Thin beer with full volume brewing....

Post #1 made 3 years ago
Hi, I'm not a very experienced brewer to fit in the category 'old hands', but I have done about 12 brews in a one-pot rims system with full volume and a biab bag to hold the grain....

So far, I'm quite pleased with my beers, but someone commented that full volume brewing gives thinner beer, less body and mouthfeel as compared to brewing with less water and sparging afterwards.
He suggested brewing two brews with the same recipes, one full volume without sparging and one small volume mash with sparging. Of course aiming for the same volumes and SG.

A nice test, but some 'old hands' might have tried this or have experiences that prove or contradict this theory about thin beer with full volume mashing.

Curious about your reactions.

Cheers,

Post #2 made 3 years ago
This is not the case for my beers and in my experience. I think people have heard this or read about it in Palmer's How to Brew. From chapter 14:

"The grist/water ratio is another factor influencing the performance of the mash. A thinner mash of >2 quarts of water per pound of grain dilutes the relative concentration of the enzymes, slowing the conversion, but ultimately leads to a more fermentable mash because the enzymes are not inhibited by a high concentration of sugars. A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer. A thicker mash is more gentle to the enzymes because of the lower heat capacity of grain compared to water. A thick mash is better for multirest mashes because the enzymes are not denatured as quickly by a rise in temperature."

I am not sure if anyone has officially debunked this, but it would be interesting to see the side by side. I think if it made that much of a difference there would be a lot less people BIABing tho. Lots of people who BIAB are winning competitions with all styles of beer too...
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Post #3 made 3 years ago
Hmm, found this too:

From Kai Troester’s white paper “Effects of mash parameters on fermentability and efficiency in single infusion mashing”.

“The results for mash thickness were somewhat surprising. Contrary to common believe no attenuation difference was seen between a thick mash (2.57 l/kg or 1.21 qt/lb) and a thin mash (5 l/kg or 2.37 qt/lb). Home brewing literature suggests that thin mashes lead to more fermentable worts, but technical brewing literature suggests that the mash concentration doesn't have much effect in well modified malts [Narziss, 2005]. Briggs cites data that doesn't show a change in fermentability when the mash thickness is changed [Briggs, 2004]. This was confirmed by these experiments where all the data points were on the same curve that had already been established in the temperature experiment.”
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Post #4 made 3 years ago
I call shenanigans! While there might be some grain (no pun intended) of truth to the "think/thin" mash debate, I can assure you that mash temperature and grist selection combined with yeast strain and fermentation temp (affecting over-all attenuation) will play a much bigger part in the final product. Mash a couple of degrees higher for a fuller body, throw a hand full of flaked oats in the grist to get that creamy mouth feel, and control your fermentation temps.

---Todd
WWBBD?
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Post #6 made 3 years ago
joshua wrote:Tytonegro, You should Forget about Thin/Thick Mashes, and learn more about Alpha-Beta Amylase Enzymes.

And the Temperature, and Duration of your Mash.

Please look over http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?ti" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... of_Mashing

JMHO.
I'm an 'infoholic', I know Braikaiser, about enzyme activity and mashing variables. I was just curious if people had done comparative brews to check for those claimed differences.

Also thanks goulaigan, I have seen Kai's experiments before, but have not read everything in detail (yet ;-)
Last edited by Tytonegro on 15 Jul 2015, 03:54, edited 1 time in total.

Post #7 made 3 years ago
I have brewed a Pale Ale akin to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that came out high on OG and thus higher than target ABV and with that 'thin' mouthfeel. The mash Temp reached at time zero drifted below target by ~4 deg C during 90 minutes (wrapped kettle, outdoor brew day). I did not track it over time, so I do not know the curve. Two options among many to address thinness include a higher and better controlled mash Temp or adding maltodextrin late in the boil, keeping with BIAB all the way. Both worked. Yes, there are other ways, too. The higher mash Temp (staying not less than 1 deg C below target by measuring at 25 min intervals and stirring while heating) gave an OG two points lower (meaningless, considering my margin of error), but better mouthfeel / body in the product, same ABV by coincidence. Adding maltodextrin has a bigger impact and gives a good, but different beer - more experiments to do there if one wants to go that route. So my vote goes to mash Temp control at higher Temp, with stirring if thinness is a problem, based on my (limited) experience.

