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Old 02-20-2010, 09:14 AM   #1
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Default Temp lost to grain

Hello fellow homebrewers,
I am going to be brewing my first all-grain batch soon and I was wondering how much temp is lost from the strike water to the grain? I will be mashing in a 10gal rubbermaid cooler which will be preheated.

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Old 02-20-2010, 09:34 AM   #2
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Most of the temp lost is to the grain temp. There is a big difference between mashing in with grain that is 45F and grain that is 75F. You really need to experiment to find what the correct mash-in temperature is. Keep your grain temp the same, but record your strike water temp. After 1-2 brews you should be able to nail it, IF your grain temp is the same. When my grain temp is 50F, my strike water needs to be 176F to hit a 152F mash temp. If my grain is 68F, my strike water needs to be 172F to hit a 152F mash temp. YMMV, but the important thing is to record your temps for the next time you brew.


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Old 02-20-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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The easy way to get a handle on it for the first time would be to download the trial version of beersmith and use the strike water calculator. You won't need to buy it if you don't want to, but it can take some of the worry out of that first brewday in a lot of those aspects you won't fully understand yet. For my first AG brewday I downloaded it a week before my first AG brew, got accustomed to it and printed out the brewday schedule. It was a terrific hand-holder for me. It's a 30 day trial, so use it wisely if you don't think you will want to buy it.

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Old 02-20-2010, 11:11 AM   #4
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There's also a free iPhone app for calculating all things sparge.
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Old 02-20-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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+1 on Beersmith since it can also compensate for the heat characteristics of your MLT type. Make sure you preheat your cooler with water 12 deg hotter than strike temp for 10 min. Over the 10 min the water should drop to your strike temp. Stir if the temp is still too high. If you are too low, scoop some out, heat it to boiling in the microwave, and stir it back in.
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Old 02-20-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
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There are several brewing software options. I use Beersmith and am very happy with it. Most have a trial period so you can download and try them out. Well worth the money.
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Old 02-20-2010, 02:33 PM   #7
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Yea, sorry to say "go buy software" instead of giving a real answer, but I think its the best option. I let Beersmith do all my calculations so I can worry about more important things on brew day. I always hit my strike temp using beersmith. Just remember to preheat the mash tun.
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Old 02-20-2010, 02:49 PM   #8
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Default Why don't you make it easy on the guy.

Start at 12-13 degrees above your strike temp, With out the preheat. Then you will learn to adjust like they said. This is the way I learned. PS: I use a Heated mash tun, so the original temp might not make a big difference to me. I might give you problems in your cooler based mash tun.
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:23 PM   #9
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Without doing all the calculations, you can take a guess at about 14F over your desired mash temp assuming the grain is room temp and your mash tun is preheated.

Example, mash temp of 155, stir the grain in when the water is 169F.

In order for the cooler not to steal too much heat, put the water in at about 175F (assuming it wasn't sitting in the garage or in a snow bank) and close the lid for 5 minutes. Open and stir until the temp drops to 169F.
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Old 02-20-2010, 04:31 PM   #10
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I was loosing temp while I was doughing in, so I add strike water a bit higher than stated in Beersmith to allow time to stir. I'll stir until I reach my temp. I've also lost some temp when I stir half way through the mash. Any suggestions? Do most people stir the mash?

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