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Author Topic: Temperature Step Mashing  (Read 3216 times)

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Offline Malted

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Temperature Step Mashing
« on: January 18, 2012, 05:26:41 PM »
I am primarily interested in Stepped Mashing because I have a Braumeister and can easily do 5 temperature steps/rests on top of a set mash-in temperature.
This discussion could be applicable to RIMS or HERMS or homemade variants of temperature controlled wort production. Even BIAB with a direct heat source under, or in the mash could be in the same category.

This is not a topic about decoction mashing.

Infusion mashing - mash is heated directly or hot water is added. It is only about changing the temperature of the mash. Temperature mashing/ step mashing – much the same definition.
Decoction mashing - a portion of the cereal/grain mash is removed and heated before being returned to the mash. This can modify flavours and colours as well as a change in temperature of the mash.

I am posting what I have found for the purposes of discussion. It is a summary and I invite comment. I am not going to try to discuss all enzymes and the processes of interest or the whole science of mashing. I am going to try and keep this simple (so am not mentioning attenuation or efficiency); it may require you to do some reading or research of your own. If you know something I have said to be wrong, please post so that we may all learn. It is a topic that continues to be confusing.

The science of mashing is quite complex and my basic reading has led me to many contradictory statements, facts and figures. Different authors quote different temperatures as being optimal for particular enzymes active in the mash. These authors even use different names for the same processes, for example:
•   Amylase Rest vs Maltose Rest vs Beta Amylase rest (3 names for the same temperature rest)
•   Amylase Rest vs Saccharification vs Starch Conversion vs Glyco-protein Rest vs Alpha Amylase Rest. (5 names for the same temperature rest).

In some instances, there are different processes that the authors are concerned about that occur at the same temperature and thus differing names are used. Sometimes it just seems as though there is no standard naming convention.


It would seem that the biggest influences on the enzymes at work in the mash are pH, temperature and duration of the temperature.

Other factors include
•   water chemistry (which I will not touch)
•   the type of malt
•   milling of the grains
•   water to grist ratio
•   diastatic power or enzymatic power– the hotter a grain is kilned the less it has
•   dark malts increase mash pH.
•   many other factors too.

A reasonable read on the above factors can be found at: http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Effects_of_mash_parameters_on_fermentability_and_efficiency_in_single_infusion_mashing

I want to specifically look at Temperature and Time (with only hinting at pH) as these are the factors I want to use in Step Mashing. I have tabulated some of the information that I have collected.

The table should be read horizontally.
The values in the light blue section on the right side of the table are minutes. It shows how many minutes, for a particular beer style, that the mash could be kept at a particular temperature (listed in the vertical column of Optimal Temperature)



The biggest thing is, what do you want to achieve with each step of the mash? Hopefully some of this information is in the table.

Acid rest: “The acid rest is not used nowadays because it can take several hours for this enzyme to lower the mash pH to the desired 5.0 - 5.5 range” John Palmer, How to Brew.

I like the ‘idea’ of starting with an acid rest because it is quicker for your mash liquor to reach these temperatures for mash in. If you are doing a wheat beer or a beer with >25%  rye, oats or undermodified malts, it may be advantageous for you. With these beers and others, if it is done for too long it may have undesirable consequences.

Protein Rest:
Seems like a lot of folks refer to “Simple single infusion mash for use with most modern well modified grains (about 95% of the time)” and such quotes about modern well modified grains. These folks say you don’t need a protein rest and won’t even entertain the idea. It seems like most of these quoting folks haven’t tried a protein rest. Some of those that have actually used protein rests swear by them. As some say, Nige included, a short protein rest is not necessary but may be useful none the less.

Gimme Sugarz!
You can create a wort higher in fermentable sugars, one that is higher in unfermenatble sugars, or try to produce one that balances the two (66oC seems to hit that mark). Both fermentable and non-fermentable sugars are going to be formed at the optimal temperature for the other, it is just one will be favoured.