Post #8 made 3 years ago
ShorePoints wrote:I have brewed a Pale Ale akin to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale that came out high on OG and thus higher than target ABV and with that 'thin' mouthfeel. The mash Temp reached at time zero drifted below target by ~4 deg C during 90 minutes (wrapped kettle, outdoor brew day). I did not track it over time, so I do not know the curve. Two options among many to address thinness include a higher and better controlled mash Temp or adding maltodextrin late in the boil, keeping with BIAB all the way. Both worked. Yes, there are other ways, too. The higher mash Temp (staying not less than 1 deg C below target by measuring at 25 min intervals and stirring while heating) gave an OG two points lower (meaningless, considering my margin of error), but better mouthfeel / body in the product, same ABV by coincidence. Adding maltodextrin has a bigger impact and gives a good, but different beer - more experiments to do there if one wants to go that route. So my vote goes to mash Temp control at higher Temp, with stirring if thinness is a problem, based on my (limited) experience.
In my one-pot RIMS set-up I use a controller that keeps temperature within 0.5 degrees around setpoint. A small pump circulates the wort. The controller also can do step mashing, using a well controlled brew helps in getting repeatable results.

We did a test where a friend brewed the same beer/recipe (an IPA) in the classical "ccolbox-mash with sparge afterwards" set-up. There was a noticable taste difference, but mostly related to hop. All very difficult to judge. There were also 2 weeks in between the brews. So when testing 'young' beer those 2 weeks make a difference as well.

You should really do two brews within 1 or 2 days to do a side-by-side test, and then preferably only change one parameter at a time. That is something most brewers, well I at least, won't do or want to do.

In general I like 'dry' beers, so maybe I'm not sensitive to thin beer with low body, mouthfeel ;-)
Last edited by Tytonegro on 16 Jul 2015, 00:34, edited 1 time in total.

Post #9 made 3 years ago
Tytonegro,
If you have that kind of temperature control (0.5 deg C), then a thin beer probably did not come from dowhward Temp drift. Perhaps step mashing with a rising T went too slow and the Beta amylase went to town early on its part of the curve, leaving Alpha amylase to work on what was left when it ramped up and almost nothing remained for body. I just shoot for one temperature and can keep it if I monitor it and stir. Outdoor brewing has its challenges. The grains I get from my local HBS are fresh and crushed properly, so I cannot put the blame on them.
We could have a lengthy discussion about something called Experimental Design, or Statistical Process Control, instead of one-variable-at-a-time changes. It takes a considerable amount of effort and lots of experiments but really nails the important variable(s). I'd rather brew another beer - there are so many yet to make, I am not very inclined to make one I have made before.
Shore Points

Post #10 made 3 years ago
ShorePoints wrote:Tytonegro,
If you have that kind of temperature control (0.5 deg C), then a thin beer probably did not come from dowhward Temp drift. Perhaps step mashing with a rising T went too slow and the Beta amylase went to town early on its part of the curve, leaving Alpha amylase to work on what was left when it ramped up and almost nothing remained for body. I just shoot for one temperature and can keep it if I monitor it and stir. Outdoor brewing has its challenges. The grains I get from my local HBS are fresh and crushed properly, so I cannot put the blame on them.
We could have a lengthy discussion about something called Experimental Design, or Statistical Process Control, instead of one-variable-at-a-time changes. It takes a considerable amount of effort and lots of experiments but really nails the important variable(s). I'd rather brew another beer - there are so many yet to make, I am not very inclined to make one I have made before.
Shore Points
I don't suffer from thin beers. It was a remark someone made about my thin mashing. I was curious if someone had undertaken the task of doing all those tests/experiments. Totally agree with what you said:
ShorePoints wrote: I'd rather brew another beer - there are so many yet to make, I am not very inclined to make one I have made before.
Topic closed as far as I'm concerned. Although; *IF* someone has done good tests, I'm always there to see/hear his/her experiences....
Last edited by Tytonegro on 16 Jul 2015, 22:15, edited 1 time in total.

