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Old 03-30-2013, 09:41 PM   #1
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Default Losing a ton of heat during mash in

I have an orange igloo cooler (10g) for a MT. The same for a HLT, but with a 1500W element inside. The HLT is new and i've done two batches so far with it with poor results.

At first I was using a 5g pot to dump in my mash/sparge water all at once. Now that I have the HLT I drain with a hose/ball valve into my MT. These last two times I lost almost 30F in the mash-in. The first time I didn't pre-heat (I never did before, just raised my strike water temps instead). So I pre-heated with 150F water for 20 minutes this time. Grain temps are around 64.

This batch was 8g, 19lbs 2-row and 0.57lbs aromatic. I calculated 6.5g @ 175 to mash in. I did this and hit 147, I needed 155-154. It sat at 147 for 20 until I got a few gallons drawn off and heated, then went up to 164 for another ten when I put it back in. What a pita, this hasn't happened to me since I first started.

My process: open ball valve, drain 6.5 g, stir like hell for a few minutes, close and tie down lid. I usually lose 1-2 degrees an hour. My guess is that draining then stirring is taking to long and the water is rapidly cooling. However I have seen other people take their sweet time while doughing in and no problems. I hit a poor 70% for efficiency (usually in the low 80's), who knows how it will ferment. So what gives? What is everyone else's experience with doughing in and what temps do you use?



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Old 03-30-2013, 09:54 PM   #2
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I generally allow the strike water to begin to boil, then allow it to cool off to the temp I strike at. Seems like when it is cooling it retains more heat than water that has just risen to the strike temp and was poured in. Preheat is also almost mandatory to insure the temp drop isn't excessive. I also allow my grains to reach ambient temp before I use them, straight out of the fridge tends to use too much of the reserve heat to bring their temp up to strike. Just sayin...
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:56 PM   #3
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If I add water over 180 degrees in my cooler, it warps and cracks. So I add 180 degree water, and let it cool down to my strike temp (generally about 166 or so).

It cools FAST at first, then once it settles, I only lose about 1-2 degrees an hour in the mash.

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Old 03-30-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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I drain through a 1/2" valve in my hlt into my mash tun which is one of the cheap blue 12gal igloo cube things from big lots. I calc my strike temps figuring for a 4-5 degree loss without preheating the tun. Then I purposely overshoot my temp by a few degrees and cool the mash down those few degrees with room temp water. I've never had an issue. You're always better to overshoot and compensate than having to heat more water.

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Old 03-30-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spintab View Post
I drain through a 1/2" valve in my hlt into my mash tun which is one of the cheap blue 12gal igloo cube things from big lots. I calc my strike temps figuring for a 4-5 degree loss without preheating the tun. Then I purposely overshoot my temp by a few degrees and cool the mash down those few degrees with room temp water. I've never had an issue. You're always better to overshoot and compensate than having to heat more water.
Before I upgraded there was no need to over shoot. But even today I did try to get warmer than needed and still failed.


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If I add water over 180 degrees in my cooler, it warps and cracks. So I add 180 degree water, and let it cool down to my strike temp (generally about 166 or so).

It cools FAST at first, then once it settles, I only lose about 1-2 degrees an hour in the mash.
Thanks Yooper, i'll give this a shot next batch. The cooler seems to be good even over 200 (left it on for longer than planned). I hope this is the answer to my problems
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Old 03-30-2013, 11:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rbeckett View Post
I generally allow the strike water to begin to boil, then allow it to cool off to the temp I strike at. Seems like when it is cooling it retains more heat than water that has just risen to the strike temp and was poured in. Preheat is also almost mandatory to insure the temp drop isn't excessive. I also allow my grains to reach ambient temp before I use them, straight out of the fridge tends to use too much of the reserve heat to bring their temp up to strike. Just sayin...
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:01 AM   #7
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I didn't know people stick grains in the fridge
I don't think many people do. I don't see it being important, like hops or especially yeast. As long as your grain stays dry, you're good.
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:07 AM   #8
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I buy my grains within a couple of days if brewing. My LHBS has excellent grain mills. Never had a problem with the crush. I also keep my grains at room temp.

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:13 AM   #9
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I didn't notice if anyone mentioned it, but do you preheat your mash tun? I dump in a gallon or so of hot tap water, splash it around and seal it up and leave it while I'm heating strike water and such. Then dump it out when I'm getting ready to mash in. beersmith factors in for whether or not you take this step.

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Old 03-31-2013, 01:24 AM   #10
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I've been preheating my cooler and overheating the strike-water but having the same problem. Pretty sure I am losing temp in the cold weather as it transfers from the HLT to the MLT. Still working on figuring out the adjustment, got closer this morning.



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