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High-altitude mash

Posting a new thread since a quick forum search for high altitude only pulled results talking about boiling. What I’m wondering is if anyone has experimented with lower mash temps at high altitude. Since water boils at 198 degrees at 7,500 feet, it seems to me that sugar extraction just might start at a lower temperature as well.

I brewed the Grapefruit Sculpin clone at 7,100 feet recently (mashed at about 155), and the result was slightly more bitter than I was hoping for. My initial thought was that the water profile in Flagstaff is to blame (very hard water), but it occurred to me that a high mash temp could have contributed as well. Thoughts?

Interesting idea. The boiling point of water drops at high altitude because it’s a function of both temperature and pressure. The temperature of the mash, though, is used to control enzymatic activity, as different enzymes are active at different temperatures. I can’t think of any mechanism that would cause pressure to change the temperature at which a particular enzyme is active, though.

Just speculation on my part, but my thought would be that altitude would not affect mash temperature.

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That is an interesting question…Flagstaff probably has a craft brewery or three so that might be an interesting question for them. NO help here, I’m just inches above sea level. My water boils at 212* on the button, not a bit sooner.

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Thanks for the quick replies. Yep, the local breweries are my next stop with this idea. I’m used to sea-level myself (new to Flagstaff), so there are naturally a lot of things to learn. I suspect that porkchop is right about the different kinds of reactions, but I’m still curious. We probably need a baking expert to weigh in, although that probably isn’t likely in a brewing forum. :slight_smile:

I would agree with @. The temperature of the mash is the temperature of the mash even when the boiling point is below 212°F. High mash pH would be more involved with unexpected bitterness if the bitterness is from tannin extraction.

Edit: @porkchop

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I will say with certainty that you dont agree with uber :grinning:

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