Thermometer Hell: Fear and Loathing 1st AG

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njnear76

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Well, there is something to be said about making sure your equipment works. I did my first AG the other day. My 7 gallon pre boil OG was around 1.038 (56% efficiency) and I brought it back up to 1.048 with some Dry Malt Extract.

Turns out that I really messed up. I was comparing my three thermometers today in a glass of warm water and I found that every single one gave a different temperature. WTF?
  • Meat thermometer said 140F.
  • Dairy thermometer (the one I used for mashing) said 135F.
  • The hydrometer thermometer said 110F. (Supposedly there are markers for it to go up to 140F. Maybe there is not enough of fluid to make it up to 140F.)
Oh crap!

When I was doing the OG for the AG, I took the hydrometer reading shortly after my last sparge. I made sure I mixed it up really well prior. Unfortunately I didn't use the dairy thermometer, but I have to think the temperature of the wort was around 140F-160F. Unfortunately, I used the hydrometer thermometer, which said 110F.

The hydrometer reading prior to adjustments: 1.030
110F 1.038
140F 1.046
150F 1.049
160F 1.052

Doh! Then I added a 1.75 pounds of dry malt extract on top of that?!?

Yikes!

I bought a digital thermometer today so this nonsense won't happen again. It will be interesting to see what happens though. Unknowningly I may have mashed 5 degrees warmer than I wanted (Target was 154F). If I didn't add any malt extract, I would have been golden. I think my efficiency was 75%. But with so many unknowns I will never know. Sigh.

How bad will a 6.5 - 7% beer taste?
 

Evets

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RDWHAHB!! Sounds like you learnded some valuable lessons. Don't worry about your efficiency at this point. Scrap the meat and dairy thermometers and just use your hydro as a hydro. From now on, go with the digital you just bought.
There's nothing wrong with a 6.5-7% beer.
Also; Don't be afraid. It's only beer!
 
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njnear76

njnear76

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Evets said:
RDWHAHB!! Sounds like you learnded some valuable lessons. Don't worry about your efficiency at this point. Scrap the meat and dairy thermometers and just use your hydro as a hydro. From now on, go with the digital you just bought.
There's nothing wrong with a 6.5-7% beer.
Also; Don't be afraid. It's only beer!
Yeah. I know. I just made the mistake of trusting that the thermometers would work as designed. The digital one will be better. :)
 

Reidman

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Well if you mashed higher like you thought then you will get a sweeter beer which should offset the alc a little...

I wouldn't worry about it. Digital is the modern age, just got one and it sure beats the hokey dial one I was using...:drunk:
 
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njnear76

njnear76

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Reidman said:
Well if you mashed higher like you thought then you will get a sweeter beer which should offset the alc a little...

I wouldn't worry about it. Digital is the modern age, just got one and it sure beats the hokey dial one I was using...:drunk:
The dairy thermometer is just plain annoying.
 
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