Author Topic: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp  (Read 3298 times)

Offline roger wood

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how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« on: August 29, 2017, 10:20:26 AM »
I find that for whatever reason, when I follow BeerSmith's guidance on hating water for mash-in, the mash settles at a temp well below predicted. For instance I just brewed a 10 gallon batch with 17.5 lbs of grain (at about 68F dry starting temp) and B'Smith said to add 21.88 qts at 162.5F to hit a mash temp of 150F. My reality was that mash settled at 145-146.

This is pretty consistent across batches and times of year (temps). How do I adjust B'Smith's assumptions to provide me a higher HLT temp?

Offline BOB357

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 11:47:48 AM »
First, set your Mash/Lauter Tun up properly in the equipment profile. Next, pre-heat the mash tun by adding a gallon or 2 of hot tap water and leting it sit for 10 or 15 minutes you should hit your mash temp. within a degree or 2.
Bob

Offline BOB357

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 11:49:54 AM »
Forgot, you also need to enter your grain temperature in the mash window.
Bob

Offline Oginme

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 05:01:17 PM »
I find that for whatever reason, when I follow BeerSmith's guidance on hating water for mash-in, the mash settles at a temp well below predicted. For instance I just brewed a 10 gallon batch with 17.5 lbs of grain (at about 68F dry starting temp) and B'Smith said to add 21.88 qts at 162.5F to hit a mash temp of 150F. My reality was that mash settled at 145-146.

This is pretty consistent across batches and times of year (temps). How do I adjust B'Smith's assumptions to provide me a higher HLT temp?

If this is pretty consistent, then you need to first check the weight of your mash tun to make sure that is accurate in your equipment profile.  Next, make sure that you have your temperatures correct in the recipe for your mash tun and grains as Bob357 has stated. 

Once you have these taken care of and if you are still finding yourself off in temperature, then make a copy of the last recipe you brewed and open it.  Change the mash temperature to the temperature you actually measured.  Now open up your equipment profile and adjust the 'mash tun specific heat' until the calculated strike temperature is equal or close to the actual strike temperature you used.  It may take some trial and error, but it will get your values in place to consistently calculate the right strike temperature for your system.

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Offline roger wood

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 10:02:47 AM »
Hi Oginme,
That's great guidance and what I was looking for. I had already taken care of the weight, temps, etc. that other folks recommended (though thanks all for providing those tips - since I didn't make clear I'd fiddled those knobs). I'll go play with the mash tun specific heat figure as suggested.

Offline jtoots

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 05:20:06 AM »
You could also consider dropping your initial grain temp a few degrees.  Since I always want to err on the warmer side, I do this then add a couple ice cubes if needed to bring it back to target.

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 10:10:48 AM »
Greetings - following this same subject (kind of), my issue has been when I attempt a two-step mash.  My first step is always spot on.  However, any additional step(s) are off.  Almost as if my mash tun is somehow loosing more heat than it should.  My second step is typically 4-6 degrees off (lower than target) and my Mash Out is typically 6-8 degrees off (lower than target).

I followed all the great advise in this post.  However, doing so caused my Mash Tun Specific Heat to be 1.35 as opposed to the .30 for plastic!  Yikes!!  Using this number then caused my initial strike water temperature to exceed the temperature that was working unless I dramatically lowered the Water/Grain Ratio.  Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong or how to correct this condition?  Its not often I do a two step mash, but I always like to do a Mash Out, but the numbers don't add up.

1. My Mash Tun is a 10 gallon Igloo water cooler - vertical - with a false bottom.
2. I preheat with 135-140 degree water for about 15 minutes prior to mashing.
3. My lauder tun loss is zero because of the dead space under the false bottom is still filled with water.

I have attached a screen shot of my equipment profile.

Offline Oginme

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 02:03:45 PM »
When you calculate your strike water temperature, do you update the temperature of your mash tun on the mash tab using the temperature of the preheated mash tun?  The program uses the temperature of the grains and the mash tun to figure out the rise needed (energy required) to bring the water, mash tun, and grains to the same temperature.
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Offline Baron Von MunchKrausen

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2017, 02:27:24 PM »
I find that for whatever reason, when I follow BeerSmith's guidance on hating water for mash-in, the mash settles at a temp well below predicted. For instance I just brewed a 10 gallon batch with 17.5 lbs of grain (at about 68F dry starting temp) and B'Smith said to add 21.88 qts at 162.5F to hit a mash temp of 150F. My reality was that mash settled at 145-146.

This is pretty consistent across batches and times of year (temps). How do I adjust B'Smith's assumptions to provide me a higher HLT temp?

All good advice. However I'm old and lazy. Beersmith is a tool, and you shouldn't have to work harder than the tool your working with.
If you're consistently off by 4-5 degrees, I'd simply lower the grain temperature to a mark that is a 5 degree bump over what is calculated at your 68F.
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KellerBrauer

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2017, 06:47:25 PM »
When you calculate your strike water temperature, do you update the temperature of your mash tun on the mash tab using the temperature of the preheated mash tun?  The program uses the temperature of the grains and the mash tun to figure out the rise needed (energy required) to bring the water, mash tun, and grains to the same temperature.

