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Old 01-04-2014, 12:27 AM   #41
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In Florida, this is not much of an issue. I get my temp locked in and close the lid. I usually only lose about 1 degree.

Now, on the issue of cooling, you up north have the upper hand. Choose your evil.

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Old 01-04-2014, 01:16 AM   #42
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In my 10 gallon mash tun I usually only lose 1-2 ºF with preheating my tun and a folded up blanket over the lid. I've only done 2 batches so far in the 5 gallon tun I just built, but I lost about the same the first batch and this batch I brewed today I lost 5 ºF. I'm not sure what caused such a big drop this time. I think I will try the foil or maybe the insulation on top of the grain bed next time though.

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Old 01-05-2014, 03:02 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmDubeu View Post
what about those of us who are using a 15.5 gallon sanke as a mash tun? How are you keeping your mash at temp for 60 minutes?
I've got my sanke MLT wrapped with one of those cheap blue foam pads you put under a sleeping bag. It helps some but I still have to start out with a stiff mash and plan on adding boiling water a couple of times during the mash to keep in the neighborhood I want. My mashes generally fluctuate by 2 - 3 degrees. I try to start about a degree higher than my targeted average. I want to go to a herms setup to stabilize things but no pumps for now
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:31 AM   #44
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So I had a big styrofoam box out in the garage. I cut a circle out of it big enough to fit snuggly inside my 10gal Home Depot Cooler Mash tun then wrapped it up in a food-safe bag and zip-tied it shut. The circle is probably about 2" thick and it is your typical white styrofoam used for packing or as disposable coolers.

Brewed a Blonde with just 9lbs of grain. Grain + Water took up less than 1/2 of the space in the tun. I had recently discovered I was losing a lot of heat on small beers like that (9 degrees on my last one). With my styrofoam circle resting just above the grain bed I lost less than 1 degree. Nothing changed in my pre-heating or dough-in methods, everything was exactly the same other than the, I guess you would call it a false-top.

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Old 01-05-2014, 01:22 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilserbrewer View Post
Heat loss will be dependent on the percentage of the volume filled in the cooler...for smaller batches I feel a smaller cooler is better.

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Yea, or if you don't have a smaller cooler, just use mash thinner.
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:56 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opiate82
So I had a big styrofoam box out in the garage. I cut a circle out of it big enough to fit snuggly inside my 10gal Home Depot Cooler Mash tun then wrapped it up in a food-safe bag and zip-tied it shut. The circle is probably about 2" thick and it is your typical white styrofoam used for packing or as disposable coolers. Brewed a Blonde with just 9lbs of grain. Grain + Water took up less than 1/2 of the space in the tun. I had recently discovered I was losing a lot of heat on small beers like that (9 degrees on my last one). With my styrofoam circle resting just above the grain bed I lost less than 1 degree. Nothing changed in my pre-heating or dough-in methods, everything was exactly the same other than the, I guess you would call it a false-top.
.
That's what I do. I got a few sheets of styrofoam from lowes and cut to fit inside my round cooler, And it rests right on top of the mash.
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Old 01-05-2014, 10:18 PM   #47
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Brewed a small batch yesterday (17lbs grain bill) and I held my temp. over a 60 min mash to only 1 degree loss. I made my insulation wrap, put a blanket on top of it and brought it into the house. Win in my book! I forgot the aluminum foil until it was too late. Thanks for the advice from so many people, LOVE THIS SITE!

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