May 5, 2011 – Wort Production and Brewhouse Efficiency

Discussant: Jeremy Kees
The Mash
• What’s going on??
– Starches and proteins are converted into sugars
that are usable by yeast
• How does this impact my beer??
– Body (light vs. heavy)
– Finish (dry vs. sweet)
– Head retention
– Yeast health
The Mash – Key Phases
• Acid Rest (90-120°F)
– Breaks down phosphates in malt to create acid
– Lowers mash pH
– Usually not necessary with fully modified malts
• Protein Rest (120-130°F)
– Proteolytic enzymes break down “large” proteins into
smaller fractions / amino acids
– Proteinases / Peptidases
– Helps with head retention / yeast health
– Also can improve clarity in your beer
The Mash – Key Phases
• Saccharification Rest (140-158°F)
– Diastatic enzymes break down starches into dextrins and
fermentable sugars
1. Beta Amylase (140-150°F)
Mashing at this temperature results in highly fermentable wort,
lighter body, and drier finish
2. Alpha Amylase (150-158°F)
Mashing at this temperature results in less fermentable wort,
more body, and sweeter finish
Be sure to calibrate your thermometer on a
regular basis!!! A few degrees can make a
significant difference in the taste of your
The Mash – Key Phases
• Mash Out / Sparge (168°F)
– Stops enzyme activity (halts mashing process)
– Reduces the viscosity of the wort for better run-off
– “Rinses” the grains to capture the sugar
Brewhouse Efficiency
• Defined: The percent of potential grain sugars
that are converted into sugar in the wort
• How well does your “brewing system” capture
the sugars from the malt?
Brewhouse Efficiency
Why should I care??
• Most recipes assume 75% efficiency
• If your system is less efficient, what happens?
– Less sugars will make it into your wort and you will
end up with a lower OG than expected
• If your system is more efficient, what
– More sugars will make it into your wort and you
will end up with a higher OG than expected
Brewhouse Efficiency
• How to calculate efficiency
– Brewing Software/Spreadsheet
• How to improve your efficiency
– Proper crush
– Sparge hot and SLOW
– Pick a system that minimizes losses/dead space
Brewhouse Efficiency
• Adjusting for low or high efficiency is easy
– Calculate the expected pre-boil gravity based on
your recipe
– Measure the pre-boil gravity (after mash/sparge)
– If pre-boil gravity is low, add malt extract
– If pre-boil gravity is high, dilute with water
Equipment Corner
•Mash Tun
–Very easy to DYI
–Video demo at….

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