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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Basic mash question

When starting in a mash tun, do you need to control that heat, or can you just load it up to 180 degree water, throw in the grain, and let it do its thing for 2 hours, then sparge it down?


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When starting in a mash tun, do you need to control that heat, or can you just load it up to 180 degree water, throw in the grain, and let it do its thing for 2 hours, then sparge it down?


Reply:

you also don't really have to do mash for two hours. If your grain is well malted 1 hour is more then enough. If you're not sure you can always do an iodine test to see if all the starch is converted. insulation and a good pitching/strike temp is all you really need (as bioviper mentioned compensate for change in temp caused by the mix...check home brew sites for an easy calculator for this if your math lazy like me)

controlling temperature is handy if your brewing a wheat base product or something that has been poorly malted but most of the small breweries I've done time with almost never play with mashing temperatures... get the conversion and sparge....the effect isn't quite worth the effort...

I think however it might be interesting to do long protein rest (lower starting temps) because it lowers foam stability in beer (regarded as bad for beer quality) but might help in the distilling aspect since grain mash seem to foam up a lot while you boil the... I have never tried this though so if anybody knows better I'd love to hear about it.


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Good morning Robin, Volume of mash will also be a big factor in temp control and cooking time. Look into the gelatinization point of different grains. Words of intrest to start, starch gelatinization, anylopectin, amylase hydolysis, PH factors,enzymes natural and synthetic and their purpose and operating temps. Optimal pitching temps also change with strains. Plenty more when your ready.

Matt


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is gelatin really an issue? I've never done a corn mash so all is possible... but I've never heard of a mash gelatin (would be kinda funny to see/ frustrating as hell)... wouldn't the amylase(s) just break up the starch matrix over time anyways? The water grain ratio might cause this problem but there are optimal standards that are easy to find out there.

Also mixing the grains while you mash can help a lot in the efficiency. continual is better but if the price of a motorized mixer is too much right not a good paddle and strong harms works fine (just mix it a couple of times during the mashing)


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check the temp where corn gelatinizes. Pass that temp and i hope your Hercules. corn especially gets to a point that can stop a motor if you dont control it. alphas and betas keep this from occuring. On homebrewtalk.com there is a chart that will help. Gelatinization is an important signal in the breakdown of starch. not a fun experience when your mash reaches full gel.

Matt


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Check out wikipedias definition for starch gelatiization and you will understand the importance of this state. Then enzymes do their thing.

Matt


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Is this the point of complex turning simple? Necklace strands to earrings analogy? Yeast likes earrings. simple. Conversion is what we are after isn't it?


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cool stuff! Out of tradition I always play around 60 and 70 degrees Celsius and avoid that problem but wow that would suck... what do you do if it happens? just wait and let the enzymes break it down further? it would be so horrible if you accidentally denatured the enzymes at the same time (I do not remember the denaturation temp of amylase)...


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Well yes thats the trick and i guess you understand the principles a little more now. Have had both experiences with full gel. once the enzymes worked and another it didnt. The real trick is to be observant and know from past experience at what temp on your equipment to add your enzymes as close to gel as possible. experience will let you see mash texture just prior to this point. The results of this " GREAT CONVERSION"


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looks like we high-jacked the conversation from the original question matta haha

adding your enzymes early shouldn't be a problem... they are active at a large temperature range, just more effective at a certain temp and only denatured if conditions get too harsh (hot, acid or anything out of their comfort level)... so as long as the water isn't too hot or your doing the addition at the same time your adding something that might denature them with high initial concentration, before it dilutes into the entire solution (say an acid to adjust your ph or sulphite addition in wine) the timing of your enzyme addition shouldn't matter too much.

remember your addition is imitating the natural enzymes present in malt (in there to allow the seed to germinate, starch is the seeds longterm storage then broken into maltose/simpler sugars so the plant can use it and start to grow) and so when you use the malted grain their there right from the start... so I would just add the enzymes as early in the process as possible... but I would also just malt a portion of the grain or all so as to not have to buy expensive enzymes that are available naturally for free in your base product.