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Thread: Mashing Out?

  1. #1
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    Mashing Out?

    How many of you professionals do a mash out after the saccarification rest, to facilitate your lauter? I've been told that you should NEVER, NEVER do a mash out, others have told me it's standard....

    Comments?

    Rob Zamites
    "By man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world" -- St. Arnold of Metz

  2. #2
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    Never.............we get great extract yields............

  3. #3
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    Would you be referring to the enzyme deactivation rest?

    It is common in large production breweries, and common in breweries that have the capability of temperature step mashing.

    The end purpose is to provide consistency in a wort's analytical specifications. If you dont mash off - deactivate enzymes - your wort will continue to change its attenuation point until the wort is heated above 165 degrees F. In a brewpub this is usually not a problem...but when you make millions of barrels per year a tenth of a degree in attenuation difference can ruin your whole day, week, and year. Deactivating the enzymes solidifies the wort's analytical profile and allows you to make a consistent product.

    Now some of the same large breweries have made products with no deactivation rest in the mash which allowed the enzymes to continue conversion in the kettle.

    Temperature of your mash off can cause your beer to change in many ways, most notably tannin extraction. I have heard of all sorts of temperatures for enzyme deactivation rests...all the way up to 172 F. You should have an idea of what the temperature does to the taste of your last runnings. Notice an astringent taste...maybe back down a couple of degrees (look at your mash/sparge water balance too). If you use Maris Otter malt and sparge hot you will be sorry! Your temperature choice should reflect the materials you use and the style of beer you are trying to create. Each style has its own set of analytical targets.

    This thread brings to mind some advice from one of my best Brewmaster mentors... "Remember that in brewing nothing is set in stone. If you change one thing you are changing something else in the beer. Brewing is a series of trade-offs."

    So whoever told you NOT to mash out may have had very specific reasons for it. It is a standard practice with real benefits.

  4. #4
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    An example of the trade-off would be:

    We never do a mash out step, so we get a bit of breakthrough of grainy bits halfway through the sparge. I think this is due to the temperature rise in the mash bed (68 c. up to 74 c.). Not really all that big of a deal for me, and my brewing set-up/situation.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zbrew2k
    ..........Now some of the same large breweries have made products with no deactivation rest in the mash which allowed the enzymes to continue conversion in the kettle..........

    This thread brings to mind some advice from one of my best Brewmaster mentors... "Remember that in brewing nothing is set in stone. If you change one thing you are changing something else in the beer. Brewing is a series of trade-offs."

    So whoever told you NOT to mash out may have had very specific reasons for it. It is a standard practice with real benefits...............
    We used to mash out in the early days (11 years ago) amd literally notice no difference in the product. As our product transfers to kettle, we fire on at a barrel and the heat increases during the sparge time. This occurs quite quickly.
    To be honest, I'm not aware of too many Brewers in my area who do mash out. Many don't have rake and plough systems, and don't want to pump boiling wort into their tun.

    Just my observation and $.02...........

    Regards,

  6. #6
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    Maris - Tannin Extraction

    Quote Originally Posted by zbrew2k
    "...If you use Maris Otter malt and sparge hot you will be sorry!...
    Hmm - interesting. I've never had a problem with permanent haze, but only recently returning to brewing after several years away. While at Goose Island, my malt of choice was typically SMC's special pale, as I like my base malts in a higher color/kiln range. Now, moving to a new area and doing a different thing with most of my hours (see: My waking, and my half-sleeping, hours; but brewing again, AND using Maris as my exclusive base malt, I'm definitely getting a permanent haze. I wondered if it was my yeast, which is a new choice, White Labs' Burton Yeast - a wonderfully characterful strain, but seems somewhat powdery, not a big floc; or my use of flaked barley, which is generally in all my stronger bitters, which are all that I have been brewing. Now, I wonder if it might be my sparge with the Maris.

    zbrew, what is going on with your experience with the Maris and high temps? (My sparge is generally 168-170).

    Paul
    Last edited by Paul O' North; 05-25-2005 at 07:44 AM.

  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by Paul O'North: ...what is going on with your experience with the Maris and high temps? (My sparge is generally 168-170).
    Maris Otter is a very old malting barley variety that didnt have most of the polyphenols bred out of it as some modern varieties have. Perhaps our UK members could enlighten us a bit more on this variety, and their thoughts on processing it?

    If you sparge above 169 F with Maris Otter malt you seem to get a very astringent flavor (think strong tea) in your beer. This would probably be polyphenols, and an excessive amount of them could lead to chill haze. If Maris is the only thing you have changed in your recipes, and haze showed up, then look at your temps.

    Also you may want to look at your water balance, and cut your last runnings off a little sooner (say 2 Plato) so you lessen the chances of picking up too many polyphenols (astringency).

    So I usually mash off at 168, and sparge at 168, and cut the last runnings off at 2 P.

    My best advice is taste the wort at first runnings, and during sparging, and at last runnings. You will be able to tell what your current procedure does, and what a lower temp might do.

    Maris Otter is great malt, but it takes care to bring out its best. The mash is so aromatic!

    If you change the temps, let us know what you experience.

    Good luck,
    B
    Last edited by zbrew2k; 05-25-2005 at 08:57 AM.

  8. #8
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    Maris - Tannin Extraction

    z-

    Cheers, interesting on the polyphenol content on the breed, I wasn't aware of that.

