2 Step Mash

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dking3's picture
2 Step Mash

I've changed to a 2 step mash, much as suggested by Gordon Strong at last year's NHC. I mash in just my base malts for a 40 min. rest at about 146°F, and then add some near boiling water and the specialty malts for a 20 min. rest at about 155°F. I really think it helps the carmel and roasted malt flavors. I also am confident with my water chemistry for the 1st mash, and the grain bill is reasonably consistent for it, so I don't have to adjust for light and dark brews. Any one else trying something like this? -- Dave King, BIER

denny's picture
That's an interesting

That's an interesting technique, Dave. I don't know if I could get myself to do the extra work (hey, I'm lazy!) but I may have to try it to see what the difference is compared to my normal procedure.

Life begins at 60....1.060, that is!

This might actually match my

This might actually match my current procedure well. I mash in pretty thin and then do a mashout step for 10 minutes. no sparge. could easily hold out the character malt until that step as conversion is on minimal importance. might have to give it a try on my next porter batch.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

dking3's picture
Gordon didn't advocate 2

Gordon didn't advocate 2 temperatures, just holding off with the non-base malts until later. I recall one of his ideas was that extended steeping of roasted malts is like keeping coffee hot for a long time, it ruins the flavor, and there's nothing to mash in them, anyway. I threw in the 2nd infusion, since I can be a little extreeme at times, tring to get a little more from the malts.

Dave King, BIER

most of the time I'm just to

most of the time I'm just to lazy. But I have been meaning to try it. Not sure when I am going to get around to the porter again and the recipe I am working on now doesn't use any specialty malts so... something for the notebook.

"Remember, kids, the Only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down." - A. Savage

When I brew dark beers, I

When I brew dark beers, I wait until just before mashout to add the roasted grains. Anecdotally, I find I get a smoother roast flavor this way. I always do step mashes, but don't actually use specialty malts very often. Most of the grains I use will convert, or need conversion (flaked products).

I do like to use two temps for saccharification though. I direct fire so it is easy to do. I almost always mash at 147 and 160. I vary the times at each temp depending on the beer style. The fuller I want it, the shorter the time at 147. I think this really helps my lighter beers. I mash at 147 until conversion is nearly complete (checking with refractometer) and then ramp it up, greatly reducing beta-amylase activity, leaving alpha-amylase to give me some longer non-fermentable dextrins. This way I can get a highly fermentable wort that still has some bigger dextrins in it.

Steve Ruch
Could you do the two in

Could you do the two in seperate pots at the same time to speed things up?

"Remember, I'm pullin' for ya: we're all in this together" Red Green

I don't know how much you'd

I don't know how much you'd speed things up. You're still mashing your main mash for the same amount of time. You're simply adding your specialty grains later on in the process.

dking3's picture
I guess you could, but then

I guess you could, but then you have double the mess, and have to sparge 2 vessels. I also try to maximize the beta rest 1st, and then do an alpha rest, may get a little more out of the mash, but I also seem to be getting a more consistent extract, which is good, so I can better predict my I.G.

Dave King, BIER

On my last brew, I did a two

On my last brew, I did a two step mash for grins, hoping to get a little more body on a pilsner. Since it didn't have specialty malts (Carapils and a little Melanoiden), I didn't have a second add, but I have been adding cold steeped darks to the end of the boil or end of the mash for my darker beers with favorable results.

This strikes me as the best

This strikes me as the best approach....... What is your cold steeping time?

drew's picture
Most cold steeping I've seen

Most cold steeping I've seen runs for ~24 hours like making cold brew coffee

CA_Mouse's picture
I've been trying to figure

I've been trying to figure out my recipe for something similar. I am planning on experimenting by doing my standard recirculating mash with the steeping grains for one batch and holding the steeping grains out of the mash and steeping them as I slowly bring the wort to a boil. Part of my brain says that in steeping the dark malts, there should be less of an acrid or harsh taste out of the black malts (Black Prinz, Chocolate and Black Barley) and the other side says that it won't have the color and bold flavors. I guess the benefits would be that the two beers can always be blended to soften harshness and bolden flavor...


Homebrewer Ted
Ive been fighting not having

Ive been fighting not having the malt profile of my beers to be where I would like them.  An old homebrewer told me to try extremes and I have attempted a 2 step mash approach. Sorry Denny Im not lazy im just stupid.  I switch over from doing a single infusion mash to a protien rest for 15 @ 130ish, adding hot scolding water to hit 145ish and finishing at 158ish.  This ish are due to the inconsistency I am facing with my software.  I have yet to see if the hard work has paid off due to the beers I brewed, US light Lager (just kegged), Vienna Lager (still Fermenting) and a german pils where I used a new hop combo and the massive amounts of hops have masked the malts.  one question I do have if anyone here cares to answer is my clarity on the US light and Pil are hazy.  German has been lagering for about 2 weeks and still cloudy.  Im curious if my process is doing this but then again ive had issues with clarity and thats a entire new topic for another forum.