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10/18/10 04:44 PM  
turbid mash
Does anyone have a simplified version of an effective turbid mash that will work over the long haul that they would be willing to share? Or can anyone direct me to an easy step turbid mashing regime?
10/18/10 06:47 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Ha, you said "easy" and "turbid mash" in the same sentence! That's funny.

"Wild Brews" has 2 schedules listed. I slightly modified the more complicated one on a Kriek I made in '09 and have been enjoying recently. (I bottled half of batch from keg to age much longer).

Here's the schedule I used: based on Mosher's step mash along with the suggestion I found from Frank Boon which called for the 86F step and a step mash.

*All temp increases were via infusions unless otherwise noted.

1. Dough-in @ 86F with 1 qt/lb, stir, and remove all milky liquid. Heat that liquid to boiling and hold.

2. 113 rest for 15 mins.

3. 131 rest for 15 mins.

4. Use boiled turbid mash to increase to 149 for 15 mins.

5. 160 rest for 15 mins.

6. Boil a decoction and increase to ~180, hold, and drain.

7. Batch sparge with boiling water.

This yielded about 10.5 gallons of wort for a 5 gallon batch so I boiled for 5 hours.

Mike T
10/19/10 09:57 AM  
Re: turbid mash
I did my first turbid mash last summer, and it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared. Traditionally some sort of basket is used to create space to draw off a portion of the liquid during the mash, but using my manifold worked fine.

Here is what I did and pictures to go along with each step: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2009/08/lambic-3-turbid-mash.html

I just bottled the batch over the weekend, ~16 months since brewday (I also racked half of it onto Cabernet grapes). The flavor is as close as I have gotten to a traditional lambic, with a moderate sourness, lemon rind, farmyard funk etc looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

Id had mixed results with the two batches I did with Wyeast mash, mostly because it gave me efficiency ~20% higher than Im used to (resulting in some very strong lambics). Certainly a viable option if you want to use raw wheat, but dont want to deal with all the time/complexity of the turbid mash.

10/19/10 11:18 AM  
Re: turbid mash
The schedule I listed above also yielded much higher than expected efficiency...I calc'd @ 96%. I attributed this to the massive over-sparging that you do in these turbid mashes.

The assumption is simple: in a 2 hour mash, you're likely going to get full conversion. And with mega-sparging you're also likely going to get near-complete extraction.

Mike T
10/19/10 01:59 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Oddly my regular turbid only turned out 74% eff, despite sparging 9+ gallons with nearly boiling water. I was expecting better so I ended up having to add .5 lbs of DME to get the gravity up to where I wanted it.
10/19/10 07:27 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Thanks guys for the help! Funny Mike, I just re-read your blog on that one before you posted it here! It seems like a mash I can handle doing without much issues. Thanks for posting your tasting results as well. sounds like the turbid mash is definitely the way to go for authentic lambic production anyway. It always amazes me that near boiling sparge water can be used. I am surprised that the tannin extraction that must occur must also drop out in the long aging, or is it that a large proportion of wheat (no husks) is used in the process?
10/21/10 03:13 PM  
Re: turbid mash
I've read a fair bit of Mike T blogs, as I'm new to brewing funky beers, & am getting ready to do one myself. I disagree that torrified/ flaked wheat can be used in place of raw wheat, simply for the fact that you'll run the risk of complete conversion in the mash. The starches in raw wheat are insoluble, so that beta amylase cannot convert them (as I understand it, anyhow). That being said, I used to be under the assumption that before using the raw wheat, I'd better boil it first... wrong!

Enter the reason for hot sparging... During the hot sparge, you'll be solublizing, and therefore extracting that starch into the wort. In theory, a single, high temperature saccharification rest allowed to run its course, will still leave plenty of undissolved starch for extraction during the sparge.

Expect low efficiency. The reason I believe sixbillionethans had a 96% efficiency (which can only be a result of complete conversion) is simply because the turbid wort was returned before the saccharification rest, and therefore (since the starch is now soluble) all the starch converted, making the whole turbid mash rather pointless.

