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Old 01-28-2005, 04:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1master
so can the mash be a sorta slow meandering bubble or does it have to be this rigid 30 min at 130 then forty at 150 then 15 at 170 scientific recipe?
It needs to be pretty much held at the right temps for the right amount of time. It's not a simmer, like a slow bubble or low boil. It really is holding the grain at certain temps so that the enzymes present in the grain convert starches to sugars.

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yer just trying to coax the goodness out right? i am currently working on a partial mash, that's half a mash and half extract right now. it smells good like oatmeal, and is sweet
No. All-grain isn't like using grains as adjuncts in extract brews. In the case of grains as adjuncts, you just need to "coax the goodness". In other words, you steep the grain like a teabag for some flavor, but all your fermentable sugars come from malt extract.

With all-grain, you are making the "goodness" happen.

Malted barley does not have sugars in it unless it is mashed properly. That means holding it in the 150 degree range for an hour or so...sometimes stopping at other temps for different styles of beer. It is not just simmering the grain, and the temperature should be nowhere near a boil. Also, with all-grain, you can't just steep the grains in a bag and pull them out. You have to mash them properly and then sparge properly or you will get really crappy yields and you might as well just extract brew.

In extract/grain brewing, grains are flavoring. In all-grain, a crucial chemical reaction is taking place to actually generate the sugars you want to ferment. It aint rocket science, but it's a big step up from simmering grains in an extract brew to coax out the goodness
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Old 01-28-2005, 06:14 AM   #12
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i didn't boil it, i took it too 130 more or less, and let is set there for a bit... then let it get hotter to about 155-160 and let it sit. then up a bit more... but i didn't get anal about watchin over the pot every five seconds. by a bit i mean it took two hours to mash four pounds of grain... i poured the grains through the colander (didn't spring for the big screen yet) and poured water i had heated to about 170 through the grain into the pot. then squeezed out what was left. very little to no grain made it into the wort surprisingly

so short of an iodine test, can you tell by taste if the mash was done properly?

it tasted sweet, but also had the earthy/grain taste. and was supplimented by a can of malt extract. it's also only about four gallons when it's all said and done. just a test run for me.

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Last edited by uglygoat; 01-28-2005 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1master
i didn't boil it, i took it too 130 more or less, and let is set there for a bit... then let it get hotter to about 155-160 and let it sit. then up a bit more... but i didn't get anal about watchin over the pot every five seconds. by a bit i mean it took two hours to mash four pounds of grain... i poured the grains through the colander (didn't spring for the big screen yet) and poured water i had heated to about 170 through the grain into the pot. then squeezed out what was left. very little to no grain made it into the wort surprisingly

so short of an iodine test, can you tell by taste if the mash was done properly?

it tasted sweet, but also had the earthy/grain taste. and was supplimented by a can of malt extract. it's also only about four gallons when it's all said and done. just a test run for me.

The mash probably worked OK, but you don't want to apply direct heat to the mash. You'll scorch grain and kill enzymes. You want to heat water seperately and add it to the grain to reach the desired temp. If you use a cooler or wrap a blanket around the mash, then you just leave it for an hour or so. 2 hours isn't necessary. You don't have to keep a close eye on it or anything. But it's important that it be in the right temperature range for the right amount of time if you want to get good extraction.

The biggest problem with what you describe is your sparge. You don't want to move the grains when you are done mashing. You need to leave the bed settled and slowly percolate water through it. The colander/squeeze method will definitely not give good yields.

In your situation, it's no big deal. Most of your sugar comes from the extract, so if you only get 25% yields off the grain it's all good. But if you go all-grain, you'll need to sparge properly to get the sugars you need.

Don't get me wrong. Your methods sound exactly like my first efforts. Sparging is a weird process and it doesn't seem intuitively necessary. But without a long, slow, gentle rinsing, you will not get decent yields.
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Old 01-28-2005, 04:46 PM   #14
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i did it just to get a feel for the amount of grain and see what would happen. i was sorta following the 'partial mash' as outlined in the complete joy book. i knew there was gonna be aplenty of sugar from the can of malt.

it's a transitional thing right now. i'm not even sure my extract brews are any good but they are getting too expensive for all the extract

can you describe a decent sparge method for me? i read about your elaborate three tiered set up and this is not for me just yet

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Old 01-28-2005, 04:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1master
can you describe a decent sparge method for me? i read about your elaborate three tiered set up and this is not for me just yet
Hey I hope it doesn't come across like I'm getting on your case. I'm just offering help based on experience...not trying to be critical at all. Take or leave whatever you want. And I definitely understand the transitional phase between extract and grain brewing.