Greetings Oginme - if you're referring to my first strike water addition, the answer is YES.  My first step is spot-on 99.9% of the time.  Now, are you asking or suggesting I measure the temperature of the Mash prior to adding water for my next step?  If so, the answer is NO.  I thought I could trust BS to calculate my heat loss and anticipate the energy needed to bring the mash up to the next step. 

Something unusual is happening and it doesn't make sense to me.  The only thing I do that could loose surplus energy is uncover my tun to stir my mash about 4-5 times in a 60 minute mash.  At which time I'm certain I loose heat.  But not to the extent that I'm seeing.....or is it?

Offline BOB357

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2017, 08:15:10 PM »
As in many other inputs, you need to adjust the numbers to reflect the norm for your system. Make the necessary adjustments for a few batches and you should be able to hit your numbers.

BeerSmith cannot predict any better than the inputs it has to work with. The GIGO affect is a reality we all need to deal with.
Bob

KellerBrauer

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2017, 06:44:36 PM »
As in many other inputs, you need to adjust the numbers to reflect the norm for your system. Make the necessary adjustments for a few batches and you should be able to hit your numbers.

BeerSmith cannot predict any better than the inputs it has to work with. The GIGO affect is a reality we all need to deal with.

Greetings Bob and thanks for your input.  However, I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting.  I fully understand I need to adjust the numbers to reflect the equipment I have.  But if you read my inquiry you will see I have the correct numbers already entered.  My initial mash temp is spot on no mater what it is supposed to be.  My issue is the following temps.  That's where I'm off.  Now, maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see where I can possibly enter any additional parameters to correct this.  And, if what you're saying is correct, what is the purpose of the Mash Tun Specific Heat entry?  I was under the impression that entry was an estimated calculation of the heat loss from the tun.  I have played with those numbers and doing so helped with my second step temps, but threw my first step temp way out.

Please accept my apologies if I misunderstood your response so please feel free to elaborate.

Offline Kevin58

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2017, 11:28:08 AM »
As in many other inputs, you need to adjust the numbers to reflect the norm for your system. Make the necessary adjustments for a few batches and you should be able to hit your numbers.

BeerSmith cannot predict any better than the inputs it has to work with. The GIGO affect is a reality we all need to deal with.

Greetings Bob and thanks for your input.  However, I'm not quite sure what you're suggesting.  I fully understand I need to adjust the numbers to reflect the equipment I have.  But if you read my inquiry you will see I have the correct numbers already entered.  My initial mash temp is spot on no mater what it is supposed to be.  My issue is the following temps.  That's where I'm off.  Now, maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see where I can possibly enter any additional parameters to correct this.  And, if what you're saying is correct, what is the purpose of the Mash Tun Specific Heat entry?  I was under the impression that entry was an estimated calculation of the heat loss from the tun.  I have played with those numbers and doing so helped with my second step temps, but threw my first step temp way out.

Please accept my apologies if I misunderstood your response so please feel free to elaborate.

There are numerous input fields in both the equipment profile and mash profile setup you can adjust which will make a difference in the mash temp suggestions that Beersmith provides you. However - I have tweaked these and set up custom profiles as exact to my equipment as is possible and still find that Beersmith's temp recommendations are inaccurate. With a given amount of grain and a desired mash temp in mind, I know to the degree what my strike temp needs to be. I know this from experience and taking notes. Beersmith however is always 6 to 8 degrees too high. It is always best to learn by experience how your system behaves and use that knowledge.
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Offline BOB357

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2017, 12:27:03 PM »
I have never had a problem hitting mash temperature within a degree or 2 since I have been using BeerSmith, and when I do miss it's almost always on the high side. Here's my procedure:

Measure water at room temperature.
Preheat MLT by adding about a gallon of hot tap water and allowing to sit at least 10 minutes.
Empty MLT and add strike water.
Stir in grain being sure no dough balls exist.
Check mash temperature with digital thermometer.

In the BS mash window I enter the actual grain temperature, which I check within a few minutes of doughing in, and I leave the Tun temperature at default.(72 degrees). Also, I thoroughly stir the water I'm heating before I check the temperature.

I assume you are using the same thermometer for checking both the water and mash temperatures. I use a dial thermometer in the water until it gets to within a few degrees of strike temperature and then use a digital. After doughing in I put a dairy thermometer in the mash and check mash temperature after about 10 minutes.

Hopefully this will help.
Bob

KellerBrauer

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Re: how to adjust HLT temp to correctly anticipate mash temp
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2017, 06:50:45 AM »
Greetings Bob and thank you again for helping me sort this out.  However, I'm certain we're having a communication breakdown.  The detailed procedure you have provided is almost exactly the same as the procedure I use for my first step and my first step is always accurate and correct.  My problem and question is not related to the first step.  Instead, my problem is with any subsequent steps I might have.  For example, a Mash Out step.

I have attached a screen shot of the Mash Profile I used for a recent brew.  The Saccharification Step was spot-on accurate.  However, the Mash Out was 8 degrees lower than predicted.

My first step is always within a half of a degree of predicted.  However any remaining steps I may have are always low.

 

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