Author Topic: Question on Mash Temp  (Read 1832 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Question on Mash Temp
« on: December 23, 2014, 02:55:55 PM »
I'm doing my second all-grain BIAB.  Some sources say to heat the water about 5 degrees hotter than Strike temp, because it cools down when you add the grain.

I heated 7.7 gals water to 158 F in a S/S kettle seeking a strike temp of 153F.  I stirred the grain in, put the lid back on the pot, covered it with an old pair of insulated coveralls and waited an hour.  I took the lid off, and a digital thermometer read 155 F.  Temp. in the garage is about 54 F.

I then took the coveralls off , put the lid back on and measured 10 mins later.  Temp now 148 F.  I'm going to put the coveralls back on the pot for another 20 mins, remove the grains, take a gravity reading, and start my boil.

Next time, I'll only heat the water to about 2 F higher than my strike temp unless I'm brewing on a much colder day.

Comments please about heating water hotter than the strike temp when you're adding grains.

Thanks for your advice.
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Offline gman23

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2014, 03:04:17 PM »
Beersmith usually gets me right there with infusion tool I believe. It needs amount of grain, temperature of grain, temperature of vessel, and target mash temp. I normally put my bagged crushed grain into the closed mash tun the night before so in the morning they are the same temp.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2014, 03:17:24 PM »
yeah, there is math you can do to figure it out as long as you are careful in all your measurements. I use beersmith and am fairly close. for what it's worth the difference between 153 and 155 is not really anything to be concerned with. It might have a tiny effect on your fermentability but not to an extent that you'd notice.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2014, 03:26:50 PM »
as mentioned, its a formula for strike water and desired mash temp. it depends also on your system. keep notes on strike water temp, and resulting mash temp achieved. if your mash tun is preheated, it may only require 9F-11F higher than desired mash temp- you should be able to figure this out with a couple brew sessions.

also, thinner mash like 1.75qt/lb or higher usually needs a little warmer water than thicker mash for me. pay attention to your heat loss over the mash. if you are mashing in at 150-152F but loose heat rapidly, you may not be achieving what you are targeting.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2014, 03:42:42 PM »
I more or less do whatever beersmith says. There's a lot of math involved in figuring out the precise strike temperature for a given batch but if you looked at your results across multiple batches you could figure out your typical strike temperature for your equipment without doing all the math.
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Offline wingnut

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2014, 01:22:21 PM »
Couple hints I have found from my system.... the time it takes for the temperature to settle and be more or less even throughout the mash is about 15 minutes.  I do not know why, but it seems that after I dump in the water, and stir for 2 to 5 minutes, the mash reads one temp.  When I check again in 10 minutes.... it is usually another temp (sometimes higher sometimes lower...often by 5 degrees or more)

Most of my recepies have the same amount of grain, and same mash thickness... so I have settled on just warming my strike water to 12 degrees above the desired mash temp... and have had good results. 

I used to keep a frozen 1 gallon jug of water on hand, and a pot with 3 or 4 gallons of boiling water.... allowing me to adjust the temp if needed.    (Now I have added a pump and a coil and pump the mash water through heated water if I need to add heat)

As mentioned elsewhere on this thread...  missing the temp, even by a lot, rarely has a signficant effect on the beer.
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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2014, 01:37:02 PM »
Couple hints I have found from my system.... the time it takes for the temperature to settle and be more or less even throughout the mash is about 15 minutes.  I do not know why, but it seems that after I dump in the water, and stir for 2 to 5 minutes, the mash reads one temp.  When I check again in 10 minutes.... it is usually another temp (sometimes higher sometimes lower...often by 5 degrees or more)

Most of my recepies have the same amount of grain, and same mash thickness... so I have settled on just warming my strike water to 12 degrees above the desired mash temp... and have had good results. 

I used to keep a frozen 1 gallon jug of water on hand, and a pot with 3 or 4 gallons of boiling water.... allowing me to adjust the temp if needed.    (Now I have added a pump and a coil and pump the mash water through heated water if I need to add heat)

As mentioned elsewhere on this thread...  missing the temp, even by a lot, rarely has a signficant effect on the beer.

+1 million.  Exactamundo.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2014, 01:48:54 PM »
Couple hints I have found from my system.... the time it takes for the temperature to settle and be more or less even throughout the mash is about 15 minutes.  I do not know why, but it seems that after I dump in the water, and stir for 2 to 5 minutes, the mash reads one temp.  When I check again in 10 minutes.... it is usually another temp (sometimes higher sometimes lower...often by 5 degrees or more)

Most of my recepies have the same amount of grain, and same mash thickness... so I have settled on just warming my strike water to 12 degrees above the desired mash temp... and have had good results. 

I used to keep a frozen 1 gallon jug of water on hand, and a pot with 3 or 4 gallons of boiling water.... allowing me to adjust the temp if needed.    (Now I have added a pump and a coil and pump the mash water through heated water if I need to add heat)

As mentioned elsewhere on this thread...  missing the temp, even by a lot, rarely has a signficant effect on the beer.

different opinion for couple reasons....there's a reason folks mash at lower temps for say saison or other beer they are targeting for very dry finish. the mash temp does impact the types of sugars produced and ultimately does impact the yeast ability to convert those sugars during fermentation. another factor to consider is mash temp and time for full conversion. mashing low temp or at a temp much lower than targeted-say 144F vs. 148F target IME requires longer time for mash and conversion.  good info on this here :http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Effects_of_mash_parameters_on_fermentability_and_efficiency_in_single_infusion_mashing
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2014, 01:06:33 PM »
Couple hints I have found from my system.... the time it takes for the temperature to settle and be more or less even throughout the mash is about 15 minutes.  I do not know why, but it seems that after I dump in the water, and stir for 2 to 5 minutes, the mash reads one temp.  When I check again in 10 minutes.... it is usually another temp (sometimes higher sometimes lower...often by 5 degrees or more)

Most of my recepies have the same amount of grain, and same mash thickness... so I have settled on just warming my strike water to 12 degrees above the desired mash temp... and have had good results. 

