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Old 03-07-2010, 01:21 PM   #1
msa8967's Avatar
May 2009
North Liberty, Iowa
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Planning on doing my second all grain batch later today and I was reading through Palmer's second edition on How to Brew and I came across some conflicting information with other sources.

When getting my mash tun ready do I add the water first to let the inside of my cooler reach the proper temp given by Beer Smith or do I add the grain first and then add in the water? On page(s) 202-203 of Palmer's book it states to have the grain in the mash tun first and then slowly add the first 1/2 of the water so that you don't shock the grains with a massive temp change. This is opposite what I have read from several other sources so I want to know what will be the best method to get the water and grain together for maximum efficiency.

Any recommendations?

Mick Arnett
North Liberty, Iowa
"Beer will change the world. I don't know how, but it will."

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:33 PM   #2
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Hammy71's Avatar
Sep 2008
, Maryland, The Tax Me State
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I usually 'preheat' my MLT before I add my strike water/grains with some hot water. As far as grain or water's a personnel preference. I've found it easier to add the water first and then add the grain as I stir with my mash paddle. Putting the grain first made a lot more 'grain balls'. As long as it's well doesn't matter which you add first.

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Old 03-07-2010, 01:57 PM   #3
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Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
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Originally Posted by msa8967 View Post
do I add the water first to let the inside of my cooler reach the proper temp given by Beer Smith?

Yes. That.

The idea that the initial contact between cooler grain and hotter water "shocking" the grain is a little far fetched because it equalizes within 3-5 minutes. Even if you mix slowly, and the strike was 168F, it's going to hit low 160's within 30 seconds and that's not enough time to denature more than a few % of the enzymes.
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Old 03-07-2010, 11:30 PM   #4
Mar 2010
New Jersey
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If you don't have a lot of room (i.e. you know you will be filling near the rim); then adding water to grain means you will have all your grain in. You can always hold back water, your mash will just be less dilute. Palmer tends toward thinner mashes, where dry spots are not as easy to get. If you are doing thick mashes (< 1.25 qts/lb), then adding grain to water would probably be better. But if you have plenty of room (helps with stirring too), and aren't too thick, you could do either really. Assuming Palmer doesn't know something Miller or Snyder don't.

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Old 03-08-2010, 12:13 AM   #5
uechikid's Avatar
Aug 2009
Antioch Ca.
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I alway preheat the mash water to the correct temp. based on the variables, then add my grain. It has always worked for me.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:46 AM   #6
lowlife's Avatar
Jan 2009
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Either works. Just a note....You can easily calculate grain and tun temp absorption using beer smith.

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