Did my first ever partial mash today

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

kombat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,685
Reaction score
2,187
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I've done extract kits in the past, but today I did my very first partial mash. I followed Charles Papazian's recipe for "Laughing Heart India Pale Ale", from "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, Third Edition."

Overall, I think it went well. The only thing that concerns me was my mash temperature. I heated my strike water to 170 F and transfered 8 qts. to my mash tun, but when I measured the temperature in the mash tun, it only read 150 F. So I boiled some water and transferred over another quart of (boiling) water. It still read 150 F. So I mashed anyway, assuming the thermometer was inaccurate.

I mashed for an hour, vorlaufed, drained, then sparged with 8 qts of 170 F water (though again, when I measured it in the mash tun, it only read 150 F). Stirred up the grains, waited 10 minutes, vorlaufed and drained again.

I brought to a boil, waited for the hot break, then mixed in my light LME and 2 oz. Centennial bittering hops. I boiled for an hour. With 10 minutes left in the boil, I introduced the chiller coil (to sanitize it), a paint mixing bit, 1 oz. Cascades hops, and 1/4 tsp Irish moss. Then I cut the heat, added a couple more gallons of spring water, and mixed the wort with the paint mixing bit on a drill to aerate it. I then fired up the chiller and brought it down to 70 F in about 25 minutes. I rehydrated a packet of Safale 05 while the wort chilled.

I transferred the wort to a sanitized carboy (splashing as much as possible), collected a sample for O.G. measurement, topped it up to 5 gallons with some more spring water, pitched the yeast and affixed an airlock.

My O.G. was 1.061, and the recipe called for it to be between 1.058 and 1.066, so I think I was right on. However, that was before topping up with a gallon or so of spring water, so I'm assuming my actual O.G. was a little lower than that.

I tasted the sample after I checked the O.G., and it was sweet, with a bitter, hoppy finish, which I'm hoping is exactly what it's supposed to be. :)

I can't wait to see how this turns out! I'm excited to see fermentation kick off in the next day or so.
 
OP
K

kombat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,685
Reaction score
2,187
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Things I learned:

  • I need to get a better thermometer. The one from my turkey fryer kit appears to be unreliable.
  • I should probably be doing double batches. My boil kettle is a beautiful stainless 15 gallon pot with thermometer and ball valve drain. The problem is that a 5 gallon batch doesn't even reach the thermometer probe, rendering it useless.
  • I should probably have checked the O.G. after topping it up to 5 gallons, not before.

Anyone see anything I missed? Any suggestions for next time, so I can do it better?
 
OP
K

kombat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,685
Reaction score
2,187
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Sounds great!

At the risk of sounding stupid, what is a paint mixing bit, and why did you use it before chilling the wort?
It's a long, stainless steel bit you attach to your drill for mixing up paint. I read a tip somewhere that recommended using one (brand new, of course) for mixing up your wort, to aerate it. It basically just stirs it up really well and causes a lot of foaming. I'm hoping it re-introduced enough oxygen for the yeast, so we'll see how fermentation goes.
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,663
Reaction score
12,285
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
It's a long, stainless steel bit you attach to your drill for mixing up paint. I read a tip somewhere that recommended using one (brand new, of course) for mixing up your wort, to aerate it. It basically just stirs it up really well and causes a lot of foaming. I'm hoping it re-introduced enough oxygen for the yeast, so we'll see how fermentation goes.
Ah. I know what it is now, thanks! I've never heard of using it prechilling, so I wondered what purpose it had. Normally, you chill, then top up and aerate.
 
OP
K

kombat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,685
Reaction score
2,187
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Ah. I know what it is now, thanks! I've never heard of using it prechilling, so I wondered what purpose it had. Normally, you chill, then top up and aerate.
Yah, that's how I read it too. I did it this way because I added it into the pot with 10 minutes left in the boil to sanitize it, then didn't have anywhere sanitized to set it while the wort cooled. I figured once it stops boiling, it should aerate just as well whether warm or tepid, so I just aerated before I chilled it. Do you think it will make a difference? Does the wort still lose oxygen while it's cooling, if it's not boiling?
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,663
Reaction score
12,285
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Yah, that's how I read it too. I did it this way because I added it into the pot with 10 minutes left in the boil to sanitize it, then didn't have anywhere sanitized to set it while the wort cooled. I figured once it stops boiling, it should aerate just as well whether warm or tepid, so I just aerated before I chilled it. Do you think it will make a difference? Does the wort still lose oxygen while it's cooling, if it's not boiling?
The theory is you want to avoid hot-side aeration, aerating the wort before it's cooled. But I don't think it'll be a problem for you.
 
