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8

Adding your strike water first helps to reduce dough balls. If you add water to the grain/flour, at first the grain-to-water ratio will be very high, the flour will suck up the water, and you'll need to stir more to break up the dough balls. If you add the grain to the water, then you can stir after every few pounds and avoid getting dough balls at all. ...


8

You may notice your malt extract say something like "non-diastatic, unhopped, pure malt extract", or something similar. Diastatic power is the ability of a malt to convert starch to sugar. In an extract, you don't need it because it's already been converted for you. However, to get starch to turn into fermentable sugar, a diastatic malt is required. The ...


7

I know a handful of brewers who have done overnight mashes. So 12-18 hours. I have experimented with this as well. My last two beers were done with 12+ hour mashes. One of these beers was a recipe I have brewed before. The resultant beer seemed nearly identical to my normal 60min mash schedule. The only issue with prolonged mashes like I describe is ...


6

I converted my plastic fermenter into a mash tun/fermenter a few months ago and it works really well. Here are some pics showing how I did it: http://picasaweb.google.com/halite1977/MashTunFermenter?authkey=Gv1sRgCOW-2ufb-fT7rwE# In terms of heat loss, the heat loss from the water test earlier is a bit misleading because the water will lose temperature a ...


6

As homebrewers we're used to 1.25-1.5 qts/lb. But in some pro brewing set ups they mash in one vessel and lauter in another. In order to transfer from one vessel to the next they use better than 2qts/lb in some cases for pump-ability. Some speak of getting a thinner beer with a thinner mash, but i think within 10-20% of the target thickness you won't see ...


6

Two most prevalent issues for poor efficiency when batch sparging are 1) grain crush and 2) void volume in the tun. 1) Take a real close look at your crush. Crush it twice if necessary. If you are getting your grain pre crushed through a mail order, I'd invest in a mill and start doing it at home. My LHBS has a mill that is fixed to a certain gap. ...


6

The bulk of the starch-sugar conversion happens in the first 15 minutes of the mash, so that's probably not a big problem. You might need to mash for 90-120 minutes rather than 60 to get a really good, full conversion, though. I usually have to do a longer mash when I'm mashing "cool" (which you are), anyway.


6

This screams out "mash water problem" to me. Anytime you go from good extract beers, to "bitter/astringent/chalky/burnt" flavors in all grain, you can bet your buns that its a mash water pH problem. Also, a hash pH of 5 sounds really low to me. I shoot for 5.5 on average. Water chemistry for all-grain is honestly the most "sciency" part of home brewing, and ...


6

No, you really don't want to boil the entire mash--that would denature all the enzymes! You'd end up with a very starchy beer. With a traditional decoction mash, you typically wait 15 minutes, then pull 1/3 of the mash (a thick pull: mainly grain plus a little wort) to be boiled. The reason behind this: what's pulled contains relatively little enzymes, the ...


6

Putting 10.5kg of grain in 11.5 litres of water will kill your efficiency, unfortunately: From Braukaiser: Traditional British style infusion mashes are with about 2-2.5 l/kg (1 - 1.15 qt/lb) very thick and German style mashes are generally much thinner (3.5-5 l/kg / 1.75-2.5 qt/lb). Historically this is rooted in the fact that the latter needed to ...


5

Get the right crush This is the single most important thing to prevent a stuck sparge. Read the HomebrewTalk's wiki page on evaluating the crush. An ideal milling breaks the internal bits of grain into a coarse powder while leaving the bulk of the husks intact. It is the husks that do the most to set up a good filter. full size Use a good manifold ...


5

I go back and forth between a 10 gallon rectangular cooler with a bazooka screen and a 5 gallon cylindrical Igloo cooler with a false bottom. The igloo is the way to go if your kitchen is really tiny, in my opinion, as it has a much smaller footprint. I've also heard of people mashing in a pot and putting it in the oven to maintain temperature. Never tried ...


5

You most certainly can do a decoction at home. And decoction does more than just increase the temperature of the mash. The primary reason for it is melanoidin production in the wort. This creates a complexity of malt flavors in the wort that might not be there otherwise. I have several friends that have done it. Watching it being done its not hard, just ...


5

I think in the homebrew scale a mashout isn't always called for. Namely because the sparge to boil time is fairly quick. Compared to what may take much longer when brewing at the 7bbl or more level. Mashing out will lock in the mash profile you have achieved during the mash. Despite a positive test with iodine, there can still be some complex ...


