LODO Mini-Mashing

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Ancient Abbey
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LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Ancient Abbey » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:29 pm

Mini Mash Method

Switching over to low oxygen (lodo) brewing can be quite an undertaking and a significant investment in time and resources. Here is a simple method of mini-mashing where you can compare a control mashing with a lodo mash. This method is also useful for readjusting your palate to the flavors of crystal and bruhmalts should you choose to employ lodo brewing methods.

What you’ll need:
- canning jars (8, 16 or 32 oz)
- a stock pot big enough for 2-4 jars
- sodium metabisulfite (SMB)
- 94% - Pilsner or pale (not pale ale) malt
- 4% - Carahell malt
- 2% - Acid malt

The basic idea is to mix malt with water in one jar like you would a normal mash. To the other jar, you first pre-boil the water, cool, add SMB, then dough-in. Place them both in a water bath (stock pot) on the stove and step mash them all the way to mashout. Then taste!

Initial preparations
Grind enough malt for both mashes at one time. They will be conducted with a 1 qt per lb water to grist ratio. Simply scale appropriately for the size jar you intent to use.

Pre-boil slightly more water than you estimate you will need for the lodo mash. Let it boil for 5-10 minutes, then cap and let cool. Once the water reaches 170-180F, add mix in enough SMB to achieve a concentration of 100mg/l in the strike water. Let it continue to cool to 150-155F. (If you do not have a scale that allows you to measure 100mg, then crush one campden tablet and place in once gallon of pre-boiled water, which will give you ~100-115 mg/l depending on the consistency of the dosage in the tablets.)

While the lodo water is cooling, pre-heat a stock pot halfway full with tap water to 150-155F . Do not overshoot the temperature and especially do not let it boil! This water will be used both for the dough-in of the control mash as well as serve as the water bath for controlling mash temps. (NOTE: if you are concerned about the sodium from the SMB affecting the results, then add the equivalent amount of sodium in the form of NaCl to the mash water in the control.)

Doughing-In
Once both sets of water are ready, you can begin to dough-in. For the control mash, place the appropriate amount of grain for your size jar in the bottom of a dry jar. Then, pour the 150F water from the water bath on the dried grains and stir to eliminate any dough balls. This also simulates the mixing you would do in a normal mash to ensure complete hydration of the malts and uniform temperature distribution. For the lodo mash, very gently pour the 150F, pre-boiled and SMB mixed water into your mashing jar. (TIP: if you simply boil and cool the water inside the mashing jar, then you won’t need this transfer.) To that, in very small amounts, gradually add the malts to the jar, letting them mix and sink. Do not stir to mix!

Mashing
Once both mashes are set, put them in the water bath and hold at 145F (the temperature should drop from placing the glass jars in the pot.) Hold this temperature for 20-30 minutes, then begin slowly heating the water bath to 160F. Hold here for 20-30 minutes, or until the mash looks converted. Once the wort is fairly clear and there is a nice layer of wort sitting atop the settled grains, then begin slowly heating the water to 170F. Hold here for 10-20 minutes.

During the mash, the lodo brew should not be stirred. However, with the control mash, we are trying to simulate normal mashing conditions. As such, the control jars should be stirred as often as you would normally stir your own mash. At minimum, it should be fully stirred every 10 minutes. Additionally, you can use a canning jar lid on the lodo jar to simulate a mash cap. If you use a mash cap, then make sure the malts and water are measured appropriately to fill the jar all the way to the rim of the jar so there is no airspace. You should not apply or tighten a canning jar ring, as you can end up with a bit of a corn (DMS) flavor if it is sealed tight. This is a product of the mini-mash method and does not occur at normal scale with proper brewing equipment.

Evaluation
Once the mash is complete, decant the top of the clear wort into a new jar or tasting glass and once the wort is adequately cooled, give them a taste. If you use a large enough jar, you can generally steal a sample from the jar to taste along the way if you like. Just make sure there is enough leftover for tasting after the mash-out! While not necessary, a coffee press is convenient for separating grains and the clear wort. You can also pour the liquid through a coffee filter to remove any excess solids. Be sure to avoid excessive aeration and agitation with the lodo wort. If you move quickly and avoid dropping (3-5” drop) or splashing the liquid, then you should be fine.

Evaluating malts and recipes
Repeating the procedure with a variety of specialty malts will allow you to quickly adapt your palate and your recipes to the new flavors you will experience. Caramel and melanoidin malts, IMO, are vastly improved with lodo brewing.
Last edited by Ancient Abbey on Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Bilsch
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Bilsch » Tue Apr 26, 2016 4:49 pm

When I did my first mini mash test, as described above, I thought the less oxygen contact the better. Therefore I purged and sealed up the jar during the process. As Mr. Abbey said, I got a lot of DMS and thus could not get past that to properly judge the flavors and had to redo the test. The lesson being not to agonize so much about oxygen contact for this test and just let the metabisulfite do it's work.
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Roachbrau
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Roachbrau » Wed Apr 27, 2016 5:08 pm

I just finished a simplified mini mash. Here's my procedure, step by step. I actually did 3 because I wanted to see preboil without sulfite, but it was essentially a waste. You'll see.

-3 1qt canning jars
- a 3 gallon stockpot on a propane burner
-malt

Boil 2.5 qts water for 5 minutes. Leave covered, remove from heat and allw to cool to 70c (158f)

Weigh and crush 3 identical cups of malt, 90 grams pilsner and 10 grams carahell (or any other light caramalt) per cup.

