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Old 12-15-2012, 09:43 PM   #11
kylebenton
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Denny, I am relatively certain my thermometer temps are correct. I have two lab thermometers that read the same. I have tested them in boiling water. I will test them again, what method do you recommend? I what do you think it may be if not mash temps. I am hitting all my other numbers, OG and proper volume. My efficiency has been in the 80s. I thought it may be high ferment temps but the last brew fermented at 62 for two weeks, I moved it to the secondary today and it was at 1.08. My target is 1.12, I know I'm now too far off but I plan on leaving it in the secondary for a couple of weeks and I'm sure it will drop further. Should I just bottle it now? Maybe i am leaving my beers in the fermenter too long? I and am brewing tomorrow and I will mash at 158* an see what happens.

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Old 12-15-2012, 09:54 PM   #12
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Make sure both thermometers read the same at 150. Short of buying a certified lab thermometer, that's about the best you can do. Try a higher mash temp, like you said. And maybe try batch sparging. Remember, when you fly sparge you're prett much at mash temps all through the sparge. Maintaining those temps for a longer time means conversion is still taking place and long chain dextrins are being broken down into more fermentable sugars. When you batch sparge, you get tp a boil much more quickly and that isn't a issue.

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Old 12-15-2012, 10:10 PM   #13
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I see, I will batch sparge tomorrow. I have never tried that, I have always fly sparged slowly. Sparging usually takes 1.5 hours. I am assuming that that is why you would mash out when fly sparging, to stop conversion? Thanks for all the help.

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Old 12-15-2012, 10:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylebenton View Post
I see, I will batch sparge tomorrow. I have never tried that, I have always fly sparged slowly. Sparging usually takes 1.5 hours. I am assuming that that is why you would mash out when fly sparging, to stop conversion? Thanks for all the help.
You are correct!
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny
Make sure both thermometers read the same at 150. Short of buying a certified lab thermometer, that's about the best you can do. Try a higher mash temp, like you said. And maybe try batch sparging. Remember, when you fly sparge you're prett much at mash temps all through the sparge. Maintaining those temps for a longer time means conversion is still taking place and long chain dextrins are being broken down into more fermentable sugars. When you batch sparge, you get tp a boil much more quickly and that isn't a issue.
Not sure how you know the 150 temp referenced above is 150 without measuring it with a calibrated thermometer. I have always thought that the reason one calibrated with an ice bath or boiling water was that you could assume the temperature value (after adjusting for barometric pressure). At my elevation water boils at about 210 degrees. Easy to calibrate to. I realize the advantage to calibrating at the target temperature but I don't get how I can verify such a temperature in order to calibrate my thermometers.

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Old 12-15-2012, 11:30 PM   #16
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Not sure how you know the 150 temp referenced above is 150 without measuring it with a calibrated thermometer. I have always thought that the reason one calibrated with an ice bath or boiling water was that you could assume the temperature value (after adjusting for barometric pressure). At my elevation water boils at about 210 degrees. Easy to calibrate to. I realize the advantage to calibrating at the target temperature but I don't get how I can verify such a temperature in order to calibrate my thermometers.

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You're absolutely correct. But I was saying that if both thermometers read 140 together, then that's the best assurance you can have short of a calibrated lab thermometer.
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Old 12-16-2012, 12:31 AM   #17
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Sometimes I think that we'd be better off not relying so much on the accuracy of our instruments but making sure that they are reasonably precise. If I mash at say 154 as shown on my thermometer and the beer is good and is what I was shooting for who cares if the "true" temperature was 152 or 156 or a million. What I want is for that recipe to turn out well when my thermometer says 154. So it's very important that my instruments be precise. I am willing to tweak the recipe in my own environment as long as the experiments are reproducible. Same thing goes for all our measurements. I don't know for sure if the temperature value returned by the thermocouple inserted in the thermowell in my fermenter is at all accurate. But what I do know is that xyz wort fermented by abc yeast tastes great when that thermocouple maintains a temperature value of, say, 65. Don't know or care what the "true" temperature is.

And I do understand that an assumption of accuracy is what makes recipe/technique sharing possible. But what I want to be able to do is non-accidentally make a great beer and then be able to make it again. I want to be precise.

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