Author Topic: Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!  (Read 600 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!
« on: November 14, 2015, 03:37:31 PM »
Making a Czech Pils this morning.  I heated my mash water and then got a call from a customer and when I got back to the kitchen the mash water was a little high.  I put a couple ice cubes in there and let it sit.  Mix everything together and my mash temp is low.  I don't have a direct-fired MT so I take a little sparge water (filtered water waiting for the sparge) and heat some of it up to raise the temp.  But that water hadn't been treated for pH yet so I put a dribble of acid in there too.  Heat that, pour it into the MT and now my pH is high and my temp is still not hot enough (149 or so and I need 150 on my system).  So I add another ml of acid to the mash and then... wait for it... I take a small pot full of the mash schputz and heat it on the stove!  Am I f***ing insane?  I heat that, add it to the MT and get 149.9° on the temp and 5.27 on the pH.  All good.  But is it?  I don't think I have ever had a mash prep go that wrong.  But if you can boil the mash contents for a decoction, this can't be all that bad, can it?  It was only on the stove long enough to get to about 200° probably and then I dumped it into the mash.  Thoughts? 

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2015, 03:45:04 PM »
It will be fine. You could do an emergency decoction. Pull some thick mash and bring it to boil to rise mash temp to 160. Or if you have enough space in the mash tun add boiling water to rise mash temp.
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2015, 03:51:16 PM »
Okay, thanks.  I thought so but it's always good to hear that from a thirsty monk from Eau Claire.  :D  I'm about to run it off right now, get the sparge done and get on with it.  Thanks for the reply.

Offline muzak

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Re: Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 04:16:23 PM »
You'll definitely be fine.

One of my first all grain batches had a similarly disastrous mash. I was testing a new mash tun, one of those double bucket types where the inside bucket is drilled to create a false bottom.

Well I missed my mash temp, so I had to add additional water to adjust. All is good. Then 30 min into the mash, I notice that my mash lost over 7F. Dropping from 152 to 145. I add a bit more water, all is well and I'm back on track.

It's now time to collect my first runnings. Well nothings coming out of the valve. Turns out the holes I drilled are all clogged by the mash. I attempt to clear it by scraping the bottom with my metal spoon. I get the occasional drip into the kettle along with a few chunks of grain.

I then go to my equipment bin, pull out a large mesh bag, and place it in the kettle. I then proceed to dump the entire contents of the "mash tun" into it. I raise the temp by firing up the kettle and allow the grain to rest at 152 for an additional 30 mins.

Once my second mash is completed, I take a gravity reading and to my surprise, find that my efficiency is almost 80%!

The rest of the brew day went fine, and the beer, a California Common, turns out to be one of my best yet. As for the bucket mash tun, it went in the trash bin that night, and was replaced by an igloo cooler the next brew day.

So don't sweat it, you'll love this beer and you'll never be able to reproduce it.
John L.
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Planning: Simcoe SMaSH
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Drinking: Saison, Amber Ale, APA, American Strong Ale

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2015, 05:12:58 PM »
Mmm, you guys are making me feel better.  I got everything into the kettle with a pre-boil pH of 5.35 and some nice-looking golden wort.  I'm about halfway through the boil right now and I may try to collect a mouthful of wort as it's heading into the primary just to give it a taste and make sure the almost-boiling of that small amount of mash content didn't do anything unsavory.  Cheers Beerheads.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2015, 08:32:37 PM »
Had a mash like this on my last brew day for my Baltic porter.  I was shooting for a 5.6 mash pH (with 100% RO water built up with additions via brun water).  Mixed up the mash well and after 5 min took a pH of only 5.37.  Damn...Added 2 grams of baking soda to bump up the pH, stirred it well, waited 5-10 min and took another sample at 5.9pH.  Damn again.....Added 2 mL of lactic acid to the mash and decided NOT to take another pH reading as I was pissed off at that point.  I was hoping it brought it back down to 5.6 or so.  Will be kegging it next weekend so I guess I will taste it then and see how things went.  Hopefully it won't be overly harsh. 

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Ugh! Disastrous mash this morning!
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2015, 09:30:46 PM »
Had a mash like this on my last brew day for my Baltic porter.  I was shooting for a 5.6 mash pH (with 100% RO water built up with additions via brun water).  Mixed up the mash well and after 5 min took a pH of only 5.37.  Damn...Added 2 grams of baking soda to bump up the pH, stirred it well, waited 5-10 min and took another sample at 5.9pH.  Damn again.....Added 2 mL of lactic acid to the mash and decided NOT to take another pH reading as I was pissed off at that point.  I was hoping it brought it back down to 5.6 or so.  Will be kegging it next weekend so I guess I will taste it then and see how things went.  Hopefully it won't be overly harsh.
I hear you on this.  By the time you get done futzing with all that stuff... the mash is over!  :D  The beer looks like it will be nice.  I got a very attractive wort out of this grist and took a small sample while I was racking to primary and it tasted very nice.  My guess is that it will be beer!  :P  Cheers.