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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Mash Schedule / Help Needed / Maybe

Below is our mash schedule we used successfully with great yields on our small 50 gallon system. It is how we were taught, however did not work well on our 600 gallon system. in previous post i posted about a rubbery ring of gel'd corn at bottom of my mash tun. Granted i had issues with steam jacket. But i want some opinions about how we mashed and what you all think. In black was the schedule as it was originally taught to us. In red was follow up questions / q&A in green was the masters responses to help tweak. 


1.          Add water to mash tun

2.          Heat to 130 F, add corn

3.          Bring to 185 F, and if using high-temperature alpha-amylase add now (Add Hitempase)(This will liquefy the mash and help with gleantizing the starches)(you  may want to add a cook step before doing the Hitempase rest to begin the process of starch gelatinizing a 190+ F cook for 45-60 min) Is this step necessary prior to hitemp phase

-It is possible to get away without doing this step and just doing the hitemp  rest phase, but this hot cook will definitely help in the gelatinizing process, and with rye in the mash bill, it can help to make the mash go easier. 


4.          Hold (Hitempase rest) 60-90 minutes.  pH should be 5.5-6.5 (This should be a long enough rest, you might be able to cut down to 60 min and not go the full 90 min here)so if no cook phase we add hitemp enzyme and wait 60-90 minutes? 

-If you do decide to skip the cook (which is again up to you), you would want to do at least full 90 min rest here and possibly also continue to add heat so that you do not drop in temperature at all. 


You could also add the hitempase at this step as well even if you do a cook, it will just give a little less time for the hitepase to work so you might need a longer rest. 


5.          Cool down to glucoamylase temp What temp is that? 75C (167F) is the ideal temperature, but it will have more than 80% of the maximum activity in the range of 60-78C(140-172F)  and add. Add what? The glucoamylase (aka the amylo 300) Hold 60-90 min (Add Amylo 300. Addd again? No need to add it twice.  Sorry for the confusion there. After rest do an iodine starch test for full conversion).


You could add the barley at step 5 when you add the Amylo 300 (glucoamylase).  Add it before you do the rest, at the same time as the enzyme.


6.          Bioglucanase step. Cool to 140 F and add Bioglucanase. Rest for an additional 60 min if glucans are an issue) At what point and temperature do i add my rye and barley? –You can add the rye in with the corn before you do the cook.  They rye can really get gummy and produce a sticky mash, so you will want to make sure that it goes through the cook and the hitempase rest phase to help breakdown some of those sticky starches.


Holy crap, there's a difference between helping someone who encounter a problem now and then, vs spoon feeding an entire operation from grain to glass. Buy a book ! Experiment !  What's next, seriously ? Looking for people to bottle for you ? 


Roger dude... really?  

Personally I get something out of posts like Georgeous’s.  Note all the variables.  There is no right way.  And any distillery should have a mindset that he/she will be learning about a better way until they are no longer distilling.  

Reply:10 hours ago, Roger said:

Here is a foolproof method for your 600g batch.  I am assuming this is approximately 1200 pounds of grain. I would consider this an over-dosage of enzyme, and uses extended hold times, but it's a starting point that will guarantee success.  Once you dial it in, start keeping a journal and start dialing back your hold times and enzyme additions until you start seeing a dip in yield.

1. Add water and backset (10%) to mash tun, start heating, agitator on.

2. Once you've gotten to your desired fill, add corn to mash tun.  You want to mash in cool.  Do not mash in corn at 130f or above as you risk clumping and creating dough balls, especially with a fine grind getting dumped in bulk.  This will be a nightmare to deal with in a closed tun.  Mashing cooler, and heating, reduces risk of clumping, vs going in hot.

3. Adjust pH to 5.6 or under, wait 10 minutes between acid additions and rechecking.  Add High Temp Alpha Amylase (500ml).  Do not add enzyme directly to water, only to mash.

4. Hold for 90 minutes at 190-195f.  Hold time will depend on numerous variables.  Your corn, your grind, your agitation, how long it takes you to get to temperature.

5. Start cooling, check pH, adjust to 5.2, add second dose of High Temp Alpha Amylase (500ml).  Wait until about 180f to add the enzyme - as you want it to remain active.

6. At 150-152f, add malt, hold for 90 minutes.  You will drop temperature during your malt addition, you'll need to figure this out and adjust accordingly.

7. Start cooling, check pH, adjust if necessary, again 5.2 is target.

8. During cool down, add Glucoamylase (1 liter) at 130f, do not stop cooling, do not add at a higher temperature.  You want this enzyme to remain active through the entire fermentation process.  This will clean up any mistakes made during corn gelatinization or malt mash-in (longer chain dextrin and residual starch).

9. Cool to low 80s, pump over to fermenter, pitch 1kg yeast.


* One additional point - if you have issues with your agitation being insufficient, and/or your corn grind is too coarse to achieve grain suspension during initial mixing.  Do not run the bottom jacket during the first stage of gelatinization.  Watch the mash, be the mash, you'll see a point during heatup, when it visually changes.  It will go whiter, before it goes yellower, and it will develop a more glossy sheen and clearly increase in viscosity.  At this point once you have suspension, you can turn on the bottom jacket to take it the rest of the way to 190-195f.  Corn sitting on the bottom jacket, under the mixer, not moving, is going to cook it to the bottom.  Not only is this a pain in the ass to clean, it means you are losing yield, or even worse, breaks off a corn ball and clogs the pump or pipelines.



Patio - I understand your commentary, but this is not a cookie cutter franchise industry. It is a field of expertise steeped in years of learned technique, nuance, experimentation, errors that return results better than imagined, individuality, etc.., 

If we all do the same things in the same way, we are little more than a commodity with a bunch of fake stories. 

