Originally Posted by electronjunkie
Thanks Deathrbrewer for this pictorial and explanation. I just brewed my beer using this method, a Belgian Blonde, and kegged it yesterday. It was my second batch ever.
Had a question though. What happens if I added heat during the Mash? It didn't really need it but I didn't know I wasn't supposed to. Grains weren't touching the bottom as far as I could tell.
If you drop a few degrees below, I would not worry. It would be optimal to have it stay as close to your desired temp. Going from 153 to 150 would probably not be too much. So, "too much" is maybe vague.
I have added hot water to raise the temp instead of adding direct heat. This method will insure that if the grain is sitting on the kettle, I get NO burning of the grain.
I usually have to cool the wort because I find that MUCH easier to do. My strike water is at about 170F if the grain is at room temperature. Also, you have to factor how much grain you have. If you only have a few pounds of grain, then I would add a cooler strike temp.
If the grain goes to hot at the initial strike, I have a two liters of cold water ready and I add it gently to try to reach the 150-159...whatever range I need. Remember that you will also have to factor ambient cooling of the wort if you are not using an insulated vessel. All my mashing is done in a Gott Cooler with a SS false bottom. That makes it very easy to maintain the correct temp.
The conversion to sugar takes some time and it is easier for me to do it this way. Seems to have worked every time.
Beer is very forgiving of most mistakes.