Author Topic: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues  (Read 664 times)

Offline BrodyR

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Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« on: September 22, 2015, 02:00:57 PM »
So yesterday I tried out a couple new things: 1st was I tried a real quick brewday set up (meant for workdays) which was a 3 Gallon BIAB with the mash and boil shortened to 45m (inspired by the brulosopher exbeeriments). I also used Lactic Acid + a medicine dropper instead of my usual acid malt.

A couple things went a little off during the day - first, my pH dipped too low after the acid addition (like mid-high 4s) which I had to increase with a few chalk additions. And mashing in the kettle meant a more variable mash temp then I'm used to in a cooler which meant I put it on low heat and stirred a couple times. At the end of the mash though I had a nice pH of 5.3 and hit my efficiency target.

Is that really all that matters? Or should all the goosing that involves temporarily high or low pH, chalk/acid additions, and fluctuating temperatures negatively affect my beer?

Oh, and my big mishap of the day was using a mesh bag that accidentally went through a regular laundry cycle with detergent... had meant to rewash that a couple times in water only. Hoping the residue doesn't lead to issues. I guess that's a downside of being rushed, but all in all it was a nice easy brew day that only took around 3 hours. Perfect for a work night.

Offline denny

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 03:01:13 PM »
The only thing I can tell you is don't use chalk to increase pH.  It's only partially soluble so you never really know what you'll get from it.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 03:21:50 PM »
[ramble]I need to do a little "goosing around" with probably half my batches -- a temperature will be off, or the mash pH or whatever.  It happens.  It's all part of the fun.  Knowing what to do immediately in those circumstances is helpful and it really becomes no big deal.  One example of a preventive measure I have always taken: Just in case mash temperature will turn out too low, since I'm mashing on the stovetop anyways I always boil a quart or two of water on the side before mashing in.  So if I miss my mash temp for some odd reason (e.g., only 144 F -- oh no!) then I can instantly bring it up to the 150s.  Matter of fact, I haven't needed to use boiling water in ages so I can probably stop this practice.  More often I have the opposite problem, mash is a little too hot.  So it might then be helpful to also refrigerate a quart of cold dechlorinated water for this.  I don't like to use ice as it takes too long to melt -- just a cup or two of cold water, plus the stirring that goes with it, I think brings temperature down by a few degrees faster than ice can do.  I use cold water probably half the time these days because I seem to always be in the upper 150s and only want 148-152 F usually.  Guess I need to assume temperature drop of just 3 degrees at mash-in, instead of the 6 degrees I'd been assuming for the past couple years.  In any case, just a cup or two will usually do the trick, no more than a quart really.  For pH, a little acid or baking soda is all that's needed.  Use baking soda instead of the chalk.  Just don't use more than like a teaspoon -- I like to say "fairy dust" until the pH comes out right.  Otherwise your beer can turn out tasting minerally or chalky -- go figure!  Hopefully you're not that far off to where you'd need to use a ton.[/ramble]

Yeah, don't sweat it.  Small adjustments are often necessary, at least for those of us who sweat all the details.  On the other hand..... it would most likely turn out just fine if we changed nothing at all anyway!  :)

I would worry a little about getting detergent in the beer..... that doesn't sound yummy.  Hope it works out for you.  Crossing fingers....
Dave

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Offline denny

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 03:41:13 PM »
Dave I have 2 words for you...ice cubes.  I keep a bowl nearby as I mash in.  Much better way to cool the mash than using cold water.
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 03:50:15 PM »
Appreciate the tips - the boiled water + cold water/ice are good ideas. The chalk did do the trick but it was after I added about 2.5 grams of it so probably not ideal, baking soda is a good idea - does it affect anything besides pH?

Yea, the detergent was a bonehead move. I was mashed in before I remembered running it thru a couple water cycles was on my to do list. But I didn't detect anything in the post-boil wort so maybe I got off in the clear. Either way the batch was really low gravity (~1.030 table saison) + small volume so I used only 3.5# of grain coupled with hops I've been meaning to use up and dry yeast. So if it ends up bad it's a cheap dump at least.

Offline denny

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 04:27:46 PM »
Appreciate the tips - the boiled water + cold water/ice are good ideas. The chalk did do the trick but it was after I added about 2.5 grams of it so probably not ideal, baking soda is a good idea - does it affect anything besides pH?

