Body Problems

Physics, chemistry and biology of brewing. The causes and the effects.

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Body Problems

Postby Skunk » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:31 am

In my AG batches I have had a body problem. It usually comes out too light. What causes this and how can I make a FULL bodied beer?
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Body

Postby slothrob » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:22 am

You can increase body by a number of methods. The simplest are to increase the mash temperature and/or increase the Crystal Malt percentage, and to a lesser degree the toasted malt percentage.

Well, I guess the simplest is really to use a different yeast that is less attenuative. If you are using a lot of American Ale yeast, which is famously attenuative, try WLP051 or wyeast 1272, which are similarly clean, though a little more flavorful than 1056, but ferment a little less of the sugar.

There are other more complex issues that affect body. One common one is overcarbonation. The right amount of carbonation can improve the body of the beer, but too much can make the beer seem thin.
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Slow stove have an effect on body

Postby Skunk » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:23 am

I will take those into account when I brew this weekend. I was wondering if having a lot of time between rests had an effect on specific amylase enzimes. For example if it calls for a 20 min rest at 150 F then needs a jump to 158 F to develop amylase-a, does it matter that it takes another 15 min to get there? I am still using an electric stove top burner and thought maybe this had an effect on the body.
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body

Postby slothrob » Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:06 pm

I wasn't sure if you were doing such advanced mashing techniques, but yes, it matters.

This is one of those areas where you really see the need to customize recipes and procedures to your specific brewery. If its taking you a long time to get from one temperature to the next, you are essentially extending the length if time at the first rest (or at least at temperatures close to it.) Whereas I might use use infusions to perform a step mash and go immediately from 150F at 20 minutes to 158F at 21 minutes.

In your case, if it's taking you 15 minutes, you could try starting the ramp-up 5 minutes earlier, giving you 15 minutes at 150F and 7 minutes between 150F and 154F.

Are you batch or fly sparging? Are you doing a mashout? That's another step that might add fermentability if you are fly sparging and the wort is waiting around for a while.
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Fly sparge

Postby Skunk » Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:30 pm

I am fly sparging with an 8 gal brew kettle and a 3/4 in stainless steel braid that wraps around the circumference of the kettle and connects to a copper T. I did do a mash out at 170 for 10 min. This was my Mash schedule

122 F 30 min
150 F 25 min
158 F 20 min When I reviewed my notes I notice I skipped this one
170 F 10 min

I know that is an important temp for amylase-a but I think I'm paranoid because the beer isn't even done yet. I tested it while it still has 3 weeks to condition and we have the carbonation cranked on our corney to carbonate it. It's a Dunkelweizen and we have it at 27 psi minus our line so around 25.
Regardless you brought up some great points to account for in our next batches. Thanks
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step mash

Postby slothrob » Tue Nov 10, 2009 6:40 pm

You don't need to do an alpha-amylase rest. An hour at 152°F-154°F should give you a pretty good body, without a 158°F step.
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