Author Topic: Mash temp and thermometer  (Read 243 times)

Offline jaftak22

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Mash temp and thermometer
« on: February 22, 2015, 07:26:47 PM »
So I don't know if anyone else has had times in their home brewing adventures where they feel frustrated. My thermometer sucks and it needs to be replaced. As of right now I use a floating thermometer that I got with my kit when I first started brewing two years ago. I had one of the lab thermometers from Austin home brew supply but it broke. I am searching for something for someone in a budget, that isn't junk ( looking to spend up to about $25 -$35 bucks).

The other thing that is on my mind is the competition that I got my score sheets back from this weekend. Keep in mind please that I am not in it for glory, its more or less for me to get feed back from people who don't drink a blue moon and think its Gods gift to man.

Judges came at me hard for my IPA not finishing dry. Its things like that which are brought to my attention that I would have never noticed. I honestly think the beer is pretty good. Judge recommended that I lower my mash temp. I mashed at 156 for 75 minutes. So mashing at lets say 150 would have given me a beer with a dryer finish? Just didn't read that from what I remember. I am not a member of a local brew club (not by choice) so I have been completely self taught on everything!! Its fun but sucks at the same time. That line about being a self made man is a croc sometimes!

Offline fmader

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2015, 07:32:41 PM »
A couple years ago, thus guy was $20 on Amazon. I'll allow you to do shopping to see if you can find it at that price. It works well. I have had no issues.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008V1W8ZU/ref=mp_s_a_1_52?qid=1424658638&sr=8-52&pi=AC_SX110_SY165_QL70&keywords=8%22+stem+thermometers
Frank

Offline greatplainsbrewer

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2015, 07:37:50 PM »
156 is probably higher than you want to mash an American ipa.  How much crystal many was in there?  As for a thermometer you might check out the thermopop from thermoworks.

Online reverseapachemaster

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2015, 07:41:37 PM »
I use this (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600b.html) made by the thermopen people. It's very accurate and reasonably quick but not as fast or accurate as a thermopen. It's a fifth of the price but not a fifth of the quality. It's a good product. It was $19 well spent.

156 is pretty high for a mash. I'd think 148-152 would be a better range for that style but I'm not one for brewing IPAs so I'll let others come in and give you better suggestions.

There's nothing about being self-made that doesn't benefit from having allies and mentors around you. Every successful person has had people around them that they lean on. If that is the reason you have declined joining a local group then I'd encourage you to rethink that attitude. 
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing but I'm also a lawyer: The Kielich Law Firm

Offline mabrungard

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2015, 07:43:51 PM »
A decent, long-stem dial thermometer is actually a robust instrument, but it's prone to going out of calibration. As long as you have a good laboratory-standard thermometer that you can calibrate your 'working' dial thermometer with, you will be in good shape.

No need to buy a Thermopen since they are horrifically overpriced and not worth it. However, if you are interested in electronic thermometers, Thermoworks (the same folks that make the Thermopen) have great handheld units that are very inexpensive and accurate. You won't feel like you've been screwed.

On to the mash temp. Yes, 156F is too high for any higher gravity beer. I find that 152F is good for most medium and high gravity beers and I  only boost the temp if brewing small beers where I need a higher finishing gravity. Underattenuation is the primary fault I find in homebrews because the brewers think that 'chewy' beer is better. (Its not) An appropriate level of fermentability and attenuation is what makes a great beer. If you need the beer sweeter, reduce the bittering, not reduce the fermentability.

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Offline jaftak22

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2015, 07:52:21 PM »
I use this (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600b.html) made by the thermopen people. It's very accurate and reasonably quick but not as fast or accurate as a thermopen. It's a fifth of the price but not a fifth of the quality. It's a good product. It was $19 well spent.

156 is pretty high for a mash. I'd think 148-152 would be a better range for that style but I'm not one for brewing IPAs so I'll let others come in and give you better suggestions.

There's nothing about being self-made that doesn't benefit from having allies and mentors around you. Every successful person has had people around them that they lean on. If that is the reason you have declined joining a local group then I'd encourage you to rethink that attitude.
It really isn't my choice for not being in the homebrew club, at least until I move. I got back from Afghanistan 9 months ago and now we are moving to Alaska in May. So there is a club up there in Fairbanks and I do plan on joining. Looking forward to it. When I took up deer hunting my neighbor taught me more than I could have learned on my own. After about 5 years he would sometimes take my advice.

If it wasn't for this forum I would probably botched a few more batches than necessary.

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2015, 06:04:36 AM »
I use this (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600b.html) made by the thermopen people.

^^^^ Very nearly as accurate as a thermopen, made by the same people, fraction of the $$.  No brainer.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2015, 10:41:54 AM »
I have one of these and it works great. Readings stabilize within 5-8 seconds and calibration has remained dead-on:

http://www.amazon.com/Admetior-Digital-Instant-Read-Thermometer/dp/B001G5ZBKW
Eric B.

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Offline pete b

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2015, 11:12:26 AM »
I use this (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600b.html) made by the thermopen people.

^^^^ Very nearly as accurate as a thermopen, made by the same people, fraction of the $$.  No brainer.
I have this now and love it.
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Offline brewday

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2015, 11:30:02 AM »
I use this (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600b.html) made by the thermopen people.

^^^^ Very nearly as accurate as a thermopen, made by the same people, fraction of the $$.  No brainer.
I have this now and love it.

+1

It's pretty much a thermopen that doesn't fold up for $20.
Jon W.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2015, 11:32:20 AM »
like my lollipop thermometer. 8" probe gets down into the mash. since i mash in a more vertical cooler, does the trick.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2015, 11:33:42 AM »
I use this (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt600b.html) made by the thermopen people. It's very accurate and reasonably quick but not as fast or accurate as a thermopen. It's a fifth of the price but not a fifth of the quality. It's a good product. It was $19 well spent.

156 is pretty high for a mash. I'd think 148-152 would be a better range for that style but I'm not one for brewing IPAs so I'll let others come in and give you better suggestions.

There's nothing about being self-made that doesn't benefit from having allies and mentors around you. Every successful person has had people around them that they lean on. If that is the reason you have declined joining a local group then I'd encourage you to rethink that attitude.
I'll plug this product as well, very reliable and totally affordable!
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Offline chezteth

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2015, 12:26:12 PM »
I have also purchased the RT600B from thermoworks. I love it, especially for the price. I also concur with the others who have suggested to mash around 150°F. American IPA should have a dry finish. You can adjust the bitterness level to your taste to account for the drier finish.

Offline bboy9000

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Re: Mash temp and thermometer
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2015, 05:01:41 PM »
I did some research (AKA Googling) and found a great thermometer made by CDN.  It's the DTQ450X.  It takes readings in 6 seconds and doesn't need calibration out of the box, though I tested it to make sure.  My friend who's a homebrewer likes it so much he bought one.  I like it so much I got one for my father for Christmas for barbequing.  Then, when brewing with the owner of my LHBS I noticed he had the same thermometer on his RIMMS system to monitor his mash temps.   I was devastated when I knocked mine into the flame on a gas range but at $20 I just bought another.  Here's the thermometer:

http://www.cdnw.com/product/proaccurate%C2%AE-thermometer

Brian
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