Stuck Mashes with Great western Malt
Is anyone out there having problems with slower than average run offs with Great Western 2 row malt. we are having a 75% rate of slow mashes wich is adding up to 10 extra man hours a week. Just curious. Mike
What does your malt spec-sheet say compared to previous lots? Proteins creeping up? How about your mill - is it within spec? More flour than usual? Any changes to your water (pH, mineral content)? Any mash equipment changes? That's about all I can think of as to what may be causing problems.
Protiens are down according to the specs, our mill is on the money, the only difference is a new silo of grain. Mike
You may want to ask your supplier what the Beta-glucan levels are. Also find out if it is an average due to blending and how they obtain that average. Eg...Is it 50% of x level with 50% of x level. If 50% of the blend is relatively high to bump the average up this could definitely be the problem. Good luck!
I won't speculate on why your particular malt is causing you problems, but I will tell you where I would look in this situation regardless of who the supplier is. Otherwise it would be a bit like Ford telling you why your GM is getting bad gas mileage.
Most likely malt related cause is Beta Glucan. Look at your BG numbers and look at wort viscosity on your analysis. Look for increases in either.
Second most likely is that your malt is more fragile and may be shattering. Look for lower moisture levels and higher friability as potentials here. If your friabilities have gone up you may want to open your mill a bit. Friable malt will shatter and create more flour if your mill is too tight. Higher friable malt in and of itself is not a problem, you just have to be more careful with it. If you are shattering your malt you will notice a greyish dough layer on top of your grain bed when your lauter tun has drained.
Third is integrity of the malt. Is the malt getting beat up before you get it? On transfer to your silo?
Most people think that increased protein is a significant contributor to runoff problems. It's not, so look elsewhere as above.
If all of these check out on your analysis call your maltster and try to get more specific info like blend info etc. Ask them to help you with your problem, talk to somebody with brewing expertise if at all possible. As you have done in your post, ask if other brewers are experiencing similar issues.
Keep in mind that the above is a description of problems caused by the malt itself. Before you even go down the road of diagnosing your malt problem, make sure it's not in fact a process problem in your facility. Review your procedures, talk to your brewers, look at the whole process. Once you are satisfied your process hasn't changed in a material way, then move onto the raw materials.
Cargill Specialty Malt Group
Thanks for all of the responses so far it's been a big Help. In response to the cargill post about the fragil grain I believe that is most likely the problem. When I look at the malt when it comes out of the silo it looks very dusty & beat up lots of broken pieces of malt & as far as the mash goes that thick gray paste on the top of the mash is very evident. thanks for your help. Mike Hall