I use the preheat method and tell BS not to adjust for equipment temp, dumping the preheat water right before mashing in. This works pretty well unless I am doing a multi step mash, e.g. a protein rest. Then I still preheat to the lower rest temp, tell BS that my MT temp is the initial mash target temp, and let BS adjust for equipment for subsequent additions.I preheat my 50 qt cooler with 2 gal of 180 degree water.
It sits in the cooler while I get everything else ready to mash in, maybe 15 min.
It reduces my thermal mass to "0".
I do pretty much the same. I run about 4 gallons of water heater hot water (I haven't checked what that temp is) into the cooler and let it sit while the mash water heats up. I drain it right before mash in.
In either of these scenarios, is this pre-heating water used in combination with the strike water, or tossed? What temp is your tun at then, or do you not need to worry about it? I am using Beersmith for my own sanity, and can tell it not to adjust for equipment temp, its just that every time I tried to pre-heat, I had no idea what temp to tell it my equipment was at. I have been using the same method as Jon, and telling beersmith I am at whatever ambient was and going from there and it has worked out well. I am never on the cold side but have been high by 2-5° ac ouple times though. I guess from the rest of the thoughts here are that I just need to figure out what my equipment needs and let the software get me in the ball park