Reiterated Mash - Planning in Action

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reiterated Mash - Planning in Action

Today was our reiterated mashing day for our "Sissy" Kaffir Lime Imperial Lager. For all of the details on the story behind the reiterated mashing technique, please check out my previous post, I don't feel like going over it again.

This morning I started heating 10 gallons of water up at 6:30am. As planned, we split the grain bill up into two batches. The first was 15.2 lbs and the second was 16.8 lbs. There was 5lbs of brown rice that was cooked the night before and added to each of the mashes.

We struck the first mash and the temp was at 145, lower than the 150 we had targeted for this mash. We ran off two gallons into the second mash and added 2 gallons of water at 162 to get us up to the desired 150f. We held that mash at that temp for 20 min.

After the 20 min, we ran our first mash off into the second mash. For this we used a cooler that was the same size as the mash tun. After running off, we were well below the desired 145, so we pulled off about 1/3 of the mash and heated it to a boil on a separate burner (this is a decoction of sorts). After adding this back to the second mash, we had a temp that was little higher than we wanted, 151, but we were good with that as it was going to loose some temp over the hour hold. In the end, the first runnings were 13 brix or about 1.056 for the first mash.

Now in a slight deviation from the original reiterated mashing technique, we decided that we were going to try to utilize as much of the sugars on the grain as possible. The plan was to sparge the first mashing and keep that runoff for sparging the second mash. This second running on the first mash was 5 gallons at 168 and yielded 7.25 brix (1.028G).

While we waited for the first mash to finish it's 60min hold, we cleaned the grains out of the mash tun in preparation for the second mash.

Once the hold was done on the second mash, we moved the grains from the cooler into the mash tun where we were added boiling water to acheve 168f for mashout. Once at mashout, we setup for a fly sparge using the sparge runoff from the first mash. The first running from the second mash yeilded 18.25 brix (1.074G).

We wound up with a bit more volume than we had planned on so we seporated the wort into two brew pots for increased evaporation. After about an hour of boiling, we added them to the same brew pot and started a normal brew adding our bittering hops of 2 oz UK Goldings for 45min. The aroma hops were UK Goldings as well of 1 oz for 25min.

Once the wort was cool, we decided to use Beano pills as a way of getting rid of some of residual sugars by turning them into fermetable sugars The decision to do this was in light of a BA post that I did and a BYO article here. According to what we had seen, adding 4 pills per 5 gal would turn the residual sugars into fermentables, giving you a beer that has a lower carbohydrate level and, in our case, a crisp dry finish like you get in a Japanese Lager.

We crushed up 8 Beano pills and added them to the 10 gal cooled wort.

In preparation for a big beer, we did aerated the beer thoroughly and made a mini yeast culture for future introduction into the beer. We will use this if the fermentation slows down as a way to kick start the process.

Ah, well I think that's it. In this end this brew weighed in at 1.072 which was less than the 1.073 the recipe should have given us. I need to sleep on this whole "reiterated mashing" before I have a definitive conclusion on it's application. While we did deviate from the path in some ways, we also did something that would hopefully have led to a greater utilization of our grains. I am not sure if we got any more out of our grains than we would of doing anything else, but it was an interesting process and fun to try something new.


Adam said...

Beano eh? Hmmm...gotta read about this.

Keith Brainard said...

I did a reiterated mash a while back, and I got like 52% efficiency. Though it was fun to try a new mashing technique, I was disappointed. Although the resultant beer is great!

The method I like to use for extract-free big beer is to do two separate mashes. It's the same basic idea, but rather than use the wort collected from the first mash for the mash liquor of the second mash, I just use water again. I draw half my boil volume from the first mash, and half from the second mash. This also makes it really easy to do a full-sized partigyle batch with two sets of second runnings.

In the end, I think it's probably easiest to just do whatever big of a mash your system can handle, and then augment with DME to get to target gravity. If only DME weren't so messy.

Travis said...

Keith -

It's good to hear you were pleased with the results. It was a lot of work and I would hate to not be pleased with the brew.

Your method sounds pretty straight forward. I think that would be a "first running" only brew. With some of those the collect the second running and make a lower gravity beer with that.

You're right, using DME would be the easier (albeit more expensive) way to go.