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Old 03-05-2013, 03:34 PM   #11
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Putting a weldless spigot in your pot is invaluable. I use beersmith to get the target temp of my strike water, when hit just open the valve. A minute or two later my MLT is full of water. Stir in the grain for a minute. Wait another minute and check temp, nails it within a degree every time. Hitting the target temp at dough in has to be one of the most important steps in AG brewing, IMO.

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:03 PM   #12
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I use beersmith to calculate the water temp I need for the temp of the grain, MLT, etc. Then I bump up a few degrees (Always easier to cool a mash tan to heat it up!)

I am able to pour all of my mash and sparge water in by myself, but if you can't, or it takes a bit longer, then just add a few more degrees to your water. No biggie.

And I've also found that a large whisk is much faster at breaking up doughballs than the mash paddle I used to use.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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I always heat my strike water 20 degrees higher than the mash temp. That way I don't pre-heat the tun and I have a few degrees wiggle room when I add the grains. So if my mash temp calls for 152 I add 172 water to the tun then add grains and stir until I hit the mash temp, close her up and come back in an hour. Never fails. For me if I have to be anything I would rather be a few degrees warmer. That way I have the right amount of water and I can stir down to temp. Personally if my mash temp is a few degrees low I don't like to add more water. Just me being anal I guess.

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Old 03-05-2013, 09:54 PM   #14
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I would agree with most people here and hear your strike water about 20 degrees hotter than you need, then while you're transferring it with a 4 quart pot, temps should drop to about what you need your strike water to be.

And if its still too hot once you've transferred, leave the top off of your mash tun (assuming you're using a cooler?) and wait until your proper strike temp! Easy peasy.

I BIAB so I don't have to deal with transferring. But I would like to move to using a cooler. Best of luck!

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Old 03-05-2013, 11:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Callacave
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.
I do something like this. I always heat my water to 180 (beersmith usually recommends 162-165 for me), then dump it all in the cooler. Slowly add and mix the grains, and I usually end up at around 155 when this is done. If that's my mash temp, close lid and ready to go. If I'm shooting for a 150 mash, it only takes a minute or two of stirring the mash to bring the temp down.

Much easier to cool a slightly too warm mash than warm a slightly too cool mash. At least for me who only has one burner and one brewpot.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:38 PM   #16
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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.
^^^^I do this. Tried both ways and this is a helluva lot easier. Even with a lot of grain it's easier than handling and pouring hot water.

I'm a big guy too, but this just seems so much easier.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbags5

I do something like this. I always heat my water to 180 (beersmith usually recommends 162-165 for me), then dump it all in the cooler. Slowly add and mix the grains, and I usually end up at around 155 when this is done. If that's my mash temp, close lid and ready to go. If I'm shooting for a 150 mash, it only takes a minute or two of stirring the mash to bring the temp down.

Much easier to cool a slightly too warm mash than warm a slightly too cool mash. At least for me who only has one burner and one brewpot.
Are you setting the temp of your MLT and grain in beersmith and checking the adjust for equipment temp check box? My grain and MLT have been at about 66 lately, basement temp. Beersmith has me heat the strike to about 167 to get about a 152 mash for example and its been almost dead on every time. Bottom line, you can test with your equipment and get close but there are variables every time. Using a program that takes into account the temp of the MLT at the time you add the strike water, the temp of the grains, and the amount of grains, is going to get you extremely close each time. Hitting too high is not that big of a deal you just have to stir with the lid off for a few mins. Doughing in too low though is a bigger PITA and missing big in either direction can screw up a batch. This part of the beer making process is very precise, kind of like baking (is a science) vs cooking (is an art). There's not much room for interpretation.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:58 PM   #18
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I really should rethink things myself. Im constantly lifting or dumping many gallons of hot water throughout my brew day. I have found that going a few degres warmer than a strike temp calculation is a good idea. Some stirring or having a bottle of cold water will get me down a few degrees quickly

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamsdealer
I really should rethink things myself. Im constantly lifting or dumping many gallons of hot water throughout my brew day. I have found that going a few degres warmer than a strike temp calculation is a good idea. Some stirring or having a bottle of cold water will get me down a few degrees quickly
The biggest improvement you can make IMO is a ball valve to eliminate dumping. It's under fifty bucks and You will wonder why you didn't do it sooner
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bd2xu View Post
The biggest improvement you can make IMO is a ball valve to eliminate dumping. It's under fifty bucks and You will wonder why you didn't do it sooner
Funny you say that. I actually do, but the hose fitting on the valve is only a quarter inch. Plenty for sparge water but not so good f or draining wort from the pot and impractical for adding strike water to my mlt. Instead of a fifty dollar fix, three should take care of it.
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