A good first mash/sparge setup is to get a cylindrical Gott cooler...the orange ones you see at jobsites. Fit it with a false bottom or manifold of some sort so that the water can flow out but grain stays. Heat water to about 170 degrees. Then add scoops of water and grain alternately and mix it together well. You want a runny oatmeal consistency. Take the temp. You want it around 150 degrees. The stop at 130 is a protein rest and not strictly necessary. For simplicity, just shoot for a strike temp of 150.

That just sits there for an hour once you get the temp right (ad dmore hot or cold water and stir to get it to 150). It won't lose more than a degree or two in an hour and that's no biggie.

Now heat a bunch of water...like 5 gallons or so for a 5 gallon batch, to about 170. Once the hour is up, your mash is done. Gently sprinkle the sparge water on top of the grain in the cooler. They make cool little sprinkler arms to do this very gently...Phil's Sparge Arm is one. Then if you can put your hot water above your mash tun, gravity does the work of sprinkling the water on top of the grain.

Once you have a couple inches of liquid on top of the grain bed, open the valve at the bottom of the cooler and start slowly draining the sweet wort out. Keep running it until there is no trace of sweetness, which will take a while. At this point, you should have collected the volume of your batch.

My 3-tier setup is just a framework so I can have my hot sparge water at the top step, my mash tun in the middle and my kettle at the bottom. that way there's no lifting of heavy, hot things and gravity does more of the work.

Let me know if I can clarify any of the steps. Once you get the equipment together and do it once or twice it's a piece of cake.
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Old 01-28-2005, 05:53 PM   #16
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no worries about tone or getting on my case mate! i'm here to learn from others and share the experience i have with others

and...

it's the world wide web and conversations per se are difficult to dechiper at times. i'm not a very good at putting my thoughts to words and typing them and was back and forth last night, and a wee bit tipsy and giddy from playing with beer stuff, is it me or do the flavors and smells of cooking almost, almost outweigh the delight in consuming?

i'll look forward to continued sharing of knowledge mate

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Old 01-29-2005, 11:54 AM   #17
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You want to follow the temperatures and times as close as possible, but it doesnt have to be 100% accurate. As long as they are in those ranges. You get certain fermentable and non fermentable sugars at the different temperature ranges referred to in the kitchen mash link. You have to follow those temperature ranges to get the best beer possible.

Check out this link: http://www.alpha-byte.demon.co.uk/fullmash.htm

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Old 01-29-2005, 12:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1master
i didn't boil it, i took it too 130 more or less, and let is set there for a bit... then let it get hotter to about 155-160 and let it sit. then up a bit more... but i didn't get anal about watchin over the pot every five seconds. by a bit i mean it took two hours to mash four pounds of grain... i poured the grains through the colander (didn't spring for the big screen yet) and poured water i had heated to about 170 through the grain into the pot. then squeezed out what was left. very little to no grain made it into the wort surprisingly

so short of an iodine test, can you tell by taste if the mash was done properly?

it tasted sweet, but also had the earthy/grain taste. and was supplimented by a can of malt extract. it's also only about four gallons when it's all said and done. just a test run for me.



It sounds like you got Guiness !! You Got Guiness!!! The malt extract will help if you didnt get all the sugars from the sparging process.

If you want to check out a cheap Cooler mash tun, look at this:
http://cruisenews.net/brewing/decoction/page1.php


When you sparge, you're just trying to rinse gently without disturbing the grain bed. The ideal temperature for sparging water is 172 degrees. Some websites describe using a diffuser like a large spoon to deflect a large stream of water from sticking your mash. I would read this link. it has a lot of good ideas..
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Old 02-21-2005, 05:47 PM   #19
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Default all grain question

i have done the extract thing a few times.... and as expected i want to get into all-grain brewing (it just doesnt feel right using an extract). Anyways, i have been doing my research and im am sort of confused with some aspects of the mashing process.

please someone correct me if i am wrong... but the process goes....

place crushed grains in mash tun
pour water at 160-170 degrees onto grains (with a goal temp of 150 or so)
let it sit for about an hour
then drain the liquid out (this is where i am confused.....do i use this drainage...or is this just discarded)
follow draining with sparging....170 degree water sprinkled over grains and drained

im very new to this.... any help would be greatly appreciated

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Old 02-21-2005, 06:01 PM   #20
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you want to keep all the liquid you can possibly get out of the grain!!!

i've made 15 gallons using the mini-mash now, and the taste is 100% better than just using extract and some grain adjuncts...

i'm gonna get into the all grain this spring, but i'll have to move my brewing facilities outdoors

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