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To Mash Out Or Not To Mash Out

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Mercs Own

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What do you AG'ers do? What are the benefits of mashing out and what, if any, are the cons of doing it or not doing it. I know most of the micros dont seem to do it due to cost and labour so why would home brewers do it? Interested in the end effect on the beer if you mash out compared to if you dont.

Feel free to point me in the direction of any good articles related to the subject.
 

warrenlw63

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Merc.

Started out doing it. However I now mash in an Igloo cooler. Gave up on it to save adding boiling water infusions to get to mash out temps. Real PITA.

Can't say it's ever been an issue. I just add the first of my sparge water a little hotter than normal and let the temp drop through the sparge.

That said I plan to build a mashtun out of a converted keg up the track. This will probably be directly heated. I may start mashing out again.

Basically choice is yours. B)

Warren -
 

Goat

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I thought the reason for a mash out was to de-nature the enzymes and in so doing, terminate the conversion process.

If that's the case, just what the benefit of this is, I'm not really sure. You would think that you'd want to maximise the conversion. needless to say I don't bother....
 

Murray

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The only partly satisfactory answer I have been given is that mashing out will improve consistency, ie ending enzyme activity at the same time every time should deliver a more consitent product.

I achieve mash out conditions when batch sparging regardless. I have no evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, that mashing out is beneficial to the process.
 

RobW

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This is from the Brewer's dictionary on the Brewtree page:

http://www.brewtree.com/page/page/1616262.htm

Some people think mashout means the temperature they "raise" the mash to before sparging. That is an olde world definition and not applicable to todays malts. Since today's malts are highly modified, and single infusion (one temp) mash is standard, Mash-out has taken on a new meaning. Mashout is now synonymous with the sparge process. The temperature you sparge with is basically your "mashout temp". It is recommended the sparge water be approx 168F to safely rinse the sugars from the grain, without leaching astringent flavors from the husks (which happens at higher sparge temperatures which are generally not used or recommended by modern brewers)
 

AndrewQLD

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A mash out will also make the wort less viscous allowing better extraction of the sugars. Due to the higher temperature the sugars in the wort become more runny(for want of a better word) making it easier to extract more of the available sugars.

Cheers
Andrew

edited more for less
 

Doc

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My take on it is the main idea is to stop the conversion process (even though in a 90 min mash this has probably already finished).
I top up the mash tun with hot liquor following the mash which raises the temp to around a mashout temp.
The good point of getting the mash to a mashout temp is so that you can have consistency when brewing the beer next time, using the same time schedule, ie. easy replicable procedure.

Beers,
Doc
 

Trough Lolly

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Never done a mashout myself...I figure that if I need to halt the enzymes, then I've stopped the mash too soon!! I just hot sparge and that'll do me...

TL
 

SteveSA

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Mashing out raises my efficiency by about 5% - so I continue to do it.

I use a rectangular esky for a mash tun so my grainbed is much shallower than that of a Keep Cold type cooler. Maybe the extra liquid helps with washing the sugars out? It could also be as AndrewQLD describes above - the increase in temp assists in getting the sugars out - sounds plausible.

It helps with MY system but may not with others. I guess it's one of those "getting to know your own brewery" things.

As for a better product - I highly doubt it! I'd like to meet the person who could tell the difference between mashout vs non-mashout.

Steve
 

chiller

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From the images of your brew setup Paul it appears you may have a direct heated mash tun. Mine is direct heated and yes I mashout. The reason for this [for me] is to maintain a consistent sparge temperature of around 74 - 76c.

I raise the mash slowly over about 5 - 10 minutes [gently stirring] to this temperature and the sparge water only needs to be the same.

As for stopping the mash -- it probably does but with today's malts most conversion with a good crush is completed in less than 35 minutes. The run off from the mash can slow appreciably as the temperature drops as the sugar solution thickens with the drop in temperature.

