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Old 07-16-2006, 05:12 AM   #1
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Default Accidental Mash - A story and question.

Hi all!
So I was steeping some grains for my most recent sweet stout...
I heated a gallon of water up to 160 and added the grains - consisting of 1 lb choc. malt, 1 lb flaked oats, and .5lb carapils. They steeped in there for 30 min and smelled delicious. I noticed the mixture was getting really sludgy - like oatmeal which is no mystery, having 1 lb of oats. It actually reminded me of a 'mash'.
So I was just going to add water and thin it out. But, I thought "why not sparge it with another 1.5 gallons of 170 degree water through a big strainer? Maybe I will convert some starches and that'd be really cool!" So I recirculated using a convaluted method with 4 different pots and 2 strainers. Boy did it smell excellent with the chocolate and oats in there!
I collected about 2 gallons of liquid in the brewpot and put it to the heat. About 10 min later, before adding any DME, I got some hotbreak boiling over which I did not expect. I have never seen this in my other 6 batches. This led me to believe that my method had actually converted some starches, albiet at a low efficiency. I added 6 lbs amber DME after that break subsided along with the hops and .5 lb lactose and boiled for an hour, getting the hot break for that as well.

OG for the extract batch was supposed to be 1.070 but mine was only 1.050 but I topped off the fermenter with cold bottled water and in retrospect my reading may not have been accurate. I drank the hydrometer thief of the wort and it was the soooo good - like chocolate milk with a hint of barley.
Can anyone speculate as to if my on-the spot mash method worked or not? I thought the hot break was a dead giveaway but I have never used oats before so perhaps that may have caused it?

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Old 07-16-2006, 05:47 AM   #2
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You probably have a lot of unconverted starch in there. Starch will dissolve in hot water, but none of those grains provide any enzymes. Hot break is more of a protein thing and oatmeal is also high in protein, but starch can cause foaming. Do not be surprised if the final gravity is on the high side. Sounds like you are headed for a thick, chocolaty stout.

There are bottled enzymes available, but when I've tried them in the fermenter all of the body and mouth feel disappears. Not good.

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Old 07-16-2006, 06:21 AM   #3
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The grains you used do not require mashing because their starches were converted during the kilning process. (The oats I'm not sure about). Doing a mash on these grains won't create any fermentables but I think you did a great job getting the goodies from them. Next time throw in some 2 row pail malt with the same procedure. The 2 row WILL convert and you will get some fermentable sugar from them.
You are on the right track!

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Old 07-16-2006, 06:26 AM   #4
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RB's right, the only difference between what you did and a mini-mash is 2.5 pounds of 2 Row and another 30 minutes.

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Old 07-16-2006, 12:27 PM   #5
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So I'm just the base malt and a 60 min conversion from "Partial-AG status"? cool! Definately the next brew. Then I might as well buy a cooler with false bottom to eliminate the strainers. Then I might as well buy a proper pot to boil it, which of course I would then need a larger fire under it - so a propane cooker is in order. Grrr... :-)

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Old 07-17-2006, 03:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillHayze
So I'm just the base malt and a 60 min conversion from "Partial-AG status"? cool! Definately the next brew. Then I might as well buy a cooler with false bottom to eliminate the strainers. Then I might as well buy a proper pot to boil it, which of course I would then need a larger fire under it - so a propane cooker is in order. Grrr... :-)
Or you can buy a 3 gallon cooler, convert it, and for less that $25.00 you can be doing quality PM brews.
Take a look if you haven't already.
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=8805
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Old 07-17-2006, 06:05 AM   #7
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Take a look at the Ice Cube I use & the Very Big Grain Bag (gallery). No strainers, false bottoms or manifolds.

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Old 07-17-2006, 06:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
Take a look at the Ice Cube I use & the Very Big Grain Bag (gallery). No strainers, false bottoms or manifolds.
What I have suggested would be better for folks who want to do PM brewing. The cooler you suggest would work great for AG but some folks don't want to invest in all the other equipment, and time required for AG.
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