Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Cold Weather Mash Did Not Go Well
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-25-2011, 03:06 PM   #1
beerrepository
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 100
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Cold Weather Mash Did Not Go Well

I did my third all-grain batch this past weekend and it was about 20 degrees outside. I could not hold temps in my mash at all. I use a Coleman Xtreme cooler, which I know can hold temps, but I guess it was just too cold outside. Has anyone else run into this problem?

I am guessing that using either a RIMS or HERMS system would cure this problem, but I don't know if I am ready to move to that yet cost wise.

The beer I did is a Belgian Dark Strong Ale. The OG was a lot lower than I was going for, and I already added 2 lbs of clear candi sugar to the boil, so I am worried if I add more sugar after primary fermentation has finished, that I will overly dry and thin out the beer. If I added 2 lbs of sugar to the fermentor, that would push my adjunct fermentables to 19%. Would it be better to just accept a lower gravity and lower ABV instead of messing with it?

__________________
beerrepository is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 03:15 PM   #2
earwig
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
earwig's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 827
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 23

Default

Why not just do your mash/sparge indoors and boil outside?

__________________
earwig is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 03:25 PM   #3
lyacovett
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Cartersville, GA
Posts: 266
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I just had the same issue. I heated my liquor and preheated my MLT. But by the time I was done stirring I was qt 148, and was supposed to hit 152. I was able to get the temp to 150, but after 80 minutes I was at 146. So, I'll be a bit drier than I was hoping for. Fortunately my efficiency didn't suffer, hit 89%.

I don't know what your recipe looks like, but 20% sugar seems high. That would probably make the brew pretty cidery. I used 2 lbs in a triple and that had a little bit of an apple taste that took some time to age out. I would just go with what you have and chalk it up to experience.

I think next brew I will move the MLT inside during the mash, or wrap to cooler in a blanket to help out.

__________________
lyacovett is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 03:37 PM   #4
MikeRoBrew1
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 404
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts
Likes Given: 242

Default

148 is fine, no worries. Have you tried heating your strike water just a little hotter to compensate for the cold outdoor temps? Instead of mashing-in at 170, try 175. Or as Earwig said, mash inside. But I'm guessing your MLT was cold and your grain was cold. Hotter strike water. Good luck and report back.

__________________

My brew blog:
http://www.mikerobrew.blogspot.com
Follow me on Twitter @WakeMikey

MikeRoBrew1 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
Mischief_Brewing
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sayreville, NJ, NJ
Posts: 1,264
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I intentionally overshot my strike water temps during the last brew day (temp never got above 25 that day) and still came up 2 degrees short of my target (152 vs. 154). I use an old, very battered igloo water cooler and only lost 2 degrees over an hour. I don't open the lid after dough-in and still manage 82% efficiency consistently. I just wish I could figure out my initial temp loss factor based upon outside temp. Brewpal for the iPhone doesn't help me in that category...

Mischief_Brewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 05:28 PM   #6
beerrepository
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 100
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRoBrew1 View Post
148 is fine, no worries. Have you tried heating your strike water just a little hotter to compensate for the cold outdoor temps? Instead of mashing-in at 170, try 175. Or as Earwig said, mash inside. But I'm guessing your MLT was cold and your grain was cold. Hotter strike water. Good luck and report back.
Tun was pre-heated inside and grain was at 72 degrees, sitting in the house until I put it into the Mash. Is there some way to calculate in ambient to compensate for it?

Mashing inside might be an option, but I use a keggle for my HLT and BK, so I would have to add the water then haul the mash tun inside, let it rest, then haul it back out to finish sparging.
__________________
beerrepository is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 05:33 PM   #7
earwig
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
earwig's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 827
Liked 22 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 23

Default

I'm sorry I assumed too much. I heat the strike water on my stove and pour it in. I do it all indoors except the boil... But I only use a cooler system.

__________________
earwig is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 05:48 PM   #8
beerrepository
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 100
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

I think until I have some sort of recirculating/heating system, I might just go simple and do some extract brews during the cold months. I can get a boil going just fine. If I had a pot to heat mash and sparge water, I would do it indoors, but I don't. I started off with a keggle, never progressed to it.

__________________
beerrepository is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 05:51 PM   #9
IrregularPulse
Hobby Collector
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
IrregularPulse's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 42,807
Liked 2771 Times on 2720 Posts
Likes Given: 120

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by beerrepository View Post
so I would have to add the water then haul the mash tun inside, let it rest, then haul it back out to finish sparging.
Yep, Not that hard. Or you could try wrapping the mash tun. I've used a heavy duty sleeping bag before in the winter. Helps. That was with a 52Qt igloo cube though, not the giant xtremes.
__________________
Tap Room Hobo

I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas. :o - marubozo
IrregularPulse is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 01-25-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
beerrepository
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 100
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
Yep, Not that hard. Or you could try wrapping the mash tun. I've used a heavy duty sleeping bag before in the winter. Helps. That was with a 52Qt igloo cube though, not the giant xtremes.
I think my cooler is a 52qt, its not one of the 70 qt versions. Insulating is actually a good idea. Might have to look into some options for that. Or suck it up and hull that thing inside.
__________________
beerrepository is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
mashing in cold weather killian All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 01-03-2011 02:44 AM
Cold Weather Brewing Tips amishland All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 01-09-2010 10:20 PM
Cold weather + boil off = ??? Joetuo All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 17 10-29-2008 10:24 PM
Sparging temps....dealing with cold weather maltMonkey All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 02-21-2008 01:12 PM
Cold weather AG UNOmar All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 11-21-2006 10:17 PM