Take the 2-minute tour ×
Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Listening to an episode of Basic Brewing last night, I heard a guest say that most of the conversion in the mash happens in the first half, and that the mash can thus be cut down as short at 45 minutes.

It seems to me that this would work, especially if you're doing a mini-mash for flavor and it's not life-or-death whether you get the exact right efficiency to hit your target gravity.

What's the lower limit here?

share|improve this question
    
I'll come back and edit this when I do some tests. –  Rich Armstrong Apr 23 '10 at 1:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need to ask yourself "Minimum mash time for what?" You can get pretty full conversion in about 20-25 min. A recent experiment on Basic Brewing Radio concluded that a beer mash for 45 min. was better tasting than one mashed for 20, and a beer mashed for 60 was better than one mashed for 45. For maximum fermentability, a 90 min. (or longer) mash works better. So when you ask what the minimum is, you have to take into account the results you want to achieve.

share|improve this answer

I don't under stand the second part of the question, so I'll speak to the first.

I have heard estimates as early as 20minutes in the mash is converted. Its a function of temperature too. So of you are mashing at 158F it goes faster than if you are mashing at 149F. Of course, trying to do a quick mash at 158F is fine if you are doing something that works with a lot of body.

I'd like to see this explored more on the homebrew level. But it requires brewers to be checking for completeness with an iodine test.

share|improve this answer
    
I think the iodine test is the key to everything. Try whatever technique/mash schedule you like, but only the iodine test can tell you whether your sugars are fully converted. –  Tetragrammaton Apr 22 '10 at 17:24
    
Clarified the question and ordered some iodine strips. What the heck, right? I'll try science. –  Rich Armstrong Apr 22 '10 at 19:07
    
True that it isn't life or death, but you don't want to be adding too much starch to your beer due to a lack of conversion. Starch is a prime source of food for your undesirable microbes. –  brewchez Apr 22 '10 at 19:15
    
Betadine works fine, too. I'll use that. –  Rich Armstrong Apr 22 '10 at 19:45
    
The iodine test can be wrong as often as it is right. In addition, it won't tell you what kind of wort you're producing. I advise new brewers to try the iodine test once for fun, then forget it exists. –  Denny Conn Feb 22 '11 at 22:15

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.