# Please cure my strike temp ignorance

### Help Support Homebrew Talk:

#### xumbi

##### Well-Known Member
So I'm planning on brewing Ed Wort's haus pale ale for my first all grain batch. As I try to understand the math behind everything, I get stuck on the strike temperature.

I plan on batch sparging just as Ed describes in the recipe. However, when I plug what I think are valid values into the promash strike calculator I see this:

I put in 60% for my efficiency, so I'm adding 2 extra pounds of 2-row, hence 12.5lbs of grain. Everything but the strike water temp looks right to me. I have 12.5lbs of grain, and 3.5 gallons of water. After 60 minutes I know I'll be adding more water, but why would I put that water into the "initial strike water" calculator? I'm so confused...

Obviously 214 degrees is way too high, but all of the other values look right to me. What am I missing?

##### Well-Known Member
Try adjusting the qts/lb to 1.25 You need more water in there to strike, with more water you won't need it to be so hot. Standard mash ratio is 1.0 - 1.5 qts per pound of grain.

Using this site http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

it says you need 171 degrees for your strike water.

Linc

#### McKBrew

##### Well-Known Member
I'm not familiar with Promash, but does the mash tun thermal mass setting impact the recommended strike temp?

##### Well-Known Member
The total water field reads in quarts, not gallons. Multiply 3.5 by 4 to get 14 quarts of total water. That will help a lot! Good luck, I am sure you will be very happy with AG!

OP
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#### xumbi

##### Well-Known Member
Wow, I'm even more of an idiot than I originally thought. I thought "total water" was measured in gallons, not quarts.

OK, this makes much more sense now. If I adjust the water/grain ratio to 1.25 quarts, I end up with 15.63 quarts of "total water", which is almost 4 gallons. And now the strike temperature is far more reasonable, at 165 degrees.

I think I'm good now, thanks!

##### Flyfisherman/brewer
McKBrew said:
I'm not familiar with Promash, but does the mash tun thermal mass setting impact the recommended strike temp?
It does yes, however if you pre-heat your mash tun you can set it to zero and it works out. I pre-heat my mash tun and use zero for that setting and nail my strike temperature.

#### malkore

##### Well-Known Member
xumbi said:
Wow, I'm even more of an idiot than I originally thought. I thought "total water" was measured in gallons, not quarts.

OK, this makes much more sense now. If I adjust the water/grain ratio to 1.25 quarts, I end up with 15.63 quarts of "total water", which is almost 4 gallons. And now the strike temperature is far more reasonable, at 165 degrees.

I think I'm good now, thanks!

Yep, that sounds 'normal' to me.

and for the mast tun thermal mass...if you pre-heat with hot tap water (say 120F) for a good 10 minutes, then you should really be able to nail that final strike temp.

OP
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#### xumbi

##### Well-Known Member
malkore said:
Yep, that sounds 'normal' to me.

and for the mast tun thermal mass...if you pre-heat with hot tap water (say 120F) for a good 10 minutes, then you should really be able to nail that final strike temp.
I plan on heating the water hotter than required, probably 175, let it heat up the masth tun and wait for it to come down to the strike temp of 165 to add the grains. Would there be any drawbacks to this method?

#### Bobby_M

##### Vendor and Brewer
No, I preach that method all day long. Try it!

#### Bearcat Brewmeister

##### Pour, Drink, Pee, Repeat
+1. Much more consistent on hitting mash temp since I took this advice and started doing it this way.

#### inhifistereo

##### Well-Known Member
OK, another rookie question . . .

Can someone please explain what the water to grain ratio is and why it is significant?

#### FlyingHorse

##### Well-Known Member
inhifistereo said:
OK, another rookie question . . .

Can someone please explain what the water to grain ratio is and why it is significant?
Palmer can: http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14-6.html

The grist/water ratio is another factor influencing the performance of the mash. A thinner mash of >2 quarts of water per pound of grain dilutes the relative concentration of the enzymes, slowing the conversion, but ultimately leads to a more fermentable mash because the enzymes are not inhibited by a high concentration of sugars. A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer. A thicker mash is more gentle to the enzymes because of the lower heat capacity of grain compared to water. A thick mash is better for multirest mashes because the enzymes are not denatured as quickly by a rise in temperature.

#### jayhoz

##### Well-Known Member
xumbi said:
I plan on heating the water hotter than required, probably 175, let it heat up the masth tun and wait for it to come down to the strike temp of 165 to add the grains. Would there be any drawbacks to this method?
This is what I do. It works great. Depending on conditions you might want to go even higher on the initial water temp. My last brew I cut it too close and found my tun leveled out at 160 instead of 165. Better safe than sorry. Especially on your first AG.

OP
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#### xumbi

##### Well-Known Member
jayhoz said:
This is what I do. It works great. Depending on conditions you might want to go even higher on the initial water temp. My last brew I cut it too close and found my tun leveled out at 160 instead of 165. Better safe than sorry. Especially on your first AG.
Sounds good, maybe I'll do 185 to be safe.