When a recipe calls for lukewarm water, I always wonder what temperature "lukewarm" is. The term itself is somewhat subjective.... What feels lukewarm to me, might be cool to someone else.
I'm sure someone here will find a chart for you, but this is what I basically use, and it's not failed me yet.
Tepid = 75-80 F
Luke Warm = 90-100 F
Warm = 115-125 F
I will proof yeast in 100 F water, but if the yeast is mixed into the dry, I will use 120 F water.
Yeast dies around 135-140 F.
Thank you so much.... I usually do 120 if mixing yeast in with the dry ingredients... Used lukewarm, though yesterday...per the recipe...and got very little. Rise... So..... I won't do that again.
It should still rise just as high... it would just take a lot longer...
Don't know if this will help. If I can boil half the amount and put in refrigerator temp I get lukewarm.
It's easier to invest in a candy thermometer from Wilton. Use a 40% coupon from Hobby Lobby and it will be reasonably priced.
I was taught that if it feels warm to your hand but not hot, that's lukewarm. And if it feels too hot to keep your hand in it, it's too hot for yeast, too.
For baking and testing meats on the grill, I use a digital probe thermometer that usually costs under $15 at most kitchen stores. For candymaking I prefer an oven meat thermometer with a probe that can clip on the pan. (I like the ones where you can set an alarm temperature.)
I haven't used a stick candy thermometer in years. We still have one, my wife uses it, but slowly I'm getting her convinced that the digital ones are more accurate and easier to use.
My reaction to lukewarm is about the same as Mike Nolan's: I put a drop on my wrist to see how it feels. I'm looking for something that feels the same temp as my wrist: no colder, and not much warmer. It's always worked for me. It's about as simple and easy as can be.
Never thought to actually 'take it's temperature' with a real thermometer! ;)))
A digital thermometer takes the water's temperature just fine.
I do it for the same reason I weigh everything - I'm not a very good judge of what's accurate - even when I try the drop of water on my wrist :-)
i use a digital thermometer because i don't have much sensation in my hands (including the wrist area) and can't tell warm from hot....i've been using 100 to 105 degrees as lukewarm and haven't had any yeast problems with that....don't know where i got those numbers, but i've been doing it that way for years.
Just for variety of info, yesterday I looked it up online and lukewarm was shown as 79F-97F.
I have neurological issues too. It's not that big of a hassle to use a thermometer.
From Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
lukewarm, adjective: 1. moderately warm; tepid; as, lukewarm water
tepid, adjective: moderately warm; lukewarm; as, a tepid bath
I always took both words to mean a temperature at about human body temperature. It's the temperature a baby's bottle is supposed to be, which is human body temperature because milk for a baby is supposed to come out of a human body.