Well after my first three AG went poorly so we upgraded our thermometer to a thermapen and tried Orfy's Hob Goblin II and wow what a difference! First I compared my three other thermometers to the new thermapen and two were off by 7 degrees. The third was only off by 2 degrees but I realized that it took 45-50 seconds to get a real reading on that one.
I assume this is the main cause of my problems in my first few attempts since it took way longer to get a actual reading and we were not allowing the time.
I also built a HLT using a old 6gal cooler that I found in my attic and installed a ball valve. I heated all of my water to the recommended temps using just my iphone apps and they actually were spot on!
After 10 minutes in my mash turn I doughed in and the temp was at 150.5 and 60 minutes in I only lost 1 degree. I was also able to keep my sparge water stable at 170 for 3/4 of my sparge process. I went as slow as I could taking about 45-50 minutes to sparge.
In the end the projected preboil was 1.042 actual preboil 1.041. Projected OG 1.056 actual OG 1.055. Considering my last AG attempts were off my .02 and now I am only off .001 I am stoked!
My only thing is that I honestly never even had a Hob Goblin before brewing this so I picked up a few for the brew day. And while I like it, it seems a little lacking in flavor to me. I was wondering if anyone would suggest dry hopping this and if so what would be a good hop to use.
Long story short....I love the thermapen!