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Old 12-20-2011, 03:58 AM   #11
cswest
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Jan 2011
macomb, Il
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How many degrees are you losing in your mash tun?

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:00 AM   #12
Spooner61
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Jul 2011
Caldwell, Idaho
Posts: 59

in between 5-8 degres i would really like to be able to ony lose 1-2 degrees

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:04 AM   #13
kh54s10
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Aug 2011
Tiverton, Rhode Island
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Are you preheating your tun? I am using a 10 gallon Rubbermaid cooler and on my last, with 45 degrees in my garage I lost at most 1 degree in 1 hour. I did cover it with blankets. You should not need heating on your mash tun.

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:10 AM   #14
overdbus
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Nov 2011
LaVerne, Ca
Posts: 223
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the reason i made starters is 1 just look at how many threads start with
"it's been 2 days and no activity" 2 it's easy I use a one gallon
growler and no stir plate just swirl it every so often. Now I am a
new to all this just brewed my 2nd batch yesterday ,but I pitched
at 4:30pm'ish and the carboy is going crazy with foam this morning
the first batch was going in under 4 hours. I don't have to be hit with a brick

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:24 AM   #15
fuhmon
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Oct 2010
Spokane, washington
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I say ferm temp control over stir plate. U can shake a starter several times or build a plate for $10. But fermentation temp controller is going to cost u.

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:30 AM   #16
yorkbrew
 
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Sep 2007
Bellingham, WA
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You should be able to make fine starters with out needing a stir plate. I use a 1 gal jug, an airlock, and a whisk for aeration. I make a the starter the day before and pitch the entire volume into my wort. Using this method I've reduced my lag time and cleaned up some of the off flavors in my beer.

I think the best use of your gift card would be to buy the kettle and then find a good procedure for making staters.

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:02 PM   #17
cswest
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Jan 2011
macomb, Il
Posts: 131
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I would not worry about the heat loss, you could preheat and/or put a blanket over it to reduce the loss as previously mentioned but the conversion in done in the first 15-30 min. I used to do the starter shake method with good results but just got a stir plate for around $40. This is the third year I've done lagers in the winter and the lag time between pitch and visible signs of fermentation dropped from 24-48 hours to under 12. Pitching plenty of yeast and temp control is where I think you should be putting your money.

 
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:01 PM   #18
Apendecto
 
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Jul 2009
Rockwood, MI
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I second making a stir plate. I used the power supply from a dead computer and it cost me like 5$ total.

I use a keg for a kettle. Cheap.

I mash with a bag. Cheap, quick and easy to control temps.

Making a temp control foam box has really made my beer a lot better.

 
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