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Old 04-21-2014, 03:15 AM   #11
Clonefan94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jro238 View Post
I disagree a bit with some of the other comments. Will a 4F difference make good beer into crappy beer? Hell no. Could it make great beer into good beer? Absolutely.

It will make it more difficult to hit your target final gravity and can definitely cause some headaches when trying to fine tune recipes (especially for beers like large belgians or IPAs that really need to hit their target FG).

I use a normal chest cooler for a mash tun and have found that it will lose somewhere between 3 and 5 degrees over 1 hour if left uncovered. When I cover it with a space blanket and a couple of towels I can hold temperature within 1 degree over an hour. It is a really easy (and cheap) way to eliminate this variable.
I agree with this. I've found the magic treatment for this is to throw one of those old style furniture blankets, the padded, quilted kind, over the top of it. I brewed a couple times this winter, where my garage temps were in the mid 30s and I lost only 1/2 a degree in the mash over an hour.

Without it I have lost up to 3.5 degrees.
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Old 04-21-2014, 04:58 PM   #12
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I have a cooler mash tun. I wrap the ball value in bubble wrap, then a few fleece blankets. I then cover the whole tun with a quilt. I get about 1 degree F or 0.5C temp loss

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Old 04-22-2014, 12:27 AM   #13
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Don't sweat about your beer, it will be fine. I have heard of some craft breweries losing 8-10 degrees during the mash by design.

As you probably want as much control over your mash temp, I would preheat your tun. The simple way to do this is to add strike water into your empty tun that is about 5 degrees F higher than needed and cover. The water will cool fairly quickly without the mass of the grains and your tun will heat up to maintain mash temps better. As mentioned, wrapping the outside of the tun will also help.

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Old 04-22-2014, 06:56 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by billl View Post
4 degrees doesn't sound like much, but it is huge in brewing. Mashing at 152 would be a medium bodied brew. Mashing at 156 will be a meal in a glass.

Are you sure about your starting temp? You need to wait for the tun and grains to stabilize before you get an accurate reading. eg if you put 154 water/grain mix into a cold tun, it will drop temp pretty quickly the first 5 minutes or so while the tun warm and then hold pretty much constant after that.
Well, we take quiet some time to finish the dough in. I pour the malts in, while my mate is stirring. I think it is pretty much accurate what we normally measure (talking about the temp.)
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Old 04-22-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
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^^ when I dough in I leave about 2 litres of the mash water out, then take the temp and add the remaining 2 litres as a combination of 90C, 20C or strike temp water so that I can dial in the mash temperature progressively.

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