Yea, the detergent was a bonehead move. I was mashed in before I remembered running it thru a couple water cycles was on my to do list. But I didn't detect anything in the post-boil wort so maybe I got off in the clear. Either way the batch was really low gravity (~1.030 table saison) + small volume so I used only 3.5# of grain coupled with hops I've been meaning to use up and dry yeast. So if it ends up bad it's a cheap dump at least.

Try pickling lime to raise pH.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dilluh98

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 04:32:53 PM »
Appreciate the tips - the boiled water + cold water/ice are good ideas. The chalk did do the trick but it was after I added about 2.5 grams of it so probably not ideal, baking soda is a good idea - does it affect anything besides pH?

Yea, the detergent was a bonehead move. I was mashed in before I remembered running it thru a couple water cycles was on my to do list. But I didn't detect anything in the post-boil wort so maybe I got off in the clear. Either way the batch was really low gravity (~1.030 table saison) + small volume so I used only 3.5# of grain coupled with hops I've been meaning to use up and dry yeast. So if it ends up bad it's a cheap dump at least.

Try pickling lime to raise pH.

+1 to Denny's suggestion. Baking soda will add sodium. Pickling lime will add calcium instead, it's also a more potent acid neutralizer so less is needed.

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2015, 04:37:43 PM »
Pickling Lime sounds good to me - I'll add that to the list.

Offline BrodyR

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2015, 04:47:18 PM »
Anything I should be looking out for that could have been caused by residual detergent? I'm thinking head retention and potentially aroma.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2015, 06:33:39 PM »
Soap/detergent will cause so-called "soapy" flavors and may cause a very harsh bitterness that will make you not want to drink the beer at all.  IF you have it in there.  With just a tiny trace amount, you hopefully will not be able to detect it.
Dave

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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2015, 08:45:06 PM »
Assuming your washing machine works properly, the detergent should be rinsed out.

If there was significant residual detergent I think all of your clothes would be scratchy and uncomfortable.
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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2015, 10:00:29 PM »
Assuming your washing machine works properly, the detergent should be rinsed out.

If there was significant residual detergent I think all of your clothes would be scratchy and uncomfortable.

+1

I wash my hop bag (paint strainer) all the time and never give it an extra rinse. I've never had any issues that might have been caused by detergent. You should be fine.
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Offline BrodyR

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2015, 12:01:37 AM »
Assuming your washing machine works properly, the detergent should be rinsed out.

If there was significant residual detergent I think all of your clothes would be scratchy and uncomfortable.

+1

I wash my hop bag (paint strainer) all the time and never give it an extra rinse. I've never had any issues that might have been caused by detergent. You should be fine.

Nice, that makes me feel a bit better about it.

Offline erockrph

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2015, 12:21:40 AM »
Appreciate the tips - the boiled water + cold water/ice are good ideas. The chalk did do the trick but it was after I added about 2.5 grams of it so probably not ideal, baking soda is a good idea - does it affect anything besides pH?

Yea, the detergent was a bonehead move. I was mashed in before I remembered running it thru a couple water cycles was on my to do list. But I didn't detect anything in the post-boil wort so maybe I got off in the clear. Either way the batch was really low gravity (~1.030 table saison) + small volume so I used only 3.5# of grain coupled with hops I've been meaning to use up and dry yeast. So if it ends up bad it's a cheap dump at least.

Try pickling lime to raise pH.

+1 to Denny's suggestion. Baking soda will add sodium. Pickling lime will add calcium instead, it's also a more potent acid neutralizer so less is needed.
Baking soda doesn't add enough sodium to have a noticeable effect on flavor under normal brewing conditions unless you already have a lot of sodium in your water already. If you have pickling lime handy, then by all means go for it. But you should be just fine with baking soda.

And ice cubes are my go-to for lowering mash temps in a pinch. Super convenient.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Goosing the Mash? Brewday issues
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2015, 12:35:01 AM »
Baking soda doesn't add enough sodium to have a noticeable effect on flavor under normal brewing conditions unless you already have a lot of sodium in your water already. If you have pickling lime handy, then by all means go for it. But you should be just fine with baking soda.

And ice cubes are my go-to for lowering mash temps in a pinch. Super convenient.


Yep. Using RO or water with fairly low sodium, no worries from baking soda - safe, cheap and effective.
Jon H.