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The Blow Leprechaun

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So I did my first all-grain yesterday.

My 60 qt cooler with CPVC manifold worked beautifully. My cooler has a very awkwardly placed drain spout, but I was able to design the manifold to create a siphon and pull everything out. Test runs with water left behind slightly over a cup of water, and I got the same performance with grain in there.

Pretty much followed Bobby M's all grain primer, dumped in 180-ish water to preheat, let it cooler to 168-ish, added grain, stirred, continued stirring til it got to where I wanted it (152).

It held at 152 for 35 minutes without change when suddenly my digital thermometer started ticking the temperature upwards rapidly (eventually reaching 191*, which I think is as high as it goes - it's a meat thermometer). I grabbed another instant read thermometer, poked it around the mash in various places, still got 150-ish (it's analog, so I can't be exact), and didn't worry about it.

Ended up with 63% efficiency and have 4.6 gallons of 1.055 APA in the fermenter. My yeast took off like a shot - I left the house shortly after pitching and when I returned 3 hours later, it was already going.

We'll see how it all tastes at the end!

As a sidenote, anyone have any idea what happened to my digital thermometer? It reads 160* at room temperature now. It doesn't have a calibration button, and I've tried the reset buttons and it still reads 160. Maybe if I switch the batteries?
 

Homercidal

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Efficiency is a bit low, but that could be a calculation error or poor crush on the grains. Hard to say. Did you adjust for temps when reading hydro?

The thermomter might not be waterproof. I used one that was for meat, with a probe, and it did the same thing. After a couple of weeks, it now only reads 5 degrees high!

They sell some online that are pretty nice for brewing, or maybe modify it to keep the water out (silicone tubing, or silicone sealer and heat shrink). There is a nice article on silicone tubing around here somewhere.
 

bull8042

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It is suffering from liquid penetration..... (insert pun here)

Some have had success baking theirs in the oven on a low temp for a while to dry them out. It might be worth a shot.
 

Ewalk02

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As a sidenote, anyone have any idea what happened to my digital thermometer? It reads 160* at room temperature now. It doesn't have a calibration button, and I've tried the reset buttons and it still reads 160. Maybe if I switch the batteries?
First off interesting name......;)

I had this same thing happen to my meat thermometer but after putting the temperature probe in the overn for about 20 minutes on low it was back to normal. I have noticed however that my meat thermometer was a little off, it read 30 *F in ice water, so I ended up ordering a waterproof lab thermometer that is certified to be off +- 1.8 *F in the range of brewing temps.
 

Ceedubya

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First off interesting name......;)

I had this same thing happen to my meat thermometer but after putting the temperature probe in the overn for about 20 minutes on low it was back to normal. I have noticed however that my meat thermometer was a little off, it read 30 *F in ice water, so I ended up ordering a waterproof lab thermometer that is certified to be off +- 1.8 *F in the range of brewing temps.

Ewalk, what thermometer did you buy, and where?

I had this same problem with my digital. I will try the oven thing to see if it fixes the probe.

Oh, and good job on the first all grain!
 
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The Blow Leprechaun

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Efficiency is a bit low, but that could be a calculation error or poor crush on the grains. Hard to say. Did you adjust for temps when reading hydro?
Yeah, I did. I'm going to attribute it to grains for now, but we'll see how successive batches go. Unfortunately I have no plans to buy a grain mill in the near future, so I need to rely on my LHBS for the crushing.

It's good to hear that the thermometer might be salvageable. I guess I just shouldn't leave it in the mash like I did!
 
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