From the HBD Archive
From: Dave Herd <>
Subject: mashing
Date: 1992-06-12 17:53:02 GMT

CHUCK <> writes:

> The whole process took about 6 hours [...]

Yea, sounds about how long it takes me. I think you can do it a
lot faster if your using a big gas burner -- I'm using an
eletric stove top, which is damn slow at heating anything that

> Anyone care to send me some hints? Recipes, how much
> grain, water, extract, etc.

I use between 2 and 4 hoppers* of pale, along with at least one
hopper of medium (~40 l) crystal, in 3 or 4 gallons of water to
mash, and I sparge with a similar ammounht. Also, I often add
to my mash a mixed hopper of wheat malt and rolled oats. I very
seldom use any extract.

* A "hopper" is my unit of measure for grain. It's however
much it takes to fill the hopper of a Corona grain mill to
the top. This is somewhere between 1 kilo and 2.5 pounds.

I heat the stuff to 150 deg F, or a little more, as fast as my
stove will allow (this takes an hour and a half, or so). Once
the mash is up to the temperature I want, I put the whole thing
in the oven, preheated to 150 - 200 deg F. I turn the oven off
*before* placing the mash. (My intent in preheating the oven is
not that the oven should heat the mash, but rather that the
mash should not have to heat the oven.) Anway, the oven, being
an insulated box, can keep the mash temperature stable for
hours and eliminates the need for constant attention (stirring).

> Also all of Papazian's recipes
> called for a step mash compared to the straight 150 deg mash?

The model I've got for enzyme and related activity isn't too
well developed yet, but it does include a fair set of heuristics.

-- Reactions go faster when it's hot because all of the
molecules are moving faster, and so can find their
appropriate partners in crime more quickly.

-- Enzymes are big, complex, and therefore delicate things;
they are easily dammaged by high temperatures.

-- Starch turns into dextrin (thick, clear, non-fermentable,
gooey stuff) when it gets too hot.

-- High temperatures tend to produce thick, sweet beers,
while low temperatures tend to produce thin dry ones.

-- If the temperature's way too low, stuff'll grow in it.

A straight 150 deg mash isn't really just 150 deg's (unless you
go to a lot of trouble to make it so); you get the cumulative
effects of mashing at *all* of the temperatures your wort passed
through on its way to 150 deg. By doing a stepped mash, you're
just making for a larger porportion of the time being spent at a
few selected temperatures. The purpose of this is so you can
come a little closer to being able to choose which kinds of
sugars and dextrins will be in your wort. To do this really
well, you need either a way to change the temperature of your
mash quickly and precicely, or you need to be able to calculate
the effects that not being able to do this would include, or

> He also mashed the crystal, specialty grains, too. Why?

All of the grains, except for the really dark ones, can add to
the total yeald of sugar, if you put them in with your mash.

| | Brew Naked |
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