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Protein Rest - What Is It And Is It Handy?

Discussion in 'Partial Mash Brewing' started by HoppingMad, 31/3/09.

 

  1. HoppingMad

    Ein Stein

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    Posted 31/3/09
    Ok, I've come to the understanding that to make a good AG wheat beer I need to do a protein rest.

    Trouble is I have no idea what one is. Or how to do one. Or what the benefit of doing one is.

    The searching I've done suggests the following:

    "A protein rest is a portion of the mashing process. Typically, it is the first step in mashing. To conduct a protein rest, add 1 quart of water to each pound of grain. Hold at about 120 to 135F for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, proceed on to the starch conversion rest by adding another half quart of boiling water."

    So if I read this right, when I start my brew I effectively steep my grain as a first step between 45-55 degrees celcius? Then raise the temp up after 30 mins to my regular mash temp of 67 degrees and commence regular mashing?

    Would this be right?

    What does a protein rest do exactly? Do you need them for wheat beers? If its just for improving clarity I can live without it as most wheats I've drunk seem to be cloudy.

    Any thoughts from the wise, fire away :)

    Hopper.
     
  2. Screwtop

    Inspectors Pocket Brewery

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    Posted 1/4/09
    If you want some weizen advice have a look here Weizen Mash Schedule
     
  3. Fourstar

    doG reeB

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    Posted 1/4/09
    dont bother with a protien rest unless you are using a big whack of adjunct. for a weizen, i would employ an acid rest to get the ferulic (spelling?) acid going for fermentation purposes (enhances the clove/banana production)

    Tradition Decoction mashes are also recommended for Weizens. All fails, read Screwys link.
     
  4. HoppingMad

    Ein Stein

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Thanks for the link Screwtop. Looks pretty technical and a big long thread so might have to re-read it a few times to get my head around this. Have no idea what an acid rest is either Fourstar. Looks like I've got a bit of light reading to do on both subjects!

    Hopper.
     
  5. newguy

    To err is human, to arrr is pirate

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Acid rest = 40C or so. Usually only used for soft water as the acid created isn't very "strong". Traditionally used to lower the mash pH in regions with soft water and undermodified malts, as part of a triple decoction. Dough in at acid rest -> protein rest -> sacch rest -> mashout.
     
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  6. HoppingMad

    Ein Stein

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Cool. I guess living in Melbourne we don't exactly have hard water here. Will look into this.

    Hopper.
     
  7. HoppingMad

    Ein Stein

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Just read Screwy's thread link over lunch and think I've got it. It's an awesome thread once you weave through it so thanks!

    I guess for wheats and doing rests/steps I've got two options judging by the recommendations.

    Zwickel's:

    mash in at 35C and heat up to 42C rest for 40-45min (ferulic-acid rest)
    go further to 63C and rest for 30min
    go to 72 and rest for 30min
    heat up to 78C and mash out.

    Or the one recommended by Weyermann:

    Mash:
    Mash in at 35C
    Raise mash temperature to 45C
    Rest mash for 10 minutes
    Raise mash temperature to 52C
    Rest mash for 10 minutes
    Raise mash temperature to 62C
    Rest mash for 30 minutes
    Raise mash temperature to 72C
    Rest mash for 30 minutes
    Iodine test normal
    Raise mash temperature to 78C for mash-out

    So it looks like the thread did answer the question. Thanks heaps guys! :beer:

    Hopper.
     
  8. churchy

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 1/4/09
    When raising the temp at each stage are you adding hot water? or have you guys got electric elements in your mash tun and turn the heat up?


    Andrew
     
  9. newguy

    To err is human, to arrr is pirate

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Depends. If you're mashing in an esky you can either add boiling water or withdraw some of the mash, boil that, then add it back into the esky to raise the overall mash temp. The problem with adding boiling water is that sooner or later your esky runs out of room. Withdrawing & boiling a portion of the mash is known as a decoction. If you're mashing in a metal vessel you can add heat however you want so step mashes aren't an issue.
     
  10. samhighley

    Dyslexic beer dog

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    Posted 1/4/09
    The mash regime recommended by Weyermann will be impossible without some way of applying heat to the mash, such as an immersion element, heatable mash tun (ie. steel mash tun), RIMS etc.

    Sam
     
  11. HoppingMad

    Ein Stein

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Yep, I've got a 3 tier keggle setup (all steel vessels). Burner on my HLT and on my boiler so might have to 'borrow' one from under the boiler while I do the stepping I reckon.

    Yeah bit hard to heat up a cooler with a burner - melted plastic and scorched grain everywhere! :lol:

    Hopper.
     
  12. rich_lamb

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Andrew, when I do a step mash (very rare) I do the first rests in a kettle over direct heat. You can stir for even heating, and the temps are not so high so they "hold" fairly well.
    When I get to the sacc. rest temp I dump it all into my usual esky and proceed as usual, since my esky is my sparging vessel.

    If I do a mash out I use infusion; adding near boiling water. But it depends on the mash volume as my esky is small - if it's a big beer I wont bother with the mashout, or I'll do a decoction. You can mix and match this stuff to suit your needs...
     
