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Old 03-24-2010, 12:28 AM   #1
Bamfordjf
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Default 3rd AG Brew/Coleman xtreme mashtun problems

I did my 3rd AG brew this past weekend and continue to have problems with strike temp and temp drops. This is driving me absolutely nuts! I preheated my tun once with about 2 or 3 gallons of 175 deg water and within 15 min the temp dropped to below 150. I tried it again with 180 deg water and even though it was preheated it still dropped to low 160s. Finally I put about about 7 gallons of 200 deg water in let it sit for 30 min. When it reached my strike temp ~165 deg, I added my grain and stirred. It stayed at 150 pretty much for an hour.

I had 10 lbs of grain.
Beersmith said 165 strike temp after adj for equipment
I have a 70 qt Coleman Xtreme cooler w/ SS braid

What the heck am I doing wrong/not doing? I have heard great things about the cooler!

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:46 AM   #2
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I don't think you're doing anything wrong. You might try adjusting your dough-in temp a couple degrees if you wanted to hit 152 but that sounds about right. Other than that I don't see that you're doing anything wrong.

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:56 AM   #3
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Should I really have to preheat it 3 times? Each time I drained the water and reheated it. Granted heat does escape whenever I open the lid to check temp.

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Old 03-24-2010, 12:56 AM   #4
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was the 7 gallons @ 200 just to preheat the tun?

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Old 03-24-2010, 01:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EonBlue66 View Post
was the 7 gallons @ 200 just to preheat the tun?
lol yes. That was the third time heating the cooler up too. Then i put 12.5 qts of 175 deg water in there and let it drop to strike temp before dough in.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:04 AM   #6
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Have you checked the temperature of your grains. Beersmith has the Strike/Infusion Temp Tool. You can make adjustments to your strike water temp based on the temperature of your grain. Maybe your grain is cooler then normal. This will allow you to make adjustments.

When I do my mash in, I add the strike water, then add my grains right away. If you check off adjust for equipment, beersmith adds the extra degrees knowing your going to lose some heat to heating the cooler. So you don't need to wait for the temp to drop to a normal strike temperature without equipment adjustment. Is that what you are doing, or are you waiting to add grains?

I brew in my garage, and if it's a cooler day, I may add a few degrees to what should be my strike temperature.

Your mash temps should be between 150 degrees to 156 degrees on average.

Is your equipment setup right in Beersmith?

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Old 03-24-2010, 01:05 AM   #7
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I have the exact same setup as you and I usually add most of my strike water at around 180 and close the lid. I will finish getting everything setup, crush my grain, refill my HLT, and then check temp. The MLT will usually be around 160-165 after around 20-30 mins. Then I add the rest of my strike water and wait until it's all at the strike temp I need based off my grain bill, usually 10-12 degrees over my mash temp, and then dough in. Slowly dump in grain while stirring constantly and once all the grain is in I'm usually within 1-2 degrees of my mash temp. I let the grain settle for about 10 mins, stir it again and then let it sit until it's converted. The most temp loss I've had over an hour is about 1.4 degrees and that was outside in the wind with the temps in the lower 40's. Last batch I hit my mash temp at 155.2 and finished 60mins later at 154.5.

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Old 03-24-2010, 01:06 AM   #8
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I think you may be looking at this wrong, just add some hot water to your tun I use about a gallon and let the cooler warm up. Empty the cooler and add your strike water around 12-14 degrees over your strike temp then dough in. After you dough in measure the temp it should be right around where you need it to be.

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Old 03-24-2010, 01:08 AM   #9
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Oh, I didn't realize this was all at the same time. I thought these were all different attempts for some reason and the 200 deg attempt was your last attempt. No that doesn't sound quite right though my experience is with the 10 gal water coolers which only lose 1-2 degrees per hour with the lid on.

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Old 03-24-2010, 01:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Last batch I hit my mash temp at 151.2 and finished 60mins later at 154.5.
That's interesting because it seems you managed to violate some basic laws of thermodynamics.
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