Going to have to automate a bit...
So I got a big old monster cooler for my mashing. Installed a sight tube and a temperature gauge as well as drilled a bulkhead for my drain and screen.
It's a thing of beauty. However, it's too damn big. I generally brew 5.5 gallon batches and the thing has too much headspace and a poorly insulated lid so frankly I cannot control the temperature inside. I start at my strike temp of say, 168 and dough in, then I watch in dismay as the mash temperature drops, slowly at first then consistently to around 140. There seems to be very little I can do about it. I've insulated, tried to put the mash tun in a heated room etc. but I consistently lose all my heat.
Therefore... I am going to plug in a march pump and route wort through the old HERM coil immersed in the hot liquor tank. I haven't bought any PIDs or anything. at first I will be happily sipping beer and manually running the pump whenever my mash tun indicates that the temperature is slipping. I plan on keeping the liquor tank around 160 or 165 and the sincere hope is that I can better control the temperature in my mash until I am ready to drop the long green on a control panel to manage the pump and liquor tank as well as mash temperature.
I suppose it just means more time for me to sit and drink beer. My brews have been fine, but I can't hit the consistency I want with my OG and FG readings. So... Off I go to the next step in madness.
Muddy Creek Brewery
Muddy Creek Chocolate Stout
Storm the Door Vanilla Porter
Skinny Cow IPA
Karma Belgian Blonde
Good Time Wheat Ale
No Paddle Amber Ale
Dirty Blonde Ale
SEASONAL: Clementine Wheat Ale
SEASONAL: Black Ice Blackberry Pale Ale
COMING SOON Crazy Beautiful Pale Ale