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-   -   Conversion not happening! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/conversion-not-happening-32443/)

Khirsah17 06-23-2007 06:30 PM

Conversion not happening!
Hello all,

Man, I am really starting to get nervous. I made my mash at 9:30 this morning and by 2:30 this afternoon, iodine tests still turning very black, very quickly.

Some beer background: I am trying to really test the limits of my system and AG brewing skills. I have a 10 gallon mash tun and am trying to make a 17.5% big beer. I have 36 pounds of grain in the tun with a water ratio of about 0.8 gallons per pound of grain. The initial temperature was about 146 (I lost alot of heat because of the stirring I had to do to make sure there werent dry pockets of grain). I have done two decoctions and successfully brought it up to 150, which is my target temp. But still, its been almost 5 hours and i still havent reached conversion.

What gives? I can't check my ph unfortunately, so no info there. Has anyone had a beer take this long?

Reverend JC 06-23-2007 06:35 PM

That is a pretty dry mash, that could be your first problem. i would never go less than 1 qt. per pound of grain, and even that is pushing the envelope.

Beerrific 06-23-2007 06:51 PM

Are you getting husks in your sample when you add the iodine? If there is husk it will probably turn black even if you have had conversion.

Khirsah17 06-23-2007 07:05 PM

Hmmm, thats an interesting thought. I guess I've tried to be pretty careful about just drawing liquid only. However, just changed my grain mill gap to .039 from .042", and I would say my grain husks were smaller in general. Maybe I just have bits of husk that I can't see in the wort.

I just tried to do a iodine test, being supremely careful about getting liquid only, and it still turned black :(

Im starting to get a tad bit worried!

brewitall 06-23-2007 07:10 PM

Raise the temperature! that's a LOT of grain, and if it's not converting in 5 hours you probably are below your target temperature still.

Calibrate your thermometer, shoot for 154, stir, add a couple gallons of 170 degree water, stir.

And above all, comply with rule #1, DON'T WORRY.

FlyingHorse 06-23-2007 07:13 PM

I've never done this, but...
Maybe stir well, and pull a hydrometer samples worth of wort. Test the SG...you should be somewhere north of your desired pre-boil gravity (maybe 25-30% for first runnings). If you're near that, declare victory and start sparging.

brewitall 06-23-2007 07:18 PM

Put it all in the pot and add heat and stir. don't go over 155, check for starch conversion every 5 minutes, when you start to just see a little black, throw everything back in the mash tun and proceed normally.

Good luck, now that I'm giving "expert" advice, I'm sure Murphey will be visiting me in a couple hours when I start my brewday.

AGBrewer 06-23-2007 07:22 PM

How did you fit 36lbs of grain in a ten gallon mash tun?

Khirsah17 06-23-2007 07:23 PM

I don't see how the hydrometer could tell me whether or not my starches are converted...unless starches don't disolve at all. Any thoughts?

Denny's Evil Concoctions 06-23-2007 07:31 PM

Do the runnings taste sweet? And I'd add some water to that mash if you can fit it in. That is pretty dry.

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