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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Mashing in a 15 Gal Boilermaker: How Do You Achieve Uniform Exact Temp??
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:47 PM   #1
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Default Mashing in a 15 Gal Boilermaker: How Do You Achieve Uniform Exact Temp??

I just upgraded my mashtun to a 15 gallon Boilermaker (with false bottom and Blichmann burner) from a 10 gallon igloo cooler. I wanted to be able to add heat as I've had the problem of maintaining temps in the past. Unfortunately I had a very hard time getting to my target mash temp with the boilermaker. Even with mixing I noticed that the temps within the mash were hugely inconsistent. I'm wondering if I'm missing something here or if maybe somebody could give me advice on how to do this better. My goal is to be able to get to a target mash temp without a bunch of swing s in temp and inconsistencies in the process. Thanks!

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:02 PM   #2
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I use a direct fire system but I recirculate while I am mashing which helps

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Old 01-23-2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Well it's not insulated at all, so you are going to have a lot more heat loss through the sides and top of the pot than with the cooler. You just have to learn to adjust. I suppose you could insulate it--maybe wrap a sleeping bag around it or something, but for all that trouble I'd rather just stick with a cooler.

On my system, I BIAB and recirculate with mine most of the time, although sometimes I will just hit my mash temp or maybe a degree or two above, and let it sit, especially if I am doing a higher temp mash where it tends to convert pretty quickly.

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Old 01-24-2013, 12:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. What is the recirculating all about? How is that done? How does it help with temp control?

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:09 AM   #5
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You may want to look at the instructions that came with the kettle. The instructions say that you need to recirculate. Also, the instructions mention that you can damage the kettle if you don't recirc.. The page with the chart has the instructions on what to do. The chart mentions the recirc GPMs and lauter GPMs...."How does it help with temp control?" Think about it for a minute. You'll be pulling the heated water from the space beneath the plate and running it through the mash. Heating the mash to the desired temp.. It would be good if you get a pump and maybe a controller, to cycle a gas valve and maybe the pump by mash temp......When you fire the kettle with the plate installed and don't recirc.. The plate won't allow the heated water to get through the mash in a good manner. You can scorch the grain that gets through the plate...You have a good kettle. Now, you'll need a good process to make it work. You figured out how to use the kool-aid cooler. You'll get this one figured out, too. It just takes a little time.

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Thank you very much for the detailed response. It looks like I have some research and

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Old 01-24-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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Spending to do. This all makes a lot of sense. Can you please post a link to a pump that would work for this application? Thanks for the help.

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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Have you looked into the Tower of Power?

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Old 01-24-2013, 01:51 PM   #9
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In my setup, I use LG pumps and recirculate the entire mash. I also made up a separate thermo. It connects to the camlock coming off the MLT's ball valve, hits the end of the thermo's probe, then shoots down and out another camlock (attached to a hose) that then goes to the pump. This measures the temp of the wort coming from under the false bottom, and is a bit more accurate than the thermo on the pot itself. Use this to regulate and maintain temp. It does require you watching the mash though. I went this route because my brewing sculpture doubles as a three burner stove when at a BBQ event or camping (sits on the front of my smoker). Because of that, i could not build in the automation, and make it easily removable (at the time anyway).

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Old 01-24-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thanks for the help. Is it effective to recirculate by draining the wort under the false bottom into a pitcher and pouring back instead of using a pump?

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