Step Mashing issues

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Steve Russell, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    Meh. It's fermenting, and it will beer. The rest is details.
     
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  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Those buckets don't usually leak. Unless there was something between the gasket and the bucket rim.
     
  3. TetersMillBrewing

    TetersMillBrewing Active Member

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    I would agree that you may have lost some viable yeast cells when you added the yeast but it sounds like it is still working at it. Some great information provided about Mash out, one of the questions I still struggle with. I try mash out at 168 to 170 but I am still learning. Looking forward to listening to the
    Mark listed.
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You can skip the mash-out at our scale. We heat our wort so quickly the remaining enzymes can't do much before they're denatured.
     
  5. TetersMillBrewing

    TetersMillBrewing Active Member

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    Reading your reply and Mark's post still leaves me asking if I need to push my mash out temperatures up or not. I use a multi-vessel system and fly sparge. Originally I would bring my sparge water up to 170 and then mash out regardless of what my mash tun temperature was. The temperature coming out the bottom of the mash tun would never really get above 154 or so. Later I started waiting till my mash tun was up to 168 to start sparging. With my larger batches (10+ gallons), the time to get the mush tun up in temperature takes a bit longer so I have been bringing my HLT up to 175 and starting my fly sparge at around 160. Once the wort is in the boil tank and above the heat element I start heating up to make sure the enzymes have been denatured.
     
  6. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    I think you need to ask yourself what the purpose of mash-out is.

    We mash to activate certain enzymes in the grain. We limit mash times (say, 60 or 90 minutes) to limit just what these enzymes we've unleashed can do. Mash-out heats these enzymes and denatures (deactivates) them.

    In a big brewery, the time it takes to get the wort from the grain into the boil is long, tens of minutes to hours. Mash-out is important there, because those enzymes continue to work, and they must be stopped.

    In our little breweries, the time is minutes to boil, so mash-out is unnecessary. We'll have our wort drained and above 170F well before the enzymes can get us into trouble.
     
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  7. TetersMillBrewing

    TetersMillBrewing Active Member

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    Well, I always thought the mash-out was several fold. I assumed the higher temperature helped keep things flowing easier, shut down the enzymes, and helped get the sugar away from the grains easier.

    I am to the point now where I am trying to figure out if everything is working as best as it can and where I can improve. In the end almost all of my batches end up with an OG a few points lower than expected. Something normally in the range of getting 1.063 when the recipe calls for 1.068. The software shows that I am hitting 98% and above for conversion and pre-boil OGs consistently now, with my end kettle numbers around 92%. Of course all of this raises a dozen more questions, like correctly setting the efficiency in the recipe editor, all the equipment settings, and where I can improve in my process.

    Thanks everyone for the comments, didn't plan to highjack Steve's post. Just happy I have enough spare time to read though everything.
     
  8. Donoroto

    Donoroto Well-Known Member

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    That's what the sparge does.
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Exactly.
     
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  10. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    #30 Mark Farrall, Sep 26, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2021
    I suppose the other side of the mash out coin is that it's almost impossible for it to cause any problems and depending on your grains and setup it may help with the sparge and extraction a bit.

    Edit: except for fly sparging with water that isn't pH adjusted, then it can be a contributor to problems.
     
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  11. TetersMillBrewing

    TetersMillBrewing Active Member

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    All of my beers have been done using a fly sparge, normally it takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to sparge a batch. When I started making beer I just added water and went, no bother with testing or pH. Fast forward a year or so, with a dozen or so beers brewed, enjoyed, and discussed, I am a bit more sophisticated. I had the water tested, purchased a good pH meter, and I spend some extra time treating the water now.
     
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  12. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    That's area that is fairly easy to adjust. Adding some acid to the sparge water will keep the pH in check. Even with R/O or distilled water the mash pH will rise during the sparge.

    Like I said before, if your system can do step mashes easily, I would recommend it. If you have to do more than push a button, then maybe it's not worth it.
     
  13. Steve Russell

    Steve Russell Member

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    Don't worry about side bars in my post, I read them and learn from them too.. All good :) I am attempting my second batch this weekend doing a NEIPA recipe I got from our local brew store. I tasted his sample and it was really good! The only thing it lacked was some aroma so I thought I might add a dry hop at the 5 day mark.
     
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  14. Steve Russell

    Steve Russell Member

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    Don't worry about using my post for other discussions, we all learn from these points and counter points. :)
     
  15. Steve Russell

    Steve Russell Member

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    Mark, that is another question I was thinking about, water treatment. Do you you treat your water or just go by the taste. I have a reverse osmosis system on my tap water with three filters and the water has no after taste at all so I use it right out of the tap for my boil and sparge. I haven't had my water tested but was considering doing that?? Thanks
     
  16. Minbari

    Minbari Well-Known Member

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    I use EZ water spreadsheet. I also use RO water and this allows you set up a profile for a specific beer style.
     
  17. TetersMillBrewing

    TetersMillBrewing Active Member

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    When I started I used RO water from our unit. IMO if the RO is working correctly with good filters then testing is not really needed. Ours had an extra filter what "added" minerals that I took out of the system so we just had RO water. As Minbari stated, with RO water you can add salts as needed to setup for a specific beer. I have a friend who owns a small brewery and have had many conversations with him on water. He switched back to using their well water because the RO water took too much out.
     
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  18. Minbari

    Minbari Well-Known Member

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    I can believe that on a large scale. But doing 5gal batches, RO works
     
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  19. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Works here.
     
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  20. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Our water authority puts out an annual report with the water for each of the major reservoirs and the expected mix. They're all very good, so I haven't done a test, but I'd suggest it's a worthwhile step if you don't have a similar information source for your area.

    There's a few possibilities that may give you good drinkable water but make it a bit harder to do blond or dark beers. Not something to really worry about early on though. As long as your doing something to get rid of chlorine or chloramines. I'd wait until you're comfortable with your average brew day as long as you're getting beer you're happy with.
     
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