Controlling mash temp? - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Controlling mash temp?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-07-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
muggs
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Ohio
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts



Hi Guys, I've done four brews, all on my stove top. They've turned out good, especially the last two. But, controlling the mash temp has been a challenge to do on the stove top with a gas burner. I have to stand over the wort the entire mash time, and no matter how much attention I pay, it's impossible to maintain a precise temp.

What techniques to you guys use to control your mash temp? Any tips are really appreicated. I'm going to try an all grain black IPA recipe next and I want to mash and sparge this right.

Thanks!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
BridgeBrew
 
BridgeBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jan 2013
Willmar, Minnesota
Posts: 103
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


I think alot of people use a cooler type mash tun. They hold temp real well and you dont have to babysit them as much as a kettle on the stovetop. Your setup is pretty much a direct fire setup that you have to monitor yourself. You could get some type of insulation that wraps around your kettle to help retain your heat. The foil type will work. You will still have to watch your temps even with that around your kettle.

There are other electronically controlled systems, but i dont have any experience with PID controlled systems.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:08 PM   #3
muggs
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Ohio
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Yeah, I saw a lot of cooler talk when I tried searching this, but I didn't understand how that could help. Now I get it. So, I'd just heat the water up to the desired temp in my kettle, pour that into a santizied cooler and then add the grains?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:13 PM   #4
Grannyknot
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,241
Liked 239 Times on 161 Posts


Try pre-heating your oven to 150, then putting your kettle in there for the rest.
I mash in a 15 gal kettle which sits on my propane burner. I usually wrap an old sleeping bag around it and can get pretty consistant temps throughout 90% of the mash.
__________________
On Tap: Dry Hopped Sour Ale
Bottled: Dupont Clone, Brett Saison
Secondary:
Primary:
On Deck: Kolsch, Summer Saison

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #5
duboman
Recipes 
 
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
Liked 508 Times on 470 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by muggs View Post
Yeah, I saw a lot of cooler talk when I tried searching this, but I didn't understand how that could help. Now I get it. So, I'd just heat the water up to the desired temp in my kettle, pour that into a santizied cooler and then add the grains?
Correct, you heat up the required amount of water to the strike temperature, usually around 163-5F and add that to the cooler, then dough in (mix) the grains in, the temperature will settle at about 152 and there you leave it sit for 60 minutes or until complete conversion. Note, these temperatures are examples, every set up and grain bill or required mash temp will change each batch.

In reality, there is no need to sanitize the mash tun. The wort you will drain out will then go to boil which will kill off anything that may have been in the tun. In reality, there is no sanitizing required pre-boil, it is only once the wort has been cooled where sanitizing becomes important.
__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:23 PM   #6
ApothecaryBrewing
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
Rochester, NY
Posts: 487
Liked 30 Times on 23 Posts


Using a cooler is the easiest way. You convert the spigot on it to a bulkhead and ball valve with any type of filter you want on the inside (False bottom, SS braid, bazooka screen, pvc or copper manifold). The conversion instructions kicking around this forum are perfect. I followed them myself. You can also pick up cheap coolers from craigslist or your garage :P.

Any cooler will typically be able to hold temperature, maybe dropping 1 degree, over an hour long mash. You just heat the strike water to the appropriate temp (typically 10-15 degrees F higher than your mash temp), add it to the cooler, add your grain and stir until your temp stabalizes and you hit your mash temp. Having some spare boiling water helps if you undershoot the temp. If you overshoot it, just keep stirring with the lid off.

When I mashed in my kettle, I found that wrapping a towel around the whole thing, including the lid helped it keep temperature. But go with a cooler. If you DIY it is cheap and you will never worry about maintaining a temperature during your mash ever again. I always try to avoid directly heating my mash... I have heard bad things happen that way.
__________________
Brewpothecary

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
muggs
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Ohio
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


I thought about the oven, but my oven's minimum temp is 175. I could crack the door or something, but then I'd be running into the same inconsistency issues as I would just playing with the burner on my stove top.

Thanks for the ideas. I think I'm going to try the cooler method.

I'll let you know how the CDA turns out. Still working on my grain bill, but I have the hops figured out.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:34 PM   #8
ApothecaryBrewing
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
Rochester, NY
Posts: 487
Liked 30 Times on 23 Posts


Just remember to add a significant amount of aroma hops and dry-hops to the CDA. A lot of them fall flat on this and end up being more of a porter or stout :-/
__________________
Brewpothecary

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 05:01 PM   #9
muggs
Recipes 
 
Aug 2008
Ohio
Posts: 37
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


I'm dry hopping with 1 oz Columbus (14.60 AA) and 1 oz Nugget (12.20 AA). I think 2 oz total is what I'm after. Both those varieties will be in the boil too, amonst a few others.

My goal is an IBU about 60-70. I do like bitter beers, but I'm not a 100+ IBU kinda of guy anymore.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
WoodlandBrew
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
WoodlandBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Malden, MA
Posts: 2,191
Liked 244 Times on 199 Posts


I do stove too BIAB. Keeping your processes consistent is more crucial than hitting exact temperatures. If you constantly fiddle with the temperature you'll never know what the temperature was for most of the mash. I heat to my saccharification temperature and then turn the heat off and put on the lid. (Stiring the whole time on the way to temp). The temperature continues up a couple of degrees, and then over an hour drops about 4.

Some people wrap a blanket around the pot. The oven at its lowest setting also sounds like a good idea.
__________________
The 2nd edition is now available: Brewing Engineering
Woodland Brewing Research Blog Applied Science for Better Beer.

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Controlling Fermentation Temp BenzTechBK Fermentation & Yeast 1 10-20-2012 12:49 AM
Controlling ferment temp Gustavo General Beer Discussion 3 08-11-2011 04:00 PM
Controlling the temp of my mash Sublime8365 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 03-01-2011 02:11 PM
Temp control not controlling temp DogFlynnHead Bottling/Kegging 8 02-14-2011 07:30 PM
Temp controlling a fridge? claphamsa Bottling/Kegging 6 11-10-2009 02:55 AM


Forum Jump