I pre-heated the mashtun by pouring boiling water in it and letting it sit for a few minutes. I then poured out the water before mashing in. When I mashed in, I stirred until there were no dry or clumpy grain. I closed the mashtun and opened it about once every ten minutes to take a temperature reading. I will most definitely try the blanket idea and also not opening the mashtun as often. @duboman - what do you mean by "thermometer is properly calibrated."?
Basically your thermometer should read 212 at boiling and 32 at freezing just like your hydrometer should read 1.000 in plain 68oF water. If you can verify actual mash temps as well its a bonus.
If your measuring devices are off then you need to account for the differences on your actual readings.
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