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I have always read that over 170F grain mashes will get a very distinct off flavors. How is it that during a cereal mash of grains (where you typically hold a mid-range temperature for a duration and then slowly increase to boil and hold) the process of exceeding the 170F temperature does not produce these off flavors?

I almost wonder if the gelatin substance after the mid-temperature duration holds in or prevents these off flavors from occurring entirely.

  • Where did you read that grain mashes above 170 F. will produce off flavours? It's a strange statement, as no one would ever mash at that temperature; the amylase enzymes in barley malt would be de-activated at such a high temperature. – FishesCycle Jul 9 '15 at 5:03
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This answer to a similar question might be enlightening. In the case of a decoction mash, the tannins are not very soluble due to the low pH. It's really a combination of high temperatures and high pH that lead to extraction of tannins from the grain husks. The same would apply to a cereal mash.

The more important factor, though, is that you'd generally perform a cereal mash on grains that have no husk so there would be far less tannins present to begin with.

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