Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash tun temp stability problems
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 07-05-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
ph0ngwh0ng
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 288
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default Mash tun temp stability problems

Hi!

I've seen a thread on that some days ago, but I'm still at a loss.

I have bought a Coleman cooler (2 gallons) for small batches. The lid is not insulated (i couldn't find any cooler with an insulated lid at this size). I have tried aluminum foil and styrofoam and blankets, and tested with water at mashing temps. I still get a 10°F loss over an hour at best.

Now, I'm thinking about spraying the lid with insulating foam (polyurethane), but I'm unsure about the toxicity? There is a lot of water that condensates on the lid and drops back down in the mash...

__________________

alex b

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1ngl1ves View Post
I smoke, sit in traffic with my windows down, and eat bacon by the pound. Sometimes all at once. Food grade has become a myth to me...
ph0ngwh0ng is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2013, 12:49 PM   #2
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,904
Liked 769 Times on 501 Posts
Likes Given: 671

Default

Can you drill a hole in the lid and shoot it full of that expanding, insulating foam stuff?

__________________
kombat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
ph0ngwh0ng
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 288
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kombat View Post
Can you drill a hole in the lid and shoot it full of that expanding, insulating foam stuff?
Nope. It's just a layer of plastic.
__________________

alex b

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1ngl1ves View Post
I smoke, sit in traffic with my windows down, and eat bacon by the pound. Sometimes all at once. Food grade has become a myth to me...
ph0ngwh0ng is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #4
Pie_Man
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Pie_Man's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 1,354
Liked 135 Times on 127 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

If the spray foam can contact the wort, I would avoid using it.

Have your tried pre-heating the cooler? That should help a lot.

An alternative to the cooler might be to mash in a metal pot inside your oven using the oven to maintain mash temp. You can then run the grain through a strainer or colander to lauter.

__________________
Pie_Man is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2013, 02:33 PM   #5
GrogNerd
bad beer makes puppies sad
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GrogNerd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 3,712
Liked 942 Times on 646 Posts
Likes Given: 119

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0ngwh0ng View Post
Hi!

I've seen a thread on that some days ago, but I'm still at a loss.

I have bought a Coleman cooler (2 gallons) for small batches. The lid is not insulated (i couldn't find any cooler with an insulated lid at this size). I have tried aluminum foil and styrofoam and blankets, and tested with water at mashing temps. I still get a 10°F loss over an hour at best.

Now, I'm thinking about spraying the lid with insulating foam (polyurethane), but I'm unsure about the toxicity? There is a lot of water that condensates on the lid and drops back down in the mash...
have you actually used it to mash? or only tested with water?

testing with only water won't give you an accurate indication of how much heat you'll lose in a actual mash; you need a thermal mass (grains).
__________________

"Why must it always be pandemonium?" - George Mueller/Nelson Van Alden

"Beer. Good." - Words of House Grog

drinking: Wojtkowiak Piwo, CLB's Barleywine, 8Hearted Pale Ale, O'Rob's Dry Irish Stout, DB8PT Session Ale, Wojtkowiak Grodziskie - bottle conditioning: Otto M. Gourd Pumpkin Barleywine, Jewel Thieves Apple Wine, CLB's Barleywine 1.2

GrogNerd is online now
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2013, 03:29 PM   #6
firerat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
firerat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 584
Liked 142 Times on 89 Posts
Likes Given: 179

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man View Post

Have your tried pre-heating the cooler? That should help a lot.
This^^

You gonna lose a lot of heat of you're not precooling.

If you can't fill the lid with foam (Great Stuff is what it's called), maybe try wrapping an old sleeping bag or blanket or something to insulate the top. That's where the majority of your heat is going to go.

EDIT:

Oh looks like you did the blankets thing already.
__________________

"I never apologize. I'm sorry but thats just the way I am."--Homer J. Simpson

firerat is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
remthewanderer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: philadelphia, NJ
Posts: 87
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

How much airspace is there between the mash and the lid?

I had a similar issue because I bought a cooler large enough to mash 10 gallon batches. When I tried to do a 5 gal batch the airspace inside the cooler really sucked a lot of heat.

What I did was buy some hard board type house insulation. This pink board has an r value of 10. I cut a square that would fit inside the cooler. I wrapped this in a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and made a quick rope handle to pull it out.

With this little contraption I can take up most of the airspace in the cooler. I only drop a few degrees over an hour.

__________________

Sincerely,
jeREMy
@JeremyBehrens on Twitter

------------
Hop Creek Brewing
@HopCreek on Twitter

remthewanderer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-05-2013, 09:33 PM   #8
Smellyglove
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 647
Liked 42 Times on 41 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

What was the thickness of the styrofoam you used?

My mash tun is a cheapo cooler which I insulated and also cut me a fake lid of 2" styrofoam. The styrofoam (wrapped in food plastic) goes as far down into the cooler as I can get it without touching the mash. During the first brew I did with it (and one only one so far) I actually forgot put on the lid which came with the cooler, but even then I only lost about 1F during one hour.

__________________
Smellyglove is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-06-2013, 02:09 AM   #9
ph0ngwh0ng
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 288
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man View Post
If the spray foam can contact the wort, I would avoid using it.

Have your tried pre-heating the cooler? That should help a lot..
The foam would not contact the wort directly, but condensation would drip back in the wort.

Yes, all tests I run are with cooler pre-heating for 5 minutes. Then I take the temp and start the timer for 60 minutes.

Quote:
testing with only water won't give you an accurate indication of how much heat you'll lose in a actual mash; you need a thermal mass (grains).
Yes, that was a concern during the tests. I have only tested with water with THIS cooler. The reason why I've begun tests is because I found out on my last batch that temp had dropped 15*°. I have since changed my cooler, because I noticed it lacked insulation around the faucet in an area of about 50 square inches, and it couldn't be fixed. But yes, i should test with an actual mash.

Quote:
What I did was buy some hard board type house insulation. This pink board has an r value of 10. I cut a square that would fit inside the cooler. I wrapped this in a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and made a quick rope handle to pull it out.
Ok yeah I should try this out. Although, I think I could just spray the foam on the lid, then cut a round plastic piece and glue it to the foam. That way, the water would condensate on the plastic, not the foam. Is this a good idea or not?
__________________

alex b

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1ngl1ves View Post
I smoke, sit in traffic with my windows down, and eat bacon by the pound. Sometimes all at once. Food grade has become a myth to me...
ph0ngwh0ng is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-06-2013, 02:11 AM   #10
ph0ngwh0ng
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 288
Liked 20 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 33

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrogNerd View Post
have you actually used it to mash? or only tested with water?

testing with only water won't give you an accurate indication of how much heat you'll lose in a actual mash; you need a thermal mass (grains).
Would there be something I could test with except an actual mash? Oatmeal maybe?
__________________

alex b

Quote:
Originally Posted by k1ngl1ves View Post
I smoke, sit in traffic with my windows down, and eat bacon by the pound. Sometimes all at once. Food grade has become a myth to me...
ph0ngwh0ng is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Orange Zest: Potential infections and long term stability problems? GavSenior Recipes/Ingredients 9 01-08-2013 11:20 AM
Larger Grain Bill & Problems hitting mash temp. Jukas All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 09-09-2012 03:34 AM
Problems measuring mash temp y2jrock60 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 12-30-2011 11:53 PM
Temp stability in 10 gallon beverage cooler mjohnson Equipment/Sanitation 18 03-11-2011 12:59 PM
stainless mash tun and temperature stability woopig Equipment/Sanitation 11 05-08-2010 04:56 AM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS