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Old 06-25-2013, 06:05 AM   #1
invivoSaccharomyces
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Default Mash temperatures, how do they work?

*Edit*: Solved. I made a dummy newbie mistake. Hooray, learning!

So I've done four partial mashes so far, according to DeathBrewer's Easy Partial Mash instructions, and I just do not understand mash temperatures.

I understand that I ought to heat the water to higher than the desired mash temperature (I use the Green Bay Rackers mash calculator). And I understand that the cooler temperature of the grains should bring down the temperature of the mash water, and the mash should be kept at a certain temperature.

But every single time, the mash water stays at whatever temperature I set it to, and the grain stays somewhere around 140. Doesn't matter how long I wait, doesn't matter how much I try to stir it (though there isn't enough room in the pot for a truly vigorous stir) - the mash water stays too hot, the grain stays too cool.

How do people deal with this? How do you equilibrate the temperature of the grain with the temperature of the water? I just butchered a mash tonight, trying to do a single decoction and mash just a little too much grain for the size of my bags and my pots, and I'm pretty sure my beer is going to be both full of tannins and completely lacking mouthfeel.
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:11 AM   #2
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Old 06-25-2013, 06:18 AM   #3
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If the "mash water " and the grains are in the same pot, how are you getting two separate temperatures?

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Old 06-25-2013, 06:20 AM   #4
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That's what I was wondering. You might have some spots hotter than others if you're not stirring well, but I don't understand what you mean by the grain is one temp and the water is another. If the grains are so tightly packed in the bag that they are staying separated from the water then you need a bigger bag. Like Deathbrewer's pics - it should look like watery oatmeal. You can't get a good uniform temp without stirring.

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Old 06-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #5
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Well, I may need bigger bags (or I may need to use two bags for 6.5lbs of grain).

For clarification, I mean that if I stick my thermometer into the middle of the grains, it gives a much cooler temperature than if I stick it into the water surrounding the grains. I have checked this with multiple types of thermometer.

*Edit*: I figured it out. I've been using the bags that my LHBS gave me in the starter kit, and they are not big enough for a big partial mash (they worked fine for my first two partials, which were much smaller, so I didn't think anything was awry).

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Old 06-25-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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So you sort of had the bags steeping in the pot? You need that water and grain all mixed in well so you are mashing at the correct thickness, the grains are well saturated, then your pH and temp will be uniform. Get some of the 5 gallon paint strainer bags from Lowes or home depot, they're like $3.50 for two. Then line your pot with them like in Deathbrewer's thread so you can really stir everything up together.

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Old 06-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #7
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+1 to what chickypad said about the 5 gal paint strainer bags, I use 3 bags in my boil pot on big grain bills, just divide up the grain equally, works great.

It also makes it a breeze to handle the weight of wet grain.

Cheers

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