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DME 5bbl Brew House

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  • DME 5bbl Brew House

    I've been working on this system for a year now, and without fail I miss my mash in temp by 2-4 degrees, every single time. I'm starting to get seriously frustrated as shit with this system.

    I boil water in my HLT, run it through my heat exchanger, into my MLT and let the insulated walls warm up while I weigh out grain etc. I dump the water, wait about 10mins for the temp to stabilize, then go to BeerSmith and add all the temperatures into my mash to give my my strike temp. Without fail I miss it by 2 degrees almost every time. I've tried adjusting for heat loss in the hoses from the previous brew. So if I am under by a degree on the last brew I'll up the HLT by a degree to compensate which always throws the fucken temp off again. On top of all of that, the control panel for the MLT never reads the proper temp when the mash is in there. Today it's reading 129F, but when I stick a temp guage directly in the mash it reads 152F (aiming for 148F this morning FML).

    I'm ready to bash this fucken thing in with a sledge hammer.

  • #2
    Not any help but...

    Hey guy,

    Not any help with your issue, but if it makes anything better you made me laugh my ass off with your post after having a shitty day due to carbing issues!

    merry xmas to you!


    • #3
      Carbing post? Which post was that?


      • #4
        bad grammer on my part

        Sorry, i laughed my ass off with your post wanting to bash in your DME system, it made light to my carbing issues and made me chuckle on a shitty day.


        • #5
          haha. I'm glad I could bring some laughter to a shitty day. Fuck my mash tun!! Piece of dogshit.


          • #6
            The temps beer smith provides is the temp of the water before heading to the mash tun and it assumes a non preheated tun. If you are preheating the mash tun you will always end up high because part of the strike temp assumes a loss of energy/temp when transferring in to the cold tun.


            • #7
              If I don't preheat, the temp will drop by at least 20F. If I preheat it maintains the temp, and it stays within 2F of my mash in. I can just never get it spot on. It's Jamaican me crazy.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Alphaacid View Post
                If I don't preheat, the temp will drop by at least 20F. If I preheat it maintains the temp, and it stays within 2F of my mash in. I can just never get it spot on. It's Jamaican me crazy.
                Overall it sounds like tweaking your equipment profile is what's necessary here. Maybe bump the Mash Tun Specific Heat value or Mash Tun Weight number for the profile and see if you can get closer? I would probably fiddle with these on a copy of the recipe to see if you can get BeerSmith to hit the actual values you are seeing.


                • #9
                  Great read! I feel your pain. Hopefully I can lend a hand... Strike temperature calculations are based off of your liquor to grist ratio as well as the total poundage of grist and the temperature of that grist. It is important that your total water usage equals the amount used in the calculations. You will want to mash in consistently, meaning your water and grist are coming in at the same rate so that by the time your done mashing in, you have reached your target water volume. A dry mash will cool-off faster than a wet mash.

                  I don't use beersmith but have in the past. I found it easier to use a spreadsheet for all of my brewhouse calculations as I can see the formulas and better understand how the math is working. I have attached a Mash Strike Temperature spreadsheet for you to try out. All the cells in yellow are fields for you to adjust such as: Total Grist Weight, Grist Temperature (the morning of the brew), Liquor to Grist ratio (ie 3:1, 2.5:1), and Target Mash Temperature.

                  The calculation will work with a mash tun that is not pre-heated. It is easy to hit your mash temp initially, but if the vessel is not pre-heated to some extent, you can loose a few degrees during your rest. I like to preheat just for the consistency of the mash temperature.

                  My math equations come directly from the MBAA's Handbook of Basic Brewing Calculations. I just put it in an easy to use format. I hope it works for you. Please let me know if it does or does not and I'd be happy to work through the issue with you.




                  • #10
                    That's a great simple spreadsheet. Thanks for sharing.


                    • #11
                      Awesome thanks!! I didn't realize I had to add the water and the grains in at the same rate. Normally I have been adding a bunch of water then slowly adding the grains, but I always had another bbl or so of water still to add after all the grains had been put in.

                      Thanks so much! You saved my mash tun a painful death from blunt force trauma with a sledge hammer.