Author Topic: strike problems  (Read 13163 times)

Offline hulkavitch

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strike problems
« on: May 03, 2013, 06:52:13 PM »
I have missed my strike temperatures on my last 5 brews. I measure my grain temperature, mash tun temp, (and put them in the program) and I hit the water temp just right every time. My strike temperatures are always low or high sometimes as much as 5-8 degrees?

Does anyone have any methods to get this to work? I am thinking about leaving the mash and grain temperatures alone in the program? Any thoughts?

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2013, 09:16:09 PM »
Are you very certain of the water volumes?  If you're certain about the other stuff, it only leaves the amount of water you're adding.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 04:11:47 PM »
I had a similar problem not too long ago. Are you using the same thermometer for the water and the mash? I have one on my brew pot which I know is fine because it hits 212/100 when boiling, but I use a long insta-read style for the mash. Turns out that the one I poked into the mash was not calibrated correctly, and that's why my mash temps were all over the place. Got out the pliers and a glass of ice water, and now things fall closer into place. I never get the mash temp just right, but I have found it's easier to cool than to heat. So I aim a little high and keep cold water on hand.
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Offline hulkavitch

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 09:32:29 AM »
using same thermometer, water volumes are as is in recipe on beersmith.

Do you input your mash tun temp and grain temp into the program? Seems to me that this problem started after I made those adjustments?

Offline grathan

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 11:28:52 AM »
What do you use for a mash tun?

Offline hulkavitch

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 12:41:32 PM »
ten gal home depot cooler

Offline grathan

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2013, 12:13:10 PM »
What is the weight and specific heat in your equipment profile?

How do you get the water from your HLT to the mash tun and how long does this take?

Do you stir the mash pretty good (get a consistent temp reading throughout the mash)?


What about preheating the mash tun?

Offline hulkavitch

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2013, 12:57:52 PM »
weight is 14 lbs, specific heat is .30. I dump the water straight from the boil kettle into the tun once I have reached the target temp. Then I add the grain (usually 2 people one stirring the other dumping grain. I do preheat the tun and I set the thermometer down in the tun and get new numbers to input into beer smith to see what my strike water should be at. I also set the thermometer in the grain for a bit to check the temperature of the grains, which I input into the program.

I stir quiet a bit before I check my temp.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2013, 04:43:59 PM »
Quote
I stir quiet a bit before I check my temp.

Too much stirring can lower the temperature by a surprising amount. Once you know there are no dough balls or dry spots, you don't gain anything by further mixing. At that point all you're doing is heating the air.
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Offline grathan

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 10:05:16 PM »
What about the "adjust Temp for Equip" is this checked on every recipe?




You can try unchecking this and adding water to mash tun and not adding grain until it drops to proper temp. You would have to put hotter water in than what is needed, perhaps 10 degrees warmer to make sure it ends up slightly warmer than needed.

I suffer from infusion variance myself of 4 degrees, never 8 degrees. I always shoot 4 degrees high so worst case I just add some cold water. Not that I would be able to tell a beer that was mashed 4 degrees off.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 06:28:11 AM »
What about the "adjust Temp for Equip" is this checked on every recipe?

You can try unchecking this and adding water to mash tun and not adding grain until it drops to proper temp. You would have to put hotter water in than what is needed, perhaps 10 degrees warmer to make sure it ends up slightly warmer than needed.

+1 on putting hotter than needed in first to preheat tun.  But since the variance is sometimes low and sometimes high, I am still thinking it's volumes.   Sounds like you're entering all the correct data into BSmith. 

How about deadspace in MLT?  That's water that is adding heat but not really helping you mix grains well.   I lowered my grain:water ratio a tad to compensate for the false bottom layer of hot water. 

Offline hulkavitch

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 02:18:18 PM »
The adjust temp for equipment is always checked. I considered adding the water to the mash tun and letting it cool to the set temp, but thought that once I added the grain it would drop to much?  Also just adding the water to the mash tun will probably decrease the strike water to below what it should be. Would I still input numbers for mlt temp and grain temp? 

I measured my deadspace but it oddly seems to vary. It is set to .09 gallons

On a side note if I overshoot my strike I typically stir until it is about a degree above my goal. takes about 5 mins. Should I be adding cold water? I didn't want to get into a situation where I am chasing it back and forth.  How do I know how much to add at what temp?

Thanks for all the help guys..
« Last Edit: May 10, 2013, 06:27:26 PM by hulkavitch »

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2013, 11:23:33 AM »
The adjust temp for equipment is always checked. I considered adding the water to the mash tun and letting it cool to the set temp, but thought that once I added the grain it would drop to much?  Also just adding the water to the mash tun will probably decrease the strike water to below what it should be. Would I still input numbers for mlt temp and grain temp? 

I measured my deadspace but it oddly seems to vary. It is set to .09 gallons

On a side note if I overshoot my strike I typically stir until it is about a degree above my goal. takes about 5 mins. Should I be adding cold water? I didn't want to get into a situation where I am chasing it back and forth.  How do I know how much to add at what temp?

Thanks for all the help guys..

BSmith usually puts the strike water at about 11F higher than the desired mash temp, so it's accounting for ~11F drop from those grains, depending on the grain and MLT temps you enter.    The equipment check box adds another 1.5 to 2.0F to compensate for cold equipment.  I just found it easier to preheat the MLT with hotter than called for water, so usually 15F or higher than BSmith estimated.  Then I know the entire MLT is preheated, and should not lose much more than the 11F that BSmith figured.   When it cools to the strike that BSmith said, I add grains quickly and stir until it hits the mash temp.  I've (painfully) learned to watch volumes since that is the factor with the biggest impact, and I still keep boiling water and ice cubes handy if it's more than 2F off either way. 

Your deadspace sounds small enough that it's not the issue.   If you start preheating, you can uncheck the cold equipment box. 

I would use ice or boiling water to speed the correction, esp. when it's hot........too long at 157 or 158F may neuter some beta-amylase enzymes and affect the conversion and the wort profile you wanted. 






Offline jomebrew

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2013, 09:27:47 AM »
Depending on the day, I lose between 10 - 15F moving hot water into my mashtun.  I preheat too.  This is just how my setup works. 

It happened so much so I built a calculator tool to help me adjust my temps in the mash tun.  It is the last on my my beer calcs page http://jomebrew.doesntexist.com/beercalc.htm

Offline hulkavitch

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Re: strike problems
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2013, 06:14:24 PM »
brewed yesterday and would like to say problem solved...almost. I clicked off the adjust temp for equipment. left grain and tun temps at 72.

Preheated tun with 175 degree water.  Drained, dumped in mash water 10 degrees hotter than advised, stirred and waited till appropriate temp then added grain. Fell 1 degree short of target.

15 mins later I had dropped another degree, so i had to add a bit of water back.  All in all I would say it was a success. Next time I will probably add my grain 1-2 degrees above what is advised by beer smith.

Thanks for the advise

 

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