    I have not noticed any sensory decline; I do run triangle tests and other blind tastings, and in terms of taste, mouthfeel, aroma, etc., all are fine; in fact, ironically enough, very clean flavor, a "smoothness" is one particular hallmark I get from many who have had the ales, and this tends to be a comment across different OG's and styles.

    The only thing I have noticed is the haze. I run both ph and SG reads on last runnings, and both are well this side of the threshold I would normally associate with polyphenol/tannin extraction (last batch log: final runnings pH = 5.63, 8.34P (it was a barleywine); previous batch, an ESB, pH = 5.73, sg = 3.54P).

    But I will change only the temp to rule out other things (e.g., the aforementioned use of raw barley, or the yeast), and post my findings. Thanks for the lead.

    Paul

  9. #9
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    Oct 2002
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    Macomb,Oklahoma
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    mash out

    I almost always maybe not do a mash out regularly sometimes!
    Doug A Moller
    Brewmaster
    Doug's Brau Haus
    (405)226-3111

  10. #10
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    Maris - Tannin Extraction

    Any British Colleagues, maltsers or brewers, any particular info on this? I find this very interesting, and any particulars on Maris in this respect would be appreciated. Cheers.

    Paul

  11. #11
    mic_mac Guest
    Hi Folks,
    I thought I'd respond as a former UK brewer (at Brakspear's before their demise/rebirth; plus micros, brewpub, & a rare UK BOP - I've just set up a tiny business having beer contract-brewed for me locally in NW UK).

    I almost exclusively used Maris Otter, from almost all of the UK maltsters (Crisp, Baird, Munton, Beeston(RIP), Paul's, Westcrop/Warminster, Fawcett; but I never got to use Tucker's) mashing in both the traditional single infusion & step temp mash/lautertun set-ups.

    In my experience I didn't really encounter much in the way of haze problems, and anecdotally I don't remember hearing or reading much about it either. This may simply be because UK brewers are already aware of the problems associated with sparging too hot, running off too long or the pH/mineral content etc of their mash/sparge liquor?

    I do remember many brewers extolling the virtues of maris though - from quality of flavour, but also a reputation for being "forgiving"; I used to try not to offend it so didn't need the forgiveness too often!

    At Brakspear we used to have some haze/filtration problems in bottled beer using MO, but no memorable probs for cask beer.

    That said, a former Brakspear colleague recently said that as his (new) brewery uses modern equipment (I think mash/lautertun) they preferred to use more modern malt varieties. I guess that with cheaper malt prices & better extract efficiency it makes sense - I love Maris, but I'd be intrigued to try 2 beers, one brewed with Maris, the other with a more modern malt, but otherwise identical. (anyone done this?)

    One brewer I know (Martin Barry, Salopian Brewery, Shrewsbury) wrote a poem about MO, that got published in UK brewers' mag The Grist a few years back - I'd post it up, but I lost it.

    If you want more techy info, why not email the UK maltsters that you get your supplies from?
    cheers
    Mike McGuigan
    Betwixt Beer Co, Wirral, Merseyside.

  12. #12
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    Maris

    Mike, I've done it (compared Maris with other varieties, by triangle testing), using identical yeast, yeast counts, and all other variables controlled. I find Maris vastly better than most American pale malts. I do enjoy using Cargill's/Schreier's Special Pale, but still prefer Maris. I got better extraction, and the sensory profile was just maltier at the end of the day.

    I have solved my haze problem. Ahem - try calibrating the thermal probe to read correctly, not read 10F hot, so that you are conducting a mash at 149F (and not 139F, though it indicates 149F). Duhhhhh. The beer is brilliantly clear now, with no fining or filtration.

    Paul

  13. #13
    mic_mac Guest
    Interesting stuff Paul, especially the better extract, I thought that was an accepted downside to MO (as well as the price!)

    Do you know what variety(ies) the US malts were?

    I'd like to compare UK MO with e.g. UK Halcyon, Chariot, Pipkin, Golden Promise, etc.

    Glad you sorted the problem out too - I'm surprised that you had such trouble mashing at 139F tho, I would have guessed maybe just really fermentable wort?
    cheers,
    Mike.

  14. #14
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    Maris

    Mike, not sure on the varieties. Suspect mostly Harrington, but the malting varieties could have been any number of among 6 or so.

    The increase in yield may not be the malt - about the time I started using MO almost exclusively in my brewing, I changed my process, mostly in the way of my sparge routine - rather than a continuous sparge rate, I adopted a technique of "pulsing" the sparge by developing a good deal of water column on top of the grain bed, followed by nearly exposing the bed. That, plus a very gentle and lengthy runoff, may have more to do with my increased yields.

    As to the mashing temps, 139F was where I was staying for the majority of the time. Additionally, 139F would be the high end, where the probe is. Because my tun is not heated, it does lose heat over the course of time and so temp differentials are, I'm sure, throughout the tun. So, at 139F maximally, I don't believe I even achieved complete gelatinization, much less saccharification. I would go into the range 143-148F, but for limited time, typically (readings of 153-158, for 20 minutes or so), so was getting some conversion, but certainly not a complete one. Since calibrating my thermal probes, my beer is brilliantly clear without finings or filtration.

    Paul

  15. #15
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    Nov 2004
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    Hermosa Beach, California, USA
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    mash out

    I always mash out, not only to denature the enzymes, but it also speeds up the lautering process. The wort is more viscous at higher temps and I reach a boil quicker due to the higher temps. When doing multiple brews in a day, this is important. I haven't had any astringency probs. Like someone else said, nothing is set in stone, do what works for your brewery.
    Mike

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