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Old 11-29-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
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Default Maintaining mash temp in oven - what temp?

If you have experience using an oven to maintain your mash temp (at the typical 150F) what oven temp do you find works best for you?

I did a partial last weekend and made a Celcius/Farnheit units error and set my oven at 150C instead of 150F, but far from being a disaster it actually maintained my mash temp right around where I wanted it instead of adding heat as you might expect!

In another thread SilverZero commented:

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Originally Posted by SilverZero View Post
A 250F oven won't add much temp to that much water if any at all, but 150F air will take heat from the pot.
So for future reference I'm curious to know what sort of temp range I should be keeping my oven to.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:29 PM   #2
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I use 170 and was concerned at first it would keep bumping up my mash temps. As you found at a higher temp, it's a lot of thermal mass.

EDIT: By the way that's just because it's as low as my oven goes.

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Old 11-29-2011, 09:34 PM   #3
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It's all going to depend on what temp you want to maintain and how big your mash volume is. I typically will only steep or do part mashes in the oven, so I'll typically set at about 160F figuring I'll lose a couple of degrees over time. I usually check the temp periodically just to make sure it hasn't dropped too much. Butsince I'm not doing a full mash I don't worry about the exact temp as long as it stays between 150F & 160F.

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Old 11-29-2011, 10:07 PM   #4
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I have my mash stockpot virtually full to the brim. I heat the oven to about 250°F then turn it off. By the time I stir the mash and put it in the oven I find the temperature holds perfectly for an hour and there is no need to turn on the oven. I stir it about 3 times in the hour while in the oven. I have a cheap digital thermometer which sits on top of the oven with the sensor lead in the mash pot.

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Old 11-29-2011, 10:48 PM   #5
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I've done this twice before upgrading my pot size to something that wouldn't fit in my oven. My oven only goes down to 170f so I left it at that, and occasionally checked popped the door open a tad to let some heat escape, seemed to work fine.

Probably fine to leave it at 170 for the first 30mins of your mash and kill the heat after, should hold it fine.

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Old 11-29-2011, 11:34 PM   #6
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Ideally you'd set the oven to the exact mash temp you want but most only go down to 170F on the dial. You may find that the controller is pretty far off though so it's best to put a thermometer in there to know for sure.

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Old 11-30-2011, 12:47 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M View Post
Ideally you'd set the oven to the exact mash temp you want but most only go down to 170F on the dial. You may find that the controller is pretty far off though so it's best to put a thermometer in there to know for sure.
I suspect that is not the case going by my own 'mistake' and what SilverZero said - '150F air will take heat from the pot'. I think the ideal oven temp will be significantly higher than the mash temp you want to maintain due to the physics of heat capacity of air verses liquid.
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:59 AM   #8
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i don't know. that doesn't sound right. from everything i've read heat transfer only happens between things with different temperatures.

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Old 11-30-2011, 02:43 AM   #9
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The lowest setting of my oven is about 155-160, that I checked with an oven thermometer. I do partial mashes and turn the oven on until it heats up. Put my pot in and leave it on for the first 10-15 minutes, turnit off and I maintain my temp with a degree or two.

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Old 11-30-2011, 12:08 PM   #10
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When you preheat your oven, the thermostat turn off the element when the thermostat reaches the set temperature (or close to it if the thermostat is accurate, most aren't very accurate). The rest of the oven may not be that warm. The rack you set your kettle on may be quite a bit cooler so you can lose heat from the kettle through conduction. Also, the walls of the oven won't be up to temperature either so your kettle can continue to lose heat due to radiation. If you were to heat the oven for an hour prior to putting the kettle in there all part of the oven would be nearly the same temperature as the thermostat and your heat loss from the kettle would be zero, assuming that the thermostat was accurate.

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