Here is an clipping that I found useful, although we'll be mashing a more simplified version...

Turbid Mashing for the Homebrewer

The following is a conversion of the Cantillon turbid mash schedule to homebrew scale.(3) Based on the information presented in the article from Brewing Techniques, the Cantillon Brewery gets approximately 33-34 pts/lb/gallon.

The grist is composed of 34% Raw Wheat and 66% Malted Barley. A number of assumptions have been made in scaling down this mash schedule. It is assumed the we want to end up with a wort with an original gravity of approximately 1.048. It was also assumed that a yield of 30 points/pound/gallon would be obtainable using this method. As will be seen this assumption was not valid for this mash schedule carried out using the equipment and methods described. Your own individual results may vary.

The recipe was designed to provide 5 gallons of wort with an original gravity of 1.048. If we assume that we can get 30 points/pound/gallon then we need a total of 240 points.

We will assume one pound of grain yields 30 points. We want a 1.048 OG wort of 5 gallons. This is 48 points X 5 gallons = 240 points total. 240 points/30 points/lbs of grain = 8 lbs of grain.

For 5 gallons you will need 240 pts total. 240 pts/30 pts/lb/gallon = 8 lbs of grain Based on this calculation we will need 8 lbs. of grain. For a further explanation of mash calculations see reference (9).

The grist is 66% malt and 34% raw wheat. The barley malt fraction is 66% of 8 lbs which is 8 lbs X 66% = 5.3 lbs malt. 8 lbs total minus 5.3 lbs of barley malt equals 2.7 lbs of raw wheat.

The Cantillon schedule calls for mashing in 1300 kg grain/850L water (2860 lbs/900 qt) = 3.2 lbs/qt or 0.3 quarts of water/pound. We have 8 lbs of grain X 0.3 quarts = 2.4 quarts of water. In all of the following steps the temperature and water additions were taken directly from the Cantillon schedule as published and scaled accordingly.

1.) In kettle #1 add water at 144 F(62 C) to the crushed grain to achieve a temperature of 113 F (45 C) (about 2.4 quarts of water). Mix grain and water thoroughly and allow to rest at 113 F for 10 minutes. This amount of water is enough to just wet all the grain and flour. The mash needs to be stirred very well to make sure all the grain is wetted and no clumps of flour are present. Total time for this step is about 20 minutes, with the temperature rest included.

2.) Next, add enough boiling water (212 F)(100 C) to the mash to bring the temperature to 136 F (58 C). Do this over the course of 5 minutes making sure to mix thoroughly. Allow the mash to rest for 5 minutes at this temperature. Remove about a quart of liquid from the mash and add to kettle #2 and heat to 176 F (80 C). It will take about 3.5 quarts of water to raise the temperature to 136 F and you will end up with a very soupy mash with plenty of excess liquid. The liquid taken off should have the appearance of milk. Once heated it will clear up and large particles of hot break will form.

3.) Add more water at 212 F (100 C) to the mash over the course of 10 minutes to bring the temperature to 150 F (65 C), again with constant mixing. It will take about 5 quarts of water to achieve this temperature. Allow the mash to rest for 30 minutes at 150 F (65 C). At this point the mash will be very soupy and the liquid much less milky in appearance.

4.) Next remove 4 quarts of liquid from kettle #1 and add to kettle #2. Continue to heat kettle #2 at 176 F (80 C). The liquid removed from kettle #1 will be very cloudy but not quite as milky as the liquid previously removed.

5.) Add more 212 F (100 C)water to kettle #1 to bring the temperature to 162 F (72 C) and allow to remain at 162 F for 20 minutes. Again it will take about 5 quarts of water to reach the rest temperature. The mash should be very thin and soupy with a great deal of small particulate matter in the liquid portion of the mash.

