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Old 10-16-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
Jersh
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Default measuring mash temp?

This might be a silly question... I use a square cooler as my MLT (photo below, ignore the piss logo, it came on the cooler many years ago) so my grain bed is usually fairly deep. I'm in the middle of a mash right now, and I'm curious how deep into the mash should I be measuring the temp? I have a standard thermometer standing in the corner so the bulb is at the very deepest point, and it's reading 156... however when I bring the bulb up to where it's only a couple inches into the mash, it drops down to about 153. My target was 154, so I'm probably a bit high I'm assuming?

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Old 10-16-2009, 07:11 PM   #2
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I'd say stir it up more. The mash temperature is critical and having some of the grain high and some low will change your results.

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Old 10-16-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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I would stir it. It will probably equalize close to 154.

Doesn't your furry brewing buddy have an advice?

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Old 10-17-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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The cat does look concerned. Stirring is the best way to get a handle on the average temp of the mash as others have mentioned. Unfortunately, you will lose some heat from the MT when you open the lid to do the stirring. There's no perfect solution to this problem and it is one of the main reasons I switched to a RIMS system. OTOH, your beer will likely come out just fine.

BTW, you have a beautiful cat.

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Old 10-17-2009, 05:11 PM   #5
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+1, I was surprised how much stirring it takes to even out the grain temp...I used to think that it was just normal for the temp to fluctuate a few degrees around the tun, but on my last couple of batches I stirred "a lot", several minutes I would guess, and to my surprise, much less deviation.

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Old 10-17-2009, 05:51 PM   #6
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I stir my mash about every 15 minutes which also gives me time to check my mash temp and iodine. Is that a normal frequency.

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Old 10-17-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
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I noticed that problem as well when I started all grain. I leave the stirring paddle for the boil and use a paint mixer attached to my drill, 30 seconds and it mixes very well.

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Old 10-17-2009, 08:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scut_Monkey View Post
I stir my mash about every 15 minutes which also gives me time to check my mash temp and iodine. Is that a normal frequency.
I never stir mine once I've mashed in. I know my temp won't drop more than a degree or 2 if I don't open the cooler. Every time you open it to check you lose heat.
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Old 10-18-2009, 07:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I never stir mine once I've mashed in. I know my temp won't drop more than a degree or 2 if I don't open the cooler. Every time you open it to check you lose heat.
This is entirely true. I simply don't trust my software to be dead on accurate. Granted my cooler drops in temp each time but I figured opening it 3 times during the mash and then a fourth time when it should be finished was not as big a deal. I simply like to know with confidence that I'm hitting my mash temp and getting proper conversion according to iodine testing.

To each his own.... and with good reason.
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scut_Monkey View Post
This is entirely true. I simply don't trust my software to be dead on accurate. Granted my cooler drops in temp each time but I figured opening it 3 times during the mash and then a fourth time when it should be finished was not as big a deal. I simply like to know with confidence that I'm hitting my mash temp and getting proper conversion according to iodine testing.

To each his own.... and with good reason.
I cook BBQ competively and this is just like at a BBQ contest. Newbie BBQ teams want to know why their brisket or ribs or pork never really cook completely and they score poorly. Then you realize that they are opening their cooker every 30 minutes to look at the meat. Duh!
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