Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mashing and collecting wort questions
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 10-19-2014, 02:14 PM   #1
dmcman73
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
Liked 18 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default Mashing and collecting wort questions

I've been brewing for about 2 years now, mostly Extract and just recently switched to all grain and I only have 2 all grain brews under my belt and still have questions on mashing.

- As of now, for my all grain brews, I've used the pre-measured kits from Midwest for 5 gallon batches. I plan on creating my own recipes but figured for learning purposes, mostly learning how my new rig I built works, I'll use the pre-measured kits.
- I use a 10 gallon round cooler for my Mash/Tun
- I have a 10 gallon HLT and BK and they are all electric
- I use a counterflow wort chiller and recirculate into the brew kettle to cool
- I preheat my mash tun with boiling water from a tea kettle prior to adding any grains to it for about 10 min, I then dump that water and then begin.
- My fly sparge equipment consists of a length of silicone tubing in my Mash that sits on top of the grain bed with a stainless steel float ball

Mash in: Once I've crushed my grain bill (I don't have the grain pre-crushed for me) and added it to my preheated mash tun, I add the specified amount of hot water to it (155 degrees), mix it all in and cover the cooler. For the 60 min duration, do I just let it sit there until I am ready to start draining and fly sparge or do I occasionally, throughout the mash in, open up the cooler and mix the grain gently? I know once you start fly sparging you do not want to touch the grain at all.

Fly Sparging- I would like to collect about 7 gallons of Wort for my 5 gallon batch, accounting for boil off and some loss while transferring to my fermenter (some left behind in the BK, Counterflow chiller, etc) and loss from fermenter to keg. If I am using the pre-measured kits, do I fly sparge until I've collected ~7 gallons of wort? From all the reading I've been doing on the good ole' internet and that I've been able to piece together (I want to validate that I'm either way off track or not): Fly saprge at a rate of about 1.5 gallons per 15 minutes or less, once you reach around 5 gallons, start monitoring your SG. If your SG begins to fall down to the 1.012-1.010 range, stop sparging since this is the area that tannins can be extracted from the grain.

Now, if I've collected under what I would like to, say I wanted to get as close to 7 gallons as possible but was only able to collect under 6 gallons before my SG was dropping in that "danger zone", can I stop sparging and top off with water in my BK? I know this will dilute it down and affect my SG but could I also use DME to adjust it?

Measuring pH: How critical is this? If it's important, do I measure pH in the water that's in the HLT or measure the pH in the wort I just collected in the BK? If I measure in the wort, I assume I can adjust the pH by adding pH adjuster directly into the wort?

The rest of the brew process I have a very good handle on, it's just processing the grains to wort I want to make sure I have a good understanding of.

Thanks for your time!

Steve

__________________
dmcman73 is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-19-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
RM-MN
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Solway, MN
Posts: 6,811
Liked 775 Times on 649 Posts
Likes Given: 266

Default

Some people advocate stirring during the mash. I don't do that but since I BIAB, I have a very thin mash. I doubt you will see much difference in the final product except that when you open the cooler and stir, the temperature will go down.

Fly sparging is reported to be slightly more efficient at extracting the sugars but it takes much longer than batch sparging. Your choice but I'd recommend the batch sparging. Collect your first running from the mash tun, measuring the amount collected. Subtract that from your intended pre-boil and add that much water to the tun, stir, stir, stir, and then drain. You'll be done sparging by the time you'd be set up to start fly sparging.

For starting out I'd forget about the pH. Unless your water is terrible, you will be close enough to make decent beer. Once you have done several batches and want to step up your game, start adjusting the pH.

__________________
RM-MN is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 02:09 AM   #3
Natdavis777
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Indy, IN
Posts: 458
Liked 51 Times on 42 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcman73 View Post
Mash in: Once I've crushed my grain bill (I don't have the grain pre-crushed for me) and added it to my preheated mash tun, I add the specified amount of hot water to it (155 degrees), mix it all in and cover the cooler.
What is your mash temp if you are doughing in at 155F? Regardless of pre-heating your mash tun, you should have a higher strike temp than 155F, because your mash temp is going to be somewhere in the range of 143F (assuming grain @ 70F) In a nut shell, you need to up your strike temp in order to adequately hit your desired mash temp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcman73 View Post
Measuring pH: How critical is this? If it's important, do I measure pH in the water that's in the HLT or measure the pH in the wort I just collected in the BK? If I measure in the wort, I assume I can adjust the pH by adding pH adjuster directly into the wort?
Mash pH is a critical part of the brewing process, but controlling the pH be taxing of you havnt dove into water chemistry yet. Staying in the desired pH range helps with better extraction and better tasting beer. Figuring out your source water mineral levels is a good start. Understanding how certain water profiles and grain bills affect the mash pH is very important, but can be confusing at first. If you are brewing good beer now, keep on doing what you are doing. There is some great lit out there that simplifies water chemistry, such as the Primer in the Water Chemistry sub-forum. Id suggest reading up and doing mini experiments with different minerals. Brun Water is a great tool to utilize once you get a good understanding of water chemistry.
__________________
Kegged
Chocolate Milk Stout, Mocha Stout, Coconut Coffee Stout
Primary/Secondary
Flander's Red, Blackberry Lambic, Raspberry Lambic, Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Porter
Natdavis777 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 04:17 AM   #4
dmcman73
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
Liked 18 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Sorry, I should have noted that I heat up my strike to about 170 degrees. By the time I transfer it to the MT and it gets absorbed into the grains, it settles out at about 155 degrees or so.

