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Old 10-28-2006, 03:08 PM   #1
the_bird
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Default Mashing with too much water

Because I'm a dumbass, I ended up putting in too much cool water to bring my mash temp down, then had to add hot water to bring it back up, to the point where I've got too much water in my mash. Moreover, I added a little bit more water at the 30 minute mark to bring the temp back up to 154 (it had dropped to 150, seems I ended up being a little bit on the low side for the first half).

So, what are the implications of this? Am I going to be extracting more tannins or anything? The mash should have had about 2.5 gallons (a smidge more than eight pounds of grain x 1.25), it's probably around 3.25 now (MAYBE closer to 3.5, I don't think quite that much though).

So, besides me being a dumbass (I need to be more careful about additions), anything else I should be worried about? My plan right now, unless someone tells me different in the next twenty-five minutes, is to cut back my batch-sparge water by approximately the amount of the extra 3/4 gallon in the mash.

Thoughts? Other than, YOU TOOL!


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Old 10-28-2006, 03:18 PM   #2
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Not really...YOU TOOL! seems to sum it up nicely...Sorry I couldn't resist...

Won't that just make it a light brew?


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Old 10-28-2006, 03:20 PM   #3
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Total water volume won't change. I was planning on having to top off a little at the end, and as noted, I won't sparge with quite as much water. Hopefully, my efficiency won't get completely killed.
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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I guess it should be OK then, just pour the sparging water slower through the grains might make up for any efficiency loss.
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:24 PM   #5
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Batch sparge...

I think it'll be fine. I'm probably most concerned about whether tannins are more easily extracted with greater volumes of water (although my temp is nowhere near the "danger zone").
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:37 PM   #6
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I'm glad you posted that question because as of 15 minutes ago I did the EXACT same thing! I'm hoping it works for me as well by lowering the volume of sparge water. My problem was that my temp was too low and so I had to add hot water, several times because I forgot to follow that simple rule of "have extra hot water on hand and ready."

Sorry I couldn't help with a solution, but it may help that I'm a TOOL too!!
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Old 10-28-2006, 03:50 PM   #7
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A thinner mash will give the enzymes more room to move. In other words, your wort may be a bit more fermentable than you planned on it being. Since you mashed in at a higher temp, I assume that you wanted a more dextrinous wort, a higher final gravity, and a beer with substantial body and mouthfeel. Well, your higher water to grain ratio may result in a thinner beer with a bit less mouthfeel. On the bright side, however, you will have a lower final gravity and a slightly stronger beer. Chances are you may never notice any of this; further, your beer will be fine.

In the future, you should pull some of the wort off of your mash, put it on some heat and bring your entire mash back to termperature with this bit of wort. This would be something like a decoction, and it will help you maintain the water to grain ratio you were aiming for.
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:04 PM   #8
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Thanks!

I was aiming for a middle-of-the-road temp. My initial strike came in at around 158, I didn't want this beer to be terribly sweet so I attempted the temp drop. I do suspect that it may be a little light in mouthfeel, because the mash temp for the first half hour ended up on the low end of the range as well.

Oh well, live and learn. Only my second mash, I've got plenty of time to get this stuff right!

Now, if I had a three-tier setup with a burner under my mash tun.........
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:08 PM   #9
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You should just tell people that you were doing a new step mashing technique.
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Old 10-28-2006, 04:11 PM   #10
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I was just doing some of my sparge ahead of time...


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"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
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