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08/05/06 11:53 AM  
Continuously rising mash
So in my last brew I decided to try having the mash temp slowly rise continuously from start temp to mashout over the space of an hour. For my first attempt I figured I'd try it over a smaller range, so I started at 143. I then set my oven (I mash in large enamelware pots, usually adding heat with the stove) to its lowest temperature (about 170) and let it sit for 15 minutes or so. Then stirred and raised the temperature to around 200. And proceded like this until the temperature reached into the 160s. Taking readings every 10 minutes the mash came out like this:

T=0 -- 138

T=10 -- 145

T=20 -- 145

T=30 -- 148

T=40 -- 150

T=50 -- 158

T=60 -- 160

I recall reading in Farmhouse Ales that Dupont uses a continuous mash starting down around 114. I've been thinking about starting lower, though I don't want to destroy all the head stability proteins by spending too long in the 130s. I wonder if Dupont gets away with it by using undermodified malt? Has anyone else tried this sort of mash technique for any range of temperatures? It seems like less of a hassle than kettle mashing with the stove and constantly stirring.

08/05/06 08:45 PM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
Although I haven't done it, in a recent BYO issue Horst Dornbusch suggested making a Duvelish recipe this way with constant slow raising of temp over a period of 60-90 minutes I think. I'm all for doing things that are "less hassle". Since I upgraded my mash tun to an x-treme cooler, I mash-in what ever temp and go back to it whenever I get a chance. Less hassle is better.
08/06/06 12:41 AM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
Did you find that timing sufficient for full alpha conversion? It looks like you were in the range just a little more than 10 minutes.
08/06/06 02:56 PM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
Iodine test indicated full conversion of starches. Other than tasting the finished product I'm not aware of any way of checking the relative effects of beta vs. alpha. This brew (a dubbel) is still in primary at the moment, so it'll be a while before it will be clear how it came out.
08/06/06 04:20 PM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
Wow, that's neat. Iodine is also the way I gauge that, it has always seemed reliable. Interesting that such a quick stop by that temperature range worked so well.
08/07/06 11:58 AM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
Truth be told, I think it probably sat at the upper end of that range for a while longer while I was getting my sparge gear in order. I can't remember whether I did a proper mashout with that one (probably no, since my notes don't mention anything).

It's also possible that I misread the iodine test, given the dark wort.

08/07/06 04:32 PM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
I used to do 3gal batches and I could complete a three step infusion mash in my 5gal kettle which happens to fit in the oven (take out the top rack). I used the oven at it's lowest setting to hold the mash at a particular temp with suprisingly steady temps. The mash started a bit on the thick side and I don't do a mash out.

I'd then ladle/dump the mash into my lauter tun which is simply a plastic bucket with a chore-boy filter and a bit of hard plastic tubing to run the wort off (back into the brewkettle).

It was a cheap, easy and dirty way to get into allgrain brewing without spending a lot of $$ on new equipment; but it's the same amount of time brewing for a smaller batch. I've since gained room to brew and have moved up to a large cooler and lauter manifold so I can get a full 5gal batch of Allgrain or a very high grav 3gal batch.

If I ever go back to small batch all-grain brewing it's the method I'll use. Of course I need to find the time to get back into brewing first. Hobbies are great when you have the time.

cheers, scamborn

08/07/06 06:08 PM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
That describes my setup almost perfectly, Dsanborn. =') I've opted for the thrifty route into the hobby using cheap enamelware pots meant for canning. I sparge in a pot identical to my brew/mash kettle, using a copper manifold to siphon the wort out. The first incarnation of the system used a big sieve to hold the grains as I poured sparge water through, letting wort collect in the pot below.

All in all I'm pretty content with my mashing setup. And if the continuously rising mash technique pans out it looks like it could prove to be more convenient than working with coolers and such.

08/08/06 11:52 AM  
Re: Continuously rising mash
I do a lot of step mashes and doing a continuous rising mash is no problem using a HERMS - heat exchange recirculating mash system. You can see mine - it's the featured link on the top of the homebrew board page here. A copper coil sits in the hot liquor tank and the mash liquor is exteracted from the mash tun using a pump which goes through the coil in the hot liquor tank and then travels to the top of of the mash tun using a copper ring with holes. All you have to do is keep the pump running and slowly increase the temperature in the hot liquor tank. You take your actual temperature readings in the mash tun.
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