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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > BIAB Brewing > various mash temps by accident for scottish ale
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:46 AM   #1
peroua15
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Default various mash temps by accident for scottish ale

Did BIAB all grain mash. started water at 155 and after about 20 min it lowered to about 120 degrees. beginner at this stuff. set up another one gallon pot and took some of mash grains into their. got that to about 151 degrees and eventually (like 40 minutes later got the big original mash pot water up to 151 as well. total mash time was like 2 hours ( i can't even really remember). but my ending question is would this make my beer MUCH drier? is there anything I can do from here on to change that to a better sweeter malty scottish ale??

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Old 11-10-2013, 12:53 PM   #2
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Well, you cannot un-make or change the wort you mashed at 150F - it made those types of sugars that ferment very well and they cannot be changed. Yes, you will have to mash higher for maltiness, like 155f to 158F, and maintain that mash temp. One hour is enough. Longer risks dropping the temp and losing that maltiness, unless you have some fancy way to maintain the mash temp.

a few questions:

  • What size batch are you trying for?
  • Did you use a one to three gallon metal pot for the mash? (I do not care if it was aluminum or stainless)
  • What was the total amount of water and grain?

I am guessing you are making very small batches, like 1/2 gallon. Regular mash-tuns are well insulated picnic coolers and similar. Multi-barrel recirculating systems have active heat controllers. The original BIAB style done in a metal pot depends on a large thermal mass and warm ambient temps to maintain a steady mash temp.. A 5 gallon batch of BIAB will have 8 or more gallons of water and something like 12 lbs of grain. And this was developed in Australia where it is a bit warmer most of the time. Even so, many people swaddle the metal pot in a parka or a duvet (comforter) for insulation.

Smallest batch I have done is 2.5 gallons, ambient was 70F. It was very difficult to maintain the mash temp in an uninsulated pot. I kept turning on and off the electric stove. Other things I tried: wrapping in an old winter coat, wrapping with a comforter, placing in the oven (minimum is 170F, so I heated it to that temp, turned it off, put in the pot) I melted part of the coat on the stove.

Now I have an 8 gal pot with 2 layers of Reflectix on the side and 1 on top. Even so, it helps if I swaddle it in something. And don't forget heat loss from the metal bottom! My last batch I removed it from the stove and put it on folded towels.

Try experimenting with maintaining temp with plain water. When you can do that, then apply the same methods with the mash.
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
Well, you cannot un-make or change the wort you mashed at 150F - it made those types of sugars that ferment very well and they cannot be changed. Yes, you will have to mash higher for maltiness, like 155f to 158F, and maintain that mash temp. One hour is enough. Longer risks dropping the temp and losing that maltiness, unless you have some fancy way to maintain the mash temp.

a few questions:
  • What size batch are you trying for?
  • Did you use a one to three gallon metal pot for the mash? (I do not care if it was aluminum or stainless)
  • What was the total amount of water and grain?

I am guessing you are making very small batches, like 1/2 gallon. Regular mash-tuns are well insulated picnic coolers and similar. Multi-barrel recirculating systems have active heat controllers. The original BIAB style done in a metal pot depends on a large thermal mass and warm ambient temps to maintain a steady mash temp.. A 5 gallon batch of BIAB will have 8 or more gallons of water and something like 12 lbs of grain. And this was developed in Australia where it is a bit warmer most of the time. Even so, many people swaddle the metal pot in a parka or a duvet (comforter) for insulation.

Smallest batch I have done is 2.5 gallons, ambient was 70F. It was very difficult to maintain the mash temp in an uninsulated pot. I kept turning on and off the electric stove. Other things I tried: wrapping in an old winter coat, wrapping with a comforter, placing in the oven (minimum is 170F, so I heated it to that temp, turned it off, put in the pot) I melted part of the coat on the stove.

Now I have an 8 gal pot with 2 layers of Reflectix on the side and 1 on top. Even so, it helps if I swaddle it in something. And don't forget heat loss from the metal bottom! My last batch I removed it from the stove and put it on folded towels.

Try experimenting with maintaining temp with plain water. When you can do that, then apply the same methods with the mash.
I have a 4 gallon pot. was supposed to be for 2.5 gallon batch. I may experiment and try to keep the pot on the stove top with a set temp, lid on, and see if I can keep the temp stable at 155.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:31 AM   #4
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Look for a 5 gallon drink cooler if you continue to do small batches. Helps to mash in the cooler.

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Old 11-11-2013, 01:42 AM   #5
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peroua15, I am sure you will get it dialed in with practice.

C-rider, that would be not BIAB. Mash tuns are another valid method that work well. Sometimes I think a large part of the hobby is intentionally wrestling with recalcitrant equipment.

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Old 11-11-2013, 02:14 AM   #6
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There are hybrid-methods. For instance, I do 5.5 gal batches. For typical 10-12 lb grain recipes, I mash inside a 5 gal round cooler with around 3.5 gal of water - inside a mesh bag. Empty the liquid into my brew kettle, squeeze the bag, then batch sparge back in the cooler with another 3.5 gal, add that to kettle, squeeze bag again, and repeat with a little more water to get up to pre-boil volume. Not quite the same as the traditional BIAB when the total volume is all used from the start, but the mash is still all done in a bag essentially.

Sorry if I'm getting off topic a bit. Just acknowledging there are different ways of doing things.

I find the flowing to be very helpful: pre-heat the cooler or whatever mash vessel your using to minimize heat loss. Do your best to insulate the mash vessel throughout the mash. Use a strike-temp calculator - these are good places to start to tell you how hot your water should be when adding to the grain. From there, take good notes. If you find you consistently are falling under desired temps, if you've done everything else above, then start with a higher strike water temp until you get to where you can stay on your desired mash temp range for around 60 min. You'll get it down with some practice and trial and error

Good luck!

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Old 11-11-2013, 02:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epimetheus View Post
peroua15, I am sure you will get it dialed in with practice.

C-rider, that would be not BIAB. Mash tuns are another valid method that work well. Sometimes I think a large part of the hobby is intentionally wrestling with recalcitrant equipment.
pssst- put the mesh bag in a cooler, and the mash water. It's still BIAB, but it maintains temperatures better than not in a cooler.
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Old 11-11-2013, 02:49 AM   #8
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As for your current batch, I believe you could add some malto-dextrine powder, which might help. It's typically added during the boil, but if I'm not mistaken, can also be added during or post fermentation, and would add some body and mouthfeel back into it, that you've probably lost due to mashing so low. I'm not sure how much to add in your case for your particular batch (or exactly the best way to add it at this point ...ie..whether to just add to to fermenter or boil in some water, cool, then add?), but it may be worth looking into. Perhaps those with any experience doing this post-boil could provide a little more direction. Or try searching the forum. I'm sure you're not the first to be in this situation.

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