Post #11 made 3 years ago
I didn't even fully read this thread and felt I need to comment.
I just sold my 3 vessel Herms system that I brewed on for 20 + years and went to a single vessel BIABasket system
If anything, my brews have improved. I took a slight hit on efficiency but a dramatic increase in hops utilization. Win

Thin beers? Doubtful

Post #13 made 3 years ago
Deleted meaningless answer.
Last edited by joshua on 24 Jul 2015, 21:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #15 made 3 years ago
I've been out of the loop here for a bit but am just going to jump in and say that some of the above is really well-written and some other posts not so much or are actually totally wrong.

I'm not really sure what I should do about this atm as I have spent many hours in the past writing answers on some of the above questions. It's a shame that even some of those most obvious answers are not being conveyed in this thread.

There is one recent answer above that is so authoritative and so badly-written I have no idea on how to deal with it. (I actually can't deal with it so will leave it to the rest of you.) Suffice to say that there are not enough people challenging some of the answers being given here on the forum recently.
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Post #17 made 3 years ago
Mets Culpa The question turns out to be about a thin mash, not a thin beer. I did not see the file at first, I posted something, then I saw the file. Compounding my lousy contribution, I said something incorrect about alpha amylases. I vow to read PP's earlier posts on mash thickness and time & temperature Where can I hide until this blows over? I'll be quiet now. :blush:

Post #18 made 3 years ago
Lol ShorePoints! You relax - I thought your answers here were excellent :champ:.

I was being a bit overly-dramatic in my last post here - end of Friday afternoon drinks is my excuse :smoke:. Let me write a little better...

Tytonegro, there is lots of misinformation on the net and even in some books and magazine articles. For a start you can't brew one beer this week and do the same beer next week and compare results as even water will vary in a week in most places let alone many other variables. Side by side brewing over several brews is the only real way to test a small variable out and even the answer received on that may not apply to another recipe...

I think what was worrying me when I wrote my last post in this thread was that we were starting to delve into the length of the mash and kettle efficiency. Like thin/thickness/mouth-feel of the beer, the length of the mash and efficiency into kettle varies (this thread shows the variance) depending on many things, one of the most important being the base malts used. There are no hard and fast figures on the correct way to do so many things in brewing so what this site aims to do is to give safe, sensible guidelines that will work on pretty much all recipes.

What this site (when laid out properly) also aims to do is quickly educate members to understanding that even commercial breweries have to adjust and manipulate each batch of beer and even then will still not get perfect consistency on some beer styles. In fact many craft breweries have great variance from batch to batch. One great myth in home brewing is that you can constantly get the same numbers or taste or effect from batch to batch. This is just not right. What you can do though is come up with guidelines that will get you nicely into the ball-park and as home brewers that is where most should stay. Unless you are brewing the same beer over and over again, straying from the safe guidelines is not really going to serve you well.

Lots of great posts above so all's good on a second read :peace:,
PP
Last edited by PistolPatch on 26 Jul 2015, 21:53, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #19 made 3 years ago
Hmm, I'm a little scared now too ShorePoints :) Im glad you got the OK for your sake tho. Hopefully my posts don't fall into the 'not so much or totally wrong' bucket. If so I'm pleading drunk :)
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Post #20 made 3 years ago
Lol goulaigan. From memory you are another one here whose every post on the board is of high quality :salute:. If you're writing them drunk, please keep drinking!

(Normally if I saw a post that was heading things off track I'd PM you first anyway to make sure I hadn't "got the wrong end of the stick" and I ask people to do the same to me. So, relax everyone. It's actually usually some of us older-timers on the board that sometimes don't read as well as we should and then write a post that isn't as good as we normally would write.)
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