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Mash Tun Thermometer

Currently I am using a 10 gallon Igloo water cooler for my mash tun. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am off on my mash temps and want to get a little more control over them.

I was looking at adding a thermometer to my Mash tun and am curious to see if anyone has done this and has had:

a) success
b) how did they do it (drilling steps, which thermometer used, etc.)

Thanks

How about invest in a Redi Check? They are very accurate, no need to port your cooler, etc.

With really having no way to control the temp in a plastic cool…why bother?

@GarretD: I typically have a gallon of near boiling water ready on stand-by. If I miss my mark by 5-10 degrees I was under the impression that I could add some near boiling water a quart at a time to raise the temp.

@moose: is that completely submersible? Or is there further tweaking involved?

[quote=“andymag”]@GarretD: I typically have a gallon of near boiling water ready on stand-by. If I miss my mark by 5-10 degrees I was under the impression that I could add some near boiling water a quart at a time to raise the temp.

[/quote]

Ahhh…got it ! I thought you meant like 30 minutes into the mash…

The probability of different temps through the cooler are great. It’s especially harder to mix in a round drink cooler than a rectangular cooler.

The time, cost and possibility of leaks out weigh the benefit of installing a thermometer in the cooler. Just purchase a calibrated thermometer and take a reading from the top.

If you used a thermometer with a straight probe on a wire, you could insert it into a thermowell to get a temp reading more in the center of the grain bed.

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/han ... l#ProbeTab http://www.thermoworks.com/products/ala ... alarm.html

It’s possible you could straighten one of the curved probes for a less expensive option. Or you might break the probe.

http://www.thermoworks.com/products/ala ... escription

If you mount a thermometer, you only know the temp in that one place. I prefer to use a thermometer I can move around. I keep stirring until I get the same reading at any place or depth in the cooler.

Andy,

I’m not sure if it’s completely submersible. I’ve used mine on occasion because my Blichman Brew-o-meter is a piece of crap and very inaccurate.

You could go old school and use a candy thermometer. I still have two laying around and occassionally use them to keep my thermos honest.

In your second post, you mentioned adding hot water to your mash if you under shoot. Another method you may consider is to drain off some runnings and heat that and re-introduce it. Takes longer, but lots of people do it that way.

moose

@denny: you brought up a great point with only knowing the temp in one spot.

@moose: I never thought of doing that (draining off runnings), but that makes perfect sense. I think I will go that route in the future.

@nighthawk: I saw this write up on a DIY Mash Tun Thermowell: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-mas … ap-156772/

I guess for now I am going to keep it simple and use my standard probe thermometer.

Thanks all for the input.

-Andy

[quote=“Nighthawk”] It’s especially harder to mix in a round drink cooler than a rectangular cooler.
[/quote]
:lol:
And as I curse my rectangular cooler when trying to even out the hot/cold spots I think a round cooler would be better.

OP- Having a handheld therm to move around in the mash works best for me. Helps me find those hot/cold spots.

[quote=“Brew On”][quote=“Nighthawk”] It’s especially harder to mix in a round drink cooler than a rectangular cooler.
[/quote]
:lol:
And as I curse my rectangular cooler when trying to even out the hot/cold spots I think a round cooler would be better.

OP- Having a handheld therm to move around in the mash works best for me. Helps me find those hot/cold spots.[/quote]

If you feel mixing in a round cooler, going around and up and down in a cylinder, is easier than back and forth in a rectangular one, more power to you. :smiley:

For me, it is also about the cost. $/qt is less with the rectangular than round drink coolers.

[quote=“Nighthawk”] It’s especially harder to mix in a round drink cooler than a rectangular cooler.
[/quote]
I use a beverage cooler for every batch. I’ve never had trouble stirring.

To the OP, here is the solution that I came up with. Some have said it’s overkill, but it works great: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=109024&hilit=thermometer#p961500

[quote=“andymag”]
@nighthawk: I saw this write up on a DIY Mash Tun Thermowell: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/diy-mas … ap-156772/

I guess for now I am going to keep it simple and use my standard probe thermometer.

Thanks all for the input.

-Andy[/quote]

Sure it will work. I read two issues.

1: The height is a compromise between getting a false bottom in/out and having the probe in the middle of the grain.

2: The thermowell gets in the way of stirring.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”][quote=“Nighthawk”] It’s especially harder to mix in a round drink cooler than a rectangular cooler.
[/quote]
I use a beverage cooler for every batch. I’ve never had trouble stirring.

To the OP, here is the solution that I came up with. Some have said it’s overkill, but it works great: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=109024&hilit=thermometer#p961500[/quote]

I like your solution. That is what I was imagining when I posted earlier.

My personal experience is that it is easier to stir the mash in my rectangular cooler than it is to stir the mash in my friend 15g keg. Long/wide v. narrow/curricular. Long/wide will wind every time.

being new to this forum i dont want to step on any toes,but i use a round water cooler,just bought a false bottom for it. i tried a rectangular cooler and didnt like it.as far as stiring in a circle,pretty easy to me.i dont lose any heat,i have an old hoody sweatshirt that fits perfectly around the cooler,oh and i changed my mash time from 60 to 90 mins and still dont lose any heat.its how i brew,not saying its right for evryone,but it works for me. :shock:

[quote=“jrflowers2”]being new to this forum i dont want to step on any toes,

[/quote]

No toes to step on. There are many ways to skin a cat. What ever works for you is the best option for you.

Yea, after battling with calibration on instant read and electric thermometers I decided to go with a glass alcohol thermometer. At least this one will be consistent from batch to batch and no one is going to use it for chicken or whatever.

my last digital thermometer was reading 186 deg in my house!!!

[quote=“Brew On”][quote=“Nighthawk”] It’s especially harder to mix in a round drink cooler than a rectangular cooler.
[/quote]
:lol:
And as I curse my rectangular cooler when trying to even out the hot/cold spots I think a round cooler would be better.

[/quote]

I have both a round and a rectangular cooler and I think the round is easier to get consistent temps.

[quote=“andymag”]@GarretD: I typically have a gallon of near boiling water ready on stand-by. If I miss my mark by 5-10 degrees I was under the impression that I could add some near boiling water a quart at a time to raise the temp.

@moose: is that completely submersible? Or is there further tweaking involved?[/quote]

What is your mash in procedure? If you are missing by 5-10 degrees I think your focus is better spent on correcting this. Do you use strike calculator? I use brewzor on my phone and am rarely off by more than one degree. Pre heating the mash tun is crucial.

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