Fermenter's Favorite Cooler/Mash Tun Testing

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Mase, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    #1 Mase, Mar 17, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
    After our third brew of two Extracts and one BIAB kits, we are eager for our first all grain brew. As such, and to be cost effective to start with (re purposing in mind), we purchased the 10 gallon cooler/mash tun from Northern Brewer. The kit comes with the cooler, valve assembly and false bottom/assembly, and even the cooler spigot for when we decide on an upgraded Mash Tun down the road, and want to use the Fermenter's Favorite mash tun as a cooler.

    So prior to our first all grain brew day, I wanted to test out the mash tun for temperature loss. Long story short, I ran two tests in the same day. One test in the garage that was 27 degrees (f) and so was the mash tun (not preheated). The test was to heat 5.5 gallons of water (simulating the volume of an all grain) to 170 degrees (f), then transfer directly to the Mash Tun and take temperature readings at 20 minute intervals for the first hour and then after the first hour, one more temperature reading at the 90 minute mark (For those 90 minute mashes down the road). The second test was in the basement at 68 degrees (f). For the basement test (as a result of the garage test), we filled the mash tun with hot water from our house water supply (roughly 125 degrees (f)) and let it sit in the mash tun for a while until we had our 5.5 gallons of strike water up to 170 degrees (f). Also as a result of the garage testing, we covered the lid of the mash tun for the entire test time with a blanket.

    The test results surprised me in that they both dropped 6 degrees over the one hour time period. In fact, the basement test dropped 7 degrees over an hour. However, at the 90 minute mark, the garage test lost 12.5 degrees (f), where the basement test lost 10 degrees (f).

    This left me wondering if the Thermal mass of water is less than the thermal mass with a same volume of saturated grains.

    That lead me to ultimately reaching out to Northern Brewer, to which they confirmed my suspicions and that they felt a 2 degree per hour would be likely what I can expect with an all grain mass vs plain water.

    Curious on everyone else's opinion on that thought process.

    The plan is to purchase some cheap milled grains from LHBS and test it again and the blog will be updated accordingly.

    Ps. We started a blog for our new found obsession, er uh hobby, and here's a link to my unboxing/assembly/testing of the Fermenter's Favorite Mash Tun with the testing details expanded from what I discussed above: http://www.barrelridgebrewing.blogspot.com
     
  2. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Just make beer...no sense in wasting grain. Do a simple Blonde Ale and boil up something you can fill a keg with (or bottles). You'll know your temp loss and you'll see what it does to fermentables.
    Here's a starting place:
    http://www.brewersfriend.com/homebrew/recipe/view/426770/house-blonde
    And there are dozens of other simple, proven recipes in the data base that'll get you going.
    Good Luck! ;)
     
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  3. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    #3 Mase, Mar 17, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2017
    As I was writing about some cheap milled grains from a LHBS, I was thinking the same thing.
     
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  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I think a true all grain mash will have more thermal mash than just water.
     
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  5. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    The thermal mass of all grain will retain heat over just water.

    Your thermal fluctuation with all grain will be determined by your water to grain ratio.
     
  6. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Nice blog site by the way. Where do you fellow brewers live?

    I'm getting prepared to brew lager that I am hoping will earn the name Hemlock's Crunkinator.

    I named my Brewery Hemlock Aleworx, for the Pennsylvania tree, Eastern hemlock, as I live in pennsylvania.
     
  7. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Latrobe pa, fellow pennsylvanian
     
  8. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Yeppers! And what part of PA would a fellow brewer find Hemlock Aleworx?

    We have one of the last standing old growth Hemlocks groves not too far from me. The 300 year old trees are majestic to say the least!

    Ps. Thanks for the kudos on the blog. It was initially intended for family members, but I decided to make it public just a few days ago. I made it initially as a brew log of sorts, but as I started acquiring equipment, I expanded into unboxing/assembling/testing and when I reached out to Northern Brewer about the mash tun temp holding issue, I referred them to my blog so they could see the testing and understand my question better and had to make the blog public for them to access it.
     
  9. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Dillsburg Pennsylvania, approximately 20 minutes south west of harrisburg.
     
  10. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Approximately 3 hours away from you
     
  11. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    My wife's sister lives in Halifax. We'll have to hook up sometime and share a brew or 20 the next time we head that way!!
     
  12. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately my wife says the brewing process smells of wet dog, but she likes the end product
     
  13. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    Your on, I just brewed a helles, and soon going to brew crunkinator
     
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  14. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    My temp controlled frig in the shed
     

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  15. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I must be quite lucky... my better half loves the entire process from Brew Day to Pour day!

    Just took a gravity reading of the Dead Ringer we brewed this past Sunday and we hit our target! Now for 5 more weeks til kegging.
     
  16. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    My 2 vessel brewery, I use the blickmann temp controller
     

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  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    My wife likes the smell of brewing, especially the spiced brews of winter. Heck, that's a 6 gallon pot of potpourri!!
     
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  18. CRUNK

    CRUNK Well-Known Member

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    I'm lucky for the 29 years of marriage through 20 years of military service 3 kids 6 grandkids and a wife that is okay with my hobbies. And beer. Lol
     
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  19. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Now that is funny!
     
  20. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    I see you have the same Mash Tun that I was posting about, but it's your hot liquor tank. I will post some pics this weekend of my set up.
     

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