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Rye Pale Ale Brewing

My RPA has about 17% rye, tastes good, but is very cloudy (not chill haze). Would a protein rest clear it up? I did use Whirfloc.

Maybe, maybe not. How long has it been since you brewed it?

5 weeks. I let it sit in secondary for two weeks as well. A brewer friend of mine (pro) recommended trying a german two step mash: 40 minutes at 147 and 40 minutes at 153. My recipe has 8.3% Light Munich, 8.3% C40, and 16.7% Rye Malt. Next time dropping the C40 by 25%, but that should not have any bearing on cloudiness.

I don’t think a step mash will solve that, but give it a try if you like.

147 and 153 is not an advisable step mash as you are basically doing the same thing as single infusion at 150f for 60 min as example. All the textbooks speak to the differences and why. Also single temp infusion mashing is perfectly adequate for malted rye especially if fully modified as seen below and a step mash is not even warranted unless some other recipe parameters dictate such process.

If you really want to step mash start the first B-amylase rest at 145f for 15-60min(depending on your actual goals/applies to both rests thus the non exacting timelines) then employ an A-amylase rest around 158f for 15-45 minutes.
From John Palmer “howtobrew.com
Beta Amylase: 131-150°F PH: 5.0-5.5 Produces maltose.
Alpha Amylase: 154-162°F PH: 5.3-5.7 Produces a variety of sugars, including maltose.

But haze/ cloudiness of any nature a step mash like I suggested will not solve. Stepping between just the amylase’s sets up fementibility and dextrin content. Sometimes using a betaglucan and/ or protein rest included in the two above temps I suggest is advisable when using high rates of cereal such as rye(much depends on trial, experience, percentage, producer and/or actual lot analysis of actual malt/cereal used can be a guide.) But most times is unneeded unless really tipping the scales of percentage. Did your wort run clear to fementor and now has a turbid appearance after 5mos. Or was it turbid going to ferment. This answer alone will tell you many things.

The main things I would ask you to think about if not currently practicing regarding overall first stops on the appearance would be these steps of process well before protein rests:
A. Do you know if your mashing PH is on time?
(even if you were to do a protein rest much can happen in the mash as a whole that can cause further turbidity and colloidal stabilization issues down line then you will be asking a barrel of monkeys type of questions and really start questioning whats up!! So if not addressing mash PH it is really a first step before protein rests in solving turbid wort or beer colloidal stabilization issues.)
B. Do you batch/fly sparge and/or aware of the fact you want the final runnings to fall for sure below 6.0PH? As polyphenols and tannins can contribute to downline problems also.
C. Are you aware that the two PH’s mentioned above do much to setup the boil for perfect breaks and efficient utilization of finings such as whirlfloc.

These are the main questions that come to mind of many.

In looking to Briess rye just out of curiosity, I find the following facts:
•[i] Hulless and with a high beta glucan content, Rye Malt can result in a sticky mash and slow lautering. We recommend adding rice hulls when usage levels approach 20% and supplementing with a betaglucanase enzyme above 35% for manageable lautering.

Protein level listed at 10.5% and really highly modified at 50.0 S/T[/i]

Speaking firstly to protein rest, just for example Rahr 2 row comes in 11.1% protein and 42.0 S/T and Best Malz pils is 10% protein and 39 S/T and I wouldn’t dream of using a protein rest on these malts as they produce crystal clear worts/beers, but they could still produce a beer with decent mouthfeel if a protein rest is used because the modification is full but not extreme, bottom line is these malts have a low protein % in the first place so no need. The rye is 10% plus majorly modified meaning many proteins were degraded during malting, so this shows that a rest is not warranted. The one fact they highlight above is what I thought initially about other cereals such as oats and doing a short beta glucan rest if really high percentage to aid in lauter and prevent stuck mashes, but ramping past protein rests is the obvious choice to avoid degrading proteins any further as 50.0 is an S/T I would never set to rest for proteins as its a non-issue.
John Palmer quote again:
Beta Glucanase: 95-113°F PH: 4.5-5.5 Best gum breaking rest.
Peptidase: 113-131°F PH: 4.6-5.3 Produces Free Amino Nitrogen (FAN).
Protease: 113-131°F PH: 4.6-5.3 Breaks up large proteins that form haze.

As others will mention also I have made rye beers utilizing up to 20% using both Breiss and Weyerman and employed a single temp infusion mash with a smattering of rice hulls to aid lauter and had clear wort/beer.

Thats a great response, thanks. Based on your comments, I dont think the problem was the mashing temps, but something off in my brewing process. I am going to drop my mash temp to give it a drier finish anyway, but will stick with a single infusion around 150. Will have to brew it a couple more times to get it figured out. Life could be a lot worse.

It could be a water issue. Do you have any issues with darker beers? I am assuming that since you mentioned 32% of your recipe, the balance is base malt?

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