Originally Posted by dsherburn
I'm brewing in Michigan in my (semi) heated garage. I'm consistently a bit low on my mash temoerature (145 deg when I'm after 152), and I'm loosing a few degrees during the mash.
Being I'm mashing in a modified cooler, I don't have temperature control (yet) other than adding hotter water. I'm looking at steam.
My question is, am I better off adding boiling water to get the temp up (and stirring) or just let it go? Another way of asking the question, is a thinner mash at the correct temperature better than the proper mash ratio at a lower temperature?
I'll keep adjusting my strike water temp in the short run.............
How are you determining your strike temperature? Are you preheating the mash tun? What is the temperature of your grain? All of these factor into getting your mash temperature correct. Once you mash in, you shouldn't need to add heat. That is why you are using a cooler instead of mashing in your pot. It's insulated and should keep your temperature pretty constant.
If you mash at a lower temperature you end up with a more fermentable wort giving you a drier beer than you probably intended. Add more hot water and quickly stir it in so you don't lose heat with the cooler open. There isn't anything magical about the mash thickness. If you have to add more water to the mash, you add less for the sparge or you boil longer/more vigorously to boil off the excess.