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Old 05-30-2008, 06:22 PM   #1
enohcs
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Default Mash Temp and Thermometer location

Up until recently I've been using a digital thermometer with a 4 inch reach to take temperature readings. This last brew I used a floating thermometer that has a bit more of a reach. This brew I noticed one thing that was slightly concerning, while I thought I was mashing at 153, my floating thermometer tells me I'm mashing at 160. My digital thermometer is calibrated just fine.

It looks to me as if the bottom of the mash is 7 degrees warmer than the upper part of the mash.

I was playing around with the floating thermometer and noticed if I place it in the mash at a slight angle, so as not to go as deep, the temp is a few degrees lower.

I do pre heat my mash tun, and my beers have been fine to date.

Has anyone else noticed this temperature effect?

Where do you take your temperature readings from?

Do you let your mash sit for the duration or do you stir it up at all?

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Old 05-30-2008, 06:28 PM   #2
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Interesting, I wouldn't have thought of this. I take temp readings from the top with a digital thermometer. I stir once or twice during the mash.

The bottom of the mash could be at a higher temperature than the reading that I'm taking off of the top, but if it is I can't tell in the finished product. The beer I want to be full bodied end up that way, so the temperature variation must not be detrimental

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Old 05-30-2008, 06:34 PM   #3
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I like to stick the probe in and stir it around a bit (....thats what she said). Of course, I always stir my mash around like crazy to try and even out the temp. My beers have been turning out well.

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Old 05-30-2008, 08:07 PM   #4
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Are you mashing in a cooler, or direct heating?

I've found my strike water has been much cooler than I thought because my floating thermometer is reaching closer to the heat source at the bottom of my kettle. I've had to pull the thermometer up a bit to get an accurate reading.

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Old 05-30-2008, 08:16 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BrewBrain View Post
Are you mashing in a cooler, or direct heating?

I've found my strike water has been much cooler than I thought because my floating thermometer is reaching closer to the heat source at the bottom of my kettle. I've had to pull the thermometer up a bit to get an accurate reading.
I'm using a round cooler.
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Old 05-30-2008, 09:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by enohcs View Post
Has anyone else noticed this temperature effect?

Where do you take your temperature readings from?

Do you let your mash sit for the duration or do you stir it up at all?

I've been wondering the same thing lately. I mash in a keggle and when I do big 10 gallon batches it's filled all the way to the top. It seems like taking a temp reading from the top 4 inches of a keggle with a floating thermometer that there HAS to be a difference between top and the bottom temp.

I generally keep the thermometer in there during the mash and the minute before I take a temp reading I stir everything up really well and then check.

My beers have been turning out as predicted, so I don't think i'm getting huge shifts, but I've been contemplating getting a fitting welded near the bottom and adding another thermometer.
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Old 05-30-2008, 10:08 PM   #7
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Here's my question: what goes in the MLT first...water or grain?

I find I get a more even temperature if I add teh water, and then mix the grain in. this also prevents dough-balls from forming for the most part. A lot of people just find it easier too.

figured the question should be asked. I do still see some temp variance, but we're only talking 2-3 degrees tops, and with a cheap oven thermometer that I sealed/made water-tight.

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Old 05-31-2008, 12:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
Here's my question: what goes in the MLT first...water or grain?

I find I get a more even temperature if I add teh water, and then mix the grain in. this also prevents dough-balls from forming for the most part. A lot of people just find it easier too.
I add water first. definitely makes things easier.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:20 AM   #9
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I get temperature variations up and down the mash, but It doesn't concern me.
A couple degrees variation just means that the hot spots will convert faster.
Stirring, mashing out, and sparging directly to heat will take care of it all in the end.

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