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Old 04-16-2007, 12:48 PM   #1
glorifiedbusdriver
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Default mashing in a polarware brewpot

My wife bought me (I guess that means I bought myself) a 10 gallon polarware kettle with spigot. I have never done ag before but I figure I will try to just mash in this pot. I also bought the false bottom.
I have read in numerous places that mashing in kettles tend to have more problems with temperature control. For those of you who mash in one of these kettles, how much of a temperature drop do you normally see over a period of time? Can anyone give me a good technique with temperature control? If the temperature is dropping, how high and how long should I turn the burner on? Thanks for anyone's input.

-glorifiedbusdriver

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Old 04-16-2007, 01:10 PM   #2
Zymurgrafi
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If you really want to mash in this kettle there is another way. Make a jacket for the kettle out of some sort of isulating material. I have been experimenting with this with different vessels with good results. Considering a cooler is only lined with styrofoam it is not too hard to duplicate. I had a big box of styrofoam sheets (thin) in my basement so I used that with duct tape and pieced it together. Made about an 1.5" thick jacket. Holds heat well for normal mash time. I have also used a foam camping pad, "space blanket", etc...

After you make it, test it by boiling water. Slip the jacket on and hold it for an hour checking the temp as often as you would stir.

Once you have it to your liking you are ready to mash. Heat you water and grains to temp. Remove from heat and slip on the jacket...

Mash away.

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Old 04-16-2007, 01:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glorifiedbusdriver
Can anyone give me a good technique with temperature control? If the temperature is dropping, how high and how long should I turn the burner on?
If you manually adjust your burner, keep in mind that if you crank it up you'll most likely overshoot your temperature. A good way to prevent this is to either use the burner on real low (make sure you stir during the process) to keep the temperature increase from going out of hand, or to give it some good heat (again stirring) and kill it about 10 degrees below your set temp and stir while monitoring temps. That should give you some safety room. If you do overshoot, cold water can remedy this.
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Old 04-17-2007, 01:57 PM   #4
glorifiedbusdriver
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Thanks for your reply guys. I did an experiment to see how much of a temperature drop I got with just the lid on and it was about 3 degrees every 10 minutes. The author of "The Joy of Homebrewing" also talks about making a box with styrofoam so I built that. Unfortunately I had to have a box that was much bigger than my brewpot because the spigot sticks out about 4 inches. This also had a drop of temperature about 3 degrees every 10 minutes. I'll try the space blanket now.

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