AdrianDBW
So, after messing up the mash temperature on my first AG I've done some research about mash temperatures, but I'm confused about something...

I understand the stepping when you want to limit conversion to achieve a sweet beer, but when you do a step mash in an attempt to maximise the conversion to create a dry beer- why do you increase the temperature between each step, rather than decrease?

If the alpha-amylase creates the most maltose but is relatively inefficient (apparently it can only work on the ends of starch/ long sugar chains), and the beta works quickly making shorter chains from the starch... why don't you aim for the beta range first, break the longer chains down, then go to the alpha phase, making the whole process more efficient?

If it did work like this then it would seem a good idea to mash in at 68, leave it open and stir it regularly so it cools and aim to lose about 5 degrees, therefore breaking the starch into long chains, therefore letting the beta-amylase break the starch into shorter sugars, then letting the alpha work on those sugars to make a higher amount of matlose.

I'm assuming I'm missing something- like the alpha's get destroyed at higher temps or something? 
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Clibit
I think you're massively over complicating things. I never step mash. I pick a mash temp, mash at that temp, then boil. Most brewers and breweries do. 
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AdrianDBW
Clibit wrote:
I think you're massively over complicating things. I never step mash. I pick a mash temp, mash at that temp, then boil. Most brewers and breweries do. 


I'm not going to actually do step mashing- more interested in if covering the pot with a blanket is a waste of time if you're trying to get maximum conversion.
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Clibit
AdrianDBW wrote:


I'm not going to actually do step mashing- more interested in if covering the pot with a blanket is a waste of time if you're trying to get maximum conversion.


If you want max conversion, then simply mash at max conversion temperature, which is 65.

Recipe design isn't all about max conversion. You might want to control the amount of fermentable sugars in the wort. The rate of conversion won't vary much between 65 and 70, but the fermentability will be different. How well you hold temperature is important. But I don't worry much, I aim high for some beers, low for others, and often around 67. Bold it the best I can. Shortening the mash to 30 mins has cut my temp loss right down to 1 degree max. 

This is a really good article...

https://blog.eckraus.com/infusion-mashing-process

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AdrianDBW
Clibit wrote:


If you want max conversion, then simply mash at max conversion temperature, which is 65.

Recipe design isn't all about max conversion. You might want to control the amount of fermentable sugars in the wort. The rate of conversion won't vary much between 65 and 70, but the fermentability will be different. How well you hold temperature is important. But I don't worry much, I aim high for some beers, low for others, and often around 67. Bold it the best I can. Shortening the mash to 30 mins has cut my temp loss right down to 1 degree max. 

This is a really good article...

https://blog.eckraus.com/infusion-mashing-process



Cool, that article puts it much more simply that what I'd found elsewhere!

I'm going to go a 30/30 on my bitter, but a 60/30 on the saison- mostly because I want a dry saison, but also because it means I can start heating the water on both brews at the same time, yet stagger the chilling (as I only have one chiller).

I might do a 66 degree mash on the saison and a 67 on the bitter then.
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Clibit
AdrianDBW wrote:


Cool, that article puts it much more simply that what I'd found elsewhere!

I'm going to go a 30/30 on my bitter, but a 60/30 on the saison- mostly because I want a dry saison, but also because it means I can start heating the water on both brews at the same time, yet stagger the chilling (as I only have one chiller).

I might do a 66 degree mash on the saison and a 67 on the bitter then.


It's hard not to get a dry saison, saison yeasts rip through everything, like piranhas. But no harm in a 60 mash. 
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