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Step mashing for any style

Would there be any benefit to doing a Hochkurz step mash (20-30 minute rest in mid 140s, 30-45 minute rest in upper 150’s) for a style like IPA or oatmeal stout or porter? I do this mash schedule for all my lagers and wheat beers, why not IPAs, stouts, porter, and the rest?
My lagers always finish where I like them to, usually in the 1.010 to 1.012 range. But my ales, at times, finish higher, maybe in the 1.016 range. Some beers, like IPA, I’d like to dry out a bit more. Just curious if anyone can think of any draw backs to doing this mash schedule for all beers. It really doesn’t take much more time than, say, mashing at 150 for 75-90 minutes. That may take longer, actually.


Guess I didn’t know the name of what I was doing but I’ll mash like that for some pales and some IPA’s where I want them to dry out as much as possible and I’m not using a high attenuation yeast. Was really just copying what Firestone Walker does with some their Mission Street Pale Ale and Pale 31 which I enjoy. Can’t say I’ve tried a direct comparison to a low 150’s mash temp though to see which would gets better attenuation.

I am a believer of step mashing different recipes to control my sugar chains. Mashing at lets say 160 will create a medium/malty beer being that the sugar chain has not broken down to simple sugar chains . Mashing at the lower temp lets say 140 will shorten the sugar chains making simple sugars that yeast can ferment more easily making a dryer lighter beer

Perhaps on my next IPA I’ll do the same mash schedule as I do for my lagers, just for kicks to see how it turns out. I usually get an efficiency boost of a few points when I do a hochkurz step mash also. I guess it can’t hurt.

I kind of think it would greatly depend on the grain. With the risk of being blasted here I don’t see much point in step mashing, say an American highly modified 2 row. No harm in the step mash except the extra time and effort but a low mash temp, I would go around 149 with good aeration and a starter and it should finish out nicely. With that kind of malt the extra mash time might not help either. They say most of what happens, happens in the first 15 min.

That said, I would be interested in the outcome if you do try the step mash and compare it to a single.

Seems like I’ve gotten a few extra points of OG with this, and usually they are still there in the FG. So if this bit of extra body is worth the effort, go for it.

I was wondering about that. Mainly this is for fermentability and the added body of the high second rest. So, since I do this for my lagers with well modified pilsner malt, why not with ales with 2-row? Worth a shot anyway and it really doesn’t take much longer.

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