Hot Mash?

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gmarcek

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Hi All,
I recently switched to AG and think I screwed the pooch on the last one. The recipe was the Nut Brown Ale found here: https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f67/nut-brown-ag-30187/

I doubled the recipe for an 11 gallon batch. I also had just bought a digital thermometer that I decided to use. I mashed at what I thought was 154 F for an hour, then batch sparged to get up to around 13.25 gallons. At that point I was a little surprised that the first runnings didn't taste all that sweet, just a little bit. Everything else went fine, was able to cool quickly and pitch safale s-05 in both fermenters at around 70F. I measured the OG at 1.052 which was only two points off the recipe. The fermentation sort of sputtered along, never really built up any krausen and not a whole lot of activity. I just checked the gravity and its at 1.027 after about 4 days in the primary, with no real airlock activity going on. Also, the sample has no sweetness to it at all, it really tastes more starchy than anything. I later checked my thermometer in boiling water and it seems like it is reading about 10F low, so I'm guessing that I might have actually been mashing around 164 F. My question is, does this all seem to indicate that there are a lot of unfermentables in the wort from a hot mash?? I'm going to probably transfer to cornies in another week or so and let them sit for a while and see what happens.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.
 

hoplobster

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It sounds like you pulled out a lot of unfermentables during your mash. US-05 is quick to reach full attenuation and after 4 days, unless it's fermenting rather cool, I'd say it's just about done. Give it a full week and check it again, it may drop a few more points, and if it doesn't, you can confirm that you mashed too hot.

Worst case scenario: You have made a tasty ~3.3% session beer, which really isn't a bad problem to have!
 
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Definitely sounds like you mashed way too high. If it tastes good, proceed as usual. If not, adding a few crushed Beano tablets may help convert some of that residual starch and keep your fermentation going.
 

david_42

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See if you can get some alpha amylase concentrate. Beano works, but it can make for a really thin, dry beer.
 
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gmarcek

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Thanks for the replies, lesson learned, check your thermometer before you use it.
 

WBC

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Thanks for the replies, lesson learned, check your thermometer before you use it.
Get a quality stem type thermometer. They last a long time. I have 4 of them so I can check several places without running back and forth. It also is good to have more than on in case of failure but so far none have failed. :)
 
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