Author Topic: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?  (Read 842 times)

Offline mugwort

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I thought I could get away with doing the adjunct portion of my wit in my false-bottomed Blichmann, heating it carefully through the ranges. 

But by the time I hit the low 150's, I could smell evidence of scorching.  I was running a pretty gentle flame and was stirring occasionally, but the porridge made its way through the slots and charred on the thin-walled bottom.  I do love the build quality and features of the Blichmann 20-gallon kettle, but the bottom is ridiculously, inexplicably thin.

Anyway, there was an obvious burnt toast smell and taste at that point.  Not overwhelming but definitely bothersome by the time I called it quits on the heat.  Thank goodness I remembered Charlie at that point.  I proceeded to relax, realize what's done is done, and opened up a homebrewed saison.

Over time and process (adding the rest of the pils for conversion, boiling, adding the zest and coriander, etc.) the burnt component seemed to diminish or at least push out of the way.  By the time I tasted the gravity sample, I could imagine it wasn't there.  But who knows?

I'm hoping the burnt notes provide nothing more than an extremely subtle complexity once fermentation is complete.  Wishful thinking and lessons learned are all the hope I have at the moment for this batch.

Anyone had a good flavor recovery from a grain scorching experience?
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 10:50:05 AM »
IME any amount of scorching will come through in the final product and in a negative way. I may be hyper sensitive to it because I have been with people drinking beer that is obviously scorched and they don't pick it up as much as I do. But to me, any amount of scorching is a ruined product. Doesn't taste "smoky" like a rauchbier, rather it tastes like licking an ash tray.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 10:52:59 AM »
I scorched the extract once.  Tastes horrible.  Ruins the batch.  It is a dumper.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2014, 11:05:38 AM »
Gentle heat with near constant stirring is a necessity, if you miss your mash point.  I don't try step mashes in direct fire, I instead do separate infusions in that event...though I have adjusted by a few degrees with direct heat and had no scorching issues.  Once it is scorched tasting there really is no way to mask that (at least that I am aware of).  Sorry!
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Offline mugwort

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2014, 07:58:52 PM »
Damn, I was hoping for happier tales.  Well, I'll see tomorrow when I pull a sample.  I'm thinking the impact in this case will be mild.

The saison 3 portion has finished and dropped like rocks while the wit yeast is still munching.  I'll taste the s3 to check the damage.

Anyone do any additions that were helpful if not in masking but in overlaying a wee bit of scorch?  I know, if it's genuinely corrupted I won't waste the time.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 11:18:38 PM »
Call it a Rauchbier and slug it down, if you must, but the lighter the beer, the more pronounced that scorched flavor will taste.  We all make mistakes, thankfully this wasn't 200 barrels! 

You can also consider other uses for this beer - feeding the hummingbirds?
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2014, 01:36:39 PM »
I scorched a Munich Helles when attempting to learn the RIMS system I now have.

It didn't even make it to the boil kettle. Not worth my time.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2014, 01:46:35 PM »
I scorched an extract batch of stout back in the 90s, one of my first batches ever. The old  'didn't turn off the heat before adding the extract' story. Even being a stout, the scorched flavor permeated. Dumped it.
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Offline mugwort

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2014, 02:18:06 AM »
Could be a little of the [ugly] baby syndrome, but I can't detect anything in the saison 3 finishing product.

Since I want to believe, I gave my wife who is notoriously sensorially sensitive a blind sample, and aside from a sulfur presence (it is only 6 days old) she found no negative aromas or flavors.

I definitely didn't imagine the scorching on brewday.  I have clear brewpot scraping and scrubbing memories from the end of that day.

No conclusions being drawn here.  Just a slight bump in my faith in the universe.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Ever scorch your (adjunct) mash? How much before you taste it?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2014, 12:27:36 PM »
If you like it, then you have no worries!  My palate is sensitive to certain phenols, but insensitive to diacetyl, so I rarely do a d-rest on my beers.  So whatever works for you is cool.  Maybe the saison just works with that flavor.  I wouldn't try to duplicate it, though.

Enjoy!
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