Episode 6: Judging Kit/Czech Pils (Sierra Nevada Nooner)/The Mash

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ThumbnailIn this episode of Brewnology we quickly cover what you should have in your judging kit that you take with you to competition. For the style examination we take a look at Sierra Nevada’s Nooner as our example of a Czech Pils…now known as Czech Premium Lager in the 2015 guidelines. We finally tackle a technical topic in this episode and discuss the mash. We cover the various mashing methods, the various mash steps and their temperatures, and the main enzymes active at various steps and what they contribute. You may also have noticed we have finally created a workable logo. We hope you like it. As promised, below are the show notes for your review.<br.

The Mash

  • Mash Types
    • Infusion: Mixing grain at a single temperature for entire mash. Requires minimum labor, equipment, and time. Not ideal for under modified malt or high adjunct beers.
    • Step Mash: Mash in with low temp (usually Protein rest), Raise temp through water additions or direct heating. Utilizes enzymes more efficiently. Requires more time, labor. Good for use with under-modified malts.
    • Decoction Mash: Start low (typically Protein Rest), Removal of 1/3 thick part of mash, bring to boil then add to back to mash to raise temps. Repeat up to 3 times. Explodes starch granules, breaks down protein matrix of under modified malts, improves efficiency, and promotes melanoidins. Very labor intensive.
    • Cereal Mash (Double Mashing): Two separate mashes then combined. Use of adjuncts (corn, rice, etc). Boil adjuncts with small amount of grain for 1 hour. Add to main mash.
  • Main Mash Enzymes
    • Acidic (95˚-120˚F /35˚-50˚C)
      • Phytase: Breaks down phytin into calcium, magnesium phosphate, and phytic acid. Acidifies the mash.
      • Beta Glucanase, breaks down hemicelluse and gums on the cell wall of under modified malts. Excellent to use in rye beers. Helps prevent stuck mash.
    • Proteolytic (113˚-127˚F/45˚-52˚ C)
      • Proteinase: Breaks down proteins into smaller polypeptieds necessary for good head retention.
      • Peptidase: Breaks down polypeptides inot peptides and amino acis essential for proper yeast growth and development.
    • Diastatic (130˚-158˚F/54˚-70˚ C)
      • Beta Amylase (130˚-150˚F/54˚-65˚C): Breaks off sugar units from the reducing ends of the starch molecule creating simple sugars easily fermentable. Not Able to work on large starch units. Think of it like pacman.
      • Alpha Amlyase (149˚ -158˚ F/65˚ -70˚C) Breaks off 1-4 links from starch molecule at random. Creates simple and complex sugars, less fermentable by yeast. Wild and crazy axe murderer hacking at whatever it can.
    • Mash Steps
      • Dough in: 10-15˚ F higher than desired starting rest temp. For example 160-165 degrees for a 150 degree rest. Essentially just adding your strike water and mixing with grain.
      • Acid Rest: 95˚ -120˚F/ 35˚-50˚C, utilizes the phytase and beta glucanase mentioned earlier.
      • Protein Rest: 113˚-127˚F/45˚-52˚C. Proteolytic enzymes work on proteins in the beer to produce better head, and clearer beer as mentioned earlier.
      • Saccharification: 130˚-158˚F/54˚-70˚C. This is the one step you look to with a single infusion mash, this converts starches to sugars. Generally you want a balance between Beta Amylase and Alpha amylase. Look to be about 150-152 for a balanced medium body beer. Adjust slightly towards beta for lighter body and slightly towards alpha for fuller body. Too far in one direction will lead to the beer being too thin, alcoholic, and water or to sweet and full bodied.
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