Short mash times

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bitter_dave
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Short mash times

Post by bitter_dave » Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:41 pm

What are people’s views on short mash times of, say, half an hour?

I’ve mashed for 50 mins with Maris Otter and it turned out good (this was for a mild containing 2.5 kg of pale, around 900 gms of Crystal and 100 gm of chocolate + some DME in the boil).

What would it be like if I mashed 3kg of Mild Ale malt, with 500 gm of dark Crystal and 100 gm of chocolate malt for 30 mins? Any thoughts? Was going to use Windsor ale yeast so was thinking of not going crazy with the mash temp.

I’m keen to save time where I can. I’ve cut the boil time to half an hour and compensated with more hops and this seems to be fine. Was wondering about the mash. I think I’ve heard people say half an hour is fine. What do you think?

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Re: Short mash times

Post by IPA » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:21 am

bitter_dave wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 10:41 pm
What are people’s views on short mash times of, say, half an hour?

I’ve mashed for 50 mins with Maris Otter and it turned out good (this was for a mild containing 2.5 kg of pale, around 900 gms of Crystal and 100 gm of chocolate + some DME in the boil).

What would it be like if I mashed 3kg of Mild Ale malt, with 500 gm of dark Crystal and 100 gm of chocolate malt for 30 mins? Any thoughts? Was going to use Windsor ale yeast so was thinking of not going crazy with the mash temp.

I’m keen to save time where I can. I’ve cut the boil time to half an hour and compensated with more hops and this seems to be fine. Was wondering about the mash. I think I’ve heard people say half an hour is fine. What do you think?
If time is so important you could always try using kits.
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Re: Short mash times

Post by vacant » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:48 am

IPA wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:21 am
If time is so important you could always try using kits.
Or if it is time during the day that is at a premium, an overnight mash could be the answer. I've never done that myself.

After selling my shiny kit, I'm back to really short BIAB brew days and a big saving in brew time using a no-chill cube.
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Re: Short mash times

Post by orlando » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:29 am

Are bigger batches an option? Seems a shame to compromise.
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Re: Short mash times

Post by Cobnut » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:51 am

Try it and report back.

I know that some commercial breweries only mash for 45 minutes, some less than that.

I believe the argument is that modern malts are highly modified and most of the conversion happens within the first 20 minutes or so.

So mash for 30 minutes and see what difference it makes.

It may reduce your efficiency, but you need to work out how much difference it makes for yourself.

And google gave me this: http://brulosophy.com/2014/09/01/does-m ... t-results/
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Re: Short mash times

Post by Meatymc » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:21 am

For no accountable reason, I always mash for 90 minutes - irrespective of what I'm brewing although I'm mainly an IPA brewer. Is the consensus re' modern malts that this isn't necessary?

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Re: Short mash times

Post by vacant » Thu Jun 04, 2020 1:33 pm

Meatymc wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:21 am
For no accountable reason, I always mash for 90 minutes - irrespective of what I'm brewing although I'm mainly an IPA brewer. Is the consensus re' modern malts that this isn't necessary?
60 minutes for me, sometimes up to 90 if I'm otherwise busy. There are people out there experimenting with 20 minutes.
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Re: Short mash times

Post by bitter_dave » Thu Jun 04, 2020 2:16 pm

Thanks for your thoughts folks.

I found this in the book 'Simple Homebrewing' on pages 74-76 (you can view this online):

https://bit.ly/2U9z1Fa

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Re: Short mash times

Post by Dennis King » Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:44 pm

Back in the day it was advised to do an iodine check to make sure conversion was complete, personally I've not done this for over 20 years. If you can stll buy the stuff may be worth trying.

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Re: Short mash times

Post by bitter_dave » Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:00 pm

Dennis King wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 3:44 pm
Back in the day it was advised to do an iodine check to make sure conversion was complete, personally I've not done this for over 20 years. If you can stll buy the stuff may be worth trying.
Thanks Dennis - good tip!

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Re: Short mash times

Post by Jocky » Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:29 pm

Commercial breweries might only leave the mash for a 45 minute stand, but it can take them a long time to both fill and empty their mash tun (not to mention sparging time) with the enzymes still working all the time, so the idea they are 'only' mashing for 45 minutes is quite misleading.


Also while the bulk of conversion might be done in 20 minutes, there's still enzymatic activity going on that will increase extraction and shorten the long chain sugars for a more fermentable wort. So you might need to adjust the recipe to account for a lower efficiency and lower fermentability.
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Re: Short mash times

Post by bitter_dave » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:49 pm

Jocky wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 4:29 pm
Commercial breweries might only leave the mash for a 45 minute stand, but it can take them a long time to both fill and empty their mash tun (not to mention sparging time) with the enzymes still working all the time, so the idea they are 'only' mashing for 45 minutes is quite misleading.


Also while the bulk of conversion might be done in 20 minutes, there's still enzymatic activity going on that will increase extraction and shorten the long chain sugars for a more fermentable wort. So you might need to adjust the recipe to account for a lower efficiency and lower fermentability.

That's interesting - thanks Jocky. If short mash time reduces fermentability presumably you would want to consider your yeast choice as well? Windsor is going to have relatively low attenuation at the best of times. S04 might be a better bet?

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Re: Short mash times

Post by Jocky » Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:20 pm

You’d have to try it and see. SO4 might not have the character you want. The difference in attenuation mighty only be a few points, but I guess every bit counts with Windsor.
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Re: Short mash times

Post by Eric » Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:02 pm

If one presupposes that saccharification is the only process in the mash tun, then it is reasonable to assume 60 minutes will be adequate for most simple recipes.

Brewing with low calcium level has the potential of limiting beta amylase activity to less than the optimal period, so those brewers might readily assume there is no advantage to mashing for a longer period.

A high temperature mash can achieve close to total conversion in around 10 minutes. Getting the wort to ferment is then the problem.
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Re: Short mash times

Post by Kingfisher4 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 9:39 am

Eric wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 10:02 pm
If one presupposes that saccharification is the only process in the mash tun, then it is reasonable to assume 60 minutes will be adequate for most simple recipes.

Brewing with low calcium level has the potential of limiting beta amylase activity to less than the optimal period, so those brewers might readily assume there is no advantage to mashing for a longer period.

A high temperature mash can achieve close to total conversion in around 10 minutes. Getting the wort to ferment is then the problem.
As per the PeeBee advice in "Alcohol free (i.e. low ABV) beer thread" I have tried several experimental low ABV brews (about 5 now) 30 min mashes at 74 degrees, most recent 2kg Munich, 300gm Crystal and 200gm Malted oats for 27 litres into FV. 88% mash efficiency in 26 litres mash water (from GF calculator). 0.9% ABV with S-33 bottled at day 4.

I know that is idiosyncratic and atypical of a standard brew, but thought figures may be useful especially if you're aiming for a lowish ABV beer? My limited experience suggests I get lowest efficiencies with my largest grainbills.

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