5

It really makes no difference beyond personal preference and which way works best for your brewing system. Some people worry about denaturing enzymes by adding grain to water, but that takes 15-20 min. so it's really not an issue here. I add water to the cooler then stir as I pour in the grain. It's very effective at equalizing the temp and preventing ...


5

I suspect the line about higher efficiency leading to off flavors came to be because there are certain situations during a mash where if you over-sparge and your pH drops too low, then you can extract tannins and thus get some off flavors. So what happens was that some guys were over-sparging, which WILL increase your efficiency, and were noticing the ...


5

In principle, brewhouse efficiency measures the yield of the entire process (how much beer you bottle) against the theoretical yield, while mash/lauter efficiency measures specifically the extract from mashing and lautering. However, typically brewhouse efficiency means efficiency into the fermentor. This is the most useful definition, since it takes into ...


5

Let's take the easy bit first - the sparge makes a mashout redundant, since the liquor will be above 170F. On a homebrew scale, dedicated mashouts are often of no benefit, and quite a bit of hassle if you have to do another infusion. I'm surprised the recipe calls for a protein rest. A beta-glucan rest at 110F is probably more appropriate, since that stops ...


5

This sounds about right. A bigger brew doesn't always hit FG within 4 days. I'm sure you'll be fine leaving it another week. The mash temperature is high, so this could have produced a larger than normal amount of non-fermentables, leading to a high FG. But, I wouldn't make that conclusion until after at least another week has passed, with an ambient temp ...


5

The main gain with a doing a partial or full mash is control, and getting a fresh malt/grain taste in the beer. With extract, you get what you are given. You can alter some parameters, such as color and bitterness by blending different extracts and adding hops, but you get far more control when doing a mash. Also, you can mash ingredients that aren't ...


5

First, keep in mind that Mr. wizard is a commercial brewer and his answers come from that point of view. It may not be applicable to homebrewers. Using wheat may be about the only case where using a protein rest may be of benefit. But it'a not a given. There are still proteolytic enzymes left in the malt. Due to the high protein content of wheat, it can ...


4

The answer is: Every bacteria that exists in your local area. Lacto, brett, wild yeast, and less pleasant wee beasties. Its unlikely that any bacteria on your grain survived the mashing process. Not impossible, but unlikely. I have no doubt that its a combination of all of those factors. My advice would be to never let anything sit around dirty. Clean ...


4

Most all-grain homebrewers actually use multiple infusion mashes, usually with two steps (amylase rest and mashout). My experience with decoction mashes are that they are a lot of work, lead to a slightly darker and slightly drier beer that keeps its hop aroma for a longer time, as compared to infusion mashes. I attribute the hop aroma issue to driver off ...


4

In the mash, starch is converted into sugar, which is further broken down to fermentable & unfermentable sugars. There are a lot of things going on in the mash. Like the question says, conversion is the process by which starch in the brewing grain is converted into sugar which can be used by yeast in fermentation. There are conflicting sources citing ...


4

In short: Yes, no problem, go for it, relax, don't worry. Like many all-grain brewers, I used a cooler for a mash tun making it difficult to raise the temperature to mash out. I still made good beers. So why would you want to do a mash out? This step achieves two things. First, it halts enzyme activity. If you are really, really good at mashing you ...


4

You definitely want to mix them at some point, either before adding the hot liquor, or stir them while adding them to the strike water. If you don't get them well-mixed, then the grains that don't have enough diastatic power to self-convert (most specialty malts) might not get in contact with base malt. The result is that the enzymes from the base malts ...


4

While many people cite the changes in body and fermentability that can come with changes in water to grist ratios, the impact from 1qt/lb (~ 2l/kg) changing to 1.5 qt/lb (3l/kg) is not noticeable at all, IMO. I have only noticed the impact when going from 1qt/lb to 3 or more qt/lb. The main concern with calculations is that if you are batch sparging you ...


4

I've found that software and calculations can get you close, but not exact. There's too much variability in each brewer's system. You kind of have to get a feel for your brew system over time. First, take out as many variables as you can. Always start with your grain at the same temp. Always start with your mash tun at the same temp before pre-heating ...


4

In general, as said, mash thickness between 1-2 qt./lb. will make little to no difference. Even as high as 3 qt./lb. is fine. Kai Troester (www.braukaiser.com) has performed detailed experiments that show that higher rations lead to greater conversion efficiency. I've pasted in a chart from his work below. He has said that thinner mashes convert more ...


4

IMO, yes it's pointless. First, it's pretty much impossible to not get conversion given a sound recipe and hitting your mash temps. Second, as you've noticed, it's more than possible to get a false reading. I haven't done an iodine test in the last 13 years and haven't felt like I needed to do one.



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