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Old 12-24-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
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Default Letting unboiled wort sit

I have a question for you guys/girls: if after my mash and sparge I let the wort sit in a carboy over night, would I run into any problems?

Some days there just isn't enough time to pack in 4-5 hours of brewing. I have heard of overnight mashes, and my idea seems close. How would this affect the wort? I'm not worried about infection as I would boil in the morning. But what would happen to the wort in terms of body? Would the alpha amylase take away from the body? I don't mash out and my batch sparge hits about 160 for 15 min. I figured that for that long at lower temps the alpha would create smaller chains which would reduce my body and be detrimental.

Anyway I hope I was clear with my question/concerns.

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Old 12-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #2
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I personally wouldn't do it as it leaves far too much room for infections to get a foothold. Yes, boiling will kill the bacteria but you could still get enough growth over night to result in some flavors being imparted (guessing as I have never tried this...but some bugs like enterobacter grow fast). If you still want to do it, I would consider doing a mash out as it will denature the enzymes avoiding the issue you discussed and will also get things hot enough to kill off the bugs that exist naturally in your grain.

I do regularly let boiled wort sit overnight to get down to lager temps before pitching without issue. This though means that the wort has been sterilized and has hops helping keep bugs at bay. Perhaps not a solution for your timeline...just a thought.

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Old 12-24-2012, 04:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bensiff
I personally wouldn't do it as it leaves far too much room for infections to get a foothold. Yes, boiling will kill the bacteria but you could still get enough growth over night to result in some flavors being imparted (guessing as I have never tried this...but some bugs like enterobacter grow fast). If you still want to do it, I would consider doing a mash out as it will denature the enzymes avoiding the issue you discussed and will also get things hot enough to kill off the bugs that exist naturally in your grain.

I do regularly let boiled wort sit overnight to get down to lager temps before pitching without issue. This though means that the wort has been sterilized and has hops helping keep bugs at bay. Perhaps not a solution for your timeline...just a thought.
That was a concern too. Another reason I haven't tried it. I also no chill and haven't had a problem. It helps cut down time for sure.

Guess ill just keep doing without the mash idea. Thanks!
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojzis View Post
That was a concern too. Another reason I haven't tried it. I also no chill and haven't had a problem. It helps cut down time for sure.

Guess ill just keep doing without the mash idea. Thanks!
Ah, if you don't have a wort chiller I would invest in one, an immersion chiller is pretty inexpensive and will save a ton of time...enough so that it might fix your time issue altogether. Where I live my groundwater isn't cold enough to get my wort down to lager temps without using another IC chiller sitting in an ice bath and that is more work than it is worth, so I get it down into the 60's, put it in a carboy and then toss it in the fridge to cool to 50.
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Old 12-24-2012, 06:07 PM   #5
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cold unfermented wort is the most the most vulnerable to infection. The key is to be in this stage for as little time as possible. then again if it's pre boil I imagine any infection that takes foot will die in the boil. I'd still use careful sanitation practice to be on the safe side

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:07 AM   #6
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Will you be mashing out? (above 170F) if not the analyses enzymes will still be in your wort, a long time spent between 150-140F will make your wort highly fermentable with less body as well

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:20 AM   #7
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hey, i just had that exact same situation happen. mashed, and put it into a ale pail for a couple days (i swear i was going to get back to it) well i guess i didnt sanitize properly, and by the time i did get to it (almost 4 days later) it had been infected, and infected to the point that it was nasty. so you can leave it, just remember to sanitize the carboy really well. i did no chill for a while, and never had a problem there.

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:22 AM   #8
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If I wanted to hold my wort over and boil it the following day, I would finish the mash and sparge, and heat it in the kettle to say 200 degrees so the enzymes and "bugs" from the mash are not such an issue. I would just leave it in the kettle and continue the following day. As said above, fresh wort still has active enzymes that will affect your wort, as well as critters from the mash...applying some heat prior to overnight storage should help in this regard.

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:45 AM   #9
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If I prep my recipe, weigh my grains and hops and get my stuff out of the closet the night before, I can do an all grain in 3 to 3.5 hours. Cleaned up. I am not rushing, and do not do anything unusual. You may just find that your efficiency and speed gets better with experience. I think if you regularly leave the wort/mash overnight, you will wind up with inconsistant results. There is nothing worse than making a great beer and not being able to replicate it.

Luck!

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Old 12-25-2012, 01:59 AM   #10
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I realize it isnt quite what you are asking but thought I would post.

A Japanese brewery had started their mash when the earthquake/tsunami hit, causing them to lose power. The batch sat in the mash tun on an angle due to damage from the earthquake. It had to just sit there for 3 days until they could get power to the pumps and finish the brewing process. Natural fermentation had already started. They finished the batch anyway and bottled it under the name 3days.

I picked up three bottles of it over the summer, planning to taste one and trade the other two...unfortunately, it was amazing and I am definately drinking the other 2 bottles myself.

Honestly, I may try to recreate it at some point.

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