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10-20 Minute Mash?

The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. has recipes for Smoked Porter and Levitation that use a 10 minute mash at 157 and the Pale Ale recipe uses a 20 mash at 156. Is it possible to complete a mash in 10 minutes?

thanks!

Dan

Must be, unless they are trying to sabotage us from brewing their beers successfully. I’ve never done it but I have seen other commercial recipes with short mash times. Conversion happens faster at higher temps but I think even in a average mash temps much of the conversion happens during the beginning.

Commercial breweries can get away with short mashes simply because it takes a few hours to run off and get to a boil. With homebrewers the heatup process can go much faster due to the very small volume and thus you really need to mash for at least 40 minutes for proper attenuation. Conversion is very fast but breakdown of complex sugars into fermentable sugars is why we need the extra time of 40 minutes minimum.

If you follow a decoction mash method, the saccharification rests between decoctions can be fairly short, like somewhat less than 30 minutes. But as far as single temperature infusion mashes go, I’d never sell my beer short by giving it anything less than 45 minutes for conversion, no matter what temp it’s at, and even then, only for a low-gravity beer. Anything less is just asking for problems. And I don’t think just adding more grain to the mash tun to compensate for the inevitably poor mash efficiency really helps, either. In my experience, a brew that had poor mash efficiency usually doesn’t taste as good as one that had good mash efficiency, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.If I’m that pressed for time that I have to settle for potentially sub-par beer, I’d rather just wait for another day to brew when I have more time.

One thing I think you’re missing here is that the mash is not 10 minutes long. Between the 10 minute and 20 minute rests, the total mash time is 30 minutes, it’s just broken down into 2 different temperature ranges. Granted, this is not really enough time for the average homebrewer to complete a mash, though, and I don’t see how a professional brewery could achieve decent mash efficiency using that method either, given the huge quantities of grain required for a production-scale batch of beer. I don’t know exactly what to make of that.

I find that mash time doesn’t have a very significant effect on efficiency. I can experience 90%+ brewhouse efficiency with a mash as short as 20 minutes and maybe less. However, the beer might only turn out 50-60% fermentable. Fermentability is the real reason for longer mash times for homebrewers. Based on a lot of experience, I know that fermentability is “good enough” at 70% or more after a mash time of 40-45 minutes. Any longer than that will only get you a couple extra percent fermentability. If you want the beer super dry, mash longer. if you don’t care, then 40 minutes is long enough in a homebrew setting. But efficiency… efficiency might also increase by a couple of percent, but the difference between 73% and 75% efficiency, or between 88% and 90% efficiency is, like, who cares. If you care, then mash longer. I don’t.

No, the OP was right. He’s referring to two different recipes included in the book. I read that book last year and copied down the recipes as written. So when I got ready to brew the Smoked Porter a couple months ago, I was kind of confused about the incredibly short mash time.

Dave’s got the right answer here. To me, it just seemed weird that Stone claims to be coming from a homebrew background, yet their homebrew recipes aren’t really written in such a way that a homebrewer would have good results with them.

They also encourage fermentation at 72 degrees with WLP007, which is way too high for a homebrew-scale fermentation. The big boys can get away with that because they’re fermenting under pressure.

As for the recipes, the Smoked Porter is good. I’m finding that the peated malt is really dominant in the beer. I have plans to brew the Levitation Ale this summer.

No, the OP was right. He’s referring to two different recipes included in the book. I read that book last year and copied down the recipes as written. So when I got ready to brew the Smoked Porter a couple months ago, I was kind of confused about the incredibly short mash time.

Dave’s got the right answer here. To me, it just seemed weird that Stone claims to be coming from a homebrew background, yet their homebrew recipes aren’t really written in such a way that a homebrewer would have good results with them.

They also encourage fermentation at 72 degrees with WLP007, which is way too high for a homebrew-scale fermentation. The big boys can get away with that because they’re fermenting under pressure.

As for the recipes, the Smoked Porter is good. I’m finding that the peated malt is really dominant in the beer. I have plans to brew the Levitation Ale this summer.[/quote]
Sorry, I totally misread that post. Gee, do you think maybe I’d been drinking a little when I read it? :oops: Anyway, a 10-minute mash at 157 degrees, in my opinion, sounds pretty useless for all but the most well-equipped homebrewers, who are really quite rare. I don’t know why they would recommend that. Incidentally, I checked out that book at my local library a few months ago, and I thought most of the recipes sounded pretty simple and approachable for most homebrewers, although I never use anyone’s recipes but my own. I just like to look at recipes to get ideas for general structures, not so much specific quantities and such.

[quote=“CTDan”]The Craft of Stone Brewing Co. has recipes for Smoked Porter and Levitation that use a 10 minute mash at 157 and the Pale Ale recipe uses a 20 mash at 156. Is it possible to complete a mash in 10 minutes?

thanks!

Dan[/quote]

This is SO deceiving! On large system, it can take an hour or more to mash in and longer than that to run off and sparge. All that time the mash is sitting at conversion temps. So, they may only do a 10-20 min. rest, but the mash is at conversion temps for much longer than that.

I have the book, and have tried many of the food recipes (the Arrogant Bastard onion rings and the brussel sprouts made with Stone Pale Ale are awesome). I’ve looked at many of the beer recipes, and kinda wondered about the short mash times myself. I also noticed the suggested fermentation temps for many of the beers are 75+ degrees. Seems kinda odd if you ask me.

I’ve only a little experience with actual mashing as I’m still transitioning from extract brewing. It’s pretty easy to prove how much time is needed. The thought that mash in and run out makes up the time seems spot on to me.

In the mashes I have done, I’ve pulled a few drops at different times and tested w/ iodine. If it turns purple/black you’re not done mashing. If it stays copper/red start sparring. If you doubt the times, have some fun, and get experimenting. What I found interesting, was just how definitive the test was. The 50 min sample turned to ink, the sample 5 minutes later did not, even slightly.

Remember sitting in high school chemistry thinking, “When am I EVER going to use this sh*t?” Now it’s all hydrometers, starch tests, pH balance… It’s a shame high schoolers CAN’T be told the value.

[quote=“JMcK”]I’ve only a little experience with actual mashing as I’m still transitioning from extract brewing. It’s pretty easy to prove how much time is needed. The thought that mash in and run out makes up the time seems spot on to me.

In the mashes I have done, I’ve pulled a few drops at different times and tested w/ iodine. If it turns purple/black you’re not done mashing. If it stays copper/red start sparring. If you doubt the times, have some fun, and get experimenting. What I found interesting, was just how definitive the test was. The 50 min sample turned to ink, the sample 5 minutes later did not, even slightly.

Remember sitting in high school chemistry thinking, “When am I EVER going to use this sh*t?” Now it’s all hydrometers, starch tests, pH balance… It’s a shame high schoolers CAN’T be told the value.[/quote]

The iodine test doesn’t really tell you much. First, it’s so easy to get a false reading that I advise people to just skip it. And it tells you nothing about the fermentability of your wort or the extent of your conversion. Kai’s conversion efficiency test is a much better tool.

A lot of big breweries do short rests

it takes time to add the grain and to get the mash fully stirred in ~ 20 minutes + 15 minute rest + 15 minute vorlof = 50 minutes give or take

then it takes around 2 hours to sparge usually - and most don’t do mashouts. all this combined leaves the grain at conversion temperature for longer than we do as homebrewers.

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