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Infusion mashing

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Hey all,

I'm in my front yard doing my first all grain batch.  Im trying an infusion mash.  I under the impression that I am to hold the mash between 152-158 degree's for about 60 mins for the starch to convert to sugars.  I turned my back for only a minute and found that the temp shot right up to about 190 in a matter of seconds.  I had the tempreture held at 156-158 for the first 45 mins successfully.  Then when i put the heat back on to make sure I keep that temp it shot right up.  Did i completely ruin this batch?  Is there anyway to fix this?  I did pull a little bit out to test with Iodine and when I put a drop in it did turn black where the drip went in.  However if I swirl it then in blends in?  Can anyone offer me some advice on how to remedy this project?



hang in there rdwhahb.  just brew with it it wont be ruined.  45 minutes is a decent amount of conversion. once the temperature went up though,the protien enzymes unwind (denature)  and are useless, so you won't get any benefit from waiting around.  you will still get plenty of sugar out of your mash, just a lower efficiency. and my bet is it turns out okay.  if your initial gravity is a little low i suppose you could add some dme,lme, etc.

152-158 is a decent range, more towards the lower end of that probably depending on your brew.  156-158 is on the high side and is going to result in a more unfermentable wort.  Since you were able to hold it in conversion range for 45 minutes it's not completely lost but it sounds this one is going to end up on the high side, final gravity-wise.

Pitch the yeast and see what happens.  If nothing else, it'll be a learning experience.

156-158 F is a little too warm, IMHO.  I typically shoot for 148-152 F.  Anywhere in that range is just fine for almost any brew.  45 minutes is plenty for efficiency.  But your high mash temperature will certainly affect your final gravity.  Not a real big deal.  Just aim lower next time, and don't play with the heat as much.  Once the temperature is in the lower to mid-150s, you can pretty much turn off the heat and just let it fall the whole rest of the time unless it falls below about 146 F.


Brew with it. It will still be beer.

What likely happened is that raising the temp to 190 liberated more starch from the spent grain and since the temp was above 170-175 all of the enzymes that could have broken down that starch were denatured. This is why we don't heat the mash beyond 170-175 F or sparge hotter than that.

If this truly happened, unconverted starch in the wort, the beer may have a haze. But hazy beer may also have other causes.

BTW, a better way to perform an iodine test is to place one drop of wort onto a piece of chalk or the gypsum in a piece of dry wall and add a drop of diluted iodine solution. Here are some pics:



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