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Old 05-21-2012, 01:17 AM   #11
thomasben
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Used foil. Not even 1 degree loss. And preheated with 180 degree water

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Old 05-29-2012, 07:35 PM   #12
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Sweet! It has always worked perfectly for me too. The brew days on which I forget the Al foil for whatever reason I tend to lose a few degrees. When I remember I don't lose anything measurable.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:02 PM   #13
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I have a 10 gallon rubbermaid cooler. I preheat it with water out of my tap as hot as I can get it and a sprayer. I have checked my temps two or three times during the mash and I typically don't lose more than 1 degree in a 5 gallon batch.

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:45 PM   #14
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I'm going to be using foil from now on. Thanks, ChemE

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:47 PM   #15
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Why not just add very hot water and let it sit till it falls to your strike temps? Is there any difference between you preheat water and your strike water?

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Old 05-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by william_shakes_beer View Post
Why not just add very hot water and let it sit till it falls to your strike temps? Is there any difference between you preheat water and your strike water?
For me, no. I start with 180-185* strike water, fill tun, let sit for at least 10-15 minutes, then stir down to above strike temp, dough-in, stir down a few degrees to mash temp, cover.
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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:56 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ChemE View Post
If you haven't already, try running aluminum foil over the edges of the cooler before you close the lid and wrap everything in blankets. Hot mash has a very low emissivity meaning it readily loses heat via radiation to the cooler lid. If the lid's surface is aluminum rather than plastic a massive portion (around 95%) of that energy is radiated back to the mash which readily takes it back up due to its low emissivity. It also has the added benefit of decreasing convective losses since these picnic coolers lack gaskets (that would be another way to boost your heat retention btw).

Also worth stating that the cooler lids are often just hollow plastic. Some people use expanding urethane foam ("great stuff" - cracks and gaps version) to insulate them.

I keep meaning to try that, but haven't gotten around to it yet.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:27 PM   #18
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Some other members have chimed-in that it's difficult to get the foam to actually expand from just a few entry points drilled in the lid. I'm thinking cutting the top layer off of the lid, filling with foam, then replacing/caulking the lid back together is a possibility...but I use blankets and last brew might have lost 1.5* over 65 minutes.

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Open log Fermenting and gas-can secondary?? I am planning my next brew right now!!
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Old 05-30-2012, 07:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by tre9er
Some other members have chimed-in that it's difficult to get the foam to actually expand from just a few entry points drilled in the lid. I'm thinking cutting the top layer off of the lid, filling with foam, then replacing/caulking the lid back together is a possibility...but I use blankets and last brew might have lost 1.5* over 65 minutes.
*shrug* the foam comes through a long nozzle. Distribution might be tricky i guess.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:59 PM   #20
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Considering that some brewers only do 20 minute mashes and swear by their conversion...I wonder how big of a deal it is to lose a degree or two over 60 minutes...

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