How would a 'cereal' mash be handled?

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How would a 'cereal' mash be handled?

Postby billvelek » Fri Jun 22, 2007 12:21 pm

I have never done a 'cereal' mash, and therefore haven't given it any consideration until a recent thread (I can't recall, but maybe in another forum). Apparently, a cereal mash is where something like rice is cooked before mashing in order to gelatanize the starch; it has also been suggested that a small portion of the malt be added to the cereal mash to help keep it from becoming too sticky or something like that, which might further complicate the recipe and schedule. The cereal mash is then added to the mashtun to use the diastatic power of the regular mash for conversion. It is my impression that cereal mashes are NOT normally handled like a decoction or a mini-mash, and certainly they can't be handled like steeping specialty grains. I suppose it COULD be treated like a decoction, but what if a brewer _prefers_ to just cook his rice prior to mashing, and use the rice and water for striking; it would certainly be much simpler and with less mess.

Okay, I'm assuming here that we wouldn't want to drain the rice because the water contains starch and we're going to need hot strike water anyway. I'm sure I could _roughly_ figure out how to measure and make compensations, but then again I have BTP to make such things easy for me. If there is already a way to work around this with BTP, I'd appreciate hearing about it and any suggestions. If there is NOT a current way for BTP to do this, is this something worthy of consideration as a feature in a future upgrade?

Considerations that preclude the use of a simple BTP recipe when doing a cereal mash: part of the grain bill is already hot (mashtun temp issue) and saturated with water (mash density issue), as well as the calculation of the weight or volume of the strike water/rice if that is how it is used.

I know that many -- perhaps most -- homebrewers turn up their noses at adding rice, corn, etc., because that's what the megabrewers do to make their 'swill', but this does appear to be a legitimate option when brewing, and BTP has them listed in the ingredients list (e.g., raw rice and corn grits). By the way, should raw corn also be added to the adjuncts list?

Thanks.

Bill Velek
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RE: How would a 'cereal' mash be handled?

Postby wottaguy » Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:39 pm

Hi Bill,

What you are asking for is possible to do in BTP. It is basicaly handled as a decoction step and set up that way too.

If you want, I could send you my recipe file that shows how to set it up. It specifies a separate cereal mash conducted during the protein rest. This recipe was designed to use on my HERMS and it also shows how I handle a multiple step mash as well as including a separate cereal mash.

PM me if you want the file and include your email addy.

Ron (_)3
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Okay ... can do as a decoction ... BUT ...

Postby billvelek » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:14 pm

Thanks for the reply, wottaguy. I've done just a few decoctions in the past and consider them to be a messy pain in the butt ... so that's why I included the statement in my post that ... "I suppose it COULD be treated like a decoction, but what if a brewer _prefers_ to just cook his rice prior to mashing, and use the rice and water for striking; it would certainly be much simpler and with less mess." If there is no other easy way like a future BTP feature, then if I decide to try a cereal mash decoction, I'll probaby hit you up for advice about doing it, but since I don't plan one in the near future, there is no need for me to get into that right now. I was just asking about it because of the recent discussion by others, and because I thought it might be a handy new feature on BTP. I don't know if the other brewing software programs provide for it.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
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Bill..call it what you like!

Postby wottaguy » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:33 pm

Hi Bill!

In BTP you can set up the step where you want to..that is at the beginning of the mash...or at any other point during the mash. Just create a decoction step and call it what you like let's say "Cereal mash (separate kettle)", and enter a target mash temp. For the target mash temp box, i gave a temp of what the main mash should be AFTER adding the cereal mash to it. Also, in the Notes textbox, you can describe the particulars of the cereal mash there. It is too bad that BTP will not print out these notes in the schedule section to have on hand during brew day. (Just another feature request and addition here). Has the software run away on the developers? It seems like it is turning out to be the 2000 lb gorilla!

Take care!

Ron (_)3
Visit my blog @ http://www.wottashomebrewblog.blogspot.com

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HL Lite Lager
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HL Wizeguy Weizenbock
HL Reveur Saison
HL Dry Stout
HL Kentucky Common
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Thanks, Ron

Postby billvelek » Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:50 am

Sorry that I've been calling you wottaguy; I just noticed that your sig is Ron. Anyway, thanks for the info and maybe I'll give it a try in the next month or so just to see how it goes.

As for that 'gorilla', I know I've made plenty of suggestions along with a load from others, too, but if we can get a good inventory feature, I'll be satisfied if we don't get another thing. Of course, I'd like some of the other suggested features, and I think (hope) that they are in the works for this major upgrade.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
Visit www.tinyurl.com/bvelek - portal to my brewing sites: 3,100+ members on 'Grow-Hops', and 1,350+ brewers on my 'BrewingEquip' group.
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RE: Thanks

Postby wottaguy » Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:40 am

No prob Bill!

I am also looking forward to the next major upgrade which I hope will include the many feature additions and improvements that the user base has requested. I still think that BTP is one of the best apps out there, and I use it all the time. I do cross check certain numbers with other apps but I always return to BTP and on brewing day I find that the numbers that I get from my results are spot on from what the software says that I should have.

Well...I have to go keg my Porter...have a great weekend!

Ron (_)3
Visit my blog @ http://www.wottashomebrewblog.blogspot.com

On Tap:
HL Pale Ale
HL Lite Lager
Bottled:
HL Simcoe Pale Ale
HL Wizeguy Weizenbock
HL Reveur Saison
HL Dry Stout
HL Kentucky Common
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