Survived The First Mash

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Will88

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So after trawling these and other forums, reading books and going along to my local brewing club I finally put down my first BIAB mash yesterday. Whilst I was fairly sure I was on top of everything I didn't really expect things to go down without a few hiccups.

#1: Everything worked perfectly well as far as reaching strike temps and adding the grain for mash in. I wrapped an old bed spread around my urn and left it to do it's thing whilst I sat a few metres away ready to leap up at the first sign of trouble. At first nothing, but 20min in I go to check on things and notice the bed spread is partially wet and there is a puddle under the urn. When I fixed the bed spread onto the urn it caught the tap and partially drew it backwards :(

Fortunately it was only a small trickle and barely any wort was lost but for a moment I thought it was all over.

#2: Not really a problem, I just need a better method of raising the grain bag up and letting it drain than simply grabbing and twisting it. Unfortunately I don't really have anywhere to set up anything like a sky-hook.

#3: Mash out and the boil went down pretty well, might invest in a hop sock instead of an old stocking that doesn't stay attached to hooks too well.

#4: This was the big issue. Once the wort settled for a while, I transferred it to a cube easily enough and figured I could just place it into my temp controlled fridge. After about 2hrs the fridge motor shut down. At this point the cube was put into a laundry sink and cooled in cold water. The fridge thankfully returned to life at about midnight last night and the wort was cool enough to get in there. With everything seemingly okay, the yeast was hydrated and pitched. The wort smelled fairly sweet but no off odours so far so let's hope it turns out well.

The recipe is a slightly hopped up cascade pale ale recipe from CraftBrewer:

3.7kg Ale malt
0.5kg Aus wheat malt
0.5kg Munich I malt
0.3kg Medium crystal malt
Mash for 60min

45g cascade @ 60min
25g cascade @ 15min
25g cascade @ 0min

Safale US05.
 

Maheel

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did you put the hot cube in the fridge ?

no wonder it "died" :(

i normally leave it overnight then into the fridge to cool to 17 ish, then into the fermenter
 

Where's Jim?

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I BIAB and also don't have a set up for a sky hook and hoist. After the mash I remove the grain bag and tie it around a door handle with my fermenter sitting underneath. I let that sit while I bring the wort to the boil and then I add the liquor sitting at the bottom of the fermenter. You could also do a mini sort of sparge at this stage and run some hot water over the grain while it sits suspended in the fermenter.
 

Will88

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Yeh, lesson learned about the fridge. Lucky no real damage was done.

Thanks for the tip WJ, I'll give that a shot next time.
 

stux

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#2: Not really a problem, I just need a better method of raising the grain bag up and letting it drain than simply grabbing and twisting it. Unfortunately I don't really have anywhere to set up anything like a sky-hook.
Some people put a ladder over their urn and then suspend the bag from the top of the ladder.

#4: This was the big issue. Once the wort settled for a while, I transferred it to a cube easily enough and figured I could just place it into my temp controlled fridge. After about 2hrs the fridge motor shut down. At this point the cube was put into a laundry sink and cooled in cold water. The fridge thankfully returned to life at about midnight last night and the wort was cool enough to get in there. With everything seemingly okay, the yeast was hydrated and pitched. The wort smelled fairly sweet but no off odours so far so let's hope it turns out well.
Ouch... poor fridge.

I would only put the cube in the fridge the next day after its cooled to near enough to ambient.
 

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