From the HBD Archive
From: (Jack Schmidling)
Subject: Mashing, Break, Blending
Date: 1992-03-26 03:00:00 GMT

To: Homebrew Digest
Fm: Jack Schmidling


> 1) The mashing process 1-5 hrs. at 68 C almost never (except for the
very first time) has gone to complete conversion. i have to
usually give up out of sheer exhasution (from drinking too
much Homebrew waiting for conversion). i stir every 5-10
minutes and have at least 5 lbs. 2-row Klages with the
other grains (Black, Roasted, Crystal, flaked etc..) to
ensure a good amount of enzymes. Some times i even ended up
adding 2 spoons of amylase, with no effect. i use about 1
quart of water per lb. of grain.

As a recently born-again all grain brewer, I suggest that you keep it simple
till you get the process under control. If you use 8 lbs of Klages and leave
all the other crap out, you will get complete conversion in about 15 minutes.
Once you have a process that works you can add new ingredients (one at a
time) and recognize the effect each one has on the beer.

I have found that when using adjuncts such as roasted barley or roasted malt,
a complete coversion takes longer and the indication turns negative after
mashout, no matter what I try.

The clearing characteristis are totally different from extract beer but then
so is the taste and overall quality. It will eventually clear all by itself
but if you are in a hurry, a half teaspoon a gelatin in the usual fashion
will clear it in 24 hours.

>After mashing i sparge (2 gallons for 6-8 lbs grain) at about 70 -80 C,
rerunning the sparge water over the bed 5-6 times..

I can not begin to imagine what that means. First of all, even assuming
that you have several gallons in the mash, you need at least 6 more to end up
with enough to boil down to 5 gallons.

The sparge water passes through the bed, taking the sugar with it and becomes
sweet wort when it runs out. There is no "rerunning the sparge water"
involved in the process aside from the first cup or so that runs cloudy.

> After 30 mins of boiling i cool and pitch.

Your boiling time is far too short. You need a minimum of 60 min with hops
and two hours is more typical.

BTW, I am mailing to you an unsolicited copy of EASYMASH which should help
you understand the process.

> 3) Thought i could slip in a third one since you are this far...
WHat exactly is the hot break and the cold break. i mean,
physically what do you see?

Interesting question and I think one that has no rational answer that I have
found yet. My brain finds it most convenient to ignore all comments on the
subject and directs me to do the following:

A. Boil for at least 90 min.

B. Allow the beer to settle for at least 30 min AFTER immersing the wort
chiller and BEFORE turning on the water.

The two inches of fluffy glop that ends up on the bottom has something to do
with your question. So does an in-line wort chiller and that is where my
brain disconnects.

>From: jmaessen@Athena.MIT.EDU

>I've heard that this blending technique is used for most really good
wines; this is the first time I've ever heard of beer being blended,

This has little to do with your question but since I switched to kegging, I
always end up with a gallon or two left over from each batch. This goes into
a carboy until I have 5 gallons and then this gets kegged as a "free" one.

It has produced some of my best beers.


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