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Old 08-01-2007, 05:46 PM   #1
bechbd
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Default Thermometer

How do you keep an accurate gauge on the temperature of your sparge and mash water. I brewed yesterday and I kept overshooting the water temp and then having to wait for it to cool down. I was using one of those long probe dial thermometers and I don't think it was providing me with very accurate data. How do you do this?

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Old 08-01-2007, 05:52 PM   #2
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I use a digital thermometer. As long as you are careful to keep it dry, you are in business. As you get more familiar with your equipment, you will find it gets easier and easier.

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Old 08-01-2007, 06:17 PM   #3
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I use a digital thermometer, too -- the kind they sell at the supermarket for monitoring the temperature of your beef roast and such. Calibrated it to boiling water and checked the temps against a lab thermometer, and it is spot on.

I also added some silicone tubing to protect the wire on the probe (it can't get wet or you will ruin it). I did it just like this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/showthread.php?p=264484

Something to watch for in your mash -- hot and cold pockets tend to develop unless you stir before you take a temperature reading, so don't be surprised by this. This shouldn't be an issue with your sparge water - temps should be more uniform here.

And if you are overshooting your water temps when you heat, it might be because the pot you are using is heavy and retaining heat. It will just take some experience on your system to know when to 'cut the flame' to get the desired temp you need.

Cheers!

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Old 08-01-2007, 07:58 PM   #4
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When the water boils, should read 212. If not, then add/subtract as needed.

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Old 08-01-2007, 08:06 PM   #5
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My personal favorites are the Watlow temp controllers you can get on eBay. I see peeps here using Omegas as well. Great little devices and sweet prices on eBay.

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Old 08-01-2007, 08:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyGuy
Something to watch for in your mash -- hot and cold pockets tend to develop unless you stir before you take a temperature reading, so don't be surprised by this. This shouldn't be an issue with your sparge water - temps should be more uniform here.
I've discovered this with my propane burner and keggle...

Depending on the vessel, manner of heating and volume of water, you can get a wide variation of temperature unless you stir your strike and sparge water.

It costs nothing to give it a stir.
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Grog
When the water boils, should read 212. If not, then add/subtract as needed.
Water boils at different elevations... wouldn't you need to adjust for your elevation to get the correct boil temp? The text below is from a article I downloaded...

Quote:
Molecular air pressure plays a role in determining the boiling point of water. Heat and pressure are related as more pressure results in more generated heat. A gas under pressure will produce more heat (as most aerosol canisters state: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE, DO NOT STORE AT TEMPERATURES ABOVE “x”degrees) and more heat will induce more pressure.

This is crucial in developing recipes for various food products. Pressure and temperature waltz an ever-entwining dance. A recipe at the New York, NY. Level does not relate to the recipe for the same food product at the Boulder, CO. level. Because their atmospheric pressures are very disjointed.

Let’s look at some specific data points that we have on the boiling points of water at several elevations.

Degrees F. Altitude in Feet. Location..
210 - 1000 - Phoenix
208 - 1,900 - Spokane
206 - 2,900 - Boise, Idaho
204 - 4,100 - Helena, Mont.
201.5 - 5,300 - Denver, Col
199 - 7,000 - Santa Fe, N.M.
186 - 14,000 - Pikes Peak

It seems as though the boiling point of water decreases as the elevation (altitude) increases.
Someone correct me if Im wrong.
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:26 PM   #8
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Now you know how to cal your thermometer.

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Old 08-01-2007, 11:23 PM   #9
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Target sells an oven thermometer with a timer and temperature alarm for like $12. the only caveat is you can't get the cord to the probe wet, or the temp will sit at 180F til it dries out.

put it in a ziploc bag first and you're golden.

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