Heat enough water in the stockpot to keep a water bath up to the necks of the jars.

Add 100 milligrams (0.1 gram - don't mix up the decimal) sodium metabisulfite to one of the jars. When the boiled water is below 80c, add some to this jar

When the water bath reaches 70c, and the boiled water is also 70c, fill all jars with malt. Use water from the water bath for the control, and boiled water for the other two

Place them in the water bath, stir the mashes gently, then put a lid on the stockpot and keep the water bath between 65-70c for the next hour. I didn't put lids on the individual jars to allow dms to escape
20160427_154222.jpg
Notice how much more foam is on top of the control
20160427_154222.jpg (3.73 MiB) Viewed 2020 times


After an hour, pull the jars from the water bath, put lids on and cool them in a cold water bath
20160427_161943.jpg
L-R control, preboil, sulfite
20160427_161943.jpg (4.08 MiB) Viewed 2020 times


Last, decant the clear wort on top into glasses, then taste and smell
20160427_162116.jpg
L-R control, preboil, sulfite
20160427_162116.jpg (3.63 MiB) Viewed 2020 times

20160427_162132.jpg
Lest anyone think I'm trying to pull a fast one with lighting, here they're reversed. L-R sulfite, preboil, control
20160427_162132.jpg (3.63 MiB) Viewed 2020 times


I succeeded at 5/5 triangle tests between the control and sulfite samples. The first two attempts I could pick them apart by smell alone. I decided that was no fun, so I tasted without smelling for the next 3. Still too easy
20160427_162544.jpg
Opaque cups to prevent color giving it away
20160427_162544.jpg (3.67 MiB) Viewed 2020 times


Observe the color differences between the 3. As I suspected, the preboiled only sample was just as damaged as the control. This is due to the oxygen introduced along with the grain, something unavoidable on our scale.

Questions?
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Ancient Abbey
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Ancient Abbey » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:47 am

Looks great, Roach. Anyone else have a triangle test to share?!?!
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Techbrau
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Techbrau » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:15 am

Steve, that's a great write up and great pictures as well.

The only thing I'd suggest to do differently is throw in 2% or so acid malt to hit the same pH that you would target in a real brew. I find that the difference in wort flavor going from 5.6-5.7 down to 5.4 is quite significant.
If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always gotten.
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby brewcrew7 » Tue May 10, 2016 9:16 am

I'd like to add my name to the wall of LODO mashing, brewdate 050916. I'll beat myself over the head for not having access to the guides above while mashing last night on the fly as I ended up doing more of a protein rest straight to mashout rather quickly on the new-to-me gas stovetop. I bet conversion was far from complete. However, I did notice a distinct difference in aroma between samples - I tested 100% pima versus 90/10 carahell in both HIDO and LODO using SMB. LODO mashes had a slight sulfur/German quality to it whereas the HIDO was the all too familiar worty smell. Apart from the starch, I also think the LODO mashes had a cleaner/fresher taste. Pima definitely had notes of honey I could pick out rather than the general sweetness the HIDO mash. In any event, I think it has me excited enought that I'll carry this forward in further larger scale tests. Prost!
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narcout
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby narcout » Sun May 15, 2016 8:41 pm

Roachbrau wrote:(0.1 gram - don't mix up the decimal)

Embarrassingly, this is the mistake I made this afternoon.

It turns out the process I used wasn't going to work well anyway, but I learned what I need to do to get it right next time.
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Big Monk
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LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Big Monk » Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:43 pm

Just finished up my first mini-mash. I'm floored.

I whipped up a quick Belgian DSA mini grain bill:

91% Weyermann Pils
5% Dingemans Cara45
3% Dingemans Special B
1% Weyermann SauerMalz

I used Campden tabs and targeted 5.45 pH. I used a generic water profile of 40 Ca, 0 Mg, 40 Na, 75 SO4, 67 Cl, and 40 HCO3.

I'm sold. I've started accumulating the equipment for my automated 1.2 gallon system.

EDIT: While I have a second hand grain mill in the works, I was forced to use grain crushed at the LHBS about 12 minutes from my home. The difference in taste of the wort was still incredibly apparent.
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Techbrau
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Techbrau » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:07 pm

Big Monk wrote:Just finished up my first mini-mash. I'm floored.

I whipped up a quick Belgian DSA mini grain bill:

91% Weyermann Pils
5% Dingemans Cara45
3% Dingemans Special B
1% Weyermann SauerMalz

I used Campden tabs and targeted 5.45 pH. I used a generic water profile of 40 Ca, 0 Mg, 40 Na, 75 SO4, 67 Cl, and 40 HCO3.

I'm sold. I've started accumulating the equipment for my automated 1.2 gallon system.

EDIT: While I have a second hand grain mill in the works, I was forced to use grain crushed at the LHBS about 12 minutes from my home. The difference in taste of the wort was still incredibly apparent.


:tu :D
If you always do what you've always done, then you'll always get what you've always gotten.
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Bilsch
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Re: LODO Mini-Mashing

Postby Bilsch » Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:20 pm

Exciting to hear you had a good result. I screwed up my first mini mash and got a DMS bomb but the second was like a snort of heroin (no actual personal experience with H) and after that there was no going back to HiDO brewing.

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