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Mash is Fermenting on its own????

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Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Magellan » Mon May 14, 2018 4:04 pm

I'm trying to do a rye mash based somewhat on uncle Jesse's recipe. I heated about 20 gallons of water to 170F and adjusted the pH to 4.4. I then added 60 lbs of cracked rye. When it dropped to 144F I added 7 teaspoons of amylase enzyme. I let it sit overnight and this morning it looked like it hadn't converted.

I heated more water to 170F an added 12 lbs of malted rye. I then added this to the previous batch. It must have converted since it looked thinned out below a half inch of thick crust. I added this to my mash barrel and topped it off with water to about 45 gallons total. It was at 105F and I was waiting for it to cool to 90F to pitch my yeast. At about 100F I noticed that it started foaming on it's own. Right now it is foaming violently without me pitching any yeast. I tried to take a SG reading but there was too much foam at the moment to get a reading.
Edit, While typing this, the cap fell, it had foamed up at least 12", I'll try to get a SG reading later tonight or tomorrow.

Should I leave it to ferment on it's own or should I add some yeast? I'm confused as what to do in this case.
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby S-Cackalacky » Mon May 14, 2018 7:28 pm

Not sure about the mashing protocol. I've only made a few AG mashes and never with just rye. That said, what you're doing is nothing like a UJ recipe. UJ is a sugarhead. It's sugar dissolved in water/backset with cracked corn (or other grain) added for flavor. Doesn't require a mashing step.
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Pikey » Mon May 14, 2018 7:32 pm

However, back to your question, It seems to be fermenting like a "Good un"

I'd just leave it to finish itself and run it !
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby S-Cackalacky » Mon May 14, 2018 8:14 pm

I would think the yeast would be dead after being heated to 170 dF. May, or may not be that the activity you're seeing is from something other than yeast, idk.
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Azframer » Mon May 14, 2018 8:56 pm

He may have gotten a wild yeast infest it. Problem with that you could be good to go or you could have an off taste. The problem with wild yeast you have to pay attention to what is pollinating in your area. Take note of what it is if you see it through as is. Or pitch intended yeast and hope it takes over.
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But I don't feel like I got to much blood in my alcyhol.
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Magellan » Tue May 15, 2018 3:44 pm

Update, After the cap on the ferment fell yesterday afternoon, it started growing another one, not near as high though, maybe 4" . Today its still working, and I finally got a SG reading, its 1042 . I think I'll let it keep working on its own with the wild yeast for now, if it shows that its stopping fermentation early,I may pitch some of my yeast to it to help get it going again.
Thanks for your thoughts and ideas so far!
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Azframer » Tue May 15, 2018 9:17 pm

I was high on talking asking questions introducing something I read about wild yeast. It could have been in the old group chat, it could be here in this forum, I can't remember, dependent on what is pollinating at the time will affect your spirits.
I think at this point and time the coin is in the air and no redo's at this point. You got a winner or something not as good as it could have been. When you throw in one unknown it changes things.
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Drank all night and I am still thirsty!
But I don't feel like I got to much blood in my alcyhol.
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Copperhead road » Wed May 16, 2018 12:59 am

If you have been playing with heaps of fruit you may have a wild house strain of yeast... :lol:
my pet is a CCSC copper flute, I feed it corn and it pisses likker like a pony....
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Magellan » Sun May 20, 2018 4:12 pm

Another update! I added some sugar and pitched some yeast a couple days ago, it really helped get it working better. Now it looks more like what I'm used to seeing. It raised the SG to 1054, which is a lot better as well. Its been cool here the past few days and that also why the fermentation may be going slower than normal, I put a couple of submersible heaters in the drum yesterday and that brought the mash up about 15F from where it was, its at around 88F now. So far everything looks okay and seems to be going fine.
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Re: Mash is Fermenting on its own????

Postby Magellan » Sun May 27, 2018 5:12 pm

Final verdict, it didn't work. It fermented for a week or so, but the SG didn't drop at all, yesterday there was a grey film with kind of spider webs on top of the mash. I skimmed it off and ran a pot through the still.
It started coming out at 20 proof so I figured there was no reason to continue cooking it. Something went wrong somewhere with it.
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