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Mash temps dropped

So I mashed in a batch that I’m brewing today at 165, and the temp steadied at 156 for my saach rest. I returned an hour later to find the temp had dropped to about 142 (don’t know for how long). I’m mashing out right now, waiting for it to get up to about 170. Should I be okay, or should I try to hold it at around 156 for a while longer?

I bet it will be ok, sounds like a step mash but backwards. Holding at 156 won’t hurt if your worried. Maybe when you checked the temp the first time you didn’t mix enough and had a hot spot?

Could very well be. In any case I just mashed out from there. Took about ten minutes to get it up to 170, but I figure, the mash ahold be ok if it was anywhere between 156 and 142 for the rest. Would you anticipate any problems or off flavors in this case?

I doubt will have any problems. They say everything in the mash happens in the first 15 min. or so. Did you do an iodine test just in case? BTW many of us do not bother with a mash out, me included.

I did not. This is only my 5th all grain batch, and I still do BIAB, so I’m still fairly unfamiliar with a lot of the advanced testing methods.

I did not. This is only my 5th all grain batch, and I still do BIAB, so I’m still fairly unfamiliar with a lot of the advanced testing methods.[/quote]
It is a really simple test. Take a tablespoon or so of the liquid from the mash after recirculating. Put it on a white saucer or something. I use foam disposable bowls. Let it cool a little. Drop some iodine from the drug store on the liquid. If it stays brown, conversion took place. If it gets dark, almost black it has not. Don’t worry if it looks dark on the hulls, just look for the color in the liquid.

In most cases it isn’t really necessary. You can smell, taste and feel the sticky sugar when the mash converted the starch. When things don’t go as planned it is a nice way to make you feel better when you have proof it worked. We have all had those moments.

I tried the iodine test on chalk a few times because that sounded easy. I never got a result I could really interpret.

I’ve heard some guys on here talk about mashing for 20 minutes and less as their standard MO. You should be fine.

I BIAB and I wrap a sleeping bag around the kettle to hold the mash temp steady. I seldom lose more than 1 degree on cold winter days.

I also do not mash out but I sparge. I mash in with a pretty traditional grain/water ratio, then after the mash I pull the bag and set on a rack over the kettle and run 190-200 degree sparge water over the grain until I get my pre-boil volume. Works great for me but it does require a second vessel for either heating or holding preheated sparge water.

Your mash was just fine. It will just be more like you mashed at 149-150 F average instead of the 156 F intended, so your wort will be more fermentable and finish at lower gravity, and the beer will taste drier, than you might have anticipated. For what it’s worth, I mash 90% of my beers at about 149-150 F, so in my very humble opinion, you did great.

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