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Multi step mash

Might try a beer which has an optional multi step mash.

  1. how much different will a multi step turn out vesus regular mash and sparge?

  2. for a multi step I worry that my 5 gal mash cooler isn’t big enough. Can I add just enough very hot water as my second to bring mash up to desired temp? And then repeat?

  3. Any other tips would be appreciated.

As always, thanks very much for the help.

DF

Can’t answer your your question about the mash cooler, I BIAB. But I can say I’ve tried multistep mashes a few times now and have not been able to notice any difference between my beers that are multi step and single infusion. I know some people like to do them and swear by them for certain styles, I have no interest in creating extra work on my brew day without noticeable results. Today’s grains are modified enough that multi steps generally aren’t needed.

I have yet to do a decoction mash. Now that is a completely different process that deals with boiling parts of the mash and adding it back to the main mash to raise the temps which is like a step mash. This I’d like to try because I think you could get some very different results than with a single infusion, but again I have no experience with this… yet.

[quote=“dforlow”]Might try a beer which has an optional multi step mash.

  1. how much different will a multi step turn out vesus regular mash and sparge?

  2. for a multi step I worry that my 5 gal mash cooler isn’t big enough. Can I add just enough very hot water as my second to bring mash up to desired temp? And then repeat?

  3. Any other tips would be appreciated.

As always, thanks very much for the help.

DF[/quote]

If you are doing a multistep and are worried about room in your cooler, I’d use a lower grain/water ratio. Maybe something like 1qrt/lb. But you’d have to play with the numbers. I have no idea how much grain/water you can hold in your cooler.

Check out the green bay rackers mash calculators, it’ll hep you figure out just how much grain+water your tun will hold. After that you can work backwards and use their strike temp calculator and step calculator to determine how to get what you want in the way of a step mash. It can certainly be done.

My limited experience with step mashes is that you’ll get 3-5 more points from a step mash and they’ll mostly be left behind as body in the final beer (higher FG). If you like that, go for it. If you want a drier beer, I’d stick with the single infusion. It all depends on what you’re after.

People mean so many different things when they say “step mash”. Often, especially with people who haven’t done one before, they mean “protein rest”. A protein rest is almost never needed and if done wrong or for too long can actually be detrimental to a beer. When and if I do a step mash, I do beta and alpha rests for steps. I haven’t been able to really detect a significant difference by doing that. I keep doing them occasionally in case I’m missing something, but so far I’d have to say that a step mash just isn’t worth my time or effort.

Thanks -

My German friend gave me the multi step process he uses and suggests:

Protien rest @ 134F for 15 mins
Beta Sacch rest @ 144F for 30 mins
Alpha Sacch rest @166 for 25 mins
Mashout at 170F for 7 mins

Sounds complication for a LMB I’m making for my brothers-in-law who like Miller Lite. Sounds like maybe a 1 hour mash at maybe 148F for an hour with a sparge at 170F might give me much the same result from a much easier process.

I plan of having this ready for July 4th and I’d guess the corny will be drained the same day. So I’m not looking for a great beer for myself.

As always thanks for the great advice!
DF

I agree with your revised plan. I’d do 146-148 for 90 min. to be sure of complete conversion.

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