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Old 03-13-2009, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Overnight Mash

Are there any drawbacks from mashing at night, leave it in the mash tun (10 gallon cooler mash tun) overnight then sparge in the morning? I'm attempting to brew 3-5 gallon all grain batches in 1 day. Kids' skating lesson screws with my timing.

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Old 03-13-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
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I used to think this could be problematic, due to the fact that tannins can be extracted, but now I think that only happens over 170degF, but not sure at this point... How would you keep the mash at temp? I'm not sure it would be great to try and mash out after the mash had cooled down to room temps (or near it) overnite. But I'm fairly new to this and am mostly guessing... I kinda feel like it wouldn't be a good idea... On the other hand, I think if you did the 1 hr mash, and mashout and had the wort ready to boil, and covered that up for the nite, and then did the boil the next day, that may work... but again... don't count on this as being gospel in any way

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Old 03-13-2009, 03:26 PM   #3
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It's been done . . . many times. Often, you get something that's a little "weird" in the final product. I put that in quotes because none of us have ever been able to put a finger on what that "weird" thing is. It's very, very subtle, though. We have wondered if it is not a little bit of souring from bacteria or wild yeast, but there is so little of it. If you keep the lid closed after mashing in, sanitation should not be a major concern (beyond this little "weird" thing).

Also, you better be brewing a beer that you want fairly low on dextrines.

ETA: The tannins that Pompeii mentioned also could be that little "weird" something. One of these days, we'll figure it out, but overnight mashes are too rare.


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Old 03-13-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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How long does your mash tun hold temperature for? Have you experimented with this?

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Old 03-13-2009, 03:37 PM   #5
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You shouldn't get tannin extraction but you may get a bit of souring. I've never actually mashed over night but I have mashed out then left it over night and reheated to 170 and sparged the next day.

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Old 03-13-2009, 03:41 PM   #6
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I would think that the wild yeast on the grain would start working on the sugar in the wort if left overnight. Since you dont kill it with mash temps but do when you boil it.

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Old 03-13-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomadjanet View Post
How long does your mash tun hold temperature for? Have you experimented with this?
During the winter and if mashing outdoors would probably not end well, but during summer, my poorly insulated garage would probably stay close to 100 overnight on those nights where it doesn't get below 85 outside.

That that is just one issue, you have the issue of just having it in there for that long period which TexLaw mentioned and make sure you want a beer with a lot of dextrines.
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:59 PM   #8
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David Line in his early tome on homebrewing "The Big Book Of Brewing" advocated the use of the overnight mash. I have not tried it.

Barley husks have naturally occurring lactobacillus in them. I've made a small "soured" wort to add to stouts by dropping a handful of crushed grain in a small bit of wort. A few days and it was had a clean nice sour taste.

Sitting overnight, at the perfect temperature for bacteria and some of those lactobacillus or other baddy might start to kick in, but I suspect it would not be to a noticeable degree. I'd boil the mash water to kill anything in it, and sanitize your mash tun and equipment.

Give it a try and let us know.

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Old 03-13-2009, 04:01 PM   #9
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After the temp drops below 140% you have approx 2 hours before spoilage of the grain & wort starts. So if you maintain temp of 1405 till 4 AM & it starts falling off & you get up and handle the brew before 6AM you have avoided any loss in potential. The longer the tun sits below 140% the greater the potential spoilage and/or loss would be.

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Old 03-13-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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I was just reading up on what temps kill lactobacillus and came across this
http://jds.fass.org/cgi/reprint/36/4/409.pdf

This is for cheese so they actually want to keep the lacto alive. Basicallly by looking at the charts a rest of 150* for 60 minutes killed all 60 different cultures of lacto. But it did take the full 60 to kill the 2 most heat resistant varieties they were testing. Now was this the type that sours beer? No idea.

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