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Old 07-25-2009, 04:54 PM   #1
yournotpeter
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Default DISASTER? Too low mash temp....

It turns out my thermometer somehow took a crap and I mashed only at 142 instead of 152 for an hour. (I didn't find this out until my thermometer read 212 but my wort wasn't at a boil yet).

I am making a big Christmas Ale (20.5 lbs of grain).

Am I screwed for mashing at too low a temp? What's my prognosis? I'm bummed.... it's in the brewpot right now, but....

DAMNIT!

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Old 07-25-2009, 04:57 PM   #2
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How'd your gravity turn out? In general, lower mash temps will produce a drier beer leaving you with a lower FG. Depending on the style, this may or may not be "to style", but regardless you'll still have beer. As long as your starting gravity wasn't too off, I would not really worry about it. It is what it is now...

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Old 07-25-2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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I'm in the middle of my boil right now, so I'll know what my gravity is soon enough....thanks for the quick reply.

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Old 07-25-2009, 05:06 PM   #4
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Also, a note on calibrating your thermometer: it's pure water that boils at 212 degrees (and at sea level). Beer wort is going to have varying boiling points (the more concentrated malt extract, the higher the boil point). To get a real sense of how off your thermometer is, go by boiling distilled water.

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Old 07-25-2009, 05:06 PM   #5
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The starches in barley fully gelatinize at 149F. Fortunately, you can get 90% as low as 130F. Your gravity will probably be a little low and you'll have less body. But with that big a grain bill, I doubt the latter will be a problem.

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Old 07-25-2009, 05:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
The starches in barley fully gelatinize at 149F.
It's funny that you mention gelatinize....my boil has all kinds of "flaky stuff" floating in there....stuff I've never had before. Would this be the effects of the gelatinizing?
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Old 07-25-2009, 05:14 PM   #7
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most likly your seeing a hotbreak. All the proteins will coagulate and unravel which sometimes looks as your describing.

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Old 07-25-2009, 05:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
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most likly your seeing a hotbreak. All the proteins will coagulate and unravel which sometimes looks as your describing.
Ahhh...that's exactly what it is. My neighbor was just over looking at it and said it looked like Egg Drop Soup. Then I read in Palmer's book where he describes the hot break and said it will look like Egg Drop Soup. Hilarious!

But I don't remember seeing this before...perhaps I wasn't looking close enough.

Thanks so much to everyone for their help. This forum is unbelievable!!
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsmith179 View Post
How'd your gravity turn out? In general, lower mash temps will produce a drier beer leaving you with a lower FG. Depending on the style, this may or may not be "to style", but regardless you'll still have beer. As long as your starting gravity wasn't too off, I would not really worry about it. It is what it is now...
Well, it turns out my gravity was pretty off - was supposed to be 1.090 and it came it at only 1.056.

HOWEVER, it is a Christmas ale and I added cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger...and it tasted AWESOME. That's the main thing, I guess (trying to make myself feel better)
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:26 PM   #10
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If you find your body is going to be thinner because of low mash temp, add some malto-dextrin to the boil. It will at least help with the mouthfeel.

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