Mash temperture with "Big" Beers

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Mash temperture with "Big" Beers

Postby seanshankus » Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:46 pm

I was curious what temperature folks mashed at when brewing "Big" beers (high gravity). I've never brewed one, but was thinking about it. Which got me thinking should I mash for alpha-amalyse or beta-amalyse, or some combination. With the gravity being so high do I really need to convert every last bit of sugars into fermentable? or should I have some mouth feel. What are your opinions? I'm trying to understand the pluses and minus to mashing temperture with regards to high gravity brews so any help is really appreacated.

Thanks,
Sean
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Postby dasein668 » Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:46 pm

With a big beer you'll have more mouthfeel whether you shoot for high fermentability or not. Even if you maximize your RDF you will still end up with a certain amount of non-fermentable large sugars. If you have 80% AA starting with a 1.100 beer, you'll still only finish at 1.020 FG which will give you plenty of body.

As for what you should target for fermentability, it depends on the style you are trying to brew. An English barleywine should finish with a much higher gravity than an Imperial IPA, for example. In general, however, with a very big beer, you'll want to target a lower mash temperature to increase fermentability, even for something like an English barleywine. You will still likely finish at a plenty high enough FG. Something like an IIPA may even require additional simple sugar in order to finish out dry enough for style.
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