Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Length of Protein Rest?

Does a longer protein rest ensure that more of the proteins/glutens in wheat/rye are broken down? If so, I’m doing an hour-long protein rest the next time I brew Jamil’s roggenbier, which I did last night, and even with 2 pounds of rice hulls in a 5G batch, it was a gummy mess and I lost about 2G of volume, so it is now a 3 gallon batch. Woof.

There was 5 lbs of rye in this beer, but still, 2 pounds of rice hulls? I didn’t stir in the second pound until I did a decoction to mash out and saw how gummy/proteiny this mash was.

Ugly brew night. Hopefully the beer will turn out…

A 15 to 20 minute protein rest is long enough to ruin a good beer. I don’t even want to try to imagine what an hour-long protein rest would do.

A protein rest will destroy the head and body of a beer. IF you feel that you must perform a protein rest, then limit it to 5 to 10 minutes maximum. Personally I’ll never do one again.

Yes, rye is difficult to work with. And yes, it is worth the struggle.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]A 15 to 20 minute protein rest is long enough to ruin a good beer. I don’t even want to try to imagine what an hour-long protein rest would do.

A protein rest will destroy the head and body of a beer. IF you feel that you must perform a protein rest, then limit it to 5 to 10 minutes maximum. Personally I’ll never do one again.

Yes, rye is difficult to work with. And yes, it is worth the struggle.[/quote]

I had heard it will destroy head retention, but this thing was just a mess. It always pains me to leave good wort in the mash. If this beer turns out as good as I think it will, I am going to try a 10 minute rest on the next one, and maybe add some dextrin malt to balance it out. I do love the flavor of rye (have only used 10-20% in hop-forward beers until this one), but I need to cleave me some glutens.

I’m not too familiar with rye malt, but I’ve been doing some research on munich malt and from what I’ve read a rest in the 95 degree F range will help break down some of the beta glucans. These are described as forming a jello-like mush in the mash.

I recently brewed an alt with a decoction and during the lauter there was a top layer of sludge that bore a vague resemblance to concrete; it sounds similar to the problem you describe. I’m thinking of trying this rest as a solution on the next beer.

Ok, so next time:

1-Beta Glucan rest (95*) 10 min - decoct to:
2-Protein Rest (113-135*) 10 min - decoct to:
3-Sacc Rest (152*) 60-75 min - decoct to:
4-mash out 170* 10 min

Do you think I need 1 AND 2?

I suppose it could be described as concrete, but this was the whole mash. I did stir in a +/- 2G decoction back into the mash which was likely even more gummy. On my 5 gallon batches, I BIAB using a custom-made polyester guterman thread bag. I’ve typically gotten crazy efficiency with this, but do recall having a bit of a stuck mash when I brewed my wit (lot of flaked oats, flaked wheat, torrfied wheat, etc…but I DIDN’T use rice hulls).

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve only done one decoction. That being said, I have been researching it a lot and intend to do more. The schedule you suggest still leaves the mash in an extended protein rest. Understanding that a lot of the grains are removed for the decoction, I’m not sure whether or not this would have a negative impact.

I would consider this:

  1. dough in at 95 and either decot or infuse to
  2. 122 protein rest for 10 min, infuse to
  3. 149 beta rest for 30 min, decot to
  4. 152 alpha rest for 30-60 min, infuse or decot to
  5. mashout

I’m not sure I’m up to doing 3 decoctions, but you can supplement an infusion where necessary.

[quote=“gprix”]

I’m not sure I’m up to doing 3 decoctions, but you can supplement an infusion where necessary.[/quote]

I think people make it out to be more difficult than it is. In all honesty, it gives a fidgety brewer something to do during the mash.

Great point though about the extended protein rest. I think once you get it out of protein rest territory, decoct away is a good move.

Probably not going to pull that much volume though to move the mash temp from 149 to 152!

Thanks for the ideas!

I actually thought the decoction was fun to do… kind of a window into how it used to be. All the reading I did for it made it seem way more daunting than it actually was. It did take a while, though.

On the last beer that I did, I infused from the protein to beta rests, and then decocted from beta to alpha. My alpha was at 158 though, so it needed a little more pull.

I agree that doing a decoction is kind of fun, although time consuming.
I mash in a 5 G mashtun, and do a decoction any time I have grain bills of 10 lbs. or over.
Have I noticed a difference? Not so I notice, but maybe a trained expert could.
Brewing is fun, and I do like to experiment with different techniques! :cheers:
I will say that I have stopped doing protein rests after Denny, maybe Yooper, and I think Nighthawk talked me out of it last year. I trust that those folks know what they’re talking about.

