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Stepped Mashing Schedules By Style


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#1 Malted

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:15 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.

Some of 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. At a pinch it could be relevant to infusion mashing but that is a different process in which the liquor to grist ratio is changed, that's not where I want this discussion to go. There are a lot of threads about temperature mashing and what mash schedules are suitable for a particular brew. I have tried to draw together some of those threads and stuff I found on the net. Yes I have had a look at Braukaiser.

This is not a topic about decoction mashing or infusion mashing because they are a different process. If you use those processes some of the info here may help you decide on a temperature schedule but I am not interested in this thread, as to how you achieve those temps.

Infusion mashing - generally mash is heated by adding hot water in stages. It is only about changing the temperature of the mash.
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.
Braumeister, RIMS, HERMS, Braumeiser's et al - the wort is constanly recirculated through the mash and an electronically controlled heat source raises the temperature of the wort.


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 (and I only know a fraction of it). 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. I have simplified it a bit, perhaps too much, because I want to know more about mash schedule temps and times, with just enough to get by on the theory of why. The bulk of what I have found is in the first table.


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
• 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_infu
sion_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 in the Braumeister. I have tabulated some of the information that I have collected.
Posted Image
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). You can also see that I have stalked Zwickle a bit...


In regards to temperatures and times, the biggest thing is what do you want to achieve with each step of the mash? Hopefully most of this information is in the first table above.

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.

pH is quite a complex subject in how it interacts in the brewing process (it is also an area I am unfamiliar with). An example of the pH interaction: "Lowering the mash pH from 5.8 to 5.4 increased wort fermentability due to increased limit dextrinase activity. Wort fermentability was more strongly correlated to the free limit dextrinase activity of malt than to the alpha- and beta-amylase activities." http://www.scientificsocieties.org/JIB/papers/1999/1999_105_4_205.pdf

Why then does only one of the mash schedules in the first table above have a limit dextrinase rest? Should I be more concerned about mash and wort pH than I am? Is it ok to look at temperature and times in isolation to pH?

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, 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. But it is not just about converting starch to sugars; which sugars do you want? Are the temperature steps to favour enzymes that will convert sugars to particular sugars you are interested in for a particulalr reason?

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 (but if a Braumeister/recirculating system is not stuck before then, it probably won't stick). 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 my first 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 by varying the times at those temps. For instance, I made the table below by stalking Manticle (cheers mate! :D ) as he is one of the few to regularly list his mash schedules. Note that he pretty much uses the same temperatures but just varies times of each step for differing brews:

Posted Image
*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. I am thinking about the influence of differing times at differing temperatures.

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 :icon_offtopic:

:excl: If you use temperature steps:

• what temperature steps do you use?
• for how long?
• why?
• for what style of beer?



#2 black_labb

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:39 PM

Near the top you say that dark malts increase PH, when they actually decrease ph (which means it is increasing acidity)

Otherwise great job

#3 Nick JD

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:25 PM

I often do the "twos" in my step mashing as it's easy to remember.

42, 52, 62, 72C

I use this for German Wheats and some Lagers. It's largely based on Hochkurz steps.

It does make for a slightly better (malt balanced) beer that's "thin" but "thick if that makes sense ... and I'd do it every time if I could program a machine to check the temp and stir constantly!

All my steps are roughly 10-15 minutes except for the "maltose" one in the early 60s which is usually 45-60 minutes.

I think the most important one is the early 70s step - the acid and protein rests are great for wheats though.

This one was stepped:

Posted Image

Edited by Nick JD, 31 January 2012 - 02:28 PM.


#4 Chunkious

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:41 PM

Is this relative to Ales

#5 Stux

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:42 PM

I do BIAB. I use an Italian spiral with a 50L or 98L pot, so I can do "steps" as very quick ramps.


I always do a mashout at circa 78C.

My hotwater comes out at 55C, so any strike temp less than that is actually a PITA :)

Anyway

I've tried a few different approaches, and am still working out what I like.

When doing a wheat I like Zwickle's wheat mash profile. I've found the lower temperature rests to really help with the gelatinization of the wheat.

For the a basic single sacharification rest + mashout, 66C will give me about 1.010 FG on a 1.050 standard beer. 63C will be too dry.

I'm going to start aiming around 64/65C, as I'm getting sick of the chewy beers ;)

68C is far too chewy ;)

#6 dent

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 02:47 PM

My standard HERMS mashing regime is 55/63/68/77 degrees for 15/30/30/20 minutes - this is my standard for a relatively malty Czech pils for instance. I think there must be another difference between step mashing and decoction in as much the mash will spend a fair bit of time at all the temperatures between these. Sometime I will get around to moving the 68 degree rest to 72 which by all reports should be more appropriate, but 68 it has been for years and serving me very well - but probably mostly because of the time taken to ramp up to the 77 degree mash out serves the alpha amylase well enough.

If I am mashing a big ( >1075 or so ) beer I will extend out the 63 degree rest for an hour or more, as it does seem to work pretty slowly. This works well to increase attenuation on those 8-10% beers. The last imperial stout I brewed I mashed low for two hours to make damn sure it wasn't going to underattenuate - it actually fermented out spot on in the end.

