New to site, new to all-grain, question!

General brewing information, questions and discussion. Topics that do not seem to fit elsewhere.

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New to site, new to all-grain, question!

Postby coyoteflats » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:40 am

I'm eager to explore the recipe library on this site, but they are usually missing key bits of information that I find in my "how-to-brew" books, i.e., target temperature of the mash, length of the mash, single- or multi-step infusion. My question is, how do you use these recipes? Is this information somehow inherent in the grain bill (& I'm too dim to figure it out)? Or is it a best-guess-hope-for-the-best situation? All replies appreciated! Kevin
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recipes

Postby slothrob » Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:46 pm

We're at the mercy of the brewers who post recipes to the database, but a lot of those factors are going to vary somewhat from brewer to brewer based on their brewing system. It's also dependent on what you want from the recipe.

There are some general guidelines, though:

In general, 60 minutes is a standard mash length and should work for most anything. You may find that going to 90 minutes might improve conversion and fermentability for some recipes, especially those that don't have much high enzyme malts, like beers that are primarily Munich Malt or have a high amount of adjuncts.

There are probably no beers that absolutely need anything other than a single-infusion mash. There are rare, special cases like intentionally poorly modified malts, but multi-infusion mashes are generally only used by those interested in trying to duplicate traditional brewing practices and to solve particular brewing problems.

Mash temperature will depend on grain bill, style characteristics, personal preference and your brewing system:

150°F is a decent default mash temperature, when you just have no idea.

148°F is my choice for Lagers and any other beer I want to finish crisp and dry, but I find I need to do a step mash to around 155-158°F to get a good efficiency with a lower mash temperature. 148°F can also be a good choice for a high gravity beer or a beer that has a significant amount of Crystal Malt, too, as it can help keep it from being cloyingly sweet.

152°F is a good temperature for an average gravity beer that you want to finish with an above average body. It is also helpful in an all base malt beer or a slightly low gravity session beer (say a 1.044 Pale Ale or Amber), that you don't want to finish completely dry.

154-156°F is appropriate for bumping up the FG in a low OG beer, like an Ordinary Bitter with an OG around 1.038-1.042.
Last edited by slothrob on Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Excellent!

Postby coyoteflats » Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:24 pm

Great information, Slothrob; I'll put it to use immediately. Kevin
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Keep it Simple

Postby timmomyces » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:07 pm

With the fully modified malts available to us today, it is pointless to do anything other than a single step infusion mash. And, with the great excess of enzymes that are present in our malts (remember almost all fully modified malts are designed for big brewers with high adjunct rates), this means conversion can be achieved much faster than once believed. The current recommendations for all fully modified malts is a mash at 68~70C/154~158 with a pH of 5.3 for only 20 minutes prior to recirculation until the runnings are clear. Then sparge with 168 degree water, stopping the runnings at 2.5P/1.010SG. Then top up to kettle volume. Running beyond this gravity floor will only extract tannis and lipids. The idea here is to maximize extraction while minimizing grain contact. This goes a long way toward the elimination of tannins (harsh, husky flavors) and lipids (head killers and can create clarity issues) being entrained in the wort. The complete science regarding this technique is outlined in both Charlie Bamforth's and Michael Lewis's new books that are available from the Association of Brewer's publishing arm, Brewer's Publications. You can order them online from www.beertown.org.
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