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Old 12-08-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
nbrack
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Default Is it ok to add water to Mash?

1st time AG brewer here. I used Beersmith 2 to create a recipe and tried my best to get my equipment set up. Apparently something isn't right. I am mashing 8 pounds of 2 row for a 4 gallon batch. It said to mash 10 quarts of water at 163.7 for a mash temp of 152.

After I added the grain and stirred it in (1-2 minutes tops) I ended up at 147.6

Should I let it sit or add a little hot water? I have some more water heating on the stove right now and was planning on adding a couple cups of 200 or so water and giving it a stir. Will I ruin my grains doing this?

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Old 12-08-2012, 08:22 PM   #2
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1st time AG brewer here. I used Beersmith 2 to create a recipe and tried my best to get my equipment set up. Apparently something isn't right. I am mashing 8 pounds of 2 row for a 4 gallon batch. It said to mash 10 quarts of water at 163.7 for a mash temp of 152.

After I added the grain and stirred it in (1-2 minutes tops) I ended up at 147.6

Should I let it sit or add a little hot water? I have some more water heating on the stove right now and was planning on adding a couple cups of 200 or so water and giving it a stir. Will I ruin my grains doing this?
Add more water to get to 152, just add less water on your sparge so you dont sacrifice your OG (water it down) if ya do add to much water just boil longer. what style ta doing, even if ya get 149-150 for a pale or ipa that would be fine.

Pre heat your tun next time, just an FYI if ya didnt do it this time. It helps alot.
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Old 12-08-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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Update. I decided since I am doing a small batch SmaSH for my 1st AG, to not worry. I ended up adding one quart of 200 degree water and stirred it in. Its sitting at 151.4 and holding. I will let this rest for an hour and start my batch sparge with one quart less water. Time for a beer!

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Old 12-08-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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Add more water to get to 152, just add less water on your sparge so you dont sacrifice your OG (water it down) if ya do add to much water just boil longer. what style ta doing, even if ya get 149-150 for a pale or ipa that would be fine.

Pre heat your tun next time, just an FYI if ya didnt do it this time. It helps alot.
Thanks, Poislb! I used hot tap water to warm my cooler. Apparently that wasn't enough... will use some boiling water next time!

For the recipe I am using 8# Pale 2 row, .75oz Cascade 60 min, and .25oz Cascade at 10 minutes, and 1056 Ale yeast. I thought I would start with a small simple and cheap batch to figure out the process.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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in beersmith, did you update the grain and mash tun temp?

if you're anywhere other than the south, it's likely cold where you're brewing, and if you didn't set your mash tun temp and grain temp to what it is, you'll find your temp actual to be lower than your temp target.

I boil water and let it sit in the mash tun. also keep grain inside until brewing.

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:19 AM   #6
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Both were set at 72F in Beersmith. My house was at 68F so that 4 degrees probably came into play. I did heat the cooler with some hot tap water so it was probably a little warmer actually.

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:23 AM   #7
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The beersmith strike water temp has never been accurate for me. But I know that I need my strike water 16 degrees hotter than my mash temp and that allows me time to stir it up to break up dough balls and then i'll be right at that temp. Just took time of learning my equipment.
Beersmith is dead on with my volumes though so i'm happy about that.

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:40 AM   #8
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I ended up .5 gallons short pre boil as well as post boil. My gravity was also much higher. I should have added some water before boiling. It was an excellent learning experience for me and doing a 2 row SMaSH was nice and cheap. I think for next batch, I will add boiling water to cooler to heat it up. Adjust beersmith for 68F grain, and keep extra sparge water on hand to make sure I get the right preboil level.

My cooler MLT has a supply line mesh thingy for a filter. Do false bottoms better for getting all the water out of the mlt?

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Old 12-09-2012, 12:49 AM   #9
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I ended up .5 gallons short pre boil as well as post boil. My gravity was also much higher. I should have added some water before boiling. It was an excellent learning experience for me and doing a 2 row SMaSH was nice and cheap. I think for next batch, I will add boiling water to cooler to heat it up. Adjust beersmith for 68F grain, and keep extra sparge water on hand to make sure I get the right preboil level.

My cooler MLT has a supply line mesh thingy for a filter. Do false bottoms better for getting all the water out of the mlt?
Don't use boiling water! You'll crack and ruin the cooler! Use 180 degree water, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Some people like to add the strike water at 180 degrees (the whole volume) and then add the grain when it gets to the strike temperature. That never worked well for me- the cooler was in my basement and the 180 degree water would cool to 150 in 15 minutes. The cool cooler (as in not warm ) sucked out a LOT of heat! So, a gallon of 180 degree water for 15 minutes with the lid on, and then drained, worked well for me to preheat the cooler MLT.

Always have some hot water on hand, and a few ice cubes, until you know your system. Adding a quart or two of boiling water if you miss low or a couple of ice cubes if you miss high, works well.

Keep in mind that if you do have to adjust, to do it slowly and incrementally. What happens all to often is someone doesn't stir enough, and then adds too much hot water and then it's too hot. So they add cold water, and then it's too cold. It's better to add a little, stir well, check the temperature throughout for at least 5 minutes, and then check again before adding more hot or cold water.

When you stir, stir well, and then check the temperature in several places. If it's different, stir some more. You really have to stir more than you think to get the temperature equalized throughout.

If you preheat the MLT, stir it extremely well, and then hit the temp you want, you will lose less than 1 degree in an hour so it's important to get it right and then just walk away.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:13 AM   #10
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Yooper, Thanks for the advice! I saw on another thread that people's coolers were warping and cracking. I certainly do not want that to happen. Will follow your advice next batch!

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