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Old 05-11-2007, 12:01 AM   #11
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Easy for me. A sauce pot of water...a sauce pot of grains and so on until done. I just have a fear of having a bed of non-mixed "dry-ish" grains on the bottom if I throw in grains first...then the water.



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Old 05-11-2007, 12:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsma22
In the latest version of John Palmer's book, How To Brew, he states that you want to add the water to the grain, and not the other way around. He mentions to add the water a gallon at a time, stirring between infusions, until you have added all of your strike water. His reasoning behind it is so that you don't thermally shock the enzymes by adding all of the strike water at the same time or adding a small amount of grains at a time to the entire volume of strike water.

Be careful when first stirring the water into the grains, you want it thoroughly wetted, but don't aerate it. There is an enzyme present that can lead to hot side aeration until it is denatured at 140˚F.
This is a case where I have to disagree with Palmer. If you pour dry grains onto your false bottom it will create nothing but problems. It will be nearly impossible to mix the grains in the bottom of the tun. The dry grain will also be stuck to the false bottom making the sparge more difficult. He may have a point if you have a system that will add the strike water from the bottom of the tun floating the grain.

I dough in by dumping all the grain into the water to drop the temp to the target as soon as possible. As I stir it I make sure all the clumps are broken up.
Looks like there are a hundred different ways to mash!


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Old 05-11-2007, 12:48 AM   #13
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I've been adding probably a gallon of my strike water to the tun, adding a portion of my grain, mixing, adding more of the strike water, more of the grain, mix, rest of the water, last of the grain. Sometimes I'll just do it in two steps.

Honestly, mixing the grain at this point, I don't really think twice about HSA. I mean, I'm not getting out a handheld mixer to stir the mash, but I'm not stressing if a little air gets in the mash when I'm stirring. I'd rather make sure that everything is well-mixed, heat is distributed evenly, and that there are no dry spots, even if it means that there is a little HSA. I really want to get things mixed up and closed up before I lose too much heat, if I'm too careful, I end up losing too much temp.

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Old 05-11-2007, 01:43 AM   #14
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I heat my measured mash water to strike temp, then dump all the grain into the MT & stir. Then, after it settles in, I set my HERMS manifold on top of my grain bead & begin to recirculate my wort. This has worked fine for me.

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Old 05-11-2007, 02:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron von BeeGee
Dr Malt and jdoiv: What are your processes for treating water for pH prior to adding grains? Is it based on historical observations from your local water? I was under the impression that pH adjustment should be primarily managed after mash in and the grains have had a chance to "have their way" with the hot liquor's pH. I do sometimes harden my water for IPA's, for example, to accentuate the hop profile, but I still check my pH ~15 minutes after dough-in.
Depending on the recipe and amount of modified grains, I try to get my mash waters pH between 6.8 and 7.2. I record my mash and sparge pH before I add grains and test the mash pH after dough in. I tend to brew the same couple of recipes over and over so I can get an idea as to what is going to happen from batch to batch and make small adjustments as I think need to be made (not that I'm always right). The grains are only going to adjust the pH a certain degree. The more modified the malt (chocolate, black patent, etc.) the less the water needs to be adjusted. My water comes out of the filter at 7.8, so I need to only add a tsp of gypsum per 5 gallons to drop my pH by .4 or so (I currently have relatively soft water, so a little calcium to buffer it is needed, and a little change in ions goes a long way). I also use the 5.2 buffer, but it doesn't drop my mash pH on a light colored beer down to 5.2 without a little help (this with 2.5 tablespoons added to the mash water pre-dough in and the pH taken afterwards, I'll see 5.5 or 5.6). So I'll add a couple of drops of lactic acid on a light colored beer to get the pH down to 7.2 or 7.3. Once I add the 5.2 and gypsum and lactic acid, I'll see a pH of around 6.3 or so. Add the grains for say a SNPA clone (83% 2-row pale and 13% 60L crystal) and I'll get to 5.3 or 5.4. Not quite the 5.2 I would like, but close enough for jazz.

I don't like changing the pH of my sparge water much as I have had a couple of bad batches by overdoing water modifications that I attribute to the sparge water. I think the pH is most important during the mash as it pertains to enzyme activity. The sparge is for rinsing. If you get your sparge water too acidic, you will pull tanins out and that isn't very tasty.
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Old 05-11-2007, 03:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsma22
In the latest version of John Palmer's book, How To Brew, he states that you want to add the water to the grain, and not the other way around. He mentions to add the water a gallon at a time, stirring between infusions, until you have added all of your strike water. His reasoning behind it is so that you don't thermally shock the enzymes by adding all of the strike water at the same time or adding a small amount of grains at a time to the entire volume of strike water.

Be careful when first stirring the water into the grains, you want it thoroughly wetted, but don't aerate it. There is an enzyme present that can lead to hot side aeration until it is denatured at 140˚F.
I think Palmer is over thinking this. You are going to absolutely end up over heating some enzyme here or there, whether it is from adding hot water to cold grain or cold grain to hot water. The quicker you add the two together, the sooner the temp will reach equilibrium. Not to mention the heat loss in the MLT if it isn't brought up to strike or mash temp. Easiest way to get it done is to put your water in the MLT and then add grain as quickly as possible and stir while you are doing it.

Also, you are more likely to get HSA if you are splashing water into grain than if you add grain into water. The grain will hit the water and float on top. The water will splash over the grains if you add the water after the grains.

Just my ramblings on the subject.


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