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Old 07-11-2013, 12:01 AM   #1
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Default I think I FUBAR'd the mash. Any way to save it?

I started my first BIAB batch on new equipment. I was about halfway through my mash when I noticed the temperature dropped a few degrees. I turn on the heating element and then completely forgot to check it and just walked away to wash out a primary bucket. By the time I realized what I had done the mas temp had climbed to 168 degrees. I just shut it off a minute ago.

I'm thinking it's completely ruined. 168 degrees is too hot and would have denatured all the enzymes. The only way I could think of saving it would be to throw in more grains, more water, restart the mash and hope for the best. (or just more grains, and make an imperial hefeweizen ). Would this work or have I completely wasted a batch?

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Old 07-11-2013, 12:09 AM   #2
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Only way is to check and see what your gravity is to start.. If it's close, you might be okay, but the issue is you might have so many unfermentables due to the high mash that it won't finish that low.

I'd stick it out myself, but thats just me.. See where the numbers hit.. Make sure to give the yeast the best chance to work. Good starter, plenty of cells, and hit it with O2 and keep the temp right.

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Old 07-11-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NoHawk View Post
I started my first BIAB batch on new equipment. I was about halfway through my mash when I noticed the temperature dropped a few degrees. I turn on the heating element and then completely forgot to check it and just walked away to wash out a primary bucket. By the time I realized what I had done the mas temp had climbed to 168 degrees. I just shut it off a minute ago.

I'm thinking it's completely ruined. 168 degrees is too hot and would have denatured all the enzymes. The only way I could think of saving it would be to throw in more grains, more water, restart the mash and hope for the best. (or just more grains, and make an imperial hefeweizen ). Would this work or have I completely wasted a batch?
While it's true that 168 degrees would indeed denature the enzymes needed for conversion, it takes more than a few minutes for them to totally denature. Additionally, most grists will actually fully convert in 20-30 minutes so it's possible that you had full conversion, or nearly so if the heat didn't get to 168 until 30+ minutes into the mash.

I'd carry on, and be hopeful!
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:27 AM   #4
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Like Yooper said, your mash was probably done before you turned on the heat. That would especially be true if your grains are milled fine for BIAB. I typically only mash for 30 minutes anymore because I have full conversion before that long.

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Old 07-11-2013, 12:48 AM   #5
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I was about 45 min into the mash. I don't run my grain super fine because I'm using a Home Depot paint strainer bag.

Whether the mash had fully converted or not, here's what I did:
I added an additional pound of week and an additional pound of pilsner malt, and about a quart ot cold water to drop the temp. It's been re-mashing for 20 min, I'm gonna let it go an additional 20 before mashout/drain. Thanks for the input guys!

Also, I didn't have any homebrew ready, but some Bell's Oberon has helped me relax and not worry too much.

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Old 07-11-2013, 01:01 AM   #6
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Ok, hopefully this still has the attention of some more experienced brewers and admins.
Addressing the OP situation: assuming that his conversion was complete before heating occurred. Would what happened essentially be a mash out of sorts?
Bringing it up 168 would have set the profile as I have read on this forum.

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Old 07-11-2013, 05:29 AM   #7
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I bet it turns out fine, you just started the sparge a bit early.

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Old 07-11-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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This is almost exactly what happened to me on my first BIAB. my thermometers were off and i believe i mashed around 172-173. my OG was .002 lower then the BS2 called for. well i believe since i mashed so hot that my yeast wasn't able to eat up much sugar and my fg has been at 1.030 for a week. going to add some amylase today and see if i can get it down more.

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Old 07-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #9
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I think you should just go for it as it is. If you can keep up to date with how JDGator is doing with his high FG and the amalyse addition to see how that helps in case your FG ends very high. Another idea if your FG ends high is that you could spin the beer into a sour or brett finished beer. Brett and other bacteria eat the sugars that are unfermentable to regular yeasties, so they would reduce your FG as well.

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Old 07-11-2013, 12:56 PM   #10
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45 minutes is more than enough time for full conversion in a mash. As was said above full conversion usually happens within the first 20 minutes or so and some people only ever mash for 30-45 minutes. So all you really did was mashout a little earlier than you were planning to.

You didn't really need to add more grains, and I probably wouldn't have because you were basically only adding 2 pounds worth of enzymes to an entire mash that had no diastatic power. That would be like mashing 2 pounds of base malt with about 10 pounds (or however much your original grainbill was) of non-diastatic specialty malts. The enzymes were so diluted I would be worried that they weren't able to fully convert the added 2 pounds of grain. Then again, the enzymes came from the added grain, so they were probably more likely to come in contact with the grain starches that they needed to convert.

Anyway, rambling aside, I think you will probably be fine. And I also think adding more grain was unnecessary but probably not detrimental.

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