Sparge water temperature is not the issue -- it is the actual grain bed temperature - you need to get and maintain a bed temp of 74 - 76c for both batch sparges or the continuous trickle. Without a mashout the sparge water may need to be close to 90c to acheive the sparge temp of 74 - 76c

With a small non heated tun you may not be able to raise the temp from say 67 to 74c with boiling water, without running out of space in the tun.

Is it essential - no - Should you do it - entirely up to you - Will it improve your beer - :)

Steve
 

Mercs Own

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Thanks Steve! That answered a couple of questions I had regarding my last brew day getting my sparge temp up to the correct temp - which I couldnt and the grain bed remained at 68 for the entire sparge.

So I can gentley heat my mash tun with the direct gas jet whilst I recirculate the liquid and set the bed then once the mash bed is at the correct sparge temp 75 and the bed set I can stop the recirc and start the sparge! Cool!

Looks like the next brew will have a mash out.
 

tangent

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bugger!
i'd read somewhere a sparge temp of over 70C starts to strip the nasty flavours off the husks. Maybe I'm not getting all of my sugars?
Should I be measuring my bed temp rather than my sparge water?
 

RobW

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tangent said:
bugger!
i'd read somewhere a sparge temp of over 70C starts to strip the nasty flavours off the husks. Maybe I'm not getting all of my sugars?
Should I be measuring my bed temp rather than my sparge water?
[post="84501"][/post]​
As I understand you are OK up to 76 but you need to careful above that
 

AndrewQLD

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tangent said:
bugger!
i'd read somewhere a sparge temp of over 70C starts to strip the nasty flavours off the husks. Maybe I'm not getting all of my sugars?
Should I be measuring my bed temp rather than my sparge water?
[post="84501"][/post]​

Tangent, it is the grain bed temp that is important not the sparge water temp.

Cheers
Andrew

Edit: to raise the temp of your grain bed (assuming a grain/water ratio of 1:3)from 65c to 76c you would need to add 12lt of 89c sparge water, which is easy for batch spargers but not so easy if you fly sparge.
 

SteveSA

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In the ghetto we don't have those fancy direct heated mash tuns!

I use an infusion of boiling water to bring my mash up to mash out temp. Very simple - 1L of boiling water increases mash temp by 1C. So to raise from 66C to 76C add 10L boiling water. Keep the water on the boil as you're adding it.

Steve

Edit: Just noticed AndrewQLD's edit. You can use the calculation from Beersmith (or other software) but the boiling water addition I have described allows for a smaller mash tun.

btw I batch sparge
 

sosman

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Either way you make beer.

I batch sparge in an esky and mashout. Sometimes I don't bother and beer still pops out.

Denaturation and reduced viscosity (runnier) are the claimed benefits. For sticky mashes this can apparently make a difference between a stuck sparge or otherwise.

Going above some temperature variously quoted in the low to mid 70's increases the risk of excessive tannins being extracted with the risk of astringency. I aim for 75C.
 

sosman

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warrenlw63 said:
Started out doing it. However I now mash in an Igloo cooler. Gave up on it to save adding boiling water infusions to get to mash out temps. Real PITA.
[post="84445"][/post]​
I am curious to hear what the PITA is re adding boiling water?
 

AndrewQLD

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sosman said:
Either way you make beer.

I batch sparge in an esky and mashout. Sometimes I don't bother and beer still pops out.

Denaturation and reduced viscosity (runnier) are the claimed benefits. For sticky mashes this can apparently make a difference between a stuck sparge or otherwise.

Going above some temperature variously quoted in the low to mid 70's increases the risk of excessive tannins being extracted with the risk of astringency. I aim for 75C.
[post="84516"][/post]​

Thanks for picking up my blunder Sosman, my post has been edited. Even as I typed the original post in the last 20 min of work I felt something was not quite right.
Viscosity:the quality of being viscous; especially : the property of resistance to flow in a fluid or semifluid
hence the less viscous, the more easy the flow

Sorry about that guys.

Cherrs
Andrew
 

Darren

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Be careful bottom heating your mash tun. If some grain has found it underneath the false bottom it can burn
 

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