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Crystal malt, Mash temps, and body - opinions?

So I just brewed a Dead Guy Ale beer last weekend.
I deviated from a recipe somewhat but here’s my question.

It was in the 20’s in my garage and cold as hell.
I missed my mash temp as a result even though I usually can guestimate my strike temp pretty close. This time I was off by about 5 degrees. Typically it’s 15 degrees higher temp strike water than desired mash temp for most of my beers. If it’s colder out and/or I’m using more grains, I’ll go 18 degrees.

Ended up with the mash at about 146 degrees and let it sit for 90 minutes just to be sure. I don’t test for starch.

I use a 5gal cooler mashtun and it was maxed out. No room for boiling infusions.
Didn’t feel like pulling a decoction. It was my second batch for the day and I was getting tired and running out of time.

5gal recipe.

10lbs Fawcett Golden Promise
3.0lbs Briess Munich 10L
l.0 lbs Weyermann Carared
.75 lbs Weyermann Caramunich

Now in my opinion, that’s a pretty hefty amount of crystal. HOWEVER my thinking is the lower mash temp for the extended period should have given me a more fermentable wort and compensated for all the dextrins added by the Crystal.

I’ve mashed beers this low in the past and they came out great. As a matter of fact I seem to prefer them particularly when hopped with noble hops or even Willamette.

Is this a typical way to balance the body of a beer with a lot of crystal in the recipe? Either cut it with some sugar or dextrose or mash it low in order to dry it out?

I can just imagine if this would have been mashed at 155 it would be downright chewy.


The rest of the recipe:

1oz Perle for 90 minutes
1oz Sterling at flameout.

1/4tsp yeast booster and 1 Whirflock tab at 15 min.

Fermentis S05


You’ve done good. Absolutely, I take the amount of crystal malts into account when figuring out what mash temperature to use. On the other hand, I always mash between 148 and 152 F because I like my beers on the dry side, so it’s a matter of only a few degrees, which probably doesn’t matter anyway. But with 90 minutes at 146 F, I would think this could still be a pretty darn dry beer, even with the crystal malt. Maybe I would have added a little boiling water to bring this up to at least 148 F. But is it really going to matter? I don’t know. You’re might be just fine with the way you left it. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

…and the US-05 is also going to contribute to a lower FG. Cheers!!!

Thanks Guys for the feedback.
Picking up a larger tun for next year so I can add boiling additions to a 14lb or larger grist and have some room to kick up temp.

Carared seems to be much more fermentable than the typical crystal malt.

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