[quote=“dmtaylo2”]A 15 to 20 minute protein rest is long enough to ruin a good beer. I don’t even want to try to imagine what an hour-long protein rest would do.
[/quote]
I could see a longer protein rest being problematic, but how exactly does a 15 minute protein rest ruin a beer? I do a 15 minute protein rest for my house IPA, which is 45% wheat. Always turns out great. Head retention rivals any commercial IPA.

[quote=“James Rausch”]I agree that doing a decoction is kind of fun, although time consuming.
I mash in a 5 G mashtun, and do a decoction any time I have grain bills of 10 lbs. or over.
Have I noticed a difference? Not so I notice, but maybe a trained expert could.
Brewing is fun, and I do like to experiment with different techniques! :cheers:
I will say that I have stopped doing protein rests after Denny, maybe Yooper, and I think Nighthawk talked me out of it last year. I trust that those folks know what they’re talking about.[/quote]
All the above is true. I brewed a traditional bohemian pilsner this spring using as close as I could get to authentic ingredients and methods for what I’ve read was the original Pilsner Urquell recipe. Used undermodified malt, and 4x decocted: acid rest, protein rest, low saccharification rest, high saccharification rest and mash out. Followed with a four hour boil and then a four month lager. Came out great, though to be honest I can’t point to anything that I can say would be better than I would have gotten by using well-modified malt and a single infusion mash. But very fun to do.

To the OP’s concern, I would use the beta-gluten rest with rye, but skip the protein rest. That’s what I typically do, and yes rye will drain very slowly out of the mash tun but a 15-20 minute beta-gluten rest will allow it to flow enough to drain fully.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”][quote=“dmtaylo2”]A 15 to 20 minute protein rest is long enough to ruin a good beer. I don’t even want to try to imagine what an hour-long protein rest would do.
[/quote]
I could see a longer protein rest being problematic, but how exactly does a 15 minute protein rest ruin a beer? I do a 15 minute protein rest for my house IPA, which is 45% wheat. Always turns out great. Head retention rivals any commercial IPA.[/quote]

The high hopping rate might be your savior. Hops enhance head retention and mouthfeel. But in a low hopped beer, such as a Vienna lager in my case, my experience has been a headless beer with a very thin watery mouthfeel. The flavor and aroma of the beer was great, but it was also very thin and lifeless – it was missing the body of a good beer.

[quote=“rebuiltcellars”]

To the OP’s concern, I would use the beta-gluten rest with rye, but skip the protein rest. That’s what I typically do, and yes rye will drain very slowly out of the mash tun but a 15-20 minute beta-gluten rest will allow it to flow enough to drain fully.[/quote]

Dig it. Thanks man. So about 95* F then? Would you do this on a beer with a large portion of wheat as well? We are doing a weizenbock soon on our 1/2 bbl system thats around 55% wheat…

Your bo pils sounds delicious, but also like a gargantuan PITA. I will be brewing it this weekend. :cheers:

[quote=“Pietro”][quote=“rebuiltcellars”]

To the OP’s concern, I would use the beta-gluten rest with rye, but skip the protein rest. That’s what I typically do, and yes rye will drain very slowly out of the mash tun but a 15-20 minute beta-gluten rest will allow it to flow enough to drain fully.[/quote]

Dig it. Thanks man. So about 95* F then? Would you do this on a beer with a large portion of wheat as well? We are doing a weizenbock soon on our 1/2 bbl system thats around 55% wheat…

Your bo pils sounds delicious, but also like a gargantuan PITA. I will be brewing it this weekend. :cheers: [/quote]
Beta-glutanase is active from 95-112, and proteinase only at temperatures above 112 according to the chart in “How to Brew”. I would aim for 105-108. I never worry about wheat, and haven’t had a stuck mash or even a slow run-off with wheat in years. I chalk it up to grain conditioning and a good crush.

The BoPils was a blast to do, a royal PITA, and exhausting by the end of it. But I’m glad I did it.

Were you using rye malt or rye flakes? Rye malt is easier to work with, and I don’t have nearly the problems that I do with rye flakes.

That being said, I find that brew in a bag is the way to go if using a large percentage of rye. Pull the bag, let gravity do its thing on the wort, and maybe give the bag a little squeeze to get the rest out. This also eliminates the need for a protein or other rest, IMO.

[quote=“sl8w”]Were you using rye malt or rye flakes? Rye malt is easier to work with, and I don’t have nearly the problems that I do with rye flakes.

That being said, I find that brew in a bag is the way to go if using a large percentage of rye. Pull the bag, let gravity do its thing on the wort, and maybe give the bag a little squeeze to get the rest out. This also eliminates the need for a protein or other rest, IMO.[/quote]

Rye malt. I probably should have just left the bag suspended over the beer (like for the duration of the boil), but I’m not always that patient. My typical process with my BIAB is to squeeze the bag like hell to get it to drain quickly…but ‘quickly’ does not seem to compute with the rye.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com