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Old 05-10-2010, 03:48 PM   #921
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What should I do if, during the mash my temp drops too much. Add some heated water? I shouldn't add heat to the pot?
Define: "too much"

My mash used to drop to 140°F every time I let it sit more than 30 minutes or so. By that time, enzymatic activity is pretty much finished anyway. I didn't worry about it and the beer always turned out great.

If you want to maintain heat, wrap the pot in some towels, pillows and/or blankets.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:58 PM   #922
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Originally Posted by electronjunkie View Post
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.

OG: 1.067
FG: 1.009

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.


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Old 05-11-2010, 10:39 PM   #923
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[QUOTE=
Beer is very forgiving of most mistakes.


Brew Strong![/QUOTE]

thats very true but dang when you made the ultimate batch and the temp was off just make sure you write it down so you can duplicate.it wll still be good if hotter just maybe maltier and maybe to your liking....i have tried a few recipes hotter and colder and i like them better that way..maltier on some and drier on others..Jeff

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Old 05-11-2010, 11:24 PM   #924
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Just bottled the Dunkel today, OG was 1.052, FG was 1.018. Not quite as low as I would have liked it, but after three weeks I was running out of time for this event I planned it for so I called it close enough.

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Old 05-12-2010, 02:21 AM   #925
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Originally Posted by DeathBrewer View Post
Define: "too much"

My mash used to drop to 140°F every time I let it sit more than 30 minutes or so. By that time, enzymatic activity is pretty much finished anyway. I didn't worry about it and the beer always turned out great.

If you want to maintain heat, wrap the pot in some towels, pillows and/or blankets.
Yeah, I was trying to mash at 150, and it dropped to 148 so, I guess it was ok.

This was my first time using a big grain bag, like the one you have in the pictorial. Before that I had a regular steeping bag, and I think it came out much better this time. It was really hard to gage my temps with the seeping bags.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:11 PM   #926
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It also doesn't let water flow through as easily if you are stuffing a smaller bag full of grain. Could really lower your efficiency.

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Old 05-12-2010, 04:46 PM   #927
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I'm a beginner, having only brewed an Obsidian stout once using a similar partial mash method but sticking to the recipe exactly, it turned out great! I now have a mac & jacks recipe that claims to be a true partial mash. Anyway, it specifies the mash water quantity at 3 quarts and then specifies the sparge water at 6 quarts. I am boiling in a 6 gallon turkey fryer and I would think that more sparge water would only improve the conversion efficiency which would be good, right? Thing is, I would then be boiling and adding hops to a larger volume of water. Is there a downside to this? I would like to use 2 or three gallons of sparge water and then add water to the fermeneter to hit 5 gallons near the end.

Thanks!

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Old 05-12-2010, 05:15 PM   #928
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Depends entirely on how much grain there is. If there is a small amount, you can risk over-sparging and extracting tannins (tea-like bitterness that you don't want.)

You want your initial mash to be about 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain. I usually shoot for around 1.5qt/lb.

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Old 05-12-2010, 06:31 PM   #929
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3 and 1/8# of grain total. Initial mash is prescribed to be in 3 quarts of water. On one hand I want to stick to the recipe exactly but on the other hand I want the beer to be the best that it can be.

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Old 05-12-2010, 06:34 PM   #930
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3 quarts is VERY low. You could use up to 6 quarts of water for the mash and about the same (wouldn't go any higher) for your sparge.

Be sure to calculate the temp of your grains and use this strike temp calculator:

http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

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