Weird Mashing Regime for Rye Heavy Recipes

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    • #469

      Hi Sons,

      I wanted to share an idea I had for mashing a grist with a high percentage of rye or other beta-glucan heavy adjunct.

      It has been my understanding for a while that when mashing a lot of rye in a recipe, it was a good idea to do a beta-glucan rest around 105-110 degrees F. I had read about this in John Palmer’s How To Brew. It seemed through personal experience and from what I had heard talking to others though, that even with this rest, having a large percentage of rye in the grist would still inevitably lead to problems with a very sticky mash, sparging difficulty, and a higher viscosity of the resulting wort and beer.

      While attending NHC this year, I picked up something interesting from Larry Horwitz’s (Iron Hill Brewing) presentation on Biochemistry and The Mash. What Larry said was that the beta-glucan rest wasnt very useful because most of the beta-glucan in the grain is bound up in large starch-like molecules and isn’t actually released freely into solution until the mash reaches about 130 degrees F. At this (protein rest) temperature, the enzymes that break down beta-glucan are no longer active.

      This got me thinking about how to engineer a mash to both release and then break down all of the beta-glucans as opposed to just a small fraction of them. What I came up with is as follows:

      1. Mash in only the high beta-glucan grains (rye, wheat, oats) at 130 F for about 20 minutes.
      2. Cool the mash back down to 110 F and add the rest of the grist, including the base malt, and hold for about 30 minutes.
      3. Raise the full mash to protein rest at 130 F for about 15 minutes.
      4. Raise the full mash to saccharification rest at 145-160 F and proceed with the remaining processes of the mash as usual.

      My theory was that the first step would release the bulk of the beta-glucans and get them into solution. The second step would add fresh enzymes back into the mash at the right temperature to break down those beta-glucans. The 3rd and 4th steps are a return to my usual mash schedule.

      I tried out this process when I was brewing a rogenbier and I feel that it worked very well. The recipe contained 50% rye, yet despite this, after proceeding through the first two steps the mash recirculated and sparged with ease. The mash wasn’t very sticky, and the resulting beer had a low viscosity. While the rye could certainly be tasted, it didn’t seem to add the unusual mouthfeel that I’ve experienced with other high-rye recipes.

      I’ll be testing this process out further with any other high-rye beers that I brew in the future, and Ill post any further observations I make here as well.


    • #536

      Matt, thanks for the great idea for mashing with high percentage of high beta-glucan grains. I will definitely try your mash schedule when brewing my next rye ale. Thanks.

    • #537
      Heady Beer

      I seriously need to have the ability to control mash temps. I got one shot for my strike water and thats it.

      What do you use to control and raise mash temps Matt?

    • #468

      I have a direct fired stainless mash tun with a recirculating pump running throughout the mash. I used to control the temps and rises by hand but recently I fitted a Blichmann tower of power control unit into the system so now I can type in my temp rises and it will do them and hold them automatically. Doing it by hand made just as good of beer but the control unit definitely makes it simple.

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