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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > low mash temp, suggestions to raise?
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default low mash temp, suggestions to raise?

Just did my first Mash in, and my strike was 171, but after mashing in its 147. How would I go about raising the temp? This is in a 10g round igloo.

I was thinking of draining off a few cups and put it in the microwave for a fast heat burst, looking for suggestions.

Thanks!
Kelly

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Old 09-18-2011, 05:26 PM   #2
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That'll work, or drain off a gallon or so & heat it to 170ish & dump back in. Rinse, lather, repeat.

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Old 09-18-2011, 05:27 PM   #3
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if you have room in the mash tun you can also just add small amounts of boiling water until you hit your temp

start small though, doesn't take too much

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Old 09-18-2011, 05:36 PM   #4
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thanks folks, that worked just fine. Since about 35 minutes passed before getting to the proper temp should I let it go a little longer?

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Old 09-27-2011, 05:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newdamage1 View Post
thanks folks, that worked just fine. Since about 35 minutes passed before getting to the proper temp should I let it go a little longer?
I know this is a little late, but with my recent experience, I would give you a resounding yes. I had a similar experience over the weekend. I was about 144F after mashin. I added a quart of boiling water and hit 149F. Since I was going for a dry beer, I didn't worry about it.

I also didn't stir well enough. At 65 min, an iodine test showed conversion. My pH was good and everything else looked OK. I was still measuring 148F with my Thermapen on the top layer but I didn't worry about it since my iodine test looked good.

I batch sparged as I have done a million times with this recipe. Did not take a pre-boil gravity reading (an oversight for which I am kicking myself. I would have noticed the problem then and been able to fix it as I have enough DME on hand).

Boil went good and hit my post boil volume on the nose. The problem? My OG was 1.030 instead of the 1.055-56 I usually get with this grain bill.

"Surely not," said I. So I tested it with a refractometer. Crap. About 7 Brix.

On the upside, at least with my 11g pack of WB-06, I know I didn't underpitch. On the downside, even at 28 IBUs, this may be way overhopped for the style at the gravity I hit. So my wife, the non-hophead, will be getting 5 gallons of hoppy lawnmower wheat beer. Sorry honey.

Moral of the story, yes, add time if you come in low on your mash temp. No matter what your iodine says. I had gone about 25-30 min before I got myself to an acceptable temperature. My gut told me to bump up my mash time by the amount of time I had spent out of my desired range.

And I should have known. I ALWAYS go wrong when I fail to listen to my gut. It's big enough. I should let it throw its weight around.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:46 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice. I ended up letting it go an extra 10 minutes and my pre-boil & post gravities were right on. (thankfully)

I'm curious though, do you just pitch some DME in your unboiled wort and then recheck the gravity once its dissolved? If that's the case, it certainly would be worth keeping some on hand for fix the oops'es!

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newdamage1
Thanks for the advice. I ended up letting it go an extra 10 minutes and my pre-boil & post gravities were right on. (thankfully)

I'm curious though, do you just pitch some DME in your unboiled wort and then recheck the gravity once its dissolved? If that's the case, it certainly would be worth keeping some on hand for fix the oops'es!
There are calcs and apps out there that will help you predict pre-boil gravity (accounting for kettle volume and temperature). If I find that my pre-boil gravity is too low, I go with the assumption that DME yields around 42 points per pound per gal. I consider that yield based on the volume of liquid I have and calculate the amount of DME needed to get me to my expected pre boil gravity.

Then I just proceed to the boil as usual.

I tend more toward inefficiency than over efficiency. So I have never had to try to compensate for my gravity being too high. But DME is really helpful for those times when I come up short (and catch it in time)
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