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I was half way through steeping my specialty grains (from an extract kit) when I realized that my four 6.5 gallon carboys were already in use and I forgot to purchase another one.

I decided to let the temperature get up to 160F and pull the grains out, clean off the lid to my kettle, place it on and threw the kettle in the refrigerator.

I plan on resuming my brew tomorrow, roughly 24 hours from now.

Was this the right thing to do? I called the only people I knew to see if I could purchase a carboy off them because the stores were closed, but no carboys were available.

Would it have been better to make the wort, add the hops, and boil for 60 minutes as usual, put it in an ice bath, then put it in the fridge, and boil it for a few minutes tomorrow before adding yeast?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Sounds like it's ok. The cool temperatures of the fridge will slow down the organisms in the mash, but ideally it should have been boiled for a few minutes to make it sterile.

And then boiled again prior to use (as you would anyway when adding the hops.)

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In the fridge it will be fine. And it was only specialty grains, so there is very little sugars there and likely no conversion of what was there.

I have done overnight mashes before and there is no issue with souring in the wort the next day.

I wouldn't worry about it. Just start heating it and start where you left off.

(And you could always ferment in your bottling bucket in a pinch)

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The only issue that might come up is if it sours, but when I intentionally sour my mash (pre-boil) with a handful of raw grains, it typically takes 2 to 3 days, normally at 100F (38C) temps (but has happened once at ambient temp and no injection after about 5 days). I would imagine 24 hours is not nearly enough time at ambient temps and certainly not at fridge temps.

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