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Mash temps

I started brewing all-grain a couple of years back, and didn’t have a problem with my mash temps the first couple of times around, however I’m currently living in Utah and trying for a decoction mash on a hefeweizen. I’m using a water to grain ration of 1.25, 9.5 lbs grain to 11.8qts and I cannot hit my mash temps. One of the things that recently made things easier was the Dark Star burner, but one of the things I’m noticing is that when I add my decoctions back in, I get spots of cooler grist, and spots of hotter grist. I stir for a few minutes, and then I read it again, and the thing is just in a different spot. This even happens with my strike water, one side’s 130 and the other is 106 when I just want it all to be at 122. I have a rectangular Coleman cooler with a slotted copper manifold, which I over heat my strike water for. Does anyone have any ideas, or can anyone point me to a thread where I can figure out what I’m doing wrong? All I can think is that the elevation is screwing with me, since water boils at 204 here, or that my thermometers all suck (I have seen some 3 or 4 degree variations in all three of them from each other.)

Start by getting a quality thermometer. If you are getting bad readings, nothing else you do will matter.

Do you have any recommendations as far as a good thermometer? I have a floating thermometer, a Cromar dial thermometer, a Taylor digital probe thermometer and a Good Cook dial thermometer.

This is a certified thermometer. Guaranteed to be accurate for life. ... escription

Or many of us have purchased this certified one when it’s on “open box” sale.

If you have hot and cold spots, you’re not stirring enough.

Yeah, stir more and shoot for a little warmer temp to compensate for the time spent stirring. I always have issues hitting steps with decoction, I rarely bother anymore.

I may have an extra thermapen from that open box sale. PM me if you are interested. They rock.

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