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Old 08-17-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
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Default So...Mash and Boil schedule from one recipe used on a completely different Grain Bill

Yeah, i feel pretty dumb for having done this. Lemme explain, and hopefully the thread title will make more sense.

My strike temp was: 171 (water temp of course, not mashing temp), mash for 60 mins.
My sparge temp was: 176 (again, water temp), rest again for 60 minutes.

Receipe: EdWort's Bee Cave Oktoberfest Ale

5.5# Pils
5.5# Vienna
2# Munich
0.5# Caramunich
0.5# Caravienne

1 oz. Tettnang 4.4% AA at 60 min.
0.5 oz Hallertau 4.2 % AA at 30 Min
0.5 oz. Hallertau 4.2% AA at 15 min

O.G. 1.062
F.G. 1.012

I bought all the ingredients for the above and thought i was good to go so when i got home i opened Brewpal so that i could get my strike water and sparge water temps and all the other calculations. I opened Brewpal, ran with the numbers and proceeded to have my first all-grain brew day (it was pretty darn cool seeing how i made my very own "extract" all from scratch!). The process went fine, but then immediately after i pitched my yeast it hit me that the numbers that Brewpal was telling me to use were for this recipe:

10lbs Marris Otter
.71lbs Chocolate
.62lbs Crystal 90L
.44lbs Oats (flaked)
1oz NB hops

I had just plugged these ingredients into Brewpal to start planning my first AG porter that i wanted to try so that was the active recipe in the app.

How screwed am I? When i tasted the wort off of my hydrometer it tasted incredibly sweet but i don't have anything to compare it to because i have never tasted any wort before hand (i've just recently discovered the importance of O.G. hydrometer readings). My readings were slighty off from EdWort's posted OG, i managed to hit 1.056 but i attribute that mainly to my efficiency and it being my first AG brew. I still need to get a temperature probe for my HLT to get super accurate readings.

Luckily, i do have some home brew that i can relax with. It obviously did take off once i pitched the yeast, but i'm more concerned with my mash and sparge schedule having a negative impact on the final outcome because i did use the wrong schedule....

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Old 08-17-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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What temperature was your mash?

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Old 08-17-2011, 03:10 PM   #3
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You know what, i didn't take a mash temp. You mean in the actual grain bed right? I do know that Brewpal takes into account all the factors necessary to get the best conversion based on grain type and then spits out a water temp to get you to that point...

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Old 08-17-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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There are a lot of factors that affect your mash temperature that the software won't be able to accurately account for. Next brew, measure your mash temperature a few times during the mash to see where you are and how much temp you are losing (and adjust accordingly if necessary).

The reason I ask, is that is going to determine how fermentable your wort is and what kind of body you can expect.

You likely mashed thicker than you wanted because you were planning on 14lbs of grain but only added water for 11+lbs. Not a big deal by itself. *Maybe* lower effificiency as a result. Maybe not. You also may have mashed a bit lower in temp than you expected because of the smaller amount of hot water compared to the cool grain. As long as you landed somewhere in the 148 - 158 range or so, you'll have drinkable beer.

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Old 08-17-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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Is the flavor profile of the Oktoberfest Ale i'm shooting for going to be really adversely effected with my "thicker" mash?

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Old 08-17-2011, 04:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zixxer10R View Post
Is the flavor profile of the Oktoberfest Ale i'm shooting for going to be really adversely effected with my "thicker" mash?
The mash temperature makes the most difference on the body of the resulting beer. The higher the actual mash temperature, the heavier-bodied the beer will be.

Mash thickness/stiffness plays a minor part.

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Needless to say after more than a few drams my mental efficiency matched my mashing efficiency.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:05 PM   #7
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Basically, as long as you hit a reasonable OG and had a reasonable mash temp (Assuming single infusion of 171 it would bottom out at about 152-154 for the 14lb of grain, if you used 1.25qt/lb of water, if you used more it will be slightly higher, less will be slightly lower. Overall, you will have a good beer I would think. It looks like a very standard good recipe for an October fest.

I would warn you about relying too much on software but it sounds like that lesson was pounded home fairly well.

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Old 08-17-2011, 05:53 PM   #8
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Yeah, i need to learn the math behind it all and do the work myself. That much is true for sure. Lord knows i've got enough time to figure it all out within the brew day.

I seriously was not expecting a 6 hour brew day. I'm happy to take the time if it means that my beer is better for it though.

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Old 08-18-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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Here's a tip based on what I do:

When I'm mashing it using software numbers, I'll stop heating the water a few degrees above my strike temp (4 degrees or so). I will transfer the right amount of strike water to the mashtun, and close it for 5 minutes. This will preheat the mashtun and drop a few degrees. If the strike water temp is too high, I will agitate it using a spoon until I get the exact strike temp.

While all this is happening, I will let about 1 gallon of water in the original hot liquor tank get to near boiling, and I will also have about 1 gallon of tap water on the standby.

When I do my dough-in and stabilize the temperature, if I miss my target temperature by more than 1 degree, I will add cold water or near boiling water to the mash (and stir carefully) to adjust the temperature (usually 1 qt at a time for a 10-gallon batch, I'd go to 1 pint at a time for a 5-gallon batch). This gives me a quick way to get to my target temperature if I miss it.

You can then adjust the sparge water volume down by the number of quarts or pints that you added to correct the mash temp.

M_C

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