Effect of Air Temperature on Mash In Settings

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Effect of Air Temperature on Mash In Settings

Postby slothrob » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:34 pm

I'm going to make an attempt to perform a mash, having calibrated my mash tun, starting with a cold mash tun containing grain then adding hot water to the tun.

Normally, I would add water to my cold tun, at a temperature above my target strike temperature, allow the water to cool to the temperature calculated for my grain temperature, then add the grain. BTP has worked great for me using this technique prior to the tun calibration.

I hope that the new procedure will save me a little time and effort, but I'm concerned about the effect of air temperature. I performed the calibration in a room in the low 60
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Postby Brant » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:04 am

I've wondered about this myself. My guess is that BTP assumes the grain, tun, and air are all the same temperature, but I have no way of knowing if that is true.
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Changes in temps of air and tun

Postby billvelek » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:36 am

Yes, slothrob, I see what you mean. I thought that a possible approach would be to change the 'Environment Temp' on the vessel edit page, but then that changes the 'Heat Capacity' and 'Heat Transfer Coefficient' which were computed during calibration. Perhaps if there were "Lock" check-boxes for them, then the "Environment Temp' could then be changed for more accurate mashing. I had a similar concern when I had left my mashtun outside and it got down to near freezing over night right before brew day. With my ice chest that cold, I knew that there was no way BTP temps and infusions could be correct without warming it, so I did the best I could to heat it up to as close to room temp as I thought I could get by letting some warm water sit in if for a bit. That's probably always going to be a seat-of-the-pants judgment call because I have no real way to accurately check the temp of insulation inside the vessel walls, but at least it can roughly be corrected. But when a user decides to mash outside when temps are twenty degrees lower than what you calibrated at, there's not much you can do to fix that ... so BTP should allow some sort of an adjustment.

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Re: Changes in temps of air and tun

Postby slothrob » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:14 am

billvelek wrote:I thought that a possible approach would be to change the 'Environment Temp' on the vessel edit page, but then that changes the 'Heat Capacity' and 'Heat Transfer Coefficient' which were computed during calibration.

I assume that Environ Temp setting is for performing the calibration :? , but it begs the question "where is the Environ. Temp. box in the Mash In Edit window?"

billvelek wrote:But when a user decides to mash outside when temps are twenty degrees lower than what you calibrated at, there's not much you can do to fix that ... so BTP should allow some sort of an adjustment.

Or, in my case, when temperatuires from room-to-room in my house can vary 20
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Follow-up suggestion re temperatures

Postby billvelek » Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:29 am

Once Jeff and Lathe finish their present documentation work and resume working on refinements and improvements to the program (which I sincerely hope they will continue to do despite complaints), I have a suggestion that I think will help in line with the above posts, and also re a recent brewing experience I had. A couple of days ago I did a triple brewing session; two beers (#2 and #3) were a partigyle, which is nothing except a sparging issue which BTP handles just fine. However, between the first and second batches, I completely dumped my tun and started over. So what's the problem? Well, the tun was then at sparge temperature rather than at room temp, and I just did a quick rinse and then dumped my pre-measured grist from a bucket into the tun and then immediately added my strike water which was already. This happed pretty quickly because I was in a hurry with so much to do. Out of habit, I also rinsed with hot water -- not mindful that BTP would think that my tun would be at room temp. After strike water was added, I missed my mashin temp by about 5 degrees -- too high -- which wasn't the end of the world because I was doing a two-stage mash and so mashin was low enough anyway that I could live with it. I presume that the primary reason I missed it is that the tun was well about room temp. To compensate and put the rest of my infusions back on track, I went in and changed the target temp for mashin to what it actually ended up at, and the rest of the schedule was then reasonably accurate. However, doing that slightly altered my recipe in that is shows a different infusion temp which BTP had recalculated, and a new target temp, etc. -- data which was not originally intended and therefore ought not be saved. My suggestion is for an additional schedule display or two. One would be the 'planned' schedule which we currently have, and the other would be the 'actual' schedule which would show a record of the real brewing session without overwriting the intended mashing schedule. The user would have the ability to 'correct' the schedule by manually adding actual temp measurements at various times, with BTP then changing that 'actual' schedule to adjust the next planned infusion temp or volume, etc. on the 'actual' schedule so that the 'planned' schedule remains intact. Maybe there would even be a way for BTP to accumulate some historical data regarding the actual performance of the mashtun to perhaps even fine tune vessel calibration. One other benefit to my suggestion is that if I import someone else's recipe from BeerTools.com which will eventually include things like a schedule and display, then the recipe-creator's data remains intact as one display/graph ('planned' schedule) and my personal experience, which could be different with different equipment, is still recorded under the 'actual' schedule. If BTP permitted both to be displayed together on one screen, an easy comparison could also be made ... but maybe I'm making this a lot more complicated than it needs to be. Just an idea.

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