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Old 09-17-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
moxie
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Default Dunkel mashed too hot? Burnt malt has mellowed out over time.

I thought I had hit my mark on temp in my mash, but I am pretty sure I burnt some of the malt. I like to taste my brews at every stage in the process, and to be honest, the idea of dumping this beer crossed my mind when I tasted it before pitching my yeast. About 3 months later, the distinct "burnt" smell/flavour has mellowed, and it is almost an asset to the beer. Along with the carb, it gives a bit of an extra bite to the lighter-than-expected beer. It is still too light-bodied for my taste, but that will be worked out in my next effort. What I expected to be an utter failure has turned out to be relatively drinkable.

Anyway, lesson learned: Do not dump beer. If only I had a bigger CO2 tank than a little 5 pounder.

Did I mash too hot?



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Old 09-17-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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Recipe? Mash temps?

A dunkle is going to have some roasted flavors, that is just the nature of the beer. I think it would be hard to burn your grain unless you mashed WAY, WAY high.



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Old 09-17-2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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Also need to know what type of mash tun you have, are you using a cooler or a converted keg with direct fire heat? If you are doing multi-step or decoction mash schedules you can certainly scorch the grain while you heat if you don't stir enough. I guessing you are using a cooler, if so it is likely a recipe problem as it would be hard to "burn" the grains in the cooler MLT setups I have seen.

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Old 09-17-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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Also need to know what type of mash tun you have, are you using a cooler or a converted keg with direct fire heat? If you are doing multi-step or decoction mash schedules you can certainly scorch the grain while you heat if you don't stir enough. I guessing you are using a cooler, if so it is likely a recipe problem as it would be hard to "burn" the grains in the cooler MLT setups I have seen.
Yes, it is a converted rectangular cooler. In early stages it could have definitely been described as a "burnt" flavour, but now it is leaning more towards the very roastey description. I am wondering how accurate my floating mash thermometer is. It turned out way lighter-bodied than expected, so I am thinking my efficiency was nowhere near optimal. I am currently just setting the tap on my bottling bucket to dump a slow steam for the strike water/etc, there is not really any attachment for dispersing it evenly over the grain bed. I have seen guys throw a pie plate on the grain... Is this something that may help me get better efficiency?
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:43 PM   #5
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It's hard to help without a full recipe and process.

By nature, a dunkle is going to have roasted flavors and have a lighter body since it is a lager. If you mashed high, that would actually increase the body of the beer, so none of what you're saying really makes much sense, which is why we need more info to figure out where your flaws are.

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Old 09-17-2010, 03:50 PM   #6
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Easiest thing to do is add the water first, allow the cooler to reach equilibration/warm temp wise (about 10 minutes for mine), then stir in the grain as you add it to the water. This helps a great deal in the prevention of dough balls which can get really bad with wheat malt (no husks) which can lower efficiency. This allows you to avoid having to sprinkle over the grain bed as well, which would explain low efficiency if you did not stir the grains when you mashed in. For the sparge the best method I have seen on the board is using 170 degree water (make sure you compensate for heat loss you want to denature those proteins left) stir in the water, let sit for about 10 minutes, then drain. Hope this helps

P.S.
To figure all this out I would do a dry run with hot water to figure out how much heat your cooler absorbs, don't worry to much about heat loss after the cooler has leveled off as the grain bed and water will maintain heat much better than water alone, also place folded towels on the lid of the cooler to help eliminate heat loss makes a HUGE difference as the lids of coolers are not insulated, you can drill hols in the lid and fill with spray foam insulation to help correct as well, I found using towels and spray insulation stops almost all heat loss for at least 2 hours.



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