But your point is well taken. I shall only chime in when I can help.


Reply:5 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:

Amylo300 is Glucoamylase.

Not removing it, just adding it after malt.

Spliting of the High Temp Alpha is insurance that it does not all get denatured during the cook.


Reply:4 hours ago, Roger said:

I have not done corn but regularly do rye and oats.

That "rubbery ring" you mention, if I didn't agitate vigorously for long enough  after adding the grain I got that about 4 inches deep on the bottom. Very hard to break up.

Recently I discovered high temperature amylase, add it ....before ....adding grain. Strike temperature 190f. drops to 175 after addition

Much less agitation required and balling is much less of a problem and my yield has increased dramatically.


Reply:14 hours ago, PeteB said:

I have tried adding grain before high temp enzymes (accidentally) and have "spent the afternoon spear fishing with a mash paddle" 

The high temperature enzymes (amylase) I use are designed to add to the hot water before the grain, we end up with way less balling, and they are much easier to break up, and the yield is significantly higher. 

My oats and rye are hammer-milled fine, looks like flour but has a slight coarse feel. 

I will try a lower strike temperature then raise the temperature to see if there is any improvement. I hope it is not better because it is a bit time consuming with my setup.



The high temperature amylase I use is Spezyme Alpha, liquid Amalyse


What I'm saying is if you are working with rye and wheat in high percentages, or unmalted grains in high percentages, going in hot, even if you are able to easily do it, is less ideal because you can't take advantage of glucanase and protease enzymes and/or rests.  So your rye-dominant workflow is going to be very different from your corn-dominant workflows.  Why not just deal with one cereal mash workflow and optimize it based on the equipment?  Document your optimal cereal mash workflow and it becomes much easier when dealing with assistants, training new brewers on the system, etc.  Your dosages, hold times, wait times, heat times, pH adjustments, etc - all become very very predictable and repeatable.

I don't see how there is time savings, waiting for the mash tun to heat up to add the grain, versus adding grain at a cooler temperature and then heating.  Either way he will have to wait for the tun to heat up.  I've actually found that going in cool, and allowing some time for the grist to hydrate and swell during the heatup, actually results in reduction of time spent at temperature.  Think about it, if it takes you 1hr to go from 70 to 190f.  If you add the grist at 70, you have an additional hour in the water and at least near gelatinization temperatures.  So you'll either have higher yield, or a shorter gelatinization hold.  That's a great decision to have to make.

The point of this thread isn't about optimal/efficient/time saving mash processes, it's about getting this guy a process that'll give him an easy workflow with very high probability of success, with the equipment he's got (shared on another thread).  That's all I documented above.  It's overkill on many levels, but that's not the point.  That's not the process I use, but then again, I've got my process dialed in for my equipment, and my equipment is different from his.


great thread you guys , in my mind nailing down a process is like building a knife first get the basic shape and then keep sharpening it till its as sharp as it needs to be to do the job that intend to use it for . 



I just did a batch of wheat whiskey. I have 185F water and mashed in with that. My thinking was that since I didn't have any corn in the mash bill, I could reach gel temps without having to heat at all. Can confirm, dough ball spear fishing and steam facials.


I have a giant 3 foot long whisk I got from the restaurant supply.

Works much better than the paddle.


We have a pretty poorly designed mash tun/stripping still so we can only do step down mashing. We heat the water to the max temp we are using, add a high temp enzyme to the water and then add the milled grains at the temps we are mashing them in. It generally works OK for us. We do get some clumping on the surface of the mash due to the design of our equipment and we used to use a paddle to deal with that. A couple years back we added an electric grout/mortar mixer which works well to break up the clumps on the surface. Our mashing vessel stirs the mash and we hold the mortar mixer through the manhole and let it rip, it chews up the clumps on the surface and they get mixed in. Its not perfect, we'll run the mortar mixer for a few minutes, close the manhole and let is continue to mix for awhile, repeat as necessary until everything is smooth. The mortar mixer is a lot easier than the paddle was. 


We used to fill hot, mash in, then use steam injection to get to gel temp.

It logistically became a problem, because we were milling and rebagging 1000-1200 pounds of grain for each batch.  We aren't setup like a traditional brewhouse with a HLT and Grist Case.

We eventually came to the current setup, where we mill, fill, and heat simultaneously.  Hammer mill has a pneumatic conveyor, so it's silly not to use it to convey.  In the hour it takes us to mill 1000 pounds, we can fill the ton, and get it to temp.  So we do all three at the same time for corn.  For rye, similar, except we heat less, to end up where we want to dose beta-glucanase.

We're trying to prototype a small scale continuous jet cooker, so that we're not using the pneumatic conveyor, as it can get dusty when it discharges.  Prototype run #2 was yesterday, and it did great.

Reply:3 hours ago, Silk City Distillers said:
Reply:On 1/29/2019 at 5:58 AM, Silk City Distillers said:

He means use backset from your last still run in place of 10 % of your total water. It will help with number 2


Yeah @Aux Arc answered for me.  If you are just starting to get into a rhythm and don't have a regular production schedule, using backset/stillage in your mash is a little bit of a challenge, since you need to keep it around.  The spent wash from the pot, after distillation - separated from the spent grain.

You shouldn't need pH stabilizer, adjust using your acid of choice along with the backset.

Question 3 - Anything malted goes in on the way down, at 150-152f.  These grains will easily gel at those temperatures, and that temp range will preserve enzyme function.

Glad to see you worked through the challenges, keep truckin.



Reply:On 3/6/2019 at 6:14 PM, Silk City Distillers said:

I know lots of places only get up to 170-175 for their top end heat on the corn.  Why are you guys going so hot?