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Old 09-08-2010, 05:10 AM   #1
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Default How to raise the mash temp when using a cooler as a mash tun

I want to make a wheat beer, which calls for mashing at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time and then a higher temperature for a certain amount of time. How do you raise the temp of the mash when using a cooler as a mash tun, short of mashing at the first temp, dumping the wort into a pot, cooking it up to the next temp and then dumping it back in the mash tun.

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Old 09-08-2010, 05:35 AM   #2
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Add more, hotter, water.

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Old 09-08-2010, 05:38 AM   #3
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You'll need to start the mash really thick, like 1qt/lb or less, and then when you need to raise it to your second rest temperature, add boiling water to get it there. There are calculators all over the place that will help you figure out the amounts of water you'll need to hit your steps.

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Old 09-08-2010, 05:48 AM   #4
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Either add hot water, as described above, or perform a decoction.

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Old 09-08-2010, 07:14 AM   #5
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i plan to make a heat stick like in the current issue of BYO for my cooler.

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Old 09-08-2010, 02:47 PM   #6
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I go with decoction just because the calculation is more intuitive than infusion of boiling water. Remove a third of the mash, bring to boil, return, temp goes a third of the way to boiling. 125 becomes 154.

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Old 09-08-2010, 03:11 PM   #7
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Use the "rest calculator" on this site:
http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

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Old 09-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingkitty View Post
i plan to make a heat stick like in the current issue of BYO for my cooler.
Don't you think it would take just one touch of the element to the plastic to destroy the mashtun or at least impart a plastic taste to the beer?

Not that I am pursuing this but you may want to use a herms coil inside the mashtun to raise the temperature using a normal mash thickness, if you don't want to use hot water. Some heat and some stirring should do the job.
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:18 PM   #9
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Here's a great podcast a piece on step mashing in a cooler from the Aussie Homebrewer podcast. It's in the last third of the podcast. He goes step by step into how to do it in a cooler.

http://radio.craftbrewer.org/shows/December1-07.mp3

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Old 09-08-2010, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JVD_X View Post
Don't you think it would take just one touch of the element to the plastic to destroy the mashtun or at least impart a plastic taste to the beer?

Not that I am pursuing this but you may want to use a herms coil inside the mashtun to raise the temperature using a normal mash thickness, if you don't want to use hot water. Some heat and some stirring should do the job.
The only time I have ever had a problem with heatsticks was trying to raise the temp of a mash in a cooler.

Grain will stick to the heatstick, unless you are VERY careful.
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