 cups 161* degree water for a mash temp of 151 or so. I will leave them for 45 minutes now, here is my question (finally) Will I be able to get any information from the OG of these three samples in terms of effect of the toasting on enzyme activity? If they all hit more or less exactly the same OG have I determined that the toasting didn't effect the enzymes? or do I have to then ferment the samples and check FG to get that info?

Any insight is appreciated.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 12:08:20 PM »
Will I be able to get any information from the OG of these three samples in terms of effect of the toasting on enzyme activity? If they all hit more or less exactly the same OG have I determined that the toasting didn't effect the enzymes? or do I have to then ferment the samples and check FG to get that info?

Checking the gravity will only tell you that there are carbohydrates in solution, not the fermentable/unfermentable starch breakdown. For that you'll have to do a forced ferment test.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2011, 12:18:53 PM »
Will I be able to get any information from the OG of these three samples in terms of effect of the toasting on enzyme activity? If they all hit more or less exactly the same OG have I determined that the toasting didn't effect the enzymes? or do I have to then ferment the samples and check FG to get that info?

Checking the gravity will only tell you that there are carbohydrates in solution, not the fermentable/unfermentable starch breakdown. For that you'll have to do a forced ferment test.

This is what I suspected. que sera. luckily I have bread yeast
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2011, 05:33:14 PM »
Ahh better than bread yeast. I am getting the yeast for a hefeweizen this coming week and need a starter anyway. I will split the yeast vile three ways.

Interestingly the lightly toasted sample and the non-toasted sample both ended up with a gravity reading of 1.020 and the more heavily toasted sample ended up with an OG of 1.028, it is also noticeably darker wort. The lightly toasted sample came out very slightly darker than the control also.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011, 10:16:38 PM »
I would hesitate to conclude that you have denatured the enzymes through this heating.  The denaturation temperatures given for the enzymes are based on hydrated enzymes, not dried enzymes.  If they are hydrated they can change conformation, essentially unfolding so they are no longer active.  That's not going to happen in the dried malt.

I suspect that at least part of the difference in fermentability comes from changing the starch composition so it is not able to be broken down by the available enzymes.  Next time I'd suggest mashing with some additional malt to remove the amount of enzymes as a factor, then see where they finish.  That will give you an indication of how much can be attributed to changes in enzymes and how much to the starch.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2011, 10:34:07 PM »
I would hesitate to conclude that you have denatured the enzymes through this heating.  The denaturation temperatures given for the enzymes are based on hydrated enzymes, not dried enzymes.  If they are hydrated they can change conformation, essentially unfolding so they are no longer active.  That's not going to happen in the dried malt.

I suspect that at least part of the difference in fermentability comes from changing the starch composition so it is not able to be broken down by the available enzymes.  Next time I'd suggest mashing with some additional malt to remove the amount of enzymes as a factor, then see where they finish.  That will give you an indication of how much can be attributed to changes in enzymes and how much to the starch.

That is how I understand the process as well. I have performed the ferment test yet so I have no reason to think I denatured the enzymes. I just wanted to make sure before toasting the entire 8 pounds I would need for the next brew day.

Really I just wanted to brew something and spending a couple of hours in the kitchen playing with malt was more possible than a full scale brew day. I have my hefeweizen yeast now and will be doing my starter in three containers in an attempt to do both a ferment test on the samples and get a starter ready for the next brew day.

But if I find a reduced fermentability, or a level of reduced fermentability that is unacceptable to me, I will try your test next to determine the reason.

As far as I can tell from reading free stuff on the interwebs 230*f should do very little damage to the enzymes and certainly not enough to affect conversion significantly.
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Offline Pi

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 05:56:17 AM »
... I want Mild Malt but that is not available to me in an organic brand.
I have tried several commercially brewed "organic" beers and found them all to be rather thin; lacking any heal head retention. What's up wit-dat?
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2011, 07:56:38 AM »
... I want Mild Malt but that is not available to me in an organic brand.
I have tried several commercially brewed "organic" beers and found them all to be rather thin; lacking any heal head retention. What's up wit-dat?

don't know. Perhaps the fault of the brewer. THe ingredients I have used were always top notch. never had a problem with body or head retention. The selection was somewhat limited in the past. That's better now but still not perfect. I still can't find mild malt or malted rye or a few other things. I think there are people who see 'organic' as a way to charge more for an inferior product though.

Have you tried Eel river? don't know if it is available where you are. Wolavers organic is pretty good, a little corporate/bland sometimes but not bad.

Prince Charles (the prince of Wales) has a label that is organic and quite good but hard to find.

For a commercial operation I think that the decision to stick purely organic can hinder the overall quality if the brewer is not careful. On a home scale I find, because it limits my ingredient options, it leads to greater creativity thus this project to produce my own mild malt. But I am not goign to try to malt rye so I guess for now I will have to stick with flaked rye.
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Offline denny

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2011, 08:17:29 AM »
... I want Mild Malt but that is not available to me in an organic brand.
I have tried several commercially brewed "organic" beers and found them all to be rather thin; lacking any heal head retention. What's up wit-dat?

I'd be more inclined to blame the process than the ingredients.  I've had many organic beers without those faults.
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Offline Pi

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2011, 09:14:19 AM »
Pinkus Lager and Samuel Smith's (IPA?) both certified organic. And both reputable breweries. Is there any difference in the malt profile between organic and conventially grown malts and/or malting process? Same goes for hops? Anything about organically cultured yeast? Just curious.
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Offline denny

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2011, 09:53:06 AM »
Pinkus Lager and Samuel Smith's (IPA?) both certified organic. And both reputable breweries. Is there any difference in the malt profile between organic and conventially grown malts and/or malting process? Same goes for hops? Anything about organically cultured yeast? Just curious.

Well, I've never been a fan of Pinkus beers in general....have you had any others from them that might have had the same characteristics?  All the organic I can recall having have been locally (at least west coast) produced.  I can't recall any of them having the faults you mention.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2011, 09:56:09 AM »
Pinkus Lager and Samuel Smith's (IPA?) both certified organic. And both reputable breweries. Is there any difference in the malt profile between organic and conventially grown malts and/or malting process? Same goes for hops? Anything about organically cultured yeast? Just curious.

I have yet to find an organic yeast product. The organic brew supply store I order from sells the same old white labs or Wyeast products as everywhere else. I have not found a problem with either of those beers, although I have only had the pinkus once and Samuel Smiths's other beers several times. Perhaps part of the problem is that those are both imported brands and, until recently the Samuel Smith was packed in clear bottles. Shouldn't be any difference in malt profiles as there is nothing inherently non-organic in the malting process and Barley is a fairly non-chemical intensive crop. In fact due to the lower available nitrogen levels in organic agriculture the protein content of the barley should be lower thus making it ideal for malting. Keep trying! there are some excellent organic commercial brews out there.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2011, 11:02:59 AM »
Sam Smiths Best Ale is a Best Bitter I think.  That stuff is about the tastiest beer on the planet.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: am I wasting my time?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 11:09:47 AM »
Alright I have results.

This thread started with an experiment in re-kilning some pale malt to get a mild malt. I just finished the fast ferment test with all three samples and they all hit within .0005 of each other in terminal gravity. The control sample did finish lower than the other two but the two re-kilned samples were so close as to be impossible for me to see the difference with my hydrometer.

So the next step in this experiment is to re-kiln 10 lbs of pale malt at 230 for 1 hour and brew a SMaSH with that and some kent goldings woo hoo!
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