Topics Topics Help/Instructions Help Edit Profile Profile Member List Register  
Search Last 1 | 3 | 7 Days Search Search Tree View Tree View  

Visit The Brewery's sponsor!
Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2010 * Archive through November 12, 2010 * Alright, here's a goofy idea... < Previous Next >

  Thread Last Poster Posts Pages Last Post
  ClosedClosed: New threads not accepted on this page        

Author Message

Jim Williams
Username: Jim_williams

Post Number: 150
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 01:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have an older Sabco Brew magic system. I'm always looking to speed up my brewday with a business and a young family! I posted this on the Brew Magic site, and am curious what you guys might think of my crazy idea. Here's my original post, one of the answers so far and my reply.


I put my BM on a timer and allow the heater to get the mash water up to temp while I'm sleeping. Saves time in the am, and allows me to mash in 15 min. after opening my eyes.

I had this epiphany tonight. What if I was to mash into cold water the night before. Set the timer for a low mash temp. Say around 140 and let the controller bring it up. I have an old BM. I can't rely on the controller to get it right where I want it. It'll basically way overshoot, shut off, and way undershoot. There is no set it and forget. Never has been. That's why I'm thinking to set it low.

With some trial and error, I could probably work out a system that basically means I can wake up in the am, raise to mash out and sparge saving hours on my brewday. A big deal for me with my business and young family!

I guess my biggest question is what happens with such a long cold mash? I'm mostly worried about creating a really thin beer. I don't want to set the controller to desired mash temp, because my system will overshoot. I'm likely to walk into my basement and have it 160+! Maybe, that's good! Slowly ramp it through all temps into mash out!?

Thoughts? Snide remarks?

More than anything, what I think you are going to get is a "lactic" sour mash.
Mashing so low will not only let the beta work way overtime, but you are in danger of letting the lacto run crazy.
Lactobacillus is on malt naturally and if you let it sit there too long it may do some damage, not totally, but to some degree.
Granted and acid rest is held much lower than 140F, more like 110F, but I still fear the "lacto".

That is what I would fear more than anything.

The other thing to consider is whether or not the heat element will raise the temperature to where you want it.
That element is designed to "maintain" temperatures, not raise them.

With your system it may work.
You mentioned that it is an older version, so the heat element may be different.
You know better than me.

Just wanted to comment on your excellent question.
Nothing snide from me friend.

You make lots of great points. Of course, the lacto issue is the big one. Like I said, my system will overshoot. I don't even use the heater anymore, other than heating water overnight for that reason. Easier and more consistent to just give it a little flame.

I'm still interested in trying something along these lines. Interested in any thoughts brewers much smarter than me might have!

Still, the system I currently use works great. I rolled out of bed this morning at 7:00, and I'm currently in the middle of the boil less than 2 hrs later. Not bad. Turns it into a 4.5hr brewday start to finish since I have a good cleaning routine.

Jeff Stein
Junior Member
Username: Steinie

Post Number: 41
Registered: 07-2010
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 01:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think would work well if you wanted a sour mash.

I've only seen pics of the BM system, I have a single tier system controlled by one pump and two manifolds to move things from point a to b to c and have wished I could add a level of automation. My brew day is around 6 hours, and have the same issue with young kids, but my 4 yo is really getting good at brewing!

If you are over shooting temp's, would adding a temp controller to better moderate your heating element be practical? Could it be put in line with the timer to turn on when set and then would shut off your element at the appropriate temp to mash in?

With a degree of sophistication and engineering way above my expertise, you could have your HLT set to turn on with the timer, when it hits your desired temp, have a controller turn on a pump to deliver a measured amount of H2O to your MT using an in line flow meter. Then, another temp controller to monitor your mash temp controlling another heating element (probably works if using all electric, but I would not want to use gas without being monitored). Then by the time you got up, you would be mashed in and ready to go.

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 2553
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 03:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The lactic problems aside, I would be concerned about a very thin beer as you suggested above.

I've got a system I've been using for a few months that allows me to easily step-mash. I've been mashing in at 140F, resting for a half hour, ramping up to 158F over about half an hour, and resting there for about half an hour, for a total of a 90+ minute mash. I just kegged a Baltic Porter and a Doppelbock yesterday, and much to my chagrin, they are thin and hot (still young, but...) and I fear they will not do well in competition. This despite them both being north of 1.080 with lots of Munich-type malts. And that's only 90 minutes under carefully controlled conditions.

That additional time you suggest spending ramping through the lower temperature ranges will also activate the remaining protease and glucanase enzymes in your malt, further degradiing the body and perhaps head formation and retention as well, depending on the grist.

In the end, you'd make beer, but I'd wager it won't be the beer you really wanted to make.

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 4036
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 05:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's been discussions here before on people doing overnight mashes and lacto was not a problem. There's got to be several thereads in the archieves on this. Not neccessary for a BM system but the same concept with other equipment.

Bob Wall
Senior Member
Username: Brewdudebob

Post Number: 3295
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 08:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have done an overnight Mash once. Turned out just fine. I mashed in at midnight at 154 degrees F. Went to bed, and got up at 6:00. Brought the temp back to 152 and held it for 15 minutes, then re-circulated as I brought it up to mash-out at 168.

I was done with my brew-day before noon. I cannot speak to any off flavors, but I know I liked it and nobody else complained.

Intermediate Member
Username: Mikel

Post Number: 258
Registered: 02-2001
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 08:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have made some beers where I mash in at 120F and ramp to mashout over 90 minutes. The beers have turned out fine. I also remember reading an article by Horst Dornbusch where he talked about a German practice of a long "hydration" rest where you mash in cold for 4 hours before beginning the ramp up to mash temps. I think you should try it. Set Mash in with cold water before you go to bed and set a timer to start the ramp. I bet the brew magic can do 1 degree/minute ramp so figure on that. Try it and report back.

Jim Williams
Username: Jim_williams

Post Number: 151
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From:
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks guys. I just might try it. If it worked, it would be so cool. The thing with the BM, at least the older ones, is that it takes awhile for temps to rise, but once they do it's pretty steady. Mine doesn't regulate well though, because it'll raise the temp way over, shut off heater and it'll take awhile to start back up. You get this radical over/under shooting issue. That's the reason I thought about a lower temp. I guess I'd never know if it was bouncing back and forth since in theory I'd be sleeping. Fun to think about!