6.) After the 20 minute rest the liquid in kettle #1 is run off and brought to a boil in a 3rd kettle (#3). Enough of the liquid in kettle #2, at 176 F, is added back to the mash in kettle #1 to bring the mash to a temperature of ~167 F (75 C). The mash is allowed to rest at 167 F for 20 minutes. Any liquid left in kettle #2 can be added to the previously collected run off in kettle #3. It will take most all the liquid in kettle #2 (~1.25 gallons) to raise the temp of the mash to 167 F.

7.) After 20 minutes the wort in kettle #1 is recirculated to clarify it and the sparging with 185 F (85 C) water is begun. Sparge until run off gravity has dropped to less than 1.008 and boil it with the previous run off from kettle #1. Boil the wort, now in kettle #3, until the volume is reduced to ~ 5 gallons.

8.) As the wort begins to boil it is hopped with approximately 4 ounces of aged hops as described in the Hops section. With all the water additions and sparging you will end up with about 9 gallons of wort. Total boiling time to reduce this volume to 5 gallons will depend on what kind of setup you have. At the beginning of the boil the wort will be cloudy and full of large flocculent break material. As the boil proceeds the wort should clarify as the proteins continue to coagulated and the starch is solubilized.

After boiling, the wort can be cooled using your method of choice. This method of mashing does not seem to yield the large amount of break that a typical all malt infusion mash will yield. But as stated earlier your results may vary depending on your equipment and technique.

Using this method yielded a wort with an OG of 1.040. This is ~ 25 pts/lbs/gal. Thus the mash efficiency was not as high as that obtained at Cantillon. The yield could probably be improved by extending the times for the various rest steps. Also it may be a good idea to heat the liquid withdrawn from kettle #1 each time at a very slow rate. To play it safe you may want to start out with a larger grain bill based on the more conservative yield of 25 pts/lb of grain.

10/24/10 09:01 AM  
Re: turbid mash
Am I correct in thinking that a true turbid mash grist should consist of raw wheat (like wheat berries, not malted wheat, not flaked wheat) and pilsner malt. And that the hot sparge temp. is used simply b/c the majority of the raw wheat will not have been converted yet and the hot sparge helps this since the wheat has not been pre-gelatinized (like flaked wheat) or malted?

Can lambics be made with flaked wheat, and if so, would one not sparge hot, but rather with regular temps?

10/25/10 06:55 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Sorry to be annoying, but anyone got any feedback for me?
10/26/10 11:40 AM  
Re: turbid mash
Fatty, thanks for the write-up. I have generally followed this procedure, with the exception of step 6. Based on my experience, I find it hard to believe that draining the liquid from kettle #1, then adding the 5 quarts from kettle #2 would result in a final rest temp of 167F. Has this worked for you? I've instead kept the kettle #1 liquor, then added the kettle #2 wort, which brings it up to mash-out temp. Then drain.

Brewinhard, I think the theory is that raw wheat is not gelatinized, and therefore when you initially heat it and pull off some wort, it will have gelantanized (releasing the starches) but not started to convert. The hot sparge water is then used to keep the unconverted starches in the wort. With flaked wheat, it is already pre-gelatinzed, and therefore some conversion will occur before pulling off the turbid mash portions. If its already converting, it seems the need for hot sparge water may be diminished. But this is just me talking here ... I've never tried a turbid mash with flaked wheat.

Josh O.
10/26/10 04:33 PM  
Re: turbid mash

I may be misunderstanding something, but it seems to me that keeping the kettle #1 liquid increases the thermal mass of the mash and would actually reduce the temperature increase achieved by adding kettle #2.

I've only done one turbid mash, following a similar/same schedule from Jim Liddil's webpage, but I had quite a bit of liquid in the mash tun at step six. I conceived of it like a batch sparge- drain the tun & start it boiling, then add the kettle #2 wort, rest briefly, and do a second hot sparge. I don't think the kettle #2 liquid would have raised the temperature very much at all if it was added to the kettle without draining the liquid first.

