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Old 05-03-2008, 08:24 PM   #1
Llarian
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Default Contaminated Mash Tun?

I haven't brewed for 6+ months due to moving. Finally got things started and washed out my mash tun with PBW and hot water before starting to preheat and clean it.

When I mashed in, I got an incredible smell of Lacto off the mash. I admit, its been a while since I brewed and maybe that's just what mashing smells like, but I doubt it. I always thoroughly rinse my mash tun after use (and would have the last time I used it), but I'm not sure if I cleaned it. (This is a 10G cooler mash tun for what its worth)

Has anybody run into this? Is my mash lost? It doesn't taste too terribly bad (yet), but its only been in there for 20 minutes. I'm hoping I'm just getting some lacto smell off the unused tun sides, but I'm concerned I'm making a sour mash. The only thing that makes me think it might be ok is that it immediatly smelled like that, and a sour mash takes time.

The homebrew store made a small minimash with the same grain and it came out fine, so it isn't the grain.

Thoughts? =)

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Old 05-03-2008, 08:34 PM   #2
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You should be just fine. I don't think a dormant culture of lacto would kick in in 60-90 minutes to the point where you would notice the smell. It probably shouldn't affect the end product, as your boil will take care of any nasties.

PBW shoulda killed anything that would've been hanging out in there. I would vote that your nose is still re-adjusting to the sweet sweet symphony of mashed grains, OR possibly one of the grains in your recipe happens to have a more "pungent" wet smell than most.

I know that my SMaSH recipe (just 2-row grain, nothing else) smelled to high heaven of sour, acidy, bad rank unwashed kitty stink. I was used to all the caramels and chocolates and dextrines and other crap i've been throwing into recipes that I didn't expect plain 2-row to reek so bad.

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Old 05-03-2008, 08:35 PM   #3
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I always wash mine just before the next mash to freshen it up and make sure there are no bugs in the drain. If you smell the tun a week after you brew you will notice it does not smell so sweet as it did when you washed it after brewing. That tells me that there are some nasties of some sort and so I say always wash before you brew. I know there are some brewers that say "Well I'm boiling anyway Sooooooo WTF". Well my answer to that is would you rinse the foul smelling mash tun and then drink the contents? Why have that in your beer?

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Old 05-03-2008, 08:36 PM   #4
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I did wash before I brewed, that's what I can't figure out. I soaked it in hot PBW for an hour, washed and rinsed it, and sanitized it just before mash (since it hasn't been used in a while)

-D

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Old 05-03-2008, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarian
I did wash before I brewed, that's what I can't figure out. I soaked it in hot PBW for an hour, washed and rinsed it, and sanitized it just before mash (since it hasn't been used in a while)

-D
For PBW you have to rinse very well as it is hard to get it off. Don't forget the drain. I do not use Starsan in the mash tun though. If I did I would rinse that very well too after it did all the killing.

NOTE: I do not rinse Starsan off anything that touches the beer after boiling and cooling though.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:35 PM   #6
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I'm tempted to brew a batch with properly-mixed StarSan in place of my strike water, just to prove how safe and harmless it is.

Call me the crazy professor, I guess.

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