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Mash question

I use a picnic cooler as a mash tun and I have a general question about mashing. If for whatever reason my mash temperatures drop too low during mash everyone says to simply raise the temperature. Obviously I need to add warmer water to bring it up. My question is is there a tried and true method to do this? I am assuming adding more water will dilute the wort. Would I be correct there? Let me give an example. Lets say I added 3.5 gallons of water to get a temperature of 152. After adding grains I notice that my mash temperature is actually 149 or whatever. Is there a method to bring that temperature up to 153 in the picnic cooler mash tun that will not effect the wort?

Are you preheating your cooler? Add some hot water 170+ to your cooler while your mash water come to temp. Some use an immersion heater.

Have a great weekend
Dan

You can add boiling water, or use a heat stick, or pull some runnings and bring them to a boil and add it back to raise the temp.

I would suggest that you shoot for a mash temp slightly higher then you want, and stir the mash until the temp drops to your desired temp.

Also, I like tastybrew.com for figuring mash infusion temps.

http://tastybrew.com/calculators/infusion.html

Also, adding a bit of hot water to the mash won’t ruin the mash, it should just mean that you use less water during the sparge. (It will encourage different enzymes in different proportions, but it’s going to cause less of a change than mashing at a different temperature.)

So you’re saying if I choose to add a gallon to bring up the temperature that I should add 1 gallon less of sparge? I can deal with that?

Yep

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