10/27/10 11:46 AM  
Re: turbid mash
It may just be a matter of us having different systems. In mine, if I have a mash at 162F, then drain the liquid, then add 5 qts of new liquid at 176F, there is no way it would equalize at 167F. Probably more like 161F. Once the liquid is removed my grain bed starts to cool pretty quickly, so I usually get about a 15 degree drop from my second sparge water to the equilibrium temp. I read Mike's page as having the second turbid liquor added before run-off, which is what I've done and which would work best for my system. But this is definitely splitting hairs and probably won't make a difference in the final product.
11/01/10 07:33 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Another quick turbid mash question:

When fly sparging at the completion of my turbid mash, is it proper to still stop the runoff gravity above 1.010 or so to reduce tannin/polyphenol extraction from the husks or does this not even matter as in regular wort production?

Can one continue to collect past 1.008 and lower or will a better wort be made staying above 1.010?

Mike T
11/02/10 10:00 AM  
Re: turbid mash
I didn't check, but I think sparging so hot and completely you are accepting that there will be tannins in the wort. The long boil and aging are supposed to precipitate them, and my first turbid mashed beer doesnt seem to be overly tannic.
11/03/10 04:16 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Just kind of curious why then one could not sparge hot and long with other types of sours like a flanders red that will also undergo long term aging?
Josh O.
11/03/10 05:02 PM  
Re: turbid mash
@brewinhard, don't know that you couldn't, but not sure what it would accomplish. The turbid schedule includes (as I understand things) drawing off starchy liquid in the beginning/low-temp portion of the mash and heating it to denature enzymes; this gets added back in during the mash-out phase. I think the point of the hotter-than-usual sparge is to solubilize the starches and rinse them into the wort. In a normal sparge, where the sugars are more soluble, i don't think you gain anything by sparging hot.
11/03/10 05:10 PM  
Re: turbid mash
With lambics, you sparge hot to stop the enzymes so that you keep larger starches in the wort for the bugs. Flanders usually have a good bit of adjuncts and crystal malts, so there is already extra stuff in the wort for bugs. That's my take anyway.
11/03/10 06:54 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Good to know and better to understand...still a bit curious about stopping the turbid mash sparge above 1.010 or letting it go below that. Any one have any notes from theirs as to the final run-off gravity? did you keep yours above 1.010 or let it go below, or just didn't worry about it? I guess I am trying to figure out how much wort to collect and how I know when I have enough wort to start my boil (extended possibly).
Josh O.
11/04/10 02:01 PM  
Re: turbid mash
I can tell you that I didn't worry about it or measure it. Following the steps & with a reasonable but not excessive amount of sparging at the end yielded 17 gallons of wort for a planned 10 gallon batch. I was actually planning on collecting 18 gallons, but ran out of sparge water and figured I was fine w/ 17. The expected volumes were based on other people reporting a yield of 9 gallons of wort for a 5 gallon batch size. Expect a long boil.
12/29/10 03:06 PM  
Re: turbid mash
Just finished my first true turbid mash this afternoon. With some guidance from everyone here on the BBB as well as from Mike T's blog, I was able to complete the day in under 7 hours from start to cleanup.

I used 6.6# Belgian Pilsner malt and 3.4# raw, unmalted wheat. I started with 10 gallons of water for a 5.5 gallon batch and used every bit of it! Pretty much hit all of my rest temps spot on, and had no trouble with the sparge or a stuck run off (which I had anticipated). Only had to rage a 90 min. boil with 8 yr. old Mt. Hood Pellet hops (I used 1.5 oz for a very low IBU contribution)!

After chilling to 69 deg. I pitched a 1 qt starter of Bugfarm IV (THANKS AL!!) dated 9/17/10. The starter never really got rolling much like previous Bugfarms have in the past for me, but I am not worried. My OG was 1.049 on the dot (was shooting for a 1.048).

Needless to say, I was very pleased with the brewday overall, and wanted to thank everyone who helped me hone in on this age old tradition of lambic production. And for those who fear the turbid, DO NOT, as it was quite simple and enjoyable. Thanks again BBB!



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