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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > <sigh>...I need a hug.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:31 PM   #1
ibbones
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Default <sigh>...I need a hug.

OK, here's my story. I bought the Austin IPA kit a week or two ago with the refractometer. Finally had a day to play so I got out my goodies and heated up mash water on the stove. Got it to 168* and started my mash with a TB. of 5.2 added. Checked the temp and I was right on the money at 152*. About ten minutes later I checked the temp and it was still good but since I have another thermometer, I put it in as well. Thirty minutes go by and I open up the mash tun and see one temp at 152* and another at 143* <crap>. I am not sure which one to believe but I did check BOTH of them in a glass with ice water on the counter a month or two ago and both were at 32*
Did the mash the way it was and got my first running's and it looked good. Into the BK they went while I added my strike water to the tun. Collected my second running's and got just over 6.5 gallons and waiting to reach boil.
I have a keggle and it has a dip tube bent to the bottom side. I places a SS scrubbie against it to use as a hop filter, a neat idea that I read on here.
Got up to boil and started the hop additions as written. I also planed on a no-chill and did not even think about the adjusted hop schedule so a little scared there.
I checked my SG with the brand new refractometer but i have no idea what it was supposed to be at and I only have a desktop so I did not get to go back inside to look up any charts. My # was 13 Brix
At flame out, I grabbed my sanitized winpak and was going to open the valve on the keggle but my burner stand it too short to fit the winpak under it. Grabbed a bucket and funnel and opened the valve. I guess five ounces of hop pellets can really clog up a stainless scrubbie. I had a SMALL trickle coming out of the valve. I had high expectations for the scrubbie filtering out in the wort and starting a clean clear ferment. After almost 15 minutes and a half a gallon collected, I knew this was not going to work so I collected about 600ml in my starter flask (man, that glass gets hot) and set it in the fridge to cool. Grabbed a sauce pan and started dipping the hot wort out and filtering it into the winpak. The screen on the funnel would clog up before half a cup would flow through so out of desperation, I pulled the filter screen out and scooped all the wort and hops into the bucket. Set it aside and started the clean-up process.
I poured the starter sample into the hydrometer tube to see where I was at and only got 1.051 and it was supposed to be 1.058. I guess I can live with that.
My starter was bubbling away a few hours later and it is my first washed yeast starter so a little excited about that. It is the WL001 ale yeast. I pitched two days later and it was fermenting good the next morning.

This is only my second AG brew and I felt OK with it but I need to figure out which thermometer is right so I know what my mash temps are. I guess all in all, it'll be OK and I should (say it with me) RDWHAHB.

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Old 12-16-2009, 06:40 PM   #2
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did you test the thermometers in the same location in your mash?

my thermometer reads 32 in ice and 212 in boiling water but, no matter how much I stir my mash, I get different temps at different locations. Makes no sense at all. I am using a large rectangle cooler, FWIW.

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Old 12-16-2009, 06:40 PM   #3
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You can certainly have pockets in your mash where the temps vary from other areas. Also keep in mind that calibrating your thermo's @ 32F does not mean they will read correctly at 152F. You should also check them in boiling water to see where they are at. You might want to consider a more accurate quality thermo.

As for the rest of it, made me shudder because we have all had some of those nightmare scenarios and I don't like to remember them. Eventually your brew days will go smoothly most of the time.

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:13 PM   #4
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Thanks for the vote of confidence. My beer is churning away right now. I hope it's good. I am going to go the restaurant store this week and look for a different thermometer.

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Old 12-18-2009, 04:53 PM   #5
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For future reference, stainless scrubbies only work for leaf hops.

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Old 12-18-2009, 08:22 PM   #6
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Do yourself a favor and buy a certified lab grade thermometer with the box for just your calibration thermometer. Check all your other cheaper thermometers using the cert thermometer and note the differences of each one. That way you know what's the right reading

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Old 12-18-2009, 08:53 PM   #7
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I know it's pricey, but these things are awesome!

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Old 12-19-2009, 03:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwest450 View Post
For future reference, stainless scrubbies only work for leaf hops.
Doh... I know now.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:46 PM   #9
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i was under the impression that for the bend tube (say bent facing clockwise looking down on the keggle), you need to "whirlpool" in the same direction so that the particulate forms a cone in the center and the fluid at the edges is moving past the scrubbie rather than compacting it... was the wort static when you were draining it?

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