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Strike Water Temperature

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Brett3rThanU

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I've got 15 lbs of grains and I plan to mash with 4 gallons of water (1.07 quarts/pound), what should the strike temp be when I add the grains if I want to mash at 152F? If my grains are 72F, according to Green Bay Rackers--Mash Calculators I should add the grains to 169F water, but BeerSmith says 166F. What do you guys think I should follow?
 
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It's easy to cool down and hard to heat up.
I would strike a little hot untill you get a feel for the system, and just add a bit of cool water after a good 10 min soak and stir.
Cheers
JJ
 

The Pol

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My program sayes 166.4! And, I have to say, it has always been dead on. SO, thar ye go! Make sure your MLT is nice and warm though, that is not taking into account having to preheat the MLT. I generally start at strike +10F, then when it hits my striek temp (166.4) I mash in.
 
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Brett3rThanU

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My program sayes 166.4! And, I have to say, it has always been dead on. SO, thar ye go! Make sure your MLT is nice and warm though, that is not taking into account having to preheat the MLT. I generally start at strike +10F, then when it hits my striek temp (166.4) I mash in.
That's what I figured. I'll add my strike water at about 175F and wait till it drops to 166 and add my grains. Thanks.
 

The Pol

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No problem BRO! Anytime, even a prima donna can help once in a while!
 

Champurrado

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I wouldn't go with the Green Bay Rackers Calculator. I used that calculator my first time and, well, I'm using Beersmith next time.
 

The Pol

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I only use StrageBrews free software. I am used to it, so I really like it... the temp and volume calculations are always spot on. There is a thread somewhere in the archives here that list all of the most widely used brewing software programs. Search that and you will have a great idea of what is out there!
 

TeleTwanger

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I always use GreenBayRackers calculator and it's always dead on. Trick is knowing your grain temp and pre-heating the tun.
 

The Pol

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I always use GreenBayRackers calculator and it's always dead on. Trick is knowing your grain temp and pre-heating the tun.
The OP is right though, the GreenBayRackers calculator differs by 3F... with all variables being equal. This is while using several different brewing software packages... odd. I find it hard to believe Promash, StrangeBrew and BeerSmith are all incorrect at 166F.
 
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Brett3rThanU

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I went ahead and used 166F yesterday as stated at hit my mash temp dead on at 152F. I'll be trusting Beersmith now over the Green Bay Rackers site.
 

TeleTwanger

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The OP is right though, the GreenBayRackers calculator differs by 3F... with all variables being equal. This is while using several different brewing software packages... odd. I find it hard to believe Promash, StrangeBrew and BeerSmith are all incorrect at 166F.
Yeah that does seem odd GB Rackers puts it at 169F. I do thinner mashes though at least 1.5qts/lbs and using the rackers formula always gets me dead on (it's almost always 166F to drop to 152F). I don't think any are 'wrong' but each may suit different people.
 

The Pol

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Thermodynamic equations are an exact science... a difference of 3F means that something is incorrect. I think these equations are pretty black and white, they are either right or wrong.
 

TeleTwanger

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It's an exact science but the process isn't. There's heat lost not accounted for when adding the water, mixing, and having the lid off. If I mix too much the temp drops, not enough and it's too high. All I know is the GB Rackers calculator works for me.
 

The Pol

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I am referring only to thier calculations being wrong. I mean, I could theoretically mash in with 170F water EVERY time, and leave the lid off and mix the heck out of it to get the temp down... doesnt mean that 170F is the correct strike temp, it only means that if I leave the lid off long enough, even the most off base strike temp will eventually come down.
If you leave the lid off long enough, ANY mash calculator, no matter how incorrect, would be, in your sense, correct. This is of no use to someone who is trying to get thier procedures or system nailed down, when now they have the variable of an incorrect thermodynamic equation thrown in.
The OP was looking for what calculator was correct, and GreenbayMashers is not, unless you leave your lid off longer, then it doenst really matter if you use the calculator at all really. Basically you are lucky that GBMashers calculates a temp that is too high, if it were the other way around, and say a few degrees low, then you'd be hosed.
 

TeleTwanger

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Leaving the lid off was just an example of where heat loss isn't accounted for. I'm talking about having the lid off while stirring the mash during normal procedure. I don't strike at 170F and hope the temp comes down that would be silly. Here's the notes on my last 6 batches using the GB Rackers calculator which I always use:

16.5qts 164F>152F
3.5gallons 164F>152F
4.5gallons 166F>152F
15qts 166F>152F
3gallons 164F>158F
2.5gallons 166F>154F
 

The Pol

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You arent getting my point. If the calculator is wrong, on the HIGH end, my example to make it clearer was 170F... of course it will cool to the correct temp.
What if the calculator figures it on the low end, since we already know that thier thermodynamic equation is incorrect, then what will you do? What will a noob do?
Again, my point to the OP is that GBMashers is WRONG and every other brew software out there that calculated 166F is correct. I know, I know, it will COOL to the right temp, but it doesnt make the calculation correct.

This is important to point out, because last week I helped a guy on here WHILE he was mashing because of this very thing. He ended up with 5 gallons of water in his mash because he got the WRONG strike temp, overshot his mash temp, overcorrected etc... he saved the brew only thanks to some of us here. People need to know that not all mash calculators are correct, and they need to know where to go to find ones that are reliable, especially our newer AG brewers.
 

RC0032

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Sure, download the zip file here...

StrangeBrew Brewing Software
Im missing the free part?

Cost: StrangeBrew is available as shareware/freeware with a limited trial period (30 days). After the 30 day trial, some features are disabled. If you like StrangeBrew and want to use all the features beyond the trial, there's a $15 registration fee. Registration gets you technical support, future versions, and a warm fuzzy feeling inside. See the licence.txt file or help file that is installed with StrangeBrew for details on sending me some cash.
 

The Pol

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Odd, I downloaded it and I have been using it for a year... it has never said anything about "trial" or anything of the sort. I have it on several pc's and my memory stick! If there are functions disabled on it, I cannot find them!
 

aa8jzdial

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Very interesting post. We have been wrestling with too warm a mash using the GBR program and thought it was our thermometer or techniques, etc.
But since the GBR stuff is free, and I like free, does it just need an offset added to the calculated temps or does it vary as the mash temp goes up?
For you math guys, mx+b.
55 pounds are being mashed tomorrow and shotting for 153 degs at 1.1 qts/lb. Garage is cold so grains will be about 40 degs.Will drop by at least 3-4 degs from GBR's recommendation.
tnx
rick
w mi
 

The Pol

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HEY, you will need 15.1 gallons at 173F... that will give you a 153F rest. Not sure if the GBR calculator deviation is a constant, or if it is variable...
 
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