I used to keep a frozen 1 gallon jug of water on hand, and a pot with 3 or 4 gallons of boiling water.... allowing me to adjust the temp if needed.    (Now I have added a pump and a coil and pump the mash water through heated water if I need to add heat)

As mentioned elsewhere on this thread...  missing the temp, even by a lot, rarely has a signficant effect on the beer.

different opinion for couple reasons....there's a reason folks mash at lower temps for say saison or other beer they are targeting for very dry finish. the mash temp does impact the types of sugars produced and ultimately does impact the yeast ability to convert those sugars during fermentation. another factor to consider is mash temp and time for full conversion. mashing low temp or at a temp much lower than targeted-say 144F vs. 148F target IME requires longer time for mash and conversion.  good info on this here :http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Effects_of_mash_parameters_on_fermentability_and_efficiency_in_single_infusion_mashing

Agreed on mash temp vs time. But as far as a few degrees difference in mash temp having a noticeable effect on a finished beer goes, I have a hard time buying into that one.

I do think that a beer mashed at 145F for 2 hours will probably be noticeably different than one mashed at 162F for 30 minutes. But for any difference much smaller than that I really think it's going to really hard to perceive on the palate. I doubt I could tell a fully attenuated 1.010 beer apart from a similar one that fully attenuates to 1.008. I've tried the maltodextrin thing in session beers before and I don't find that it makes any noticeable difference. It is practically flavorless when added to beer, and those few gravity points don't seem to make a big difference in mouthfeel to me.
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Offline pete b

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2014, 02:17:27 PM »
I think using a calculator like beer smith a few times and tracking how it works in reality on your system is the way to go. For my 5 gal batch sparge system +12 degrees is perfect but for my 2.5 gal biab set up its +8 degrees or so. I do try to hit a mash temp that's s " correct" for my style but I don't try to correct for a few degrees if I missed. I would try to correct the mash temp if it were say ten degrees off.
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Offline Hooper

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2014, 07:31:45 PM »
I prepare my strike water the day before and put 1 gallon of that in the fridge overnight. I mash in at 12F over and keep the fire on. I get to my desired mash temp using the cold to bring it down or hot bring it up. No calculations required.
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Offline joe_feist

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2014, 02:56:46 PM »
So, back to the o/p I see two things I'd comment on:
  -strike temp - as mentioned, there are lots of calculators out there to help with strike temp. Using one of those and keeping notes will help you dial in where you want to be.

  - count me in as "agreed" on the difference between 155 and 153 not meaning much. There's a pretty decent chance his mash was complete after one hour at 155.
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Offline Black Sands Brewery & Supply

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2014, 11:13:25 PM »
I'm doing my second all-grain BIAB.  Some sources say to heat the water about 5 degrees hotter than Strike temp, because it cools down when you add the grain.

I heated 7.7 gals water to 158 F in a S/S kettle seeking a strike temp of 153F.  I stirred the grain in, put the lid back on the pot, covered it with an old pair of insulated coveralls and waited an hour.  I took the lid off, and a digital thermometer read 155 F.  Temp. in the garage is about 54 F.

I then took the coveralls off , put the lid back on and measured 10 mins later.  Temp now 148 F.  I'm going to put the coveralls back on the pot for another 20 mins, remove the grains, take a gravity reading, and start my boil.

Next time, I'll only heat the water to about 2 F higher than my strike temp unless I'm brewing on a much colder day.

Comments please about heating water hotter than the strike temp when you're adding grains.

Thanks for your advice.

Strike water: baseline is 12f over desired rest temp. But depends on your system / MT design. Sounds like you don't drop much temp so heat strike water only up to what you need 5f or 10f over rest temp. With that said you were converted no doubt after that first hour at 155f. All that extra time you mashed was not really necessary.

Modern day malts are nearly fully converted after 20 min...

My old BIAB mash:

Heat strike 10-12 f over rest. 1.5 qts per lb grain
Place empty bag in kettle w/ water.
Gently mix grains into strike water
I'd usually hit my rest w/in 1f
Rest 1 hour
Run kettle dry into bucket
Batch sparge w/ 4-5 gallons of 165f water
Dump into kettle rest 5-10 min
Drain into bucket to collect pre-boil volume (in my case 6.5 gal)
Pull bag out of kettle. Let bag drain into kettle
Add bucket wort to kettle and start boil.

Last bit of advice I think it's much easier to cool off a hot mash w/ cold water than trying to heat up a cold mash w/ hot water.
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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 11:19:40 PM »
it's much easier to cool off a hot mash w/ cold water than trying to heat up a cold mash w/ hot water.

+1.  A few ice cubes is much easier than trying to raise temp with hot water.
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Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: Question on Mash Temp
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2014, 01:33:33 AM »
Yep missing temp low is hard to recover from...happened a few times early in so I always go higher and stir mash until temp reached- also gives me the time to check the PH without worrying about losing mash temp.


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Ken- Chagrin Falls, OH
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Serving:        In Process:
Vienna IPA          O'Fest
Dort
Mead                 
Cider                         
Ger'merican Blonde
Amber Ale
Next:
Ger Pils
O'Fest