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Old 06-16-2010, 01:26 AM   #1
ddexter08
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Default Temp control +/- 2 degrees?

Doing my first partial mash brew tomorrow, and I have to "steep-to-convert" the grains at a temp between 160* and 162* for 45 mins!!! of course without going above 170*. There is no way that I am going to be able to control my steeping temperatures that well for that amount of time...so my question is if i steep at a lower temp and longer time will it still work out?

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Old 06-16-2010, 01:32 AM   #2
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What kind of stove do you have? If it's electric, those can tend to keep temperatures constant for a long time. You might need to throw the heat on the lowest setting for a bit once the temp reaches 160*, and stir the water a bit to get your heat even. As long as you have a good thermometer and a stable heat setting on your stove, you'll have to keep a close eye on it, but I'm pretty sure it'll be no problem to keep some water/grain tea at that temp for a while as long as you're paying attention.

I had quite a time on my first batch - it was a small batch, but it was all-grain, and keeping the mash between 146-152 was a big balancing act since I had to keep stirring to make sure the temp was even throughout. Water should be no problem - with the occasional stir you'll at least have accurate temperature reads.

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Old 06-16-2010, 01:46 AM   #3
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Well its a gas stove and its wildly variant with the temp control. This is only my second batch and haven't got the knack of the stove yet.
If I get the water up to temp then put a lid on it for the 45 mins to control temp a lil better, will i run into problems with DMS?

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Old 06-16-2010, 02:09 AM   #4
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dude 160-162 is too high. Aim for 154. Higher than about 160 and you'll actually de-activate the enzymes that are converting the starch into sugar. They work between 145 and 159...outside that range and they are slow to inactive!

154 for 60 mins, you'll be converted and have a good balance between fermentables and dextrins. The lower end of the temperature range will give you a thinner body with more alcohol, while the higher end will have alot of body, but much less alcohol. 154 gives you a great balance.

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Old 06-16-2010, 03:25 AM   #5
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Get the pot up to temperature, put the cover on, wrap it in a blanket, and do not worry about it.

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Old 06-16-2010, 06:33 AM   #6
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Agreed - you should be fine. The only reason my mash temp varied so muchwas because 1. It doesn't flow freely, necessitating constant stirring, and 2. I made a small batch. Several gallons of steeping water and adecent pot should hold the heat well, and as long as you keep an eye on it, small bursts of heat when you hit the low end can bring it back up (if you need it at all).

Someone suggested wrapping a towel around it once you get up to temp and turn off heat - great idea!

Finally, I don't think you have to worry about DMS until the boil.

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Drinking: Belgian Tripel, Caramel Blonde, a crappy estery IPA that fermented too warm
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:55 AM   #7
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Awesome, thanks for the help!

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Old 06-16-2010, 10:43 PM   #8
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Toss in a preheated oven?

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Old 06-17-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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Or do this. Put the lid on and cover with another blanket. Works great! Get the water the correct temp, stir in the grains, and cover it up...

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Old 06-23-2010, 05:42 AM   #10
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Excellent idea! I'd even throw the towels/blankets in the dryer beforehand for a bit to get them up to "strike" temperature and let them insulate heat even more.

Be sure to use some brewing calculators to take into account the temp of both the grain AND the water. Jeff and Tom's blanket methods should work well.

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Drinking: Belgian Tripel, Caramel Blonde, a crappy estery IPA that fermented too warm
Enjoying: Lagunitas Lucky 13 Ale, Grand Teton Sweet Grass Pale Ale (a MUST-TRY!), Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, some Coors Light too.
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