Jump to content

To heat or not to heat?


Red Mountain Distilling

Recommended Posts

>> A sugar wash can ferment without being cooked; a grain mash will not.

I don't believe that's 100% accurate. I was listening to a podcast from a few years ago; the guest was Bob Hansen from Briess malting. He said that although conversion was quickest when warm (150s F) eventually even at room temp the malt -- barley specifically -- would eventually (I think they mention three or four days time) convert. However, you'd definitely get a lacto infection in that time. By that time you'll have a sweet wort, a nice lacto bug, and wild yeast taking a hold. Corn of course is an entirely different beast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The seed uses the enzymes to convert the starches to its initial food source until its first roots start taking up nutes. At ambient temp. I had an equipment/operator error last week when doing a single malt, I only reached 120* f for a few hours and still got a 7% beer. Thank god to salvage that one. The purpose of the heat is to gelatinize the starch cells and then give the enzymes the optimum temp for the fastest and most complete conversion to simple sugars, which is what the yeast eat. With out heat, you will be terribly inefficient, give way for bacteria to take hold, have very inconsistent results, and loose batches to bad flavors as a result. No way to run even a hobby adventure. Without enzymes, you will just have starch and no fermentables = no booze at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heat is necessary to gelatinize the starch in the grain. Alpha and beta amylase are plenty active at room temperature, but with starches all locked up in that grain, little nothing for them to do without the heat. I'm sure if you just dumped some grain in some water, you'd get something, whether or not you could pay the bills with that something is a whole other matter.

Agitator saves you money on chiropractor visits, getting blasted in the face by steam while you try to kayak your way through a mash tun gets old really fast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heat is necessary to gelatinize the starch in the grain.

Is that true off non-maize grains? I was under (perhaps incorrect) understanding that the starch in malted and raw rye/barley/wheat was readily available for conversion without the need to gltnz.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agitator saves you money on chiropractor visits, getting blasted in the face by steam while you try to kayak your way through a mash tun gets old really fast.

You made my morning!

After about 7 months in operation an agitator is still one of the best purchases I've made. Open the lid, dump in grain and enzyme and walk away to take care of other business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>> A sugar wash can ferment without being cooked; a grain mash will not.

I don't believe that's 100% accurate. I was listening to a podcast from a few years ago; the guest was Bob Hansen from Briess malting. He said that although conversion was quickest when warm (150s F) eventually even at room temp the malt -- barley specifically -- would eventually (I think they mention three or four days time) convert. However, you'd definitely get a lacto infection in that time. By that time you'll have a sweet wort, a nice lacto bug, and wild yeast taking a hold. Corn of course is an entirely different beast.

This is like telling a new baker he does not need to bake his cookies because you saw a recipe for no-bake brownies. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps you are confusing two things. The idea of the heat and water is to allow for gelatinization of the starch molecule so there after the enzymes can convert said starch into fermentable sugars. What I imagine Briess was talking about is whether or not you need to add heat to bring about the end result of conversion to sugar, with malted grains like their barley.

In that case the process of conversion has already begun to take place and is then halted with the malting process. The natural "normally field occurring" conversion to sugar is already in motion, so I would assume you could get to the end sugars with a lot less added energy, due to that energy and moisture that had previously been expended.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would just like to add the sanitization aspect of heat as well. Remember, you are dealing with grains that grew in the dirt, were exposed to the elements for many months, then processed. There are many useful natural bacteria and fungi present in and on the grains, but there are also ones that produce disease and toxins. If you have a strong conversion, and your pitch rate is good, most often competitive inhibition wins against these pathogens, but you are serving others, so always safety first.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is that true off non-maize grains? I was under (perhaps incorrect) understanding that the starch in malted and raw rye/barley/wheat was readily available for conversion without the need to gltnz.

Gelatinization temperatures will vary based on the type of grain, grind, modification, etc. But yes, non-maize grains, including those which are malted, undergo gelatinization during mashing. The big difference is that corn has a relatively high gelatinization temperature (near boiling) compared to wheat or barley, which gelatinizes much lower. In the case of the typical malts, it just so happens that the gelatinization temperatures coincide with the peak enzymatic activity temps for alpha and beta. A pretty happy coincidence for beer brewers.

post-6139-0-37540700-1451961288_thumb.gi

Without gelatinization, the amylases will attack the starch granules from the exterior, but the process is considerably slower (this is what happens when a seed germinates and grows - the starches are not converted to sugars immediately).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is one of the best explanations about mashing grains on the internet. It is a very reputable source and all the information is correct. Start on this link.

http://howtobrew.com/book/section-3/how-the-mash-works/an-allegory

Some of the process explained are over the top for what a distiller wants out of their mash verses what a brewer wants from their mash. But all the principles are the same.

Let me sum up what that link will tell you and some of the posts made on this thread.

If you are making an all MALT mash the grains need to be cracked and steeped at about 148 degrees

If you are using flaked grains, you need to treat the same as an all MALT mash, but you need to add enzymes, whether it is a proportion of MALT or over the counter ALPHA and BETA Amalayse.

IF you are using a whole grain, such as corn. The corn needs to be cracked and boiled to gelatin-ize the starches so the enzymes can convert them to sugars. Cool the mash to around 148 and add MALT or Enzymes.

IT is important to cool your mash as quickly as possible so you can add your yeast ASAP. There are plenty of organisms in the mash that wants to eat the sugars you just created for your yeast and will sour your mash and less alcohol will be created.

Hope this helps

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>> IF you are using a whole grain, such as corn. The corn needs to be cracked and boiled to gelatin-ize the starches so the enzymes can convert them to sugars. Cool the mash to around 148 and add MALT or Enzymes.

Corn needs two different enzymes: One to convert starch to dextrine, another to snip apart the dextrins to fermentable sugars.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...