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Old 02-09-2013, 04:25 PM   #11
betaman
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Oct 2012
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looks interesting orangemen5 but what is it made of?

 
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
orangemen5
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It's just pink styrofoam board from Home Depot. Cut to fit and wrapped with aluminum foil so the styrofoam doesn't get into the mash

 
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:12 PM   #13
betaman
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I know people have been drinking from styrofoam cups for ages and the jury is out on the health issues for that but I just have a sense that polystyrene mashing with my beer may have some carcinogenic properties. I don't think I will try that.

 
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:52 PM   #14
DirtBagRob
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Here's what I did:
I used a square coleman cooler but the principle will work on any cooler with a 1/2" female npt ball valve. Where the ball valve attaches to the nipple going through the cooler wall, remove the ball valve. Install a 1/2" female tee in its place with one tee opening heading directly into the cooler and the other branch of the tee perpendicular to the hole in the cooler, but in the same plane as your manifold. Install a thermometer with a 3 to 6 inch probe and a male 1/2" npt thread into the branch of the tee that is inline with the nipple so that the probe sticks into your manifold on the inside of your cooler. Attach your ball valve to the other branch of the tee using a 1/2 by 1 inch nipple. I haven't yet mashed with this set up because I just finished it but I have filled the cooler with 160 deg water and drained it and it doesn't leak, the temperature is dead accurate with 2 other thermometers, and the water drained as fast as it should.

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Old 03-01-2013, 07:48 PM   #15
zachattack
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, MA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpertskir View Post
I wouldnt worry about the temp of the mash inside anyways.

Even with an ambient air temp of around 60, I lose maybe a degree or two with my 10 gallon cooler MLT, even with a decent amount of head space(if I am mashing thick or something).

Any attempts to monitor the temp without stirring will be futile anyways because of the hot and cold spots that develop.

Get your mash temp where you want it, shut the lid, and forget about it.

If you are so inclined, measure the temp at the end of the mash just to see how much you lost. I'll bet you 10 bucks you dont do it more than a couple times.
My experience says the same. There's really no need to monitor the mash temperatures once the lid is closed.

 
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #16
stratslinger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtBagRob View Post
Here's what I did:
I used a square coleman cooler but the principle will work on any cooler with a 1/2" female npt ball valve. Where the ball valve attaches to the nipple going through the cooler wall, remove the ball valve. Install a 1/2" female tee in its place with one tee opening heading directly into the cooler and the other branch of the tee perpendicular to the hole in the cooler, but in the same plane as your manifold. Install a thermometer with a 3 to 6 inch probe and a male 1/2" npt thread into the branch of the tee that is inline with the nipple so that the probe sticks into your manifold on the inside of your cooler. Attach your ball valve to the other branch of the tee using a 1/2 by 1 inch nipple. I haven't yet mashed with this set up because I just finished it but I have filled the cooler with 160 deg water and drained it and it doesn't leak, the temperature is dead accurate with 2 other thermometers, and the water drained as fast as it should.
So wait - if I'm picturing this right, the valve is basically parallel to the cooler, instead of perpendicular to it, as is typical for most installations?

The only hangup could be for folks using manifolds or false bottoms - the thermometer probe would necessarily have to be inside the tubing connecting that manifold or false bottom to the bulkhead - so if your probe is too long, you're kind of hosed. And if your probe isn't long enough, you're not necessarily measuring the temperature of the grain bed itself.

 
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:32 PM   #17
DirtBagRob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
So wait - if I'm picturing this right, the valve is basically parallel to the cooler, instead of perpendicular to it, as is typical for most installations?

The only hangup could be for folks using manifolds or false bottoms - the thermometer probe would necessarily have to be inside the tubing connecting that manifold or false bottom to the bulkhead - so if your probe is too long, you're kind of hosed. And if your probe isn't long enough, you're not necessarily measuring the temperature of the grain bed itself.
Ya, that is correct, the valve is perpendicular to the cooler. I have a 3/8" pvc manifold and it works ok. I had to play with the stack up between the washers, orings, nuts, and nipple to make it work, and I had to use a 3/4" pvc coupler inside of my cooler as a spacing sleeve between the bulkhead washer and where my manifold connects because I had to use a 3.5" nipple to accomodate my thermometer with a 5" long probe..... it did take some experimentation and I had to return about $20 worth of fittings to home depot after I found out what I needed to make it work. I was concerned about the temp difference between the water sitting inside my manifold at the bottom of the cooler and the water near the lid of the cooler, but after I let 8 gallons of 160 deg water sit in the 10 gallon cooler for about 10 minutes, the blichmann thermo in the manifold was 1 degree lower than an instant read thermo I put in the water inside the cooler......good enough for me. After sunday I'll know if it still reads accurately with 12 lbs of grain inside, but I think it'll be close.

 
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:22 PM   #18
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Yeah, I wouldn't be so concerned about stratification of temperature of just a pure liquid in the tun... I'll be interested to hear your observations on how the readings of the thermometer probe inside the manifold compare to the readings of a thermometer measuring the rest of the grainbed though. If they're reasonably close or, even better, spot on, then it would seem you've got a winner on your hands.

 
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:14 PM   #19
DirtBagRob
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
Yeah, I wouldn't be so concerned about stratification of temperature of just a pure liquid in the tun... I'll be interested to hear your observations on how the readings of the thermometer probe inside the manifold compare to the readings of a thermometer measuring the rest of the grainbed though. If they're reasonably close or, even better, spot on, then it would seem you've got a winner on your hands.
Well, I finally brewed this weekend and it turns out my thermometer design isn't all that great. When I doughed in, the temp on my mounted thermometer and my digital thermometer were exactly the same. As the mash went on, the temp on the mounted dial thermo slowly dropped about 20 degrees while the other held steady. When I started my runnings, the dial thermo immediately jumped back up to the temp of my grain bed. I think that since the nipple is so long plus the tee, that is a lot of metal surface area outside of the cooler and its dissipating the heat from the wort sitting on the thermo probe. All I had to do at any time to get a correct reading on my dial was crack the valve for just a second and it would read correctly for about 10 min then start to drop again. I think I'm going to drop the tee, put the ball valve in line and drill a hole for the thermometer at the level of the grain bed.

 
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpertskir View Post
...

Get your mash temp where you want it, shut the lid, and forget about it.

If you are so inclined, measure the temp at the end of the mash just to see how much you lost. I'll bet you 10 bucks you dont do it more than a couple times.
This^^^

I have a 10 gallon HD round cooler. My last brew: temperature at mash in, 152. After 60 minute mash, 151.9.

 
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