  13. Thirsty Boy

    ICB - tight shorts and poor attitude. Fuck yeah!

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    Posted 1/4/09
    I disagree with your initial statement.

    IMHO you do not need to do a protein rest to make a good wheat beer. In fact you should be able to easily make a very good wheat beer indeed with a single infusion mash. A wonderful, simple to make tasty beer is a weizen.

    50% pilsner malt
    50% wheat malt

    mash at 67 for an hour

    hallertau or some other German noble hop to 15ish IBUs

    Wyeast 3068 at 17C. A little less for more cloves and a little more for more banana.

    I add a little munich because I like the darker more malty versions like franziskaner.

    Although I do a step mash and a 55 protein rest when I make a weizen - occasionally including a ferulic acid rest (different to a "normal" acid rest newguy) if I am looking for a stronger clove character (doesn't help with the banana fourstar). I certainly don't think its a must. I do that protein rest with every beer I make - so in effect, I am not changing a single thing about my mashing process when I make a weizen.

    I don't think you need to either.

    Although - as full immersion AG brewing indoctrination process... nothing does it like a full triple decoction wheat beer. Dough in to F acid rest, decoct to protein rest, decoct to sach rest, decoct to Mashout --- mmmm 12 hr brew day.

    TB
     
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  14. Darren

    Beer Dog

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    Posted 1/4/09
    Hey Hopping Mad,

    I agree with Thirstyboy (yes unusual),

    Yeast makes a weizen NOT "rests"


    cheers

    darren
     
  15. Screwtop

    Inspectors Pocket Brewery

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    Posted 1/4/09

    From experience I agree 99% with Thirsty. As a matter of fact I find that promoting isoamylacetate (Banana) is achieved more simply by reducing the amount of wheat in the grist. I find the clove/tartness in my weizens is more the result of the amount of wheat in the grist. I do like Zwickels mash profile, purely for the dry weizen that it produces, a great summer quaffing weizen. But if I want to make a weizen with more banana ester then I rely more on the grain bill than the profile of the yeast strain. I find that using 50% wheat grist and a single infustion mash (well basically single infusion, like Thirsty I mash in at around protien rest temp for convenience then raise to sacch rest temp) at around 66C allows the banana ester to shine through. If the beer finishes a llittle sweet this also seems to allow the banana ester to shine, that's why I use 66C sacch temp. Played around with different yeasts and fermentation temps using 60% wheat but struggled to produce the banana ester that I had had in my early weizens, they were all higher in clove esters. Came to this conclusion after returning to using 50% wheat again, wheat produces an inherent tartness in beeer and the banana ester produced by the yeast struggles to shine through when wheat dominates the grain bill.

    Cheers,

    Screwy
     
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  16. samhighley

    Dyslexic beer dog

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    Posted 1/4/09
    I do a protein rest for my Witbier, as I use about 40% flaked wheat.
     
  17. HoppingMad

    Ein Stein

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    Posted 2/4/09
    Thanks for the feedback on the rests and stepping guys.

    This is good news if they are not essential as I leapt in the deep end and did a wheat beer very similar to thirsty's recipe (same grain bill and hops - just using a dry WB-06 yeast) that is fermenting now, and was worried that by skipping this process it might turn out shite.

    Might do a similar wheat with steps/rest and see how it turns out by way of comparison - but the suggestions of up to 12 hours in the brew shed is a little daunting I've gotta admit.

    Agree with the comment on Wheats being about the yeast too particularly from what I've read, not so much experience - thought that the banana came out at higher temps and clove at lower with Weizen yeasts - didn't realise that the mash could affect the balance so much, very interesting - and one reason I would like to delve further into this process.

    Cheers! :icon_cheers:

    Hopper
     
  18. lespaul

    Well-Known Member

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    Posted 20/10/10
    I did a weizen on the weekend and did the step mash of:
    44 for 15
    51 for 15
    64 for 40
    70 for 20
    or so i thought, until the gas ran out on the protein rest (51), and it sat at the protein rest state for around 30 minutes...will an extended protein rest develop any flavours? or anything to expect in the finished beer?
    cheers
     
  19. hsb

    Worth waiting for

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    Posted 20/10/10
    As always, the answer is as clear as looking through a cloudy beer after a skinful of said beer. :) (Only meaning to imply that there are many views to be had in all things homebrew, the advice above is all great and I'll also be working my way through it to make my own choices)

    With these many-Step-Mashes and mention of Immersion Heaters, does anyone put their Immersion Heater into the mash itself?
    Currently I add hotter water from a HLT to raise temps in the Mash (HLT heated with Immersion Heater). But this is slow to heat the HLT and would make some of these Step Mashes more difficult. Is Immersion Heater in with the Mash causing damage to the Grain/unwanted effects? Ty.
     
  20. manticle

    Standing up for the Aussie Bottler

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    Posted 20/10/10
    Yes I do and no I haven't noticed any unpleasant effects. Just make sure it's sturdy, you stir it around evenly (as mash temp in my tun often has hot spots and cool spots anyway), unplug it before removing and if you have a plastic tun, keep it away from the sides (obvious but worth mentioning).
     

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