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Measure/maintain BIAB Mash Temps

Hello all,

So Ive been having a heck of a time maintaining mash temperature, and
am honestly having a hard time finding out what my actual temperature
is.

I’m still fairly new to BIAB. I recently purchased a 10 gallon
SSbrewtech kettle. When I mash in, the kettle thermometer will swing up
and down, ill have super high temps, as well as low temps. I’m almost
positive the thermometer is not reading accurately, so I will need to re
calibrate it.

My question is, what is the most efficient way to measure mash temp
before, and after doughing in? I have a hand held electric thermometer,
do I simply stick it in a few inches from the surface and measure that
temperature?

I built a reflectix jacket for my kettle, I was thinking about
drilling a small hole through the lid, and sticking one of these
thermometers through and leaving it throughout the remainder of the
mash. The tip of the thermometer would end about halfway to 1/3 of the
actual mash.

https://www.amazon.com/MeasuPro-Thermometer-Digital-Cooking-Instant/dp/B00VEKRSVY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1483984162&sr=8-9&keywords=long+stem+thermometer

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Buy a thermapen thermometer…they are awesome.

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Yeah, im not so much worried about the thermometer, more so of placement. Thanks though!

What I do:

  1. Stir really well, then stir some more, then stir some more. Takes 5-10 minutes to do a really good stir. Then…

  2. Wait another 5 minutes before taking any mash temperature readings. It takes more time for heat to evenly distribute. Then…

  3. Measure temperature with a long probe thermometer in at least 3 or 4 different spots and take the average.

Average temperature is what really matters… that and good stirring and distribution. Don’t expect to get any valid readings in about the first 10 minutes of the mash – it just ain’t gonna happen. Wait long enough, take the average, then adjust from there with boiling water or cold water if necessary, and then again, stir really really well to get it all incorporated, then wait, then measure temperature again after waiting another 5 minutes. It takes time for everything to even out. Also it’s okay if one spot is 3-4 degrees cool and another spot is 3-4 degrees hot – all that really matters if you’re stirring well is the average.

Cheers.

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Gotcha! So how many degrees above the strike temperature do you usually heat the water? Somewhere between 5-10 im assuming?

Way more than that. More like 165 F, or about 15 F high. The temperature falls a lot when mixed with room-temperature grains.

I used a calculator for ages that told me 10 degrees F over target strike temp, which works for me, but I also don’t stir a long time. That’s a good trick though, is to shoot high, then stir extra to cool it down. By stirring, vigorously, the mash will cool considerably.

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Sorry I should rephrase that.

Say you have a strike temperature of 161. Heat the water up to 165-170, mix well for about 5-10 minutes and keep measuring until mash temperature is reached and then dough in?

Sorry for all the questions, Ive pretty much got my whole process down except for this, and it is frustrating the hell out of me haha.

Oh, sure, I do this sometimes. I try to hit the strike temperature on the way up, but probably ~50% of the time I overshoot and then yes, end up stirring until the heat falls to the right temperature. Sure, that happens a lot and it works fine.

I heat up water in my boil kettle…once it hits 135 i put my bag in and start stirring in grain while leaving the burner on…let it get to mash temp and then put a lid on it…stir every five to ten minutes and add heat as needed.

Okay, I’m definitely going to try this method next time. It sounds the most reliable.

One more question, do you think it would still be worth it to keep a thermometer around the middle of the mash to measure temperature (with the lid still on, of course) throughout the course of the mash, or will it not be an accurate enough representation?

Thanks!

Yes, it’s worthwhile having a thermometer in center as long as it’s not getting in the way of being able to stir or ripping your BIAB.

I vorlaufed about a dozen times, stirring in-between … Sneezles61

I usually shoot about 12 degrees above the mash temp for about 10 lbs of 70 degree grain. Mash in stir it good get a quick read cover it wrap it in a blanket and leave it. Don’t recheck it’s fine. Go for a walk for 60 min or more.

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