Protein Rest : When to use it?

How to get most out of brewing with your Braumeister? Help others and share your tips/best practices.
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Luxo_Aussie
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G'day All,

Wanted some feedback on when I should / shouldn't be making a rest at 55 degrees for 15-20 mins for styles of beers. From what I have read it should be done for lagers/pilsners, beers with large percentages (more than 25%) of unmalted adjuncts or under-modified malt but I've been doing this for all of my batches since getting the Braumeister. When are people use this step?

I'm only asking as I think some richness has been lost from some of my darker beers made late last year, despite having a grain bill would provide otherwise.

Cheers !
BigEd
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Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:29 pm

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There's no consensus answer for your question. Virtually all malt today is well-modified. That doesn't mean you can't do an intermediate rest but it is not crucial as it may have been years ago with some malts. If you are going to use one the 55C range is a good place to start. The old rest stages of 47-50C were specifically used for under-modified malts.

There is a vociferous contingent in the American homebrewing community that rails against doing protein rests and decoction mashes. However, at 55C you are at the very beginning of the beta amylase rest and will have less chance of overdoing any protein degradation that may possibly result in having the "detrimental" effects the don't-do-it crowd worries about. I think the 15-20 minute time is a good place to start and should be plenty.

I'm fairly new to the Braumeister and have only done a few brews so far. I've been used to doing decoction mashes on my lagers previously and often used that short rest at 55C to start the mash. I'm doing my first lager with the BM50L this weekend and will not be attempting my usual decoction as it projects to be a PITA to do with an infusion machine like the BM. What I may do is a Hochkurtz mash schedule which I think is widely used nowadays in the German brewing industry. I'm planning on 63C for 45 minutes and 70C for 30 minutes.

Here's a link to some decent info on Hochkurz mashing: https://beerandbrewing.com/short-and-hi ... kurz-mash/ :beer:
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mashy
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Thanks BigEd.

When I saw the question my first thought was "this'll start a fight". Its just one of those "no wrong or right way" questions. Like the 55c point.

Great link too
BigEd
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mashy wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 8:05 am


When I saw the question my first thought was "this'll start a fight".


:lol: I've been involved in a few over the years on other forums.
djl3thal
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I recently listened to Jamil Z on the Brew Strong podcast state that if you sit at the 50-60C protease temperatures for too long (and he stated ANY time with 100% modern well modified malts is too long) you will degrade the proteins too much and lose head retention proteins and other useful things that you need to have a great beer.

My takeaway was, if you have heavy adjunct usage or less modified malts in the grain bill then use a 5 minute protein rest or even just dough in at protein rest temps and start to temperature ramp immediately as it does not take long for protease to do its thing, it also keeps working into the low 60's. Otherwise if you are 100% modern well modified malts dough in above 60C to avoid degradation of useful proteins.

I recently did a Hockhurz mash on two beers (one English bitter and one Helles) which was 50C for 5 mins, 63C for 30mins, 72C for 45 mins and 76C mash out for 10mins and wondered why both beers lacked normal head retention that I was accustomed to in my beers. I blamed the braumeister as it was the first two beers I had made on it but hearing how Protease works, the 5mins plus temperature ramping from 50C to 63C was plenty of time to degrade the head retention proteins. I won't be doing that again and will simply start at 63C...
BigEd
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djl3thal wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:58 am
I recently listened to Jamil Z on the Brew Strong podcast state that if you sit at the 50-60C protease temperatures for too long (and he stated ANY time with 100% modern well modified malts is too long) you will degrade the proteins too much and lose head retention proteins and other useful things that you need to have a great beer.
Jamil! Speaking of the "don't do it " crowd....., yes 50C is too low. That temp rest is an anachronism but unfortunately it is still part of a lot of brewing publications in circulation. However, if you move up to 55C and keep the rest short my experience with doing a number of decoction mashes over the years using a short 55C to start does not cause any detrimental effects. YMMV and I do think that the process is better suited to certain beer styles and malts, in particular German and Czech lagers.
djl3thal
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Not disagreeing with you, just interested, what do you think is gained by doing a short protein rest if you start at 55C in a german lager? As in what would the final product have (or not have) over one that starts at saccarification temps?
BigEd
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djl3thal wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:58 am
Not disagreeing with you, just interested, what do you think is gained by doing a short protein rest if you start at 55C in a german lager? As in what would the final product have (or not have) over one that starts at saccarification temps?
One of the aspects of what I enjoy in German lagers is the subtle combination of good body combined with a clean, dry finish. I'm in the US and there are several craft brewers offering German style beers among the sea of kitchen sink hop bombs and overly sour/fruity/mildewy/asphalt brews that seem to be everywhere. Most of these German style attempts never come close to the body profile of the actual German beers. I suspect the primary reasons for this are the use of a single infusion mash schedule as well as subbing inferior malt in some cases. The multi step mash gives me something closer to what I want from these beers.

I won't be using a 55C rest on today's beer. One of the reasons I used it with my old equipment for decoction mashes was to be able to add another layer of Maillard reactions to the beer. I'm just going with a simpler Hockkurz schedule of 63C/70C with the Braumeister and living without the decoction.

I'm certainly not trying to be adamant regarding this topic or browbeat anyone into my camp unlike the 'don't do it" crowd. My feeling is that the information should be presented and the individual brewer can choose their own path. :beer:
Tipsy
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I'm not a part of the don't do it crowd (it's your beer, do what you like :D )

I was doing one for ages @ 55 for 10 minutes and was suffering head retention issues on light bodied beers.
I gave it up (except for the ramping time from 40 to 63) and all my beer holds head again. :drink:
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tsgreen
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Interesting topic! One I have been contemplating for awhile for some styles. Switching from 2 step on a beer I have done for years to single infusion with mash in at protein temp this weekend to see. Curious if there is a noticeable difference. Mostly hoping to shave some time off of some brew days.

"among the sea of kitchen sink hop bombs and overly sour/fruity/mildewy/asphalt brews" Amen!!! :mrgreen:

Nice to see it being a civil discussion.
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