In all I agree that simply varying the time at each step is an excellent way to match your mash with your desired beer.

#7 kieran

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:01 PM

I wish John Palmer were here to tell my why these malt enzymes are active at such high temperatures. I work with enzymes all the time, and a very simple evolutionary principle is that organisms have enzymes that are active at the temperatures of the environment they live in (or which they maintain). I don't know of too many grains that are routinely exposed to 65C+ for embryonic germination.

#8 cdbrown

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:25 PM

Lately I've been doing 52/63-66/72/78 for 10/80-60/10/10 with the sacc rest adjusted based on what I want. I think it's helped with the brewhouse efficiency as my last brew was about 78% compared to the normal 70% for single step with mash out.

#9 Mark^Bastard

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:49 PM

Good thread.

I wish John Palmer were here to tell my why these malt enzymes are active at such high temperatures. I work with enzymes all the time, and a very simple evolutionary principle is that organisms have enzymes that are active at the temperatures of the environment they live in (or which they maintain). I don't know of too many grains that are routinely exposed to 65C+ for embryonic germination.


Always wondered this myself.

Would love to read an overview of this sort of thing including the malting process.

#10 wobbly

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 05:51 PM

This is very interesting and a subject that I sought information on under the heading of "Tips and Tricks" some time ago

What I would be most interested in also is to understand how to treat the "ramp times"? Should it be part of the "last rest" or the "next rest" or "spilt between rests"

My 20lt Braumeister (with some insulation) averages close to 1C to 1.2C per min temperature rise this time of the year.

How does this imact on the mash eg. If I dough in at 42C and then ramp to a protein rest at say 53C and rest for say 15 mins then ramp to say 65C to rest for say 60 mins.

What effect will the short time at each degree C between either 42C and 53C or 53C and 65C have on the final wort

Cheers

Wobbly

Edited by wobbly, 31 January 2012 - 05:52 PM.


#11 dent

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:18 PM

My system doesn't count the time as the 'rest' unless the temperature lies within 1.5 degrees of the set temperature for that step. I expect that is pretty standard.

#12 kieran

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:24 PM

No cycling instruments worth their salt count ramp times as a part of any incubation time period. Enzymatic activity only really happens within the enzyme's optimal working temp.. so thats the way the instrument should handle it, preferably.

Edited by kieran, 31 January 2012 - 06:26 PM.


#13 Nick JD

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:27 PM

Always wondered this myself.


I think that the amylases are still active at room temperature - just that they are optimally active in the 60s (just below the point they denature). Which is kind of important unless you have a sterile mash - making it as quick as possible so you don't end up with a sour mash.

I reckon the bugs would beat you to the sugaz if you mashed at 25C. Probably take as long as a seed takes to germinate.

Edited by Nick JD, 31 January 2012 - 06:56 PM.


#14 lickapop

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:53 PM

Nice work Malted...
Thanks

#15 manticle

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 06:56 PM

This is very interesting and a subject that I sought information on under the heading of "Tips and Tricks" some time ago

What I would be most interested in also is to understand how to treat the "ramp times"? Should it be part of the "last rest" or the "next rest" or "spilt between rests"

My 20lt Braumeister (with some insulation) averages close to 1C to 1.2C per min temperature rise this time of the year.

How does this imact on the mash eg. If I dough in at 42C and then ramp to a protein rest at say 53C and rest for say 15 mins then ramp to say 65C to rest for say 60 mins.

What effect will the short time at each degree C between either 42C and 53C or 53C and 65C have on the final wort

Cheers

Wobbly


As far as I understand there are a large number of enzymes that get activated and then dentaured within grains given the right conditions. Theoretically, if there were enzymes that had optimum ranges that sat between the optimum ranges in your steps, then these enzymes might get activated for short rests. What effect would depend on those enzymes, how long the rest was (and how long they need to do whatever it is they do) whether the conditions for their optimisation are merely (or mainly) temperature or otherwise met, etc. etc. Infusing with hot water and decoctions will lessen this - I mean slowly stepping through the temp rises.

As Malted has pointed out, I step mash a lot and find a 2 stage rest for saccharification (which tops out at about 70: 72 aids the formation of glyco-proteins to aid head retention) is really useful in well attenuated, full bodied beers wit a dry finish. As Nick says: "[a] malt balanced) beer that's "thin" but "thick...".

Worth pointing out that I wouldn't see the need to do a 20 minute 55 rest anymore (see malted's table)- 5-10 minutes seems to be enough according to experience and reading. I think the 20 mins was to try and fit in the decoction with the rests but that can be done in other ways. Might go back and change that recipe.

I believe pH plays a discernible role in amylase activity as can liquor to grist ratio but temperature is probably the most important.

