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bcoutts

Heat malted barley beyond gelatinazation?

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My first single malt run was somewhat of a failure (I had a 15" krausen that was fairly dry that didn't fall and had to be scooped out of the fermenter by hand and SG didn't go below 1.02 - it was constant from day 4 to day 7 so stripped it).  I heated it to 152F waited 90 min (starch test good) heated to 165) cooled and added yeast according to manufacturer's specs.

After the required time at 150-55F do many of you heat to pasteurization (~180F) to kill bacteria before you cool and pitch?  If so, do you add glucoamylase on the way down or in ferment to ensure more simple sugar conversion?

Any help to get my process working a bit better is appreciated.

Thanks

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Intrigued where you got your process from ? That is what you use to make beer, not whisky with lots of residual non-fermentable sugars.

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Brewers pasteurize for microbiological stability, as well as to ensure enzymes are denatured and do not remain active in fermentation and bottling.  Distillers generally don't care about either of these two, as our "beer" is an intermediate product, and is not directly consumed.  Therefore like @vsaks says, many of the techniques used by brewers to ensure a beer has good body, head retention, residual dextrin, isn't a cesspool, etc - these are all generally negative or irrelevant to a distiller.  Ok, maybe not the cesspool part, which is why you see distillers purposefully acidify their mashes with direct acid additions, something you rarely see in beer (although I hear some cheater sour techniques are becoming popular, using lactic, malic, etc).  While a brewer might hate lactic acid bacteria, the fact is, a typical malt barley wash is teeming with LAB, and there is plenty to indicate that it's beneficial.

You can find plenty of similarities, and differences.  For example, look at the ideal single infusion mash temp for beer.  It's around 152, right in the ballpark you mentioned.  But for whiskey, you might instead sit 145-148 for 90 minutes, emphasizing beta and ensuring a more complete conversion (if not using glucoamylase).

And like I said above, if you are using glucoamylase, you never want to pasteurize and denature, you want that glucoamylase active throughout fermentation.  If you did that in a beer, you'd have a pretty dry, thin, brut-style beer.  Probably awful.

Being a great whiskey distiller absolutely requires a thorough understanding of brewing technique, however, it doesn't mean that you'll execute your process in a way that's ideal for brewing over distilling.  That understanding and expertise is absolutely necessary to understand that difference.

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