Mash out:
Raising of temperatures at the end of the mash to stop enzymes working and makes the grain bed and wort more fluid and can prevent a stuck sparge. Any starches rinsed out during the following sparge will not be converted to useful sugars as the enzymes have stopped working, these starches may cause haze in the finished beer. It doesn’t seem likely that a good mash would contain residual starches. A mash out would seem to be important for a mash that contain wheat, oats, rye and undermodified malts.

Temperature and time:
Given that the enzymes of interest work over a temperature range (debateable ‘optimal’ temps listed in table) some folks don’t change their actual temps, just the duration at those temps. Essentially each step or temp rest will do something desirable, you just want to change the particular ratios of resulting products from enzymatic activity in the mash. For instance, I stalked Manticle on the AHB forum and note he pretty much uses the same temperatures but just varies times of each step for differing brews:


*actually 1oC lower
**was 69oC
***was 75oC

You can see that the Saison would favour the production of a greater amount of fermentable sugars than the EIPA.

The Beersmith program says:
Light body    = 64.4oC for 75 mins
Medium Body   = 66.7oC for 60 mins
Full body    = 68.9oC for 40 mins

The literature also supports that the higher temperature enzymes work quicker, so a short rest at higher temps could have more of an affect than you might think. For example, it could well be that for a 50%-50% split of fermentables and non-fermentables in a wort might actually be produced in a mash of 63oC for 45 minutes and 72oC for 15oC (times just plucked out of the air), or the same result might actually be achieved at 66oC for 60 minutes?

I am not wanting to start an anti-step mashing debate. With a Braumeister it is no big deal to step mash, if it is not going to have a negative affect and might be beneficial, then I am going to do it, just for the heck of it, because I can.

If you use single infusion mashing with a mashout, or decoction mashing, these questions are not for you. :stfu:
If you use temperature steps:   
•   what temperature steps do you use?
•   for how long?
•   why?
•   for what style of beer?
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 05:28:13 PM by Malted »


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Offline DrSmurto

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 07:14:04 PM »
Before i started routinely decocting lagers i used an infusion step mash regime.

If you are serious about lager brewing i can highly recommend 'New Brewing Lager Beer' by the late Gregory Noonan. This and 'Kolsch' by Eric Warner were very informative and I used them to formulate a step mash program for Kolsch, pilsners (czech and german) and dunkels.

52/63/71/78 was the end result which results in a highly fermentable wort which is key to getting a nice crisp finish.

Before this i simply did a protein rest at 52C for 20 mins and infused with boiling water to hit the sacc rest temperature.

If i had a Braumeister i would be playing around with step mashes so go for it.

How easy is it to pull out grain from the Braumeister for a decoction?
 

Offline Malted

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 07:36:52 PM »
Before i started routinely decocting lagers i used an infusion step mash regime.

If you are serious about lager brewing i can highly recommend 'New Brewing Lager Beer' by the late Gregory Noonan. This and 'Kolsch' by Eric Warner were very informative and I used them to formulate a step mash program for Kolsch, pilsners (czech and german) and dunkels.

52/63/71/78 was the end result which results in a highly fermentable wort which is key to getting a nice crisp finish.

Before this i simply did a protein rest at 52C for 20 mins and infused with boiling water to hit the sacc rest temperature.

If i had a Braumeister i would be playing around with step mashes so go for it.

How easy is it to pull out grain from the Braumeister for a decoction?
Thanks for the tips on which books represent good reading. Whilst step mashes would contribute to lagers et al, I am thinking that step mashes (used appropriately) can add positive aspects to many types of beers.

What times did you use for that Kolsch/pils/dunkel mash schedule?

