Mashing Water Problems.

Reads 1388 • Replies 10 • Started Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:16:43 PM CT

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BookmDano
14:16 Wed 3/22/2017

What am I doing wrong? I get my water from a cave in Georgia (flows to the outside). The water has won awards for purity and taste and as a side note runs to a pond with Rainbow trout (Rainbow trout in Georgia ... got to be good.) Anyway, I used it in an all grain recipe using 24 lbs of grain, mashed in right at 154 degrees and held it for an hour. O.G. was 1.06 at finish for a 5-gallon batch (for 24 pounds??). Long-story-short I�m having a tough time with extraction. Tested the Ph and its at 6 and hardness was 180 ppm. What and how do I need to adjust 5 gallons of water?

 
spacecoyote
16:03 Wed 3/22/2017

Was your strike water 154F, or did you strike in at a higher temp to land at a mash temp of 154F?

I think you need to lay out a detailed process of your steps, as well as your recipe, in order to get more accurate feedback.

As an aside, if you’re looking for help it’s probably a good idea to lead with the problem at hand, and then ask "what am I doing wrong?", not the other way around. =)

 
BookmDano
16:49 Wed 3/22/2017

Heated water to 167, folded in the grain with a landing temp of 154. I was going for an Imperial IPA. I think the problem is the water since a fellow brewer has had similar problems with extraction using this same water. I figured it might be the water chemistry since it occurred with different recipes.

 
DA
places 1 º 18:33 Wed 3/22/2017

How was the crush on the grain?

How did you sparge? What false bottom do you use?

Did you temperature correct you gravity measurement?

My water here is much worse and extraction is fine, I’m thinking it’s another cause. Do you have a water report?

Have you tried another water source?

 
spacecoyote
18:57 Wed 3/22/2017

Also, how long was your run-off? I.e., how much time did it take to complete the sparge and reach kettle-full?

And, to take it further, how much liquid did you collect in the kettle before you began to sparge?

 
BookmDano
10:29 Thu 3/23/2017

The crush was about the size of a pin head. My mash tun is a 1/2 size aluminum beer keg with a screen false bottom with about 2 gallons of space in the bottom (I tilt it to get the last of it). It is a staircase rig of three such kegs, the top one for sparging and the bottom one for boiling, each with its own burner. So when sparging I recirculate the wort until I get a firm grain bed then start draining after I’ve covered it with about two inches of sparge water. I keep a continuous flow over the grain bed until I get 6.5 gallons. In all draining and sparging takes about 10 minutes. I let the wort cool to about 68 degrees when I took my O.G. I tried to get a water report online but if is very limited so I did the Ph and hardness test at home. I use to travel near the Asheville area of North Carolina and had a well there that I obtained water from. No problems whatsoever using that water.

 
sethdude
beers 708 º places 17 º 12:46 Thu 3/23/2017

Sparge slower and longer. Sparging should be very gentle to maintain space in the grain. Sparge too fast, you grain bed compacts and you get less water contact with the grain. Shoot for a pace that completes in 45-60 minutes

 
spacecoyote
12:48 Thu 3/23/2017

Originally posted by BookmDano
The crush was about the size of a pin head. My mash tun is a 1/2 size aluminum beer keg with a screen false bottom with about 2 gallons of space in the bottom (I tilt it to get the last of it). It is a staircase rig of three such kegs, the top one for sparging and the bottom one for boiling, each with its own burner. So when sparging I recirculate the wort until I get a firm grain bed then start draining after I’ve covered it with about two inches of sparge water. I keep a continuous flow over the grain bed until I get 6.5 gallons. In all draining and sparging takes about 10 minutes. I let the wort cool to about 68 degrees when I took my O.G. I tried to get a water report online but if is very limited so I did the Ph and hardness test at home. I use to travel near the Asheville area of North Carolina and had a well there that I obtained water from. No problems whatsoever using that water.


Your sparge takes ten minutes?

Too fast. Way, way too fast.

That, is what you’re doing wrong.

You should be collecting wort at a rate of about 16oz/90 seconds. Also, Make sure that you collect a good amount in the kettle before you start sparging. It’s not enough to just set the grain bed, you want to set the entire mash before you begin to sparge.

 
StefanSD
beers 2451 º places 57 º 13:03 Thu 3/23/2017

Originally posted by spacecoyote
Originally posted by BookmDano
The crush was about the size of a pin head. My mash tun is a 1/2 size aluminum beer keg with a screen false bottom with about 2 gallons of space in the bottom (I tilt it to get the last of it). It is a staircase rig of three such kegs, the top one for sparging and the bottom one for boiling, each with its own burner. So when sparging I recirculate the wort until I get a firm grain bed then start draining after I’ve covered it with about two inches of sparge water. I keep a continuous flow over the grain bed until I get 6.5 gallons. In all draining and sparging takes about 10 minutes. I let the wort cool to about 68 degrees when I took my O.G. I tried to get a water report online but if is very limited so I did the Ph and hardness test at home. I use to travel near the Asheville area of North Carolina and had a well there that I obtained water from. No problems whatsoever using that water.


Your sparge takes ten minutes?

Too fast. Way, way too fast.

That, is what you’re doing wrong.

You should be collecting wort at a rate of about 16oz/90 seconds. Also, Make sure that you collect a good amount in the kettle before you start sparging. It’s not enough to just set the grain bed, you want to set the entire mash before you begin to sparge.


Yeah I agree sparge is way too fast. You need a slow controlled runoff and sparge. Also two gallons of space under the grain screen seems like way to much space. That much space equals 1/3 of your liquid not in contact with the grain. My ten gallon mashtun has about 1-2 quart below the screen.

 
BookmDano
14:52 Thu 3/23/2017

Thanks to all ... will see how it goes next time.

 
DA
places 1 º 17:34 Thu 3/23/2017

Also go slow on the recirculating, you don’t really want a compact grain bed, else the wort tends to channel around the outside and not rinse the sugars from all the grain.

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