Affects of a thin mash?

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bacchusmj

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So between the crying baby and 4 year old I missed my mash temp 144 vs 153 at dough in. I was able to get the temp up by adding some boiling water (about 2 quarts). Ill probably just mash out as usual and sparge with a quart less water.

Is this a huge problem? What can I expect at the tail end? Or is a half gallon of additional mash even a big deal?
 

Bensiff

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Lower efficiency
Actually the opposite, you get a little higher efficiency with a thin mash. Predictions on pH are figured for mashes in a standard range so if it gets too thin you will also have to pay attention to that. As well, you can increase the time it takes to convert as the enzymes are watered down. But, how little he watered it down there will really be no impact worthy of concern.
 

oneandahalfshepherds

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Not to quibble but i believe the thinner mash will mean less sparging which will mean a slightly lower efficiency due to slightly lower extraction
 

GuldTuborg

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Not to quibble but i believe the thinner mash will mean less sparging which will mean a slightly lower efficiency due to slightly lower extraction
That's assuming the first runnings are the same gravity in both cases, which they may not be. Thinner mashes can often be more efficient overall. This is well documented.

Back to the original question: it'll be a sad mash. Bwahaha...get it?

Bad jokes aside, as has been stated already, thinner mashes (2qt/lb and even thinner) can convert more efficiently in many cases. I wouldn't worry in any case, as a quart difference here or there isn't going to appreciably affect anything.
 

tootal

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The beer itself will be thinner due to your mash temp at 144. If it was there for a while then you will have Beta amylase chopping those sugar molecules real short making for alcohol and a thinner body. If it didn't spend much time there then just consider it a step mash and enjoy!:mug:
 

GuldTuborg

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The beer itself will be thinner due to your mash temp at 144.
Doesn't sound like he spent much time at that temp. The lower you mash, the longer conversion takes, so I doubt it will make the beer thinner at all. Now, if he let it rest at that temp for 30+ minutes, that's a different story.
 

anico4704

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I've used far more water to bring up the temp of a mash multiple times and had no efficiency issue at all. You are completely fine
 

tootal

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Doesn't sound like he spent much time at that temp. The lower you mash, the longer conversion takes, so I doubt it will make the beer thinner at all. Now, if he let it rest at that temp for 30+ minutes, that's a different story.
He states he added boiling water to bring it up. Did he have boiling water sitting there ready to pour or did he have to boil some up. By the time you figure out your temp, decide to boil some water, get the water on the heat and wait for it to boil it could have easily been 20 minutes before the temperature rose. Either way it will be fine. A thin mash will be more efficient, a thick mash will give more mouth feel. All is good.
 

GuldTuborg

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He states he added boiling water to bring it up. Did he have boiling water sitting there ready to pour or did he have to boil some up.
Well, we don't know for sure, but here are two options. Keeping boiling water, and room temp water, on hand during the mash process is always good practice, much like keeping a sachet of dry yeast in the fridge. Everyone ought to do it, and many brewers do. It's not unreasonable to think it is possible, if not likely, that OP was following good brewing practice. Even if he didn't, how long could it possibly take to bring a quart of water to boil? Five minutes at most? At any rate my point stands that unless OP comes back and says "yes, the mash sat at 144 for 30 minutes," the correction in mash temp will not appreciably affect the finished product.

Since you brought it up, is there any hard evidence that mash thickness affects fermentability of wort, or anything else that would appreciably affect body/mouthfeel?
 

tootal

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Well, yes. :rockin:

From How To Brew by John Palmer (Chapter 14, Section 6)

The grist/water ratio is another factor influencing the performance of the mash. A thinner mash of >2 quarts of water per pound of grain dilutes the relative concentration of the enzymes, slowing the conversion, but ultimately leads to a more fermentable mash because the enzymes are not inhibited by a high concentration of sugars. A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer. A thicker mash is more gentle to the enzymes because of the lower heat capacity of grain compared to water. A thick mash is better for multirest mashes because the enzymes are not denatured as quickly by a rise in temperature.
 

GuldTuborg

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Interesting. Troester and Briggs disagree. Does Palmer maintain that paragraph as is in the most recent edition? Does he cite any hard data?

If he does do both, then we have a disagreement of the experts. So, experts, go figure this out...I'll be here drinking beer. :drunk:
 
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