Pulling grain out of the BM can be done, just not as easily as with a MT. Part of the beauty of the BM is it's simple brewday, that you don't need to physically fiddle with it. Conversely, the main reason I got one was for greater brewing control and this extends to trying to make the best beers I can; so if I have to mess with the mash, I will.  ;) Having done some decoctions myself I totally agree that they can add wonderful things but that's not really where I wanted this thread to go... :-X I think Gravey has a decoction thread running atm. Perhaps what you are hinting at, step mashing AND decoction/s could produce magnificent things.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 07:57:36 PM by Malted »
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Offline Beer4Me

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 07:40:28 PM »
I am an advocate of the step mash, have been biab in esky, recently installed some braid. Usually only smaller batches 8 - 14L.
For smaller batches i think the step mashing is probably  easier and eliminates any problems with loosing temperature in the mash due to smaller volume.
I can totally understand anyone mashing big grain bills would have a much stable single infusion temp and would not feel the need to mess around step mashing.

Temps usually 62 / 67 / 72 / 78 , vary the times depending on the beer.
Most recent Belgian Dubbel  15 / 35 / 10 / 10 min at quoted temps.

L:G ratios - i will start out around 2.8L/kg, main rest will be around 3.8 to 4
the rest at 72 is usually around 4.5L/kg.

When i first started stepping i tried a short protein rest at 55 degrees for 5 mins, but found it of no benefit to my head formation or retention. I have found the short rest at 72 works better and also lends more mouth feel.

I get very consistent and slightly higher mash efficiency.

I really enjoy the difference in the final beer, they have the body that i want, with a clean crisp finish.
I get much better clarity and more consistent FG.

Sometimes for just a standard pale ale using English base malt i am tempted to be lazy and just do a single infusion for 60mins, but i like the end results much better with the step mash, i also do enjoy the extra process when mashing, so i dont brew when feeling lazy.

 :-*

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 09:27:00 PM »
I did a couple  of two step mashes, 52 then 66, with no real thought of what I wanted to achieve (yes DrS, I was blind sheep following for no particular reason other than practice) this was with a gas fired BIAB. I did notice with Gas BIAB my temp checks were reasonably consistent in all areas of the mash , I assume due to the higher liquor to grain ratio and a bit of a stir each time heat was applied.

So far I have only done 3.5 3V brews (MT is a coleman 45l Esky) and my mash temp checks show that temp fluctuates wildly through different areas of the mash by up to 5 degrees, meaning there are effectively a lot of steps going on in different places all around the mash. Before trying step mashes in the esky I will tweak things to increase L:G ratio above that recommended in BS2 and stir at and inbetween each HL addition for each step. I assume teh Braumeister has an auto stir function.

I did not notice any appreciable haze with a quick mashout in a light coloured beer, but have got it in darker beers and when I overshot temps and left mash over 68 for a longer period than planned.


Offline raven19

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 09:38:29 PM »
70odd AG batches in, I am still learning everytime I brew.

Not sure I can add too much to this thread as yet.

I can say I've been brewing to style of late, as such trying to replicate (some of the historical) processes of that particular beer (eg Dortmunder coming up soon will be near 100% Pils with a decoction). With this planned beer, mash temp 67 to push more malt thru is planned. Decoction in there somewhere, then mashout at 76.

Still playing with my weizen, however using a reasonable portion of raw (unmalted) wheat has me playing with mashing temps for sure (25% unmalted grain in the grist). Introducing a 43 ish ferulic acid rest (from my reading will help push clove over banana), them ramp up with RIMS thru to 63 then 76 mashout (this version still fermenting atm). Next version will likely add in a mid 50's protein rest to see the effect.

So much of this seems to be heavily aligned to how you brew and your system too.

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« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 09:40:00 PM by raven19 »
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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 11:38:54 PM »
So far I have only done 3.5 3V brews (MT is a coleman 45l Esky) and my mash temp checks show that temp fluctuates wildly through different areas of the mash by up to 5 degrees, meaning there are effectively a lot of steps going on in different places all around the mash.
You need to stir more.

