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Old 02-14-2013, 03:12 PM   #1
inda_bebe
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Default electric berliner mash tun plans...

I recently got interested in brewing up a Berliner. I want to do it sour mash style. Possibly brewing every 4 months or so. I think its hard to maintain the temp of 95f - 105f. Instead of a a warm fermentation chamber or a smoker. I was thinking of a dedicated mash tun cooler w/ a probe thermometer controlling a heating filament. Will this work, or will it just be hot in 1 area?

Right now I'm just dumping 1L of boiling water every 8hrs to keep temps above 95f. But sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night worrying if the temp dropped below.

Any other ideas would help me too.

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Old 02-14-2013, 05:46 PM   #2
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I think this would cause major temperature stratification issues unless you had a way to circulate. The temperature around your heating element will be very high until all of that energy slowly travels to your temperature probe. This will result in overshooting your target temperature by a long shot.

I think your best bet would be to have a dedicated, insulated enclosure for your MT. You bring your mash tun up to temperature and just maintain 95 - 105 degrees inside the tun with a heater and temperature controller. You don't have to do anything at that point except set the temperature and forget it for 8hrs. I think this is much easier and cheaper than dedicating a heating element anyways.

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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thanks for the reply. i agree w/ your post. im thinking about building a wooden enclosure w/ a temperature controller (STC 1000) w/ the probe in the cooler and hooked up to a mini space heater or something. to keep the temp up.

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Old 02-14-2013, 07:45 PM   #4
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No problem. That's exactly the setup I envisioned.

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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but, will the heater be warm enough to penetrate thru the cooler to bring the mash temp up?

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Old 02-14-2013, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inda_bebe View Post
thanks for the reply. i agree w/ your post. im thinking about building a wooden enclosure w/ a temperature controller (STC 1000) w/ the probe in the cooler and hooked up to a mini space heater or something. to keep the temp up.
If you are going to do that just mash in a SS pot and keep it in the oven at a set temp.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:33 PM   #7
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Just freaking out about leaving the oven on for 2 days.

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Old 02-15-2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inda_bebe View Post
but, will the heater be warm enough to penetrate thru the cooler to bring the mash temp up?
Well you shouldn't need to bring any temperatures up, just maintain your mash temperature, so this shouldn't be a problem at all. As long as the air in your fermentation chamber around your mash tun is the same as your mash temperature, the mash tun can't lose any of it's energy to the surrounding air.

Does that make sense?
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:36 PM   #9
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Yes it does. Maybe instead of a cooler, I'll use a SS pot for the mash so that I don't have to build a huge chamber.


Im on the 56 hr mark on my Berliner sour mash. It taste real good right now. I just checked the temp every 8 hrs and added a 1-2 L of boiling water. Temp was always between 92f - 100f. Smells like trash and vinegar, but taste pretty good. I didn't flood my cooler with CO2, but covering it with plastic wrap worked well. This afternoon I'll drain into my kettle, add some hops and short boil for 15 min. Then ferment for 5 days.


Thinking of splitting it in half and racking it to some blueberries and peaches. Thanks guys for the suggestions. I'll let you guys know what I'll end up masking

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