Originally Posted by Hex23
Assuming you're going to do single infusion mash with a cooler mash tun ... the other tricky thing is calculating your strike water temp. Beersmith can also help with that, but you need to know your mash tun thermal mass.
The other way is to preheat your mash tun to try to take its heat absorption out of the picture. Then you have to calculate heat loss to the grains.
don't get tooo caught up with thermal mass, I think its best to go over your expected strike water temp. So If I have 14 pounds of grain, I'll add 180 degree water to my tun, let it sit there for a few minutes. Stir like a mad man to get the heat down to 162ish, add my grain a bit at a time, stir until i'm saturated, until its all in. which should put me around 154. Last time I did this I droped 1/2 a degree over an hour mash.
I do all my calculations by hand. I just started using a website that does it by entering the numbers. Its the first one that actually comes close to the formula I use. If I can dig it up ill post it.