Offline Butters

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 10:50:40 AM »
I can't be arsed typing a reply as long as it needs to be, but you have some errors in hypothesis, particularly regarding length of rest at higher temps vs longer at lower ( to achieve the same result)....It's a common mistake that ppl only think in terms of time for starch conversion to occur. This is only part of the equation; conversion from starch to sugar is one thing; conversion from one type of sugar to another is something entirely different/  ;) And this is the (main) purpose of step mashing. Not to achieve conversion, but to set the specific types of sugars with their own unique fermentation/ flavour / body) characteristics. Glucose, fructose, maltose, maltotritiose, maltopentiose, etc....

For full explanation, there are several entire chapters in Brewing Science and Practice dedicated to this (real brewing literature, not something thrown together by a metalurgist, dumbed down for the lowest common denominator to understand). This book is a must for the serious brewer, imo.

As for protein rests....again, it is an issue of chemistry. Protein is essential for healthy ferment and head retention....it is a matter of breaking down the right proteins by the right amount for conversion to occur, too little, you get less conversion, too much, you start breaking down proteins that need to remain intact for healthy fermentationa and/or head retention. This is the whole purpose of modiification during malting; to reduce or eliminate the need for a protein rest.
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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2012, 11:04:50 AM »

52/63/71/78 was the end result which results in a highly fermentable wort which is key to getting a nice crisp finish.


i also use these steps (within a degree) for all my high alcohol belgian beers as i find it ferments down to the gravities you want in a belgian but still leaves a good amount of body.

the last beer i tried this on was a tripel karmeliet clone that went from 1.083 to 1.010

Offline Malted

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2012, 12:05:33 PM »
For full explanation, there are several entire chapters in Brewing Science and Practice dedicated to this (real brewing literature, not something thrown together by a metalurgist, dumbed down for the lowest common denominator to understand). This book is a must for the serious brewer, imo.

If you mean the one by Briggs, 2004, Woodhead Publishing - if you have it can I borrow it?  :)
amazon dot com is the only one I could find with it and it is $538!  :sign0135:
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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2012, 12:34:10 PM »
I don't think Butters is willing to lend that bad boy out, as he needs something to hold when he sleeps.

I have also been looking online recently for it mate. Minimum $400 ish indeed.

I don't think the local library has it either!!!
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Offline DrSmurto

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2012, 02:14:02 PM »
I have a copy of 'principles of brewing science' which is a step up from Palmer that you can borrow Ben.

I think i have a pdf of the book that Butters is talking about.......

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Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2012, 03:11:37 PM »
I have a copy of 'principles of brewing science' which is a step up from Palmer that you can borrow Ben.

I think i have a pdf of the book that Butters is talking about.......

Can you email me the PDF?? Or is it a purchased copyrighted thing you paid for... Great to have it on my iPhone as a reference!
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Offline Edi Amin

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2012, 09:35:29 AM »
If it isn't DRM restricted I wouldn't mind a copy of that pdf either...
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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2012, 09:37:54 AM »
Would also love a copy if i'm able to!
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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2012, 08:02:26 AM »
Hi, If anybody wants a copy (PDF) of Brewing Science and Practice, send me a PM with your email address and I will send it to you - Cheers

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2012, 08:12:01 AM »
Hi, If anybody wants a copy (PDF) of Brewing Science and Practice, send me a PM with your email address and I will send it to you - Cheers
Just an update the file size is 12MB and compressed (RAR) 9MB - Cheers

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2012, 09:30:07 AM »
I have a heap of pdf's too, I'll go through them and let you guys know. I know one of them is the entire how to brew book.
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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2012, 11:53:30 AM »
Cheers Gopha!  :13:

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Re: Temperature Step Mashing
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2012, 10:28:19 PM »
Now this is a brewing book! So much detail.. Dissected malted barley, you don't see THAT in 'How to Brew' :D (Weather it's useful is a different story..)
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