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Old 03-05-2013, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default easiest/best way to add strike water to mash tun?

I've done two all grain batches and i've run into a bit of an issue: adding strike water to the mash while maintaining a good temp. i'm a small guy so it's hard for me to add several gallons of water to a mash tun by myself safely. i've been using a pot to add the water slowly from my kettle until i can pour the rest in. this has cause me to end up with a strike water temp a little lower than i'd like (probably due to putting a room temp pot in the strike water), which has lead to me having to add some really hot water to help get it to where i'd like. does anyone know of a better technique to get a consistent mash temp?

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:46 AM   #2
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This is likely to start a debate - but why not add grain to water that's at the correct temp? That's what I do, and it makes it easy to notice dough balls as soon as they happen, besides being safer than pouring hot water.

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:02 AM   #3
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Keep good notes for YOUR system and adjust accordingly. I lose about 15 degrees when I add strike water to my tun and then let it sit for about 15 minutes to warm it up. It holds temps better with this warm up. Then I typically lose about 10 degrees when I add my grain to the tun. So on average, if I add my strike water 25 degrees hotter than I need, I can hit my mash temp dead on.

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:06 AM   #4
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Beer smith software has been dead on for me in determining strike water temp required to hit a certain dough in. You enter the temp of your MLT and grain and it compensates. How about siphoning with a big hose from your HLT to MLT if you don't have a ball valve?

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Old 03-05-2013, 07:35 AM   #5
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Get a http://store.brooklyn-homebrew.com/w...-steel/dp/2673 for your pot. Works on Stainless and Aluminium. It flows fast and you wont lose temp playing around with bailing from one pot into you Mash Tun. After that use http://www.brewersfriend.com/mash/ or beersmith or http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php or http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml to calculate the strike and mash water temps. I've been disabled for 4 years and can't lift very much. If you think about how to set up your equipment you can figure out an efficient way that wont be to hard on the body. Best of luck.

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Old 03-05-2013, 10:38 AM   #6
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This may not help, but I usually brew with a friend and we have a system that takes about 30 seconds: one person pours the water and the other person pours the grain. Both pours happen simultaneously and from opposing directions (facing each other, pouring "into" each other's pour), so there is a perfect mix on the way into the tun. One or two quick stirs to make sure all's well and then the lid goes on.

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Old 03-05-2013, 10:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffjm View Post
This is likely to start a debate - but why not add grain to water that's at the correct temp? That's what I do, and it makes it easy to notice dough balls as soon as they happen, besides being safer than pouring hot water.
It really comes down to how much grain you are talking about.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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Get a one gallon plastic rubbermaid pitcher and easily transfer 3 quarts at a time.

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #9
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Heat your strike water a little higher than Beersmith tells you. That way by the time you get all the water in there all you'd have to do is stir the water till you get down to your proper temp before mashing in. This also gives your tun some time to preheat.

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Old 03-05-2013, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Get a one gallon plastic rubbermaid pitcher and easily transfer 3 quarts at a time.
This is what I do now. I'm a big guy, who used to do water deliveries to businesses, so lifting 5 gallons of water is just another day at the park for me. So I just put on some heavy leather gloves, and poured the water. Then after 2 batches, my brain finally kicked in and said, "Your luck is going to run out one day" So now I start off with two pots of water. One has about a gallon in it, this I bring to a boil, pour that into my mash tun and then seal it up and wait for the rest of my water to heat. This gets things nice and hot inside, then I've just figured out the temp I need to make the rest of my strike water to allow for the cooling I get while I use a pitcher and scoop the rest of the water into the tun.

It has made figuring out the strike temp a little more difficult, especially in winter and the fluctuating temps, but my space just doesn't allow for a nice gravity feed rack. Which, if you have the space, would maybe be what you want to consider. Get a valve on your pot and use gravity to feed the mash tun.
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