OP
K

kombat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,685
Reaction score
2,187
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Well, I didn't start aerating until after I'd added a gallon or so of room temperature water (to both start bringing the temperature down, and give me more volume of liquid to work with), so it had already started cooling - I'm hoping I didn't ruin it!
 

Yooper

Ale's What Cures You!
Staff member
Admin
Mod
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
74,663
Reaction score
12,285
Location
UP/Snowbird in Florida
Well, I didn't start aerating until after I'd added a gallon or so of room temperature water (to both start bringing the temperature down, and give me more volume of liquid to work with), so it had already started cooling - I'm hoping I didn't ruin it!
Oh, no, I'm sure you didn't. I think the whole premise of HSA is overstated. But that is why chilling happens first, then aerating.
 
OP
K

kombat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2009
Messages
5,685
Reaction score
2,187
Location
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • I need to get a better thermometer. The one from my turkey fryer kit appears to be unreliable.
OK, I just ordered this (Traceable® Waterproof Thermometer from ScienceLab.com), so hopefully my next batch, I'll have a much better idea of what exactly is going on in my mash tun. :)
 

william_shakes_beer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2010
Messages
2,875
Reaction score
322
Location
Maryland
I've done extract kits in the past, but today I did my very first partial mash. I followed Charles Papazian's recipe for "Laughing Heart India Pale Ale", from "The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, Third Edition."

Overall, I think it went well. The only thing that concerns me was my mash temperature. I heated my strike water to 170 F and transfered 8 qts. to my mash tun, but when I measured the temperature in the mash tun, it only read 150 F. So I boiled some water and transferred over another quart of (boiling) water. It still read 150 F. So I mashed anyway, assuming the thermometer was inaccurate.

I mashed for an hour, vorlaufed, drained, then sparged with 8 qts of 170 F water (though again, when I measured it in the mash tun, it only read 150 F). Stirred up the grains, waited 10 minutes, vorlaufed and drained again.

I brought to a boil, waited for the hot break, then mixed in my light LME and 2 oz. Centennial bittering hops. I boiled for an hour. With 10 minutes left in the boil, I introduced the chiller coil (to sanitize it), a paint mixing bit, 1 oz. Cascades hops, and 1/4 tsp Irish moss. Then I cut the heat, added a couple more gallons of spring water, and mixed the wort with the paint mixing bit on a drill to aerate it. I then fired up the chiller and brought it down to 70 F in about 25 minutes. I rehydrated a packet of Safale 05 while the wort chilled.

I transferred the wort to a sanitized carboy (splashing as much as possible), collected a sample for O.G. measurement, topped it up to 5 gallons with some more spring water, pitched the yeast and affixed an airlock.

My O.G. was 1.061, and the recipe called for it to be between 1.058 and 1.066, so I think I was right on. However, that was before topping up with a gallon or so of spring water, so I'm assuming my actual O.G. was a little lower than that.

I tasted the sample after I checked the O.G., and it was sweet, with a bitter, hoppy finish, which I'm hoping is exactly what it's supposed to be. :)

I can't wait to see how this turns out! I'm excited to see fermentation kick off in the next day or so.
according to the numbers you gave, the OG for a 5 gallon batch was 1.049. Very respectable for your first mash. Congrats.
 

lindenboy

Active Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Messages
31
Reaction score
2
Location
Indianapolis
Wow, that's a nice thermometer! You can also get by with a floating thermometer for much less money ($12.50 + shipping). These therms in particular have always been very closely calibrated (within a couple degrees), more so than any other floaters we've purchased for re-sale. The good news is that with your scientific therm, you can now calibrate other people's cheapy thermometers!

@Yooper: We don't give hot side aeration much thought either, although I do try to avoid it because it's been talked about so much in a negative fashion. Sounds like more research is needed on that subject, whether experiential or scientific (or both). I still don't see the point of aerating nearly boiling wort though -- why not wait until it's through the chiller, just before you pitch the yeast? To each there own : )

Good luck, sounds like you'll be pleased!
 

Latest posts

Top