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Old 06-04-2007, 01:45 PM   #1
woosterhoot
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Default Partial Mash

This has probably been asked a thousand times, but what the hey. I'm preparing to do my first partial mash. In Papizian's book he says to test the wort for starch conversion with some iodine. What happens if it doesn't convert? Do you have to start over with new grain or just keep the temp at 150 -160 and let it sit longer?

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Old 06-04-2007, 04:16 PM   #2
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You should be fine, dont worry about the test. Just make sure you try and hit your temps right. Make sure you are using grains that can self convert.

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Old 06-04-2007, 04:30 PM   #3
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Definitely test for conversion. This is a key test when you are starting out or trying new recipes. You will most likely have no problems unless your water is unusual or you are brewing very pale or very dark beers but if you do run into problems knowing whether you had complete conversion or not will help you troubleshoot. If conversion is incomplete after your mash you can let it go longer but the enzymes are denaturing over time so the rate of conversion is continually slowing down.

Some pointers on doing the test. You only need a drop of fluid from your mash. Try not to get grains or much debris in it. Place it on a white background and add a drop of iodine to it and swirl it around. Starch will turn dark purple/black. There will always be some starch granules and small grain debris that will turn black. What you are interested in however is the liquid portion with the dissolved starch which should turn the same color as the iodine you added. The first few times you do it start checking right at the beginning of your mash and then every time you stir it, this will help you distinguish the solution change from the always present undissolved starch. At the same time taste the fluid, it will become noticeably sweeter as the mash proceeds!

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Old 06-04-2007, 05:02 PM   #4
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Let it sit longer.

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Old 06-04-2007, 05:04 PM   #5
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I don't test for starch conversion, but if you choose to, you can probably use Iodaphor sanitizer in place of iodine. Iodaphor is iodine based and does stain starch black/blue.

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Old 06-04-2007, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclesamskid
I don't test for starch conversion, but if you choose to, you can probably use Iodaphor sanitizer in place of iodine. Iodaphor is iodine based and does stain starch black/blue.
I'll second that, a small amount of Iodophore will accuratly assist you with a starch conversion test.

I'm in the camp that doesn't do such a test, a single infusion mash for 60-70 minutes has worked fine thus far.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:16 PM   #7
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I say do it if you have Iodophor, the practice may come in handy later. If not, don't worry about for your first partial mash, you will have enough to worry about.

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Old 06-05-2007, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Got Trub?
Definitely test for conversion. This is a key test when you are starting out or trying new recipes. You will most likely have no problems unless your water is unusual or you are brewing very pale or very dark beers but if you do run into problems knowing whether you had complete conversion or not will help you troubleshoot. If conversion is incomplete after your mash you can let it go longer but the enzymes are denaturing over time so the rate of conversion is continually slowing down.

Some pointers on doing the test. You only need a drop of fluid from your mash. Try not to get grains or much debris in it. Place it on a white background and add a drop of iodine to it and swirl it around. Starch will turn dark purple/black. There will always be some starch granules and small grain debris that will turn black. What you are interested in however is the liquid portion with the dissolved starch which should turn the same color as the iodine you added. The first few times you do it start checking right at the beginning of your mash and then every time you stir it, this will help you distinguish the solution change from the always present undissolved starch. At the same time taste the fluid, it will become noticeably sweeter as the mash proceeds!
Thank you for the info. I will do the test as a matter of good practice to prepare me for all grain. Do you think that I need to test the ph of the water, I'm going to use some spring water instead of tap.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:44 AM   #9
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For a mini mash, pH is not too important, but as you move to all grain it becomes more important. Check this out:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?t=29983
Many people use this ans skip checking the pH.

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Old 06-05-2007, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woosterhoot
Thank you for the info. I will do the test as a matter of good practice to prepare me for all grain. Do you think that I need to test the ph of the water, I'm going to use some spring water instead of tap.
The pH of your water is not what interests you - it is the pH of the mash that is key and that is determined by many other constituents of your water and the grains you use.

I would only use spring water if you know or suspect there is an issue with your tap water. If your water tastes good and doesn't have chlorine or chloramine in it I would use that first.

Just go ahead and do it! Worry about the other stuff later once you get into AG and beer styles that are more critically dependant on your water...
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