Essentially the way I look at it, based on advice from Zwickel, reading and trying this stuff out, is that in regards to the two stage sachh rest (sugar/dextrin rest, alpha/beta amylase rest, hochkurz, whatever), as long as the temps are in the range for the enzymes you wish to target, can be played with to suit. For example, if brewing a saison, I want really good attenuation and a really dry, refreshing finish. However I still want to balance it up without making it watery thin. A long, low rest at 62/63 followed by a short rest in the very high 60s, should attain that.* If you want a maltier beer with a bigger body that a saison then you could have equal rests or simply a short low 60s rest and a long high 60s. This works great for Belgians. I tried mashing high, mashing low, mashing high but long and could never get the body of my belgians to feel right. Step mashing the 60s with a short low followed by a longer high seems to work, for me (your mileage may vary)

I rarely do single infusion anymore because I cannot think of a beer style that doesn't benefit from the balance you can create by altering those rest times. Sometimes for hoppier pale ales, I just rely on the base malt and a rest at about 65 and some UK beers get SI rests in the higher 60s but I've started to play around a bit with those too.

*I have heard that after a certain amount of time at the low rest, there will be nothing left for the high rest enzymes to do - not sure, makes sense. The only bit of literature I can find about rest times suggests that 15-30 mins is adequate for most and too long proteolytic rest (protein rest: 47-52) can affect beer quality and head retention).

Anyway I'd like to read more literature on it if anyone has links (so far only Fix, 1999 and a couple of articles hither and thither) combined with bits of braukaiser etc and actually trying it out. A comparative study of the same beer made with modified malts, one SI and one with several steps in the mashing would be very interesting.

Please undertsand the above is based on my very incomplete reading and my experience of brewing this way - it is not dogma, irrefutable or even necessarily scientifically accurate. Anyone with more info who's happy to share will find me very eager to listen.

Edited by manticle, 31 January 2012 - 07:49 PM.


#16 MHB

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:19 PM

I wish John Palmer were here to tell my why these malt enzymes are active at such high temperatures. I work with enzymes all the time, and a very simple evolutionary principle is that organisms have enzymes that are active at the temperatures of the environment they live in (or which they maintain). I don't know of too many grains that are routinely exposed to 65C+ for embryonic germination.


It’s a dam good question.
I have always wondered why the Australian Funnel Web Spider, would evolve a toxin that almost looks designed to kill primate on a continent without any.
Evolution is a strange mother at times. Conversely the enzymes do a really good job of supplying the sprouting seed with soluble sugars, so mission accomplished – the high temperature reactions are probably just a happy coincidence.
M

#17 Nick JD

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 07:34 PM

I have always wondered why the Australian Funnel Web Spider, would evolve a toxin that almost looks designed to kill primate on a continent without any.


To kill insects. In the same way it nails us by inactivating sodium ion channels, it does potasium in insects - so it's another case of natural selection's carpet bombing.

#18 MHB

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:13 PM

I meant no primates in an evolutionary time scale, which Australia had none of.
And yes I am aware of the mechanism the toxin employs, its actually not all that good at killing its intended targets (look at the dose they deliver) compared to something like a daddy long legs which injects a fraction of the dose of a toxin much more lethal to insects.
Anyway totally OT, enzymes are fun, temperature isn’t the only parameter we need to look at.
Mash concentration and pH play a big role as do minerals of which Calcium is the king, but lots of others are important and interesting especially some of the trace elements.
Mark

dont u just hate it when someone delets a post u just replied to...
M

#19 MHB

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:22 PM

Back On Topic
There are lots of Mash Profiles in the literature, I find this one interesting and have run it on my Braumeister (in two stages). It is purportedly about the most attenuateive mash profile going.

“In Germany highly fermentable wort may be made by using an exceptionally `intensive' temperature-programmed mash, with rests at 50 oC/30min.; 62 oC/45min.; 65 oC/45min.; 68 oC/30 min.; 70 oC/30 min.; 72 oC/15 min. and then mashing off at 73-74 oC. This process takes 3.5 to 4 h.”
Brewing Science and Practice - Dennis E. Briggs, Chris A. Boulton, Peter A. Brookes and Roger Stevens

There are something like 27 enzymes identified as being in Barley malt and useful to brewers, many of these are denatured by mashing in at traditional mash in temperatures (i.e. over 50oC).
One of these days it will be interesting to do a cold mash in, leave the brew overnight then try to hit all of them on the way up. Some like Maltase that makes Maltose into Glucose are denatured before the enzymes (b-Amylase mostly) that makes the Maltose is active enough to make more than a trace of Maltose for it to act on. There was posted here on AHB an article on building Banana in Wheat Beer that uses a decoction to circumvent this problem and supply plenty of Glucose. Naturally you would only do it rather than add some dextrose to the wort, if you were brewing under the Reinheitsgebot, or you really really wanted to.
The two standout references fro me would be above mentioned Brewing Science and Practice (Ch 4 is a cracker) and Kunze Technology Brewing and Malting.
Mark

#20 manticle

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:24 PM

dont u just hate it when someone delets a post u just replied to...
M


As interesting as I find discussions about mygalamorphs and their neurotoxins or the existence of the Australian indigenous, I didn't feel the discussion would lead anywhere good.

Yes it is annoying when posts you reply to in depth get deleted but that's how it happens sometimes.

What was the upshot when you ran that schedule on your braumeister? (attenuation, flavour body etc?) What beer did you make and have you made the same beer single infusion or with vastly less steps?