3.08.2011

BROUPON #3: Matthew - new all grain brewer and a question about his results

So, can anybody help Matthew and I?

Question:
Adam,

As you have so generously offered to answer homebrew questions, here is one that I've been looking to have answered. I've recently (within the last couple of batches) converted to all full-mash process. The results have thus far been quite acceptable with the following caveat- it seems that my final wort is always a little light in mouthfeel. Likewise, the finished product is always generally lighter in mouthfeel than the recipe / style would suggest- but the flavor and perceived alcohol content is on target. Other than temperature control (which I'm now able to keep between 152 and 157 for a full 90 minutes), what else can I do to increase efficiency? Additionally, will keeping the mash at the low-end of the temperature scale (152-153) for the first half of the mash greatly reduce it's body?
thanks,
-Matthew
Answer:
Hi Matthew,
(Again)I'm stepping out of my Extract Brewing world into your All Grain brewing world so bear with me.  I don't have a specific answer to your question so I'll defer to some resources related to body and mouthfeel.  So by light you mean what exactly?
I think there's more than enough info in the following articles to put you on the right course.
John Palmer on "body"...
http://www.howtobrew.com/section4/chapter20-1.html
A BYO article...
http://www.byo.com/stories/article/indices/12-body/1140-maximizing-mouthfeel-tips-from-the-pros
Follow up...
Adam,
... I hope that some better brewers than me can point me in the right direction. By light, I mean that the result of the mashing process is a little too 'watery'. I use a generic formula of 1 qt. of water / pound of grain to mash and 2 qts of water / to sparge. The real question, I suppose, is how can I increase the efficiency of my mashes. Some heavy reading is probably in order (and probably a great way to spend a few evenings) but brewing is and should be a community affair.
-Matthew
Hi Matthew,

I started typing a paragraph of how I understand efficiency and how it relates to the body of a beer, but, to be honest that BYO article would do a better job.

So, if you want a beer that has more body you really have lots of ways to affect that; grain bill (specialty grains, etc), mash temp, yeast, etc. We might need to know more about your brew to zero in on things a bit. For example, what was your starting gravity (when you pitch yeast) and what was your final gravity (after fermentation).
Maybe, the difference in all grain vs. extract is what lies at the heart of this question.  You're just noticing the effects of having all that all grain mashing and extraction control ;-)
Also, you might be interested in posting your question to a forum.  I've been very impressed with the helpful nature of folks there.  Much like readers here actually.


-Adam

5 comments:

Mike Rissell said...

other then controlling temp of mash i might suggest some carapils/dextrine or crystal malt to help with body. also i think you touched on it with the yeast. warmer fermentation temps and over pitching yeast have left a few of my beers a little "thin".

my 2 cents

mike

Mike Rissell said...

after rereading...
90 minute mash might be a overkill since i have never needed more then 60 minutes for conversion while mashing in 152-155 range. the only time i have went longer was when i mash 145-148 for my saisons which i want "thin"

Adam said...

Thanks Mike. We appreciate the help :-)

matt20102 said...

I spent a while speaking with one of the gurus about this issue at my local supply shop this morning. His advice seemed pretty solid- temperature control was decent, but I would want to try lowering the temperature (148 - 152) and watch the sparging carefully. My next steps- lower the mashing temperature and stir through the grain as I sparge. The consensus seemed to be that I might be losing a some of the sugar while sparging. @Mike- your advice seems spot on.

Adam said...

Excellent! LHBS to the rescue!

Happy to hear it :-)