__________________
dmcman73 is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 05:25 AM   #5
Natdavis777
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Indy, IN
Posts: 458
Liked 51 Times on 42 Posts
Likes Given: 3

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcman73 View Post
Sorry, I should have noted that I heat up my strike to about 170 degrees. By the time I transfer it to the MT and it gets absorbed into the grains, it settles out at about 155 degrees or so.

Gotcha.



Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
__________________
Kegged
Chocolate Milk Stout, Mocha Stout, Coconut Coffee Stout
Primary/Secondary
Flander's Red, Blackberry Lambic, Raspberry Lambic, Vanilla Bourbon Imperial Porter
Natdavis777 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 01:50 PM   #6
Gunfighter04
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Gunfighter04's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sugar Grove, Pa
Posts: 336
Liked 19 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

I find that the pre-measured all grain kits from the stores really don't take into consideration much in terms of loses due to equipment or trub. When I first started all grains I usually accepted getting about 4 1/2 Gallons into the fermenter if all went well. If hitting 5 gallons is important to you then I'd just buy a couple pounds of 2 row and keep it on hand to bump it up to account for additional loses along the way. Once you start making your own recipe's then you'll have a bit more flexibility in this regard.

__________________

WOODY: Hey, Mr. Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you.
NORM: I know. If she calls, I'm not here.

Keg1: Edmund Fitzgerald Clone
Keg2: Innis and Gunn Clone
Bottled: Belgian Strong
Primary: Southern Pecan Ale

Gunfighter04 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 02:40 PM   #7
dmcman73
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
Liked 18 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunfighter04 View Post
I find that the pre-measured all grain kits from the stores really don't take into consideration much in terms of loses due to equipment or trub. When I first started all grains I usually accepted getting about 4 1/2 Gallons into the fermenter if all went well. If hitting 5 gallons is important to you then I'd just buy a couple pounds of 2 row and keep it on hand to bump it up to account for additional loses along the way. Once you start making your own recipe's then you'll have a bit more flexibility in this regard.
Could I bump it up by adding some DME right into the kettle if needed?

The past two all grain batches that I've made, I noticed that my SG was a bit higher than they should be, for example 1.054 instead of 1.046 or something like that, but when the beer was done fermenting, it was spot on with it's FG and the beer tasted perfect.
__________________
dmcman73 is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 03:09 PM   #8
Gunfighter04
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Gunfighter04's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sugar Grove, Pa
Posts: 336
Liked 19 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcman73 View Post
Could I bump it up by adding some DME right into the kettle if needed?
.
Absolutely. I find I have a deplorable lack of concern around OG, and FG If I've hit my mash temps I generally take a refractometer reading before boil and that's about it. I do think when you first start it's important to record everything to help troubleshoot issues.

Even when I miss the OG and everything else is as it should be, I end up with a beer that I'd serve anyone.
__________________

WOODY: Hey, Mr. Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you.
NORM: I know. If she calls, I'm not here.

Keg1: Edmund Fitzgerald Clone
Keg2: Innis and Gunn Clone
Bottled: Belgian Strong
Primary: Southern Pecan Ale

Gunfighter04 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 03:22 PM   #9
dmcman73
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
Liked 18 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Thanks Gunfighter. So is it true that 1.012-1.010 is a danger zone to avoid when sparging?

__________________
dmcman73 is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-20-2014, 06:55 PM   #10
Gunfighter04
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Gunfighter04's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Sugar Grove, Pa
Posts: 336
Liked 19 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcman73 View Post
So is it true that 1.012-1.010 is a danger zone to avoid when sparging?
There are others more knowledgeable than me on this topic but there's a chance of Tannin extraction once your Fly sparge gets below that level. (this might be disproven by some and just be a wives tale) I'd rather look at it from the perspective that your not doing much beyond adding water at that point, basically there's not much sugar your getting out of the Mash so why keep adding it. The more you add at that SG the lower the OG of your pre-boil volume.

I'd take the volume you get without dropping below that level and live with it, and then next time improve your efficiency or bump up the amount of grain in the recipe.
__________________

WOODY: Hey, Mr. Peterson, there's a cold one waiting for you.
NORM: I know. If she calls, I'm not here.

Keg1: Edmund Fitzgerald Clone
Keg2: Innis and Gunn Clone
Bottled: Belgian Strong
Primary: Southern Pecan Ale

Gunfighter04 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Collecting Wort Duration Cajun_Tiger33 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 9 01-11-2014 05:20 PM
Questions about, mashing, sparging, recirculating wort dylanphelan All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 6 02-18-2013 07:16 PM
Calculating wort efficiency after mashing IanPC All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 01-31-2012 09:19 PM
When to stop collecting wort SONICYOUTH All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 5 01-28-2012 10:25 PM
collecting wort killian All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 15 07-26-2007 05:33 PM