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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through July 12, 2004 * All-grain mash conversion test < Previous Next >

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Carlos Martinez
New Member
Username: Wences

Post Number: 7
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 11:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

i, I'm new into all-grain.
The main reason is because I live in México and it's being rather expensive to buy malt extract from the US so I had bought two big bags (50kg) of American 2-row malt bought from the same company that makes Corona and stuff like that. (I also bought some Caramel malt from the same factory)

(One nice thing to share is that I bought a tortilla mill from a local market. Not like the corona mill but it is a two roller mill like the one you use to make pasta. It worked great because I can adjust the gap.)

I had made some lower scale mashes to try the process and until now I have made some starters from it and apparently they are ok but I still have the doubt about conversion

I started measuring with ph paper but I don't know exactly what to expect. what ph should the initial liquor should be, what ph should the mash should be between and if the ph can tell me if the conversion have finished or should I have to do some other tests.

For the mini mashes I have done before I have waited for one hour at the exact temperature that I aimed for (150F) and started the run off at one hour from the beginning but I'm not sure if the conversion had ended.

Any suggestion?

Carlos Martinez
Monterrey Mexico
 

Pete Strunk
Junior Member
Username: Strunkale

Post Number: 52
Registered: 01-2004
Posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carlos, I learned in school an experiment in science class, that we used Iodine to test for starch. When starch is present in solution, Iodine will turn the solution (or sample) black, when it is not present it will stay the same color Brownish redish color. So I suggest get some Iodine or Iodophor (used for sanitizing brewing equiptment) and when you mash after your conversion time take a sample put it on a dish or a plate and put a drop or two of Iodine on it to see if it turns black or not,if it turns black its not converted yet,if it stays the same color your good to go. I hope this helps you. By the way using ph paper is to check the ph of the mash usually 5.1-5.5 is a good range for most styles. I know not to drink the water in Mexico but the beer is OK so they say. BREW ON Pete
 

Carlos Martinez
New Member
Username: Wences

Post Number: 9
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 12:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thank you Pete,
I will do that!
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 128
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 01:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Inexpensive pH papers are difficult to read and in my experience not worth using. The better quality plastic coated strips, however, are quite accurate. However, in the great majority of cases the mash pH falls into the correct range (actually 5.2-5.6) on its own and measurement is unnecessary. The exceptions might be light colored beers with hard water and dark beers with soft water. I don't know where you are located in Mexico, Carlos, so I certainly can't comment on your brewing water.

The iodine test for starch conversion is similarly accurate. It helps to conduct the test on a bright white surface such as a china plate. Also test only the mash liquid; the grain husks will almost always turn black and confuse the readings.

Again you will find that after a few mashes you know how long it takes to convert, so that the test becomes unnecessary. If the mash temperature and pH are correct, 60 minutes is almost always more than enough time. The truth is that most conversion takes place in 10-15 minutes, although the ratio of fermentable to unfermentable sugars is not ideal after such a short time.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 130
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 01:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Carlos, I see from another post that you live in Monterrey. I would suspect your water to be somewhat hard; you might need to adjust the mash pH (or use a portion of RO-filtered water) for lighter colored beers.

There are some good beers brewed in Monterrey, both by large and small craft breweries.
 

robin griller
Junior Member
Username: Robin

Post Number: 47
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 02:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Carlos,

I don't think iodine tests and conversion are things to worry about really. In my experience, your mash will convert and will convert within 60 minutes, so long as it is in the right temperature range. I've long since stopped even checking the pH as it was always in the right area. If doing a lighter beer, add a tsp of caso4 or cacl to the mash and it'll be fine. I wouldn't bother checking pH, except out of curiosity perhaps, or doing iodine tests. They aren't necessary, every mash converts.

Robin
 

Vance Barnes
Advanced Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 796
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 03:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

When your spoon and fingers start getting sticky you know you've got conversion. Works pretty good except for low gravity brews. Use the iodine until you feel confortable with it.
 

Denny Conn
Senior Member
Username: Denny

Post Number: 3171
Registered: 01-2001
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 04:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Robin has the correct answer, AFAIAC!
LIfe begins at 60...1.060, that is.
 

Carlos Martinez
New Member
Username: Wences

Post Number: 13
Registered: 06-2003
Posted on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 04:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks to all for your help!
Bill,
yes, we have the Cuauhtemoc/Moctezuma brewery where beers like Dos Equis, Bohemia, Indio and Noche Buena are brewed.

There is also a small brewery called Especialidads Cerveceras (something like Beer especialities). Thew brew Casta. IMHO they do the only local beers that are real real good here. They brew:
Casta Morena - Dark Ale,
Casta Bruna - Pale Ale,
Casta Dorada - Blonde Ale and
Casta Triguera - Heffeweisen

There are also 4 brew pubs called "Sierra Madre Brewing Company" but only 2 of them brew beers, the other two only have the bright tanks. They started brewing great beers but because of the local taste thay had started downgrading their brews and I have found them not like they were before. They are thinner than before and they all smell the same... They do have a great Christmas special and a Porter that used to be better but it is still the only porter you can have here in Monterrey.

Other than that I don't know anyone else homebrewing or seting up brewpubs. I really hope people start doing this so we can share experiences and yeast soon. I hope this place can help me to find someone else in my city.
Thanks to all!

Carlos Martinez
Monterrey México