Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Thermometer quandry

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-21-2012, 05:43 PM   #1
Kaz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Amish Country, PA
Posts: 1,054
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default Thermometer quandry

I do BIAB 5 gallon batches with a full volume mash. I'm almost at my wit's end with monitoring mash temps. I've been using a Polder oven probe thermometer, but if it gets wort or water in it, it becomes wonky and needs to be baked. Then I'll fall back on a UEI thermistor probe thermometer and probe, but, same problem, if it gets moisture in the probe=fail. Then I will use a good old fashioned glass lab thermometer that came with my original brew kit and/or a floating thermometer. My problem is, all of these are different from each other by as much as 5-10 degrees F! So, I never know what temperature I'm mashing at. I would like something that can get down into the grain bed that is almost 10" down in my 10 gallon kettle, and is waterproof, but that doesn't seem to exist? Or, is it not that important to get the temp down there? What is everyone doing to get an accurate mash temp under these conditions? TIA

__________________

Draft 1: Lightly smoked Weizen
Draft 2: Belgian Wit
Draft 3: Rauchbier

Primary 1: German Scwarzbier
Primary 2:

On Deck: Belgian Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Stout

Kaz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2012, 05:48 PM   #2
AnchorBock
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 578
Liked 30 Times on 23 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz View Post
I do BIAB 5 gallon batches with a full volume mash. I'm almost at my wit's end with monitoring mash temps. I've been using a Polder oven probe thermometer, but if it gets wort or water in it, it becomes wonky and needs to be baked. Then I'll fall back on a UEI thermistor probe thermometer and probe, but, same problem, if it gets moisture in the probe=fail. Then I will use a good old fashioned glass lab thermometer that came with my original brew kit and/or a floating thermometer. My problem is, all of these are different from each other by as much as 5-10 degrees F! So, I never know what temperature I'm mashing at. I would like something that can get down into the grain bed that is almost 10" down in my 10 gallon kettle, and is waterproof, but that doesn't seem to exist? Or, is it not that important to get the temp down there? What is everyone doing to get an accurate mash temp under these conditions? TIA
If you stir well you don't need to get to the bottom of the kettle to take a mash temp. I have had similar issues and just bought a Thermapen, just something that wasn't worth dealing with anymore and brought too much uncertainty. I found that my lab thermometer was reading about 4 degrees high even thought I calibrated it at 32 in ice water. My dial thermometers were all over the place.
__________________

Homebrewing blog: http://bagendbrewery.wordpress.com

Beer Engine Caskegerator - Hand pump/keg enclosure for Real Ale at home.

AnchorBock is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2012, 05:51 PM   #3
jwalk4
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 410
Liked 31 Times on 27 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

Have you tried calibrate them in the same water? That will tell you what thermometers are accurate and which ones are off.

If you are having trouble regulating your mash temps, then the only cure is to stir your mash more often, and more thoroughly.

__________________

Fermenter 1 - Mynx and Maple's Too Wild Mild
Fermenter 2 - 2 Hearted Clone
Bottle conditioning - Nothing
Drinking - Aged Porter, APA

jwalk4 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2012, 05:53 PM   #4
william_shakes_beer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,873
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts

Default

I use a thermapen oven thermometer and have sucessfully waterproofed the probe. Here's what you do;

1. Go to petsmart and purchase a length of silicone air line.
2. Go to Lowes electrical department and purchase a 3" length of heat shrink tubing of the appropriate diameter.
3. Go to CVS and purchase a small tube of vasiline lip balm (not chap stick, the squeeze tube)

Squirt a dab of lip balm into one end of the airline and push the metal end of the probe through. Continue working it along until it is just short of the connector and completely sheaths the probe wire.

trim off the probe end of the airline well below the wire connection to the metal sensor. I usually pick a point midway between the bend and the pointed tip.

Slip the heat shrink tubing over the airline, aligning the center of the heat shrink with the end of the airline.

Heat and shrink using a butane lighter or match.

