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Old 08-09-2013, 06:40 PM   #1
deadboy182
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Default 10 Gallon Cooler - Mash Tun - Temp Problems

I started with all grain brewing at the beginning of the year. I was making 3 gallon batches and using a 5 gallon Igloo cooler for my mash tun. The strike temps I was given by iBrewMaster seemed to work spot on for my mash temps. Now, I upgraded to a 10 gallon igloo cooler and I am having trouble hitting my mash temps based on projected strike temps from iBrewMaster. This seems to be most prevalent on the saccharification rest. I went to a 10 gallon in part because I did not have enough room to do high gravity beers and multi-step infusions. Any suggestions on how to adjust my temps. I am coming in about 6 to 8 F below.

My current solution is add additional hot water or take some thin mash and decot to bring the temp up. This is a pain. Help me avoid going back to smaller batches...


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Old 08-09-2013, 06:44 PM   #2
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Have you tried preheating your mash tun with a gallon or so of boiling water?

If not, try it and dump the preheat water before adding grain and strike water. A preheated tun will remove less heat from your mash than one which is cold or at room temp.


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Old 08-09-2013, 06:45 PM   #3
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The software should have a setting for the mash tun heat capacity that you will need to adjust, as well as the deadspace numbers. Make sure that the equipment in it matches your equipment... The other issue might be that you aren't setting your grain temperature correctly and are now using more grain, so you are getting a bigger error.

I don't have iBrewMaster, so I can't tell you how to fix this, but this is definitely a feature available in the competition (BeerSmith, etc).
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:47 PM   #4
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It's seems your answer is in your statement. Increase your strike temps by 6-8F. You should also be preheating your mashtun. This is where I suspect you're losing your degrees. Next batch, try increasing your strike temp by 10F and pour into your mashtun. Then close the lid for 10-15 minutes. Then open the lid and allow it to cool to your strike temp. Finally, dough in and see if your mash temps remain more stable.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:37 PM   #5
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I always add the water to my mash tun first at about 5F - 10F degrees above my strike temp and let the water cool down to my strike temp. Then I slowly add grains while stirring into the water.

This is what I use for my calculations:
http://www.brew365.com/mash_sparge_water_calculator.php

*Note, you do not know your Mash Thickness (aka qts water/lbs of grain) so leave it at 1.33. After it calculates the mash water needed in gallons, multiply the number by 4 (4 qts = 1 gal) and then divide by your lbs of grains. You will then get your Mash Thickness which you can add in to the equation. This will then change your Mash Water needed so you have to calculate again and maybe even one more time to the get the correct thickness associated with your water needed.

Hope that helped.
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:29 AM   #6
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dyqik - how do you establish your grain temp. I am definitely not adjusting this setting in the software.

I'll try preheating on my next batch. Finished for today, with my previously mentioned work around. I have a nice belgian dubbel sitting in primary.

Thanks all for your suggestions.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:05 AM   #7
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I know i loose 3 degrees to heat my cooler, so my water will be strike temp+3 degrees. I let it sit in the cooler to preheat for about 10 minutes then remove the lid and add grain or let the temp drop a degree or two if needed before I add the grain.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadboy182 View Post
I started with all grain brewing at the beginning of the year. I was making 3 gallon batches and using a 5 gallon Igloo cooler for my mash tun. The strike temps I was given by iBrewMaster seemed to work spot on for my mash temps. Now, I upgraded to a 10 gallon igloo cooler and I am having trouble hitting my mash temps based on projected strike temps from iBrewMaster. This seems to be most prevalent on the saccharification rest. I went to a 10 gallon in part because I did not have enough room to do high gravity beers and multi-step infusions. Any suggestions on how to adjust my temps. I am coming in about 6 to 8 F below.

My current solution is add additional hot water or take some thin mash and decot to bring the temp up. This is a pain. Help me avoid going back to smaller batches...
You have more headspace in the biggrr mlt. I cut a piese os Styrofoam to fit my mlt and push it down to right above the mash and i dont lose temp
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Old 08-10-2013, 06:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadboy182 View Post
dyqik - how do you establish your grain temp. I am definitely not adjusting this setting in the software.

I'll try preheating on my next batch. Finished for today, with my previously mentioned work around. I have a nice belgian dubbel sitting in primary.

Thanks all for your suggestions.
From what I have seen, you simply insert a thermometer in the dry grain and get a reading. Also, I see many guys pre heat the mash tun by pouring a gallon or so and closing the lid before dumping the full mash volume.
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Old 08-10-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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+1 for preheating. I've done partial mashes using a 5 gallon mlt. I first pour near boiling water in the cooler then put the lid on and leave it for about ten minutes (start hearing your strike water now). Once my strike water is up to temp I drain/dump the preheat water. Add the strike water and dough in! This has helped me immensely, and there's been tons of headspace (admittedly too much space)!

Also +1 on styrofoam to close off headspace. I haven't done this but have a fellow brewer who does and swears by it.


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