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Old 08-08-2012, 05:55 AM   #11
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I frequently step mash, so I only uncover when I need to go to the next step. I do indeed stir at that time.

My temp holds fairly well for 20-30 mins aka one step.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:42 PM   #12
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You certainly don't need to stir the mash. It will convert and extract just fine without stirring, and taking the top off to stir is going to contribute to losing mash temp.

First off, doughing in at 170 is too hot. Assuming about 10lbs of grain at room temp, you should be doughing in closer to about 164 to normalize the mash around 155. At a 170 dough in, you are mashing closer to 160-161, leading to more complex sugars in your mash that the yeast can't break down, which leads to more malty body and residual sweetness in your final product.

Then, you could keep monitoring the temp and adding heat, but that's a PITA in my opinion.

Get an old blanket, sleeping pad, or moving pad or go get one at goodwill. Here in the FL summer, I can maintain temp within one degree just covering the top with a blanket. In the FL winter, I wrap the entire pot using two blankets (one around the top and bottom, one around the sides, with a bungee holding it all together) to keep temp within one degree. Your weather may vary, but you get the idea.

THEN, do a 170F, 10 minute mashout, and stir like a maniac during the mashout. This 10 minutes of stirring is far more efficient and valuable than stirring during the mash.

I get 76-78% efficiency with these steps and a good fine crush.

Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:02 PM   #13
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Thanks for the info ! That helps
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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Topher what is the best way to determine how much strike water I need to start with?
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM
You certainly don't need to stir the mash. It will convert and extract just fine without stirring, and taking the top off to stir is going to contribute to losing mash temp.

First off, doughing in at 170 is too hot. Assuming about 10lbs of grain at room temp, you should be doughing in closer to about 164 to normalize the mash around 155. At a 170 dough in, you are mashing closer to 160-161, leading to more complex sugars in your mash that the yeast can't break down, which leads to more malty body and residual sweetness in your final product.

Then, you could keep monitoring the temp and adding heat, but that's a PITA in my opinion.

Get an old blanket, sleeping pad, or moving pad or go get one at goodwill. Here in the FL summer, I can maintain temp within one degree just covering the top with a blanket. In the FL winter, I wrap the entire pot using two blankets (one around the top and bottom, one around the sides, with a bungee holding it all together) to keep temp within one degree. Your weather may vary, but you get the idea.

THEN, do a 170F, 10 minute mashout, and stir like a maniac during the mashout. This 10 minutes of stirring is far more efficient and valuable than stirring during the mash.

I get 76-78% efficiency with these steps and a good fine crush.

Good luck!
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That's too high of a temp for strike water. Use any one of the many online strike water calc's. I use Beersmith. There is a also android and iPhone app that do it as well.
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:02 PM   #16
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There are many free software packages to tell you water temperature and size

http://www.buildabeer.org/beerquickcalc.php
is nice

Look under Software and you will see other free ones
Brewtarget
bremaster
brewsoft

there is also a new one with activity within the last few days
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:33 PM   #17
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Yeah, I use BeerSmith to calculate it, but the basic math is:

Desired Batch Size
+
Boil Off (specific to your kettle)
+
Loss to Trub (depends on style, typically about 0.5 gallon)
+
Loss to contraction during cooling (about 0.25 gallons)


My 5.5 gallon batches typically require about 7.2 gallons of starting water volume.
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Old 08-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #18
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Got it thanks
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