Mash tun temp stability problems - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Mash tun temp stability problems

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-05-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
ph0ngwh0ng
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 307
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts



Hi!

I've seen a thread on that some days ago, but I'm still at a loss.

I have bought a Coleman cooler (2 gallons) for small batches. The lid is not insulated (i couldn't find any cooler with an insulated lid at this size). I have tried aluminum foil and styrofoam and blankets, and tested with water at mashing temps. I still get a 10F loss over an hour at best.

Now, I'm thinking about spraying the lid with insulating foam (polyurethane), but I'm unsure about the toxicity? There is a lot of water that condensates on the lid and drops back down in the mash...
__________________
alex b

RDWHAHB but, please, oh PLEASE, RTFM!!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
kombat
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,443
Liked 1947 Times on 1227 Posts


Can you drill a hole in the lid and shoot it full of that expanding, insulating foam stuff?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #3
ph0ngwh0ng
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 307
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by kombat View Post
Can you drill a hole in the lid and shoot it full of that expanding, insulating foam stuff?
Nope. It's just a layer of plastic.
__________________
alex b

RDWHAHB but, please, oh PLEASE, RTFM!!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
Pie_Man
 
Pie_Man's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2011
Gainesville, FL
Posts: 1,372
Liked 138 Times on 130 Posts


If the spray foam can contact the wort, I would avoid using it.

Have your tried pre-heating the cooler? That should help a lot.

An alternative to the cooler might be to mash in a metal pot inside your oven using the oven to maintain mash temp. You can then run the grain through a strainer or colander to lauter.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 01:33 PM   #5
GrogNerd
mean old man
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
GrogNerd's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2012
Sterling, VA
Posts: 6,013
Liked 2081 Times on 1304 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0ngwh0ng View Post
Hi!

I've seen a thread on that some days ago, but I'm still at a loss.

I have bought a Coleman cooler (2 gallons) for small batches. The lid is not insulated (i couldn't find any cooler with an insulated lid at this size). I have tried aluminum foil and styrofoam and blankets, and tested with water at mashing temps. I still get a 10F loss over an hour at best.

Now, I'm thinking about spraying the lid with insulating foam (polyurethane), but I'm unsure about the toxicity? There is a lot of water that condensates on the lid and drops back down in the mash...
have you actually used it to mash? or only tested with water?

testing with only water won't give you an accurate indication of how much heat you'll lose in a actual mash; you need a thermal mass (grains).
__________________
"Beer. Good." - Words of House Grog

drinking: Otto M. Gourd Pumpkin Barleywine, Jewel Thieves Apple Wine, Fresh Squee Zed IPA - bottle conditioning: LoCo Foot Barleywine, Basque cider - lagering : Schwarzbier - fermenting: apple wine, Skeeter Pee - on deck: Grodziskie

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 02:29 PM   #6
firerat
F-You I'm Drunk
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
firerat's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Oct 2009
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 1,002
Liked 351 Times on 217 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man View Post

Have your tried pre-heating the cooler? That should help a lot.
This^^

You gonna lose a lot of heat of you're not precooling.

If you can't fill the lid with foam (Great Stuff is what it's called), maybe try wrapping an old sleeping bag or blanket or something to insulate the top. That's where the majority of your heat is going to go.

EDIT:

Oh looks like you did the blankets thing already.
__________________
"I never apologize. I'm sorry but thats just the way I am."--Homer J. Simpson

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #7
remthewanderer
Recipes 
 
Jun 2011
philadelphia, NJ
Posts: 87
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts


How much airspace is there between the mash and the lid?

I had a similar issue because I bought a cooler large enough to mash 10 gallon batches. When I tried to do a 5 gal batch the airspace inside the cooler really sucked a lot of heat.

What I did was buy some hard board type house insulation. This pink board has an r value of 10. I cut a square that would fit inside the cooler. I wrapped this in a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and made a quick rope handle to pull it out.

With this little contraption I can take up most of the airspace in the cooler. I only drop a few degrees over an hour.
__________________
Sincerely,
jeREMy
@JeremyBehrens on Twitter

------------
Hop Creek Brewing
@HopCreek on Twitter

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2013, 08:33 PM   #8
Smellyglove
Recipes 
 
May 2013
Posts: 860
Liked 63 Times on 61 Posts


What was the thickness of the styrofoam you used?

My mash tun is a cheapo cooler which I insulated and also cut me a fake lid of 2" styrofoam. The styrofoam (wrapped in food plastic) goes as far down into the cooler as I can get it without touching the mash. During the first brew I did with it (and one only one so far) I actually forgot put on the lid which came with the cooler, but even then I only lost about 1F during one hour.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2013, 01:09 AM   #9
ph0ngwh0ng
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 307
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man View Post
If the spray foam can contact the wort, I would avoid using it.

Have your tried pre-heating the cooler? That should help a lot..
The foam would not contact the wort directly, but condensation would drip back in the wort.

Yes, all tests I run are with cooler pre-heating for 5 minutes. Then I take the temp and start the timer for 60 minutes.

Quote:
testing with only water won't give you an accurate indication of how much heat you'll lose in a actual mash; you need a thermal mass (grains).
Yes, that was a concern during the tests. I have only tested with water with THIS cooler. The reason why I've begun tests is because I found out on my last batch that temp had dropped 15*. I have since changed my cooler, because I noticed it lacked insulation around the faucet in an area of about 50 square inches, and it couldn't be fixed. But yes, i should test with an actual mash.

Quote:
What I did was buy some hard board type house insulation. This pink board has an r value of 10. I cut a square that would fit inside the cooler. I wrapped this in a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and made a quick rope handle to pull it out.
Ok yeah I should try this out. Although, I think I could just spray the foam on the lid, then cut a round plastic piece and glue it to the foam. That way, the water would condensate on the plastic, not the foam. Is this a good idea or not?
__________________
alex b

RDWHAHB but, please, oh PLEASE, RTFM!!!

 
Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2013, 01:11 AM   #10
ph0ngwh0ng
Recipes 
 
May 2008
Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 307
Liked 21 Times on 20 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by GrogNerd View Post
have you actually used it to mash? or only tested with water?

testing with only water won't give you an accurate indication of how much heat you'll lose in a actual mash; you need a thermal mass (grains).
Would there be something I could test with except an actual mash? Oatmeal maybe?
__________________
alex b

RDWHAHB but, please, oh PLEASE, RTFM!!!

 
Reply With Quote


Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Orange Zest: Potential infections and long term stability problems? GavSenior Recipes/Ingredients 9 01-08-2013 11:20 AM
Larger Grain Bill & Problems hitting mash temp. Jukas All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 3 09-09-2012 02:34 AM
Problems measuring mash temp y2jrock60 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 12-30-2011 11:53 PM
Temp stability in 10 gallon beverage cooler mjohnson Equipment/Sanitation 18 03-11-2011 12:59 PM
stainless mash tun and temperature stability woopig Equipment/Sanitation 11 05-08-2010 03:56 AM


Forum Jump