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Old 06-24-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
epateddy
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Default BIAB Mash Temp Measurement

Hey everyone.

Interested in how you Brew in a Bag -ers measure your mash temps. I have a 10 gal Boilermaker but don't have the Brewmometer installed. That thing was WAY off (what a piece of %^%*&%) and even if it worked I was concerned it would snag (or put a hole in) the bag

I've tried the remote temp sensors, but they seem to get wet in the wrong places and become unreliable.

My standby is inserting a digital in the mash to take the temp. Very accurate but I'd prefer to monitor the temp without having to keep taking the top off.

Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:45 AM   #2
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all i do is check it with a handheld thermometer when i mash in, make sure all is good, put the lid on, cover the kettle with blankets, and drink a beer. i think the only way to get a good reading is if you stir before measuring. your temps dropping much?

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Old 06-25-2012, 10:14 AM   #3
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My Bag sits on top of a steam rack to keep it from touching the bottom of the Kettle. Probably 4-5 inches away from bottom. My Thermometer is underneath the steam rack. I also re-circulate the entire time with a chugger pump. I have a digital thermometer on the return into the Kettle (from the pump).

Since I keep the liquid (mash/wort) moving the entire time I figure it is fairly accurate measurement of the temperature. I am also direct firing it with propane as needed. No automation so it is a very manual process.



Chris

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Old 06-25-2012, 11:57 AM   #4
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I use a plain bag with no false bottom in a plain keggle. I measure the mash temp after dough-in with a digital probe thermometer while stirring, then I cover the thing with a blanket. I check again at 30 minutes, again while stirring, and typically have lost 2-3 degrees. I then fire it again to bring it back up then cover and go the second 30 minutes. I'd like to try the reflectix, but I figure it's good to stir the mash anyway.

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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I think Goybar's process is pretty slick for recirculating BIAB, but unless your recirculating I wouldn't use a thermometer through the kettle - you just wont get an accurate measurement of the temperature in the mash and might rip your bag (IMHO) - if I'm wrong here I'd love to know as I've always wanted a reason to have a cool looking kettle with some toys other than a ball valve. I stir thoroughly and check the temp with a good thermometer (every 30 minutes during the mash).

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Old 06-25-2012, 01:47 PM   #6
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I have also been entertaining the idea of a long thermowell through the lid of the Kettle to get down into the middle of the mash.

All kinds of ideas but so little time and money. :-)

Chris

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Old 06-25-2012, 03:20 PM   #7
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Veedo - Temp isn't dropping much this time of year brewing outdoors in Mass. I typically hit the temp, then every 15 minutes give it a good stir and measure again. Then I fire up the burner (on low) as needed to warm up a bit. Yesterday (85 outdoors) I only had to heat it twice during the 60 minutes. In the winter, more frequently. Sounds a lot like what BetterSense does.

I've seen others have drilled a hole through the lid (suppose I'd need a thermometer with a long probe) but I can't bring myself to do it. May come to that, though.

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Old 06-25-2012, 03:40 PM   #8
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I've got two thermometers, a digital handheld and a 2" dial thermo on my sightglass in my keggle w/propane. I'm always banging the bag against the end of the probe on my dial thermo when I stir. The bag holds up fine.

I notice a temperature stratification of around 5F between the two thermos when I'm mashing. They are calibrated and read the same when my bag is not in the keggle. It seems like the dead space under my bag stays hotter than the mash even after I have stirred the bejesus out of it. I can get the difference down to a couple of degrees but that's about it. I check the mash two or three times with my digital thermo and adjust with a little heat if I've lost more than two degrees. During the mash I always use the temp on the digital thermo I stick in the mash and I stir to keep the stratification down.

I'm headed towards recirculating with a pump and I'll be curious if that makes for a more uniform temp.

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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I have one of the digital fluke type meters I bought off eBay that comes with a long thin wire attached to a thermocouple on the end. It's waterproof and i just drop it in my mash with the meter on top of a blanket. I turn it on and off to check temps without lifting the lid. I originally bought it to check kiln temps and I know I didn't spend more than about $35 on it and it is actually very accurate and reads temp very quick.

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:23 PM   #10
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Great idea. I didn't even think of using my Fluke multimeter. I need to check out what accessories are available for my model.

Chris

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