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How do I Batch Sparge with this mash schedule?

NB Lefse Blonde

Protein Rest 122 degress for 20 minutes
Betta Sacch’Rest 149 degrees for 30 minutes
Alpha Sacch’ Rest 158F for 30 minutes
Mashout: 170 Degrees for 10 minutes

I am completely confused as this will only be my 5th allgrain batch. It will also be a 10 gallon batch.

Either infusion or decoction. Infusion is going to require that your mashtun be pretty big. Maybe use both. If you’re using brewing software it should do the calculations for you. If not, John Palmer’s How to Brew has the necessary formulas.

Maybe I jumped into something too advanced for me. I am not familiar with infusion or decoction, and at this time I do not have any brewing software. What do I risk if I mash at one temp? What temp would I want to use.

Do a single infusion at 149 F for 60 minutes, and you’re done. The protein rest and all the other jazz is completely unnecessary.

+1 But if you want to do the step mash, start off with a thick mash, 0.75-1.0 qt/lb for the first rest, then add boiling water to increase the temp to the next rest.

Words of wisdom…

Unless you won’t be sparging, there’s no way you can do that mash schedule without a decoction. Even starting VERY thick, three additional infusions will leave you with a mash that’s way too thin.

Maybe I jumped into something too advanced for me. I am not familiar with infusion or decoction, and at this time I do not have any brewing software. What do I risk if I mash at one temp? What temp would I want to use.[/quote]

Whatever mash schedule you use, always ask yourself why you’re doing it. If it’s just because it’s in the recipe, think about if that’s really what you need to do.

Words of wisdom!

[Do a single infusion at 149 F for 60 minutes, and you’re done. The protein rest and all the other jazz is completely unnecessary]

+2. I did a similar receipe mash schedule after only a couple of attempts and the results were less than desirable. I fly sparge. The problem is hitting multiple mash tempatures can be difficult and maybe unneccessary. Keep it simple and you’ll be thankfull later.

I agree about skipping the protein rest, but I wouldn’t expect that mashing for an hour at 149°F would give you the same beer as mashing for 30’ at 149°F and 30’ at 158°F. This schedule is usually chosen to make a dry beer that still has some residual body, whereas 149°F is usually chosen to make as highly attenuative beer as possible.

You might be able to duplicate the effect of this part of the step by choosing something higher than 149°F, like 152°F for 60’, for a single infusion mash.

You are also apt to get a higher efficiency from a beer stepped into the high 150’s than one mashed continuously at 149°F.

Theoretically speaking, you may have a point. However, if we were to run a taste experiment with two batches, where one batch was mashed at 149 F and the other at 152 F, I think most people would be hard pressed to point out which was which. And similar story for efficiency – you might eek out an extra couple points of efficiency from a rest at 158 F, but in the big scheme, does a couple points really matter? In my very humble opinion, no, it does not. In the end, brewing can be as simple or as complicated as we make it for ourselves, but if there isn’t a discernible difference in taste, then why make it complicated. I guess that’s my philosophy.

I agree with you completely, Dave. And if you really wanted to do a step-ish mash, you could mash at 149, then sparge with water hot enough to get the temp to 158. I do that frequently. But my frequent tests of step mashes have yet to convince me there’s really a discernible difference from a single infusion. I still do step mashes sometimes, but more to see if I’ve missed something before than for any results I expect to get.

[quote=Whatever mash schedule you use, always ask yourself why you’re doing it. If it’s just because it’s in the recipe, think about if that’s really what you need to do.[/quote]

If you want to learn to do step mashes that’s cool.

If you just want to see if there’s a difference bravo!

If it’s because it’s from a recipe book that’s 20 yrs old then you need to understand the malt that you will be using and what effect you are looking for.

I thought the whole point of doing a decoction these days was you could waste more time making beer :smiley:

I recently brewed a Dunkelweizen, which had a similar mash schedule. If you’re using Brewsmith, it will calculate the temperatures and volumes of water for you. Calculating it by hand will be a pain.

Long story short: I skipped the 122 degree step because it doesn’t have any affect with modern malts (thanks NB forum for the advice). I did the 149 degree rest with a 1.1quart/lb mash and the 158 degree step with around 1.7. You’ll have to adjust your mash thicknesses so that the first running yields half your boil volume.

It turned out great, but I’m not sure it made much of a difference vs. a single infusion mash. I just did the multi-step mash for the experience.

As pretty much everyone has stated, doing a step mash will make just about zero difference even to the most refined palate.

You are definitely NOT jumping into something that is over your head. Do this recipe with a single infusion anywhere from 149-152 degrees and it will be great.

I love NB, but the fact that they seem to specify a protein rest and/or step mash for most of their recipes is just plain silly. In my humble opinion :expressionless: .

I’m just curious as to the reasoning behind this statement. I don’t really care either way if anyone does a protein rest or not, I just see it said a lot and wonder where is comes from. Personal experience or someone’s book? This is a purely educational question :slight_smile:

Protein rests were very useful in the past because the malts that brewers were using were not fully modified (which has to do with germination length and how many of the internal malt compounds have been broken down). You needed the protein rest to finish that process.

Modern malts are (usually) fully-modified,which means that the germination process is complete and all of the internal malt compounds have been broken down and are ready for saccharification. With fully modified malts, the protein rest yields no benefit.

There are some benefits to an alpha and a beta saccharification rest for certain styles, but I don’t remember the details.

I was looking more for who figured that out or maybe those that have side by side comparisons. i.e. “I did a protein rest and it made my beer taste like Jawas.” The interwebs are tricky.

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