Water temperature

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Water temperature

Post by m_rawdin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:21 pm

I want to make sure my water is at the right temperature for mashing, I know there will be some heat loss when transferring the water into the mash tun and also when mashing in. Is it best to heat the water in the HLT maybe around 10 degrees hotter than needed for the mash to compensate for this? I will be using my pump to transfer the water into the mash tun which will also lower the temperature.
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Re: Water temperature

Post by bochgoch » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:33 pm

I lose 6-7*C between my hlt and mashed in temperature when transferring 15l to a warmed mash tun with 6kg of grain. I add grain to water, rather than the other way around.

I guess the best approach is see what others say to create a rule of thumb then revise as you gain experience.

Better to end to hot and chill with cool than the opposite.

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Re: Water temperature

Post by Rhodesy » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:37 pm

Beersmith has decent settings (I believe there is also a strike water calculator on here?) where you specify its an infusion mash, your grain temp, mash tun temp etc and it will calculate what the strike temperature will be. You may have to tinker it yourself but its a good starting point. Before I went RIMS with a similar system to what you are describing it was a bit trial and error. I found pre-heating the mash tun with some hot water and emptying before the mash helped a great deal.

*Edit - Here is the calculator from here http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/calc.html

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Re: Water temperature

Post by Kev888 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:57 pm

Yes the HLT should be hotter to compensate for heat losses. However, different mash tuns at different temperatures will suck different amount of heat from your water; by keeping records of the ambient temperature, volume of water and temperature drop you will get a feel for what to expect. To begin with though there can be a lot of pratting around to get the right 'strike' temperature, IMO its better to aim too high as its easier to lose heat than to put it back. Keep in mind that the mash tun can take a little while to come to temperature after adding the water, if you measure too early it may still be changing so wait several minutes after adding the water (or changing its temperature) to give it time to settle.

The strike temperature I mentioned is the temperature of the water (liquor) in the mash tun 'before' you mix in the grain, so it doesn't really matter how long you take getting it right, the grain isn't being affected at that stage. The strike temperature is chosen such that when the grain is added, your mash should be at about the desired temperature automatically. It can be determined by knowing the volume of liquor, the weight of grain and the temperature of the grain (and of course your desired mash temperature). Happily there is the calculator mentioned in the post above, to save you the maths.

Its worth IMO getting the strike temperature fairly close, because otherwise you may need to adjust a lot after you have mashed in the grain - which is both harder to do and more urgent (because the mash has then started at the wrong temperature). You're unlikely to get it dead on your intended mash temperature without practice, but at least try to make sure that the temperature is even throughout the mash tun (i.e. you have mixed thoroughly and there are no hot/cold/dry spots) and also that its within the normal temperature range for mashing. If its too hot then the important enzymes can get damaged, if its too cool then they may not get going properly.

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Re: Water temperature

Post by m_rawdin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:13 pm

Thanks for everyone's help, do you put boiling water from a kettle into the mash tun to warm it up or hot water from the tap/HLT?
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Re: Water temperature

Post by Kev888 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:19 pm

Either really, personally I just set the HLT hot enough, but I know some people find it easier to pre-heat the mash tun with boiling water.

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Re: Water temperature

Post by alix101 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:26 pm

I find it easier to heat the strike water to around 80c transfer to my mash tun and allow it to drop to my desired temp this pre heats the tun and reduce losse.
Add the grain and it's normally spot on taking into account the temp of the grain.
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Re: Water temperature

Post by m_rawdin » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:57 pm

How much heat would you expect to lose when you add the grain to the water? A few degrees?
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Re: Water temperature

Post by alix101 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:33 pm

There are a few variables, but if you look on the extras tab at the top of the forum you will find Andys sparge temperature calculator to calculate thar variables for you on brew day :D
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Re: Water temperature

Post by BenB » Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:36 pm

Beersmith. Night all!

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Re: Water temperature

Post by orlando » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:15 am

BenB wrote:Beersmith. Night all!
What he said. No brainer.
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Re: Water temperature

Post by vacant » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:39 am

BIAB* is easy. You have pre-heated the "mash tun" with no extra effort and dropping grain into 34 ltr rather than 12 has much less effect on the resultant temperature. For BIAB my strike temp is 71 rather than 83 when using my thermopot mash tun.

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Re: Water temperature

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:18 am

Andy's strike temperature calculator suits me.

My HLT gets the liquor to about 80C, I pump it into the mash tune and leave it for about 15-20 minutes to stabilise and raise the temperature of the tun. It generally then needs a bit of cold water added to get to Andy's suggested temperature.

The grain is then added, stirred well and the final mash temperature is within a fraction of a degree C of the desired temperature. Usually a bit over. This morning, for example, a strike temperature of 75.2C for 5.98 kg of grain at 8C gave me a 66.3C mash temperature instead of the 66C I'd entered into the calculator. Good enough for me!

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Re: Water temperature

Post by Hanglow » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:21 am

I underlet as it's a bit easier than pouring grain and stirring . beersmith is very accurate for the temperature once you put in the correct temps for mash tun, it's size and type etc. As long as you know with accuracy the various temps of your tun, grain and water then you should be dead on when using it
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Re: Water temperature

Post by Dave S » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:51 am

alix101 wrote:I find it easier to heat the strike water to around 80c transfer to my mash tun and allow it to drop to my desired temp this pre heats the tun and reduce losse.
Add the grain and it's normally spot on taking into account the temp of the grain.
That's what I used to do when I used a cool box MT. Made things simple.
Best wishes

Dave

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