__________________
william_shakes_beer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2012, 06:06 PM   #5
dadshomebrewing
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Chicago, Il
Posts: 791
Liked 103 Times on 70 Posts
Likes Given: 13

Default

i bought a digital thermometer, with a remote, like they use for turkey fryers, online at amazon. i think it was from a company called maverick. a little pricey at about $40.00, i think.

it has a temperature alarm for too high, and too low.

put it in the pot when i turn on the water for mash, when it gets to almost the strike temp, the alarm goes off.

i can even put it right down inside the closed igloo cooler i use for the mash, with the lid on. the remote sits right next to me, and i can monitor the exact temp, throughout the whole process.

also has a built in timer.

works great, and i put the remote in my shirt pocket and i can walk around the house, and do other stuff.

__________________

'Tis himself

In the fermenters: nada

In the bottle: nada

In the fridge(and the glass): nada

On Deck: anything i can think of

dadshomebrewing is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-21-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
william_shakes_beer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,873
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts

Default

aw. mine doesn't have a wireless. I have to leave it plugged in!!! Was the temp probe waterproofed? if so, How?

__________________
william_shakes_beer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2012, 05:01 AM   #7
a_hard
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: PHX, AZ
Posts: 60
Liked 8 Times on 8 Posts

Default

I use my great grandmothers candy thermometer. Its accurate to half a degree and so vintage i want to wear skinny jeans and make ironic statements

__________________
a_hard is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2012, 11:22 AM   #8
RM-MN
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Solway, MN
Posts: 6,504
Liked 713 Times on 599 Posts
Likes Given: 226

Default

Since you are doing BIAB, you don't really need to monitor the mash temperature. Use a strike water temperature based on the amount of water and the temperature and amount of grains you will be using and make sure you hit this temperature. Stir in the grains well and do a quick temperature check to make sure you are at mashing temp, then put the lid on the pot and wrap it all in something insulating (I use a bath towel but blankets or sleeping bags will work even better) and walk away. Your mash temperature won't change more than a couple degrees over the course of an hour and in any case, if you have your grains milled fine for BIAB, conversion will be done in about 20 minutes.

__________________
RM-MN is offline
Kaz Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2012, 02:06 PM   #9
Kaz
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Amish Country, PA
Posts: 1,054
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts
Likes Given: 6

Default

I do check the strike temp and then again after doughing in. I then wrap the whole thing in towels and blankets. Sitting outside in PA in the winter, I sometimes see a temp drop of up to 5 degrees F. Maybe not something to worry about, but at the same time, right now all of my thermometers read different. I would just like to know which one is right. Good point about the finely milled grains being converting sooner, I hadn't thought of that before.

__________________

Draft 1: Lightly smoked Weizen
Draft 2: Belgian Wit
Draft 3: Rauchbier

Primary 1: German Scwarzbier
Primary 2:

On Deck: Belgian Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Stout

Kaz is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-24-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
RM-MN
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Solway, MN
Posts: 6,504
Liked 713 Times on 599 Posts
Likes Given: 226

Default

Quote:
Sitting outside in PA in the winter, I sometimes see a temp drop of up to 5 degrees F.
I cheat. I do mine indoors. However, in my defense it was in the teens yesterday with winds of 15 to 25. When I tried to brew outdoors in that temp and wind my turkey fryer couldn't even maintain the temp, let alone trying to raise it to a boil.
__________________
RM-MN is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Carb Tab Quandry JackTheRipper Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 10 05-09-2011 09:53 PM
Quandry- do I go 7.5 Conical or 14.5? dutch101st Fermentation & Yeast 7 02-01-2011 09:44 PM
Boil off quandry winvarin All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 2 01-23-2011 02:12 PM
The coffee quandry smizak Recipes/Ingredients 16 01-02-2008 05:38 PM
Search quandry D-brewmeister HomeBrewTalk Announcements & Feedback 2 02-27-2005 08:30 AM