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Old 03-05-2011, 05:27 AM   #1
Elden
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Default ph and mash time, original gravity and additional water???

Ok, so I just finished brewing my first batch of all grain. I've done a good bit of partial mash so I have a decent handle on what I'm doing, though I'm definitely no expert. A couple things realy caught be off guard on this.

First, my mash took absolutely for ever! pretty much a full two hours to get the Iodine Tincture to stop turning black. Could this be a result of the Ph? Mine was between 5.4 and 5.8, probably closer to 5.8. I didn't have anything to adjust it with, so I ran with it. Could that be why it took so long? Anything else to look for? I like the full grain process to a point, but start to finish this took almost 9 hours!

Also, I came up way short on water. no mystery why, I was using two smaller brew pots (all I've got) and I didn't account for double the evaporation. As a result the original gravity was WAY too high. I was expecting a pretty high alcohol IPA to begin with, probably around 7.5%. I was looking for an OG of about 1.076, but got 1.12! Of course this is a direct result of the lack of water. So after a brief internal debate, I decided to add some water rather than getting champagne yeast (no idea what a 14% IPA might taste like, decided not to find out this time). I boiled, cooled and added a gallon of additional liquor to the (roughly) 4 gallons of beer I had. But I failed to take a new OG reading. Any way to guesstimate what this might be now?

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Old 03-05-2011, 05:43 AM   #2
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You should be able to calculate that, youve got 4 gallons of 1.12 and 1 gallon of 1.0. I took 0.12•4 and divided by 5 for 1.096. This sounds right but thats still pretty dense.

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Old 03-05-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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Yeah, that makes sense, though like you said it is still really high. Thanks.

Anyone have any thoughts on the slow mash?

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:09 AM   #4
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Elevated mash pH can reduce the fermentability of wort, so it is possible that this was a contributor to the problems with this beer.

You can read more about mash pH and how to create proper mashing conditions by using the Bru'n Water program. You can download it from the link in my signature line below.

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Old 03-25-2011, 10:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the input!

This is turning out pretty interesting! I left it in the primary as a diacytil(sp?) rest for 15 days. Added dry hops, and plan to bottle after two weeks in the secondary. I ended up with just under 4 gallons (after adding one!) so back-calculating the O.G. down to about .086. It fermented down to .010, so it is going to be strong! Apparently the acidtity wan't too far out of line. And having read more, I mashed pretty cool, aroudn 144 most of the time, so I guess the two hours wasn't too far off either.

I tasted the hygrometer sample, and it was great! VERY hoppy, with noticable but not unpleaseant high alcohol and a nice dry finish. No hint of the cider/apple cider off flavors that I always seemed to be battleing in my extract brews. There is a bit of a harsh edge to the bitter hops that I hope ages out a bit. It would be ok anyway, but better if it did. Even with all the hops it does have some interesting malty flavors to balance it out a bit. I think the dry hops aroma and a few extra weeks in the bottles (as well as carbonation and cold) will really bring this one around!

The waiting is the hard part...

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Old 03-25-2011, 11:10 PM   #6
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nothing to say, I'm new to this, so I'm messing around with the pictures and stuff. Nobody's reading this anyway... Next time I'll choose a less boring title!

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Old 03-25-2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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What, no picture???

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Old 03-26-2011, 01:18 AM   #8
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Why the mash at 144? I've never heard of anybody mashing that low before. At least, not on purpose! But that would explain the long conversion time, that's for sure.

If I mash at 150 or under, or use a lot of adjuncts, I always mash for 75-90 minutes to ensure conversion. At 156-158, I can show conversion in 20 minutes!

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Old 03-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #9
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I mashing at 144 to get to more fermentables and a drier beer. I take it that was too low, even with that goal in mind?

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Old 03-26-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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Your mash temps were probably the biggest contributor to the long mash time, but, to answer your question, yes, a higher ph can lengthen conversion too. Aim for 5.2 to 5.4, but don't sweat it if you don't get there. Simple acid additions can help get there. Your LHBS certainly has some on hand.

Lactic acid is what I use as long as I stay below 2ml to the mash to avoid sour tastes. You can use Acidulated Malt too, but too much results in a sour taste too. You have other choices too, but those two are probably the most common.

If you're going to adjust the mash ph, then you should probably be looking at your water as a whole. You can make additions that'll help get your ph down without adding acids and then you can add a bit of acid to help get it just that little bit lower.

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