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Old 08-06-2012, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default Consistently low on my mash temps (Beersmith)

I'm using Beersmith and here's my process:

Adjust temp for equip [checked]
Single infusion, batch sparge
10 gallon round cooler
CDN DTQ450X thermometer (calibrated to ice water)
5 gallon batches

I add 7-10 degrees to whatever Beersmith tells me for strike water, and dump it into my cooler, close the lid, and let it sit for 5 mins to preheat. Then I take off the lid and stir for a few minutes until I am 3 degrees higher than what Beersmith says the strike water should be. Then I start adding my grains, but I slowly add them while stirring, over the course of 2-3 mins.

I check the temp, and I am anywhere from 2-5 degrees low.

Now, I could just add my grains at +7 degrees, and stir like mad to my desired temp...but what is everyone else doing? It seems people are hitting the temps exactly following Beersmith's temps. Am I over stirring?

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Old 08-06-2012, 11:35 PM   #2
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I usually add about 2 gallons of hot water to my cooler to preheat while my strike water is heating up. I empty the tun and add half my grain. When its at the temp, what ever my calculations are for the style. I had half of the strike water and grain and stir, easier to stir half then the hole thing(dough balls). Then I add the rest of my grain and then the rest of my water. I hit it everytime.

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:37 AM   #3
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Do you have Mash Tun Specific Heat set at 0.30? It's in equipment profiles under your mash tun. Those round coolers usually will require 10-12 degrees over mash temp if preheated. It's easier to cool the mash than raise the heat, so I'd shoot for 11-12 degrees over with a 5-10 minute preheat prior with separate hot water. Put the preheat in, close the top, let sit for 5-10, then open, dump water, add your mash water and grains to 12 degrees over desired mash temp, stir it up, take temp, adjust with ice if needed, then cover and mash.

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:14 AM   #4
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I don't dump my preheat water, just add all strike water at 185*, wait 10-15 mins then when the water hits 169* I dough in. My old Coleman cooler looses about 13* with dough in so I usually hit 156-157. From here I either button it up or keep stirring until I hit my target temp

The only way I have figured out how to do this with BeerSmith is to set up additional mash processes.


Good luck
Toy4Rick

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:38 AM   #5
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Yeah, something is off. I do have the mash tun specific heat set to .30.

Last batch Beersmith told me to use 168.4* strike water to hit a 153* mash temp. That's 15* over desired mash temp, and you guys are saying 10-12*.

I added 3* for good measure (171*), and still ended up 5* too low.

I admit I didn't take the grain temp this time, but they had been in the 75* house for a few days, I just put down 72*.

I don't get the point of dumping pre-heat water, unless it has cooled.

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Old 08-07-2012, 01:57 AM   #6
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I heat my strike water to about 175 for 153 and I hit it every time (no preheat and Rubbermaid mash tun). I don't follow Beersmith. I just do what works for me. I suggest doing the same.

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Old 08-07-2012, 02:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toy4Rick View Post
I don't dump my preheat water, just add all strike water at 185*, wait 10-15 mins then when the water hits 169* I dough in. My old Coleman cooler looses about 13* with dough in so I usually hit 156-157. From here I either button it up or keep stirring until I hit my target temp

The only way I have figured out how to do this with BeerSmith is to set up additional mash processes.

Good luck
Toy4Rick
I've got to second this procedure although I add strike water at about 180 and leave the top up until it drops to about 168.Then dump all the grain and stir it like crazy.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:58 AM   #8
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From my experience: 5 min isn't enough to preheat a cooler. 15 is better.
I don't do any calculations on the mash tun. It's just blank in BeerSmith. If it's preheated to the same temp at the strike water, it should make much/any difference.
If I make sure the amount of strike water is right, the temp of the strike water is right, the temp of the grain is right, and the tun in preheated, then BeerSmith is exactly right. It might be off by 1 (one!) degree, but usually isn't.

So I suggest: check your thermometer. Preheat the tun for 15+ min. Double check the water volume Check the grain temp. Try again - it might work.

Really there aren't that many variables. If the math is right and the temps are wrong, then you're messing up one these things.

L

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:16 AM   #9
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I also agree with letting the cooler preheat longer. I too had a prob with low mash temps till I let the cooler sit longer with the lid on before I stirred to get to strike temp. Now I preheat for at least 20 min then i dough in 12 deg over mash temp.

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Old 08-07-2012, 03:21 AM   #10
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I have been adding my strike water at the number that Beersmith says. I take a gallon or two of water at 110+ to preheat. I usually end up a couple of degrees high and stir well for a minute or two and close the tun when I reach my strike temps.

I guess I have my setup numbers about right on.

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