Turbid Mash

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Paulyman and I had a crack at a turbid mash yesterday and I thought I'd post some of the lessons learnt for other folks who want to have a go at it. Simple 60/40 mix of pilsner and flaked wheat (raw wheat would be more traditional).

Conceptually, a turbid mash is a multi step mash with some wort drawn off between 2 of the steps. The wort drawn off is heated to ~85C to denature the enzymes and is added back at the end of the mash to hit mash out temps. Unlike a decoction, you only take the liquid out and not the grain.

We were shooting for:

Dough in 45C for 10 mins at an insanely thick mash (~1L to 2kg)
Then steps: 58/66/72/76 for 20/30/30/10 mins.

My system is a 40L crown urn HLT, 95L mash tun and 95L boil kettle. We also used Paulyman's grainfather for the turbid wort.

We were shooting for about 60L finished to fill 4x 15L cubes. This would take about 90L of water on my system: 10L dough in, 40L in the HLT and 40L in the boil kettle (for mashing)

Dough in is so think it's almost laughable:

View attachment 107056

This was 10L of water for 18kg of grain. We then took about 3L of wort out which required a fair bit of stirring and a little extra strike water to get enough out. This went into the grainfather, set at 85C.

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You then infuse with water to get to each step. All of your strike water needs to be boiling otherwise you aren't going to hit your numbers.

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After the 66C rest, we took another 12L of wort out and added that to the grainfather.

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This is where it started to go a bit pear shaped. We only just get to the 72C rest (probably more like 70C). We were running out of strike water and needed to reserve some for the sparge. We heated the turbid wort up to 95C+ and added that back to the mash. We then drew out 15L and did it again. We sort of got to 75C this way and then sparged with 30L of boiling water and lautered.

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While the turbid draw was always murky and cloudy, the runnings were relatively clear.

FWH with 100g aged hops
View attachment 107063

In reality unless you were going to try and spontaneously ferment, you could probably get away with no hops or maybe 2-5IBU from something low alpha like saaz. Boil can be for up to 3 hours, we sort of lost interest after 90 mins and called it a day.

Our efficiency was way way way over the 75% I usually get so we ended up adding another 10L to the boil, which was great as the whole leaf hops clogged the tap and we lost a fair bit of wort.

So, turbid mashing was fun and we got 4 cubes which we will ferment with 4 different sets of bugs and yeast. We plan to do this again next year and also blend and bottle this years batches on the same day.

It got me to thinking, perhaps a turbid draw would work for those folks wanting a cloudy beer, like a NEIPA.

I'd be interested in anyone else's experience with turbid mashing!

EDIT: Can't work out how to get the images in properly.
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forgive my question as it's been years since I was here last (just getting back on the horse)...

what are the advantages of a turbid mash?

I originally began on a 3v system, then 2v, then single pid controlled bias, and never heard of turbid mash before.
big nath it leaves unconverted starches for the brett to chew on . ive done five turbid mashes each time had to add too much water to increase temp so had to draw off more turbid wort. boils ranged between 4 hours and 7 hours effiency was awesome but long day never again! if i did i would have a burner under mlt with pump recirculating.

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