Author Topic: Well that was cheap and easy.  (Read 2501 times)

Offline DrewG

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Well that was cheap and easy.
« on: March 12, 2012, 07:40:33 AM »
Thanks to all of you for your advice and answering my rookie questions. My first all grain brew day went great, no real surprises (other than how much easier it was than I had anticipated). Batch sparge went well (didnt quite get the 3.5 gallons I wanted, sparged with 4, got my 7 to the kettle, preboil gravity was within 2 points of recipe)  and the scottish 80/ is happily burbling away in the carboy.

My big take away from the brew was the need for a good thermometer. The floating jobs are crap for checking the mash, IMO.

Thanks again
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Offline ccfoo242

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2012, 07:47:36 AM »
Sounds great!

About the thermometer...right now I'm using a simple kitchen/meat thermometer. To verify it was accurate I bought this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00551OOXS/ref=oh_o01_s00_i00_details

It's not practical to use for every brew since it's glass and full immersion (you have to put it into the liquid up to about 1/2" below the temperature reading for it to be accurate), but it is supposed to be accurate to within 1 degree F.  So you can use something like that to calibrate whatever other thermometer you use all the time at mash temps (like 150F) and be fairly certain your mash temps are in the ballpark.

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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2012, 07:53:43 AM »
I use a cheap digital I got for $7 at Walmart.  Works great and isn't too painful on the chechbook when I inevitably drop in the mash.

I also use my "Green Egg" remote thermometer when I'm heating mash and sparge water.  I mash inside and heat stuff outside so using this setup I don't have to go outside anymore than absolutely necessary.  8^)

Paul
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Offline tcanova

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2012, 10:53:45 AM »
I use a cheap digital I got for $7 at Walmart.  Works great and isn't too painful on the chechbook when I inevitably drop in the mash.

I also use my "Green Egg" remote thermometer when I'm heating mash and sparge water.  I mash inside and heat stuff outside so using this setup I don't have to go outside anymore than absolutely necessary.  8^)

Paul

Same here, and I dropped mine in the mash last brew day so it looks like I am on my way to the store before the next brew.

Congrats on the all grain and welcome to the obsession.  ;)
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Offline DrewG

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2012, 11:41:41 AM »
I wonder if theres a way you could install like a blichmann thermometer through the side of the cooler MLT?
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2012, 11:43:46 AM »
I wonder if theres a way you could install like a blichmann thermometer through the side of the cooler MLT?

I would think so, should just be able to drill a hole. The trick would be making it water tight aftewards but I vet a liberal application of silicone tile sealant would take care of that.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2012, 11:47:26 AM »
I wonder if theres a way you could install like a blichmann thermometer through the side of the cooler MLT?

I would think so, should just be able to drill a hole. The trick would be making it water tight aftewards but I vet a liberal application of silicone tile sealant would take care of that.

+1

If you can mount a bulkhead fitting with a valve, I think you should be able to mount a Blichmann thermometer. Try emailing John Blichmann for consultation.

http://www.blichmannengineering.com/index.html
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Offline bo

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2012, 11:52:07 AM »
I wonder if theres a way you could install like a blichmann thermometer through the side of the cooler MLT?

I did something similar and it leaked. I also figured out that it's not needed. Check the temp when it's open, then shut it and forget it.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2012, 12:14:32 PM »
I wonder if theres a way you could install like a blichmann thermometer through the side of the cooler MLT?
If you really want to have a thermometer in there (bo makes a good point) go in through the lid.  No need to worry about it leaking, and it will be out of the way for stirring.
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Offline bo

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2012, 01:45:37 PM »
I wonder if theres a way you could install like a blichmann thermometer through the side of the cooler MLT?
If you really want to have a thermometer in there (bo makes a good point) go in through the lid.  No need to worry about it leaking, and it will be out of the way for stirring.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the stirring part. That was another PITA of having one mounted permanently. Through the lid is great, but you'll generally need a very long probe.  Do go there. :D

Offline denny

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2012, 02:14:20 PM »
Not only that, but if you mount a thermometer you only know the temp in that one place.  I like to be able to move my thermometer around to different locations and depths so I know I have the heat evenly distributed.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2012, 02:30:15 PM »
Not only that, but if you mount a thermometer you only know the temp in that one place.  I like to be able to move my thermometer around to different locations and depths so I know I have the heat evenly distributed.

but do you check this throughout the mash and stir to maintain?  just questioning how often you open the lid.  i use a meat thermometer and throw it in and it has a wire that reads out outside the cooler.  just goes right under the lid.
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Offline bo

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2012, 02:34:34 PM »
Not only that, but if you mount a thermometer you only know the temp in that one place.  I like to be able to move my thermometer around to different locations and depths so I know I have the heat evenly distributed.

but do you check this throughout the mash and stir to maintain?  just questioning how often you open the lid.  i use a meat thermometer and throw it in and it has a wire that reads out outside the cooler.  just goes right under the lid.

I initially stir a lot to get the temperature even throughout the mash and then I never open it again, until it's time to collect the runnings.

Offline denny

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2012, 02:59:14 PM »
Not only that, but if you mount a thermometer you only know the temp in that one place.  I like to be able to move my thermometer around to different locations and depths so I know I have the heat evenly distributed.

but do you check this throughout the mash and stir to maintain?  just questioning how often you open the lid.  i use a meat thermometer and throw it in and it has a wire that reads out outside the cooler.  just goes right under the lid.

Nope.  I check it at the beginning, then close it up and leave it.  I leave the thermometer in the tun, though, and it never falls more than a degree or 2 over the course of the mash.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: Well that was cheap and easy.
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2012, 03:22:41 PM »
good. thought i was missing something.  i usually just get it all mixed up and close the cooler lid with the probe in the mash.  my temp does not change by more than a couple degrees over the mash.
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