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Old 02-27-2012, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default BIAB temp probe location

Did my first PM BIAB yesterday, and was having difficulty reading the temp. I am using a digital oven thermometer with a wired probe that is a curved peice of metal. Placed the probe into the bag and the temperature reading fluctuated wildly as i stirred (and moved the probe around). For next time, should I position the probe on top of the grains, on the bottom, in the middle, or in the pot under the bag? My effeciency was not great, but I need to get reliable temp readings before I can begin to address that.

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Old 02-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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It doesn't matter really; as long as you are consistant and decide whether that position needs the temp higher/lower. I have a hole in my lid, and it dangles in the top of the Mash Tun. I suspect it's about two degrees higher then the mash temp at the bottom... But, by the time it starts to fall off (30 min) the majority of the conversion has taken place anyway...

I mash in; wait ten minutes... stir up the mash good again (temp is consistant through the whole mash/water).. then don't touch it again unil the 60 minute mark. I loose no temp at the top, and maybe 2-3 degrees at the bottom

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Old 02-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #3
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If you were unable to get steady temperature reading, I would guess that perhaps you hadn't stirred enough. It can really take a lot of mixing to get the temperature uniform throughout the mash. There will always likely be a slight variation in temps (less than a degree f), but not "fluctuating wildly" as you mentioned.

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Old 02-27-2012, 04:21 PM   #4
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The fluctuation was related to the movement of the probe as i stirred the mash. I was doing a single infusion, so I had a thinner mash than 1.25 qt/LB. Was wondering where others place their probe. My strike water calcualtion said I should start at 167 to reach 155. The actual temp after dough in and initial stirring was 165, so I stirred with the lid and heat off to reduce the temp. The probe rose to the top and read 145 within seconds. I concluded that was due to temp stratification across the pot. Eventually got to 157 or so with additional stirring, whereupon I put the lid on and started the timer.

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Old 02-27-2012, 05:18 PM   #5
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I find that my temp is all over the first few minutes since he grain has to soak up water and heat up, etc. Hence the reason I just dough in, then give it a good stir... and let it set/rest ten minutes. At the Ten Minute Mark for me; one more stir and the whole mash is at the same temp.

I believe it takes a few minutes for the entire Mass to reach temperature saturation.

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Old 02-27-2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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sooooo When people here talk about mashing at a "higher" or "lower" temperature, by 3-5 degrees, its really more witchcraft that actual changes? Is the real practice is to dough in to hit the "upper limit" of the mash range, then let the temp float slowly down? As long as I don't denaure the enzimes, a longer period will give more activity to the high temp enzymnes and low temp enzymes? Am I missing something?

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Old 02-27-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
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No; it's actual...... you just adjust your strike water temp to increase or decrease your starting point of your Mash Temp;

The witchcraft is getting "your" system understood with "your" heat loss, and what it does to "your" beer.

IE ~ what if your Temp Probe / location / setup is 2 degrees different then mine; What does it do for you if my beer come out fine at 152 mash temp. How that impact "your" beer might mean 150 ? or 154 ? Or if your systems looses four degrees per hour and mine looses 1 degree?

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Last edited by bschoenb; 02-27-2012 at 07:02 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:31 PM   #8
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I'm doing BIAB in a brew pot, so for me loosing heat just means turning the burner back on and stirring to create a uniform temp profile. Do most AG brewers usually aim for the same mash temp from batch to batch or does the target mash temp change with differences in the recipie?

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Old 02-27-2012, 07:42 PM   #9
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I aim for the same temp from Batch to Batch (Dialing in your system and repeatability); unless I want something different; then I adjust... 152 Mash is the starting point; up to 156 for more dextrins and a bit sweeter; down to 148 to dry it out.

It's all your preference based upon your Recipe

Try the book ~ Brewing Classic Style by Jamil

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