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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > missing strike water temp every time by 5 degrees.
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Old 12-05-2007, 01:27 PM   #1
miatawnt2b
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Default missing strike water temp every time by 5 degrees.

I have been using Beersmith to calculate my strike water temps and I am missing it every time by about 5*F. I have been heating my strike water to about 10-15* over temp and adding it to my cooler MLT. I then wait usually about 10-15min for the water to preheat the tun and come down to strike temp before adding the grain. I also enter the actual grain temp into beersmith which usually bumps up the strike temp a few points. Anyhow, even after using this method, after my grain is added, my mash temps are always 5* low.

I am trying to figure out why, and I am wondering if my grain specific heat param got messed up in beersmith somehow. Think someone could check their grain specific heat calculation and let me know? Mine is set to 0.380Cal/gram-C and Volume for 1kg of grain 0.652liters/kg.

Any other thoughts? I have been brewing in my garage which is about 60*F when I am adding grain, and it may take 3-5 min to add it all. I am also wondering if it's dropping that much because the lid is off for that time.

-J

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:36 PM   #2
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I just go about 12 to 13 degrees above my mash temp, wait until it is at 10 degrees above my temp an then add the grains. If I want 154, than I add the water at 167 to 168 wait until it settles to 165 ish and then add my grain..This has worked out great..I also add 175 degree water and let that prewarm my cooler. I used to just go with 165 and grain at same time and found that I would run low around 151..Hope this helps..I do not use beer smith but think if u base something simple as this u should have success. This works great for anything in a normal grain bill.. If u have 15 pounds or plus than this should be taken in to account.

Jay

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:44 PM   #3
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I have always let beersmith tell me my strike water temps and I have always hit the target mash temp quite well. I'm sure you already considered this, but are you sure you're stirring your mash thoroughly and not getting hot/cold spots? Have you tried moving the thermometer around, side to side and surface to bottom, to see if there's a temperature variation?

FYI, the specific heat values are the same in my copy of BS.

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Old 12-05-2007, 01:53 PM   #4
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How is this a problem? Raise your strike temp by 5° above what BeerSmith tells you and call it good. I know that I have to heat my strike water 2° hotter than BeerSmith calls for to hit my mash target, so I do, and I'm balls-on almost every time.

As long as it's consistent, there's no problem at all. The software's never going to give a perfect, exact answer since there are so many variables among different setups/processes.

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Old 12-05-2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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If I read your post right, it seems that you are heating your strike water to what beersmith tells you, then preheating your cooler with it.

If you want to preheat your cooler, You have to preheat it BEFORE adding your strike water. Otherwise your strike water will be colder after pre-heating the cooler.

So either raise your strike water by 5-7 degrees and continue what you are doing, or preheat the cooler with seperate water, THEN add the strike water.

EDIT: I reread your post and i think you are already heating the water ABOVE the strike temp...so either go higher or preheat with hotter water and wait a bit longer...I dunno.

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Old 12-05-2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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I suspect the problem is the grain temperature. The calculator is probably using 70F (AKA room temperature). I always bring my grain into the house a day before brewing, since I store it in a freezer and that really messes up the calculations.

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Old 12-05-2007, 03:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miatawnt2b
I then wait usually about 10-15min for the water to preheat the tun and come down to strike temp before adding the grain.
I think this is the problem, if you are wating for the water to cool to strike temp and then adding the grains.
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I suspect the problem is the grain temperature. The calculator is probably using 70F (AKA room temperature). I always bring my grain into the house a day before brewing, since I store it in a freezer and that really messes up the calculations.
Doubt it. I take the temp of the grain and edit that param in Beersmith also. That usually increases my strike temp about 2 degrees.

Thanks for your help so far everyone. I guess it could be I am not stirring the mash enough... I try to add my grain about 1-2 lb at a time and stir it in. After everything is added, I'll give it a few back and fourths with the paddle and close the lid. Sound like enough?
-J
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryA
I think this is the problem, if you are wating for the water to cool to strike temp and then adding the grains.
How is this the problem... maybe I am being unclear.

Say Beersmith calculates my strike to be 172*. I will heat my strike water to 185* and add it to the tun. I then wait for the water to get to 172. This usually takes 10-15 min, and by that time the tun is heated and my strike water is dead on. Make sense?

-J
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Old 12-05-2007, 03:55 PM   #10
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Sorry I was miss reading, thinking you were heating to strike temp adding it to the cooler, and then adding grains.

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