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View Poll Results: Mash - Which comes first?
I mix the grain into the water 51 85.00%
I pour the water into the grain 9 15.00%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:14 PM   #1
Aug 2012
Durham, North Carolina
Posts: 197
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts

Can you all help me understand which you do and why?

I had watched an instructional video online about All Grain brewing, specifically on the mash. His procedure involved heating the water to the desired strike temperature, warming the mash tun with said water, and then adding the grain to it. Before I attempted my first All Grain brew, I consulted the how to brew bible by John Palmer, (Physical Version, not the online one) and I was surprised he suggested adding the grain first, and then the water. Page 201, Step 3. Mash In - "You want to add the water to the grain, not the other way around.". So I went with his method On my first All Grain attempt. It was a long day with stuck sparge and all the fun stuff. None the less I was able to get the wort out and it has been happily fermenting for two weeks now.

However this left me a bit perplexed, so I got online to do some research, and actually as I was looking at the version of the same book online I was shocked to see he was contradicting what I had previously read in the same copy of his physical book, Potentially different editions? The hunt for answers continues. In fact reading the wiki on this site about the process also suggests adding the grain to the water, and not the other way around.

So I humbly seek out your answers, Which method do you prefer, and why. What are some of the negatives and positives of your process?

I understand the process of adding grain to water prevents the formation of dough balls, but am interested in hearing some other reasons.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:36 PM   #2
Feb 2012
Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 220
Liked 26 Times on 21 Posts

I initially warm my cooler with hot water. After about 15 minutes, I slowly add my strike water. While the strike is flowing into my cooler, I slowly pour in my grain. After about 1/2 of my grain is added, I begin mixing. I then add the last 1/2 of my grain and mix again. I copied that method from someone here on HBT and it has always worked for me. Can't tell you the technical reasoning behind it though. I've read Palmers book and rarely follow his methods for all grain.

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Old 01-15-2013, 01:01 AM   #3
Feb 2012
Albany, Oregon
Posts: 149
Liked 13 Times on 9 Posts

I heat up the mash water, add to mash tun then add grains. This way the mash tun is nice and hot and I can always hit my temps perfect. That simple....
Originally Posted by coffeegod View Post
I fermented a brown ale at 80 degrees for two weeks. At the end my beer tasted like a belgium tripple not a brown but it was a damn good belgium tripple.

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Old 01-15-2013, 01:04 AM   #4
Jun 2012
South East Massachusetts
Posts: 931
Liked 258 Times on 173 Posts

I do water first and then stir in grain, I find that this reduces doughballs.Fewer doughballs=better efficiency!

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Old 01-15-2013, 01:06 AM   #5
E-Mursed's Avatar
May 2011
Westland, MI
Posts: 881
Liked 114 Times on 65 Posts

Always add dry to wet....
Schöne Blondine Brauerei
Closed-System Pressurized Fermentation - the future of homebrewing today...!!!

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo da Vinci
"A set back is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently" - Henry Ford

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Old 01-15-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
diS's Avatar
Apr 2011
Posts: 997
Liked 49 Times on 46 Posts

As I can remember, it depends on gelatinization temperature and strike water temperature.
If you dough in below gelatinization temperature you can add water to grains since there is lower risk of creating dough balls, but since most of us mash at or above gelatinization temperature where dough balls are likely to form we want to minimize it and slowly add grain to mash and mix it well.
We are only 10,000 years into beer... there are thousands of years left to go!
Things are bound to change!!

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
Apr 2008
Cheektowaga, NY
Posts: 742
Liked 38 Times on 36 Posts

I've always done grain to water for no reason other than that's how I started doing it. I guess I do it for preheating of the tun purposes. diS's explanation is convincing, though. Kyle

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:46 PM   #8
Jan 2008
Delaware, OH
Posts: 91
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

I've always added grain to water simply because there is less chance of dough balls. I would think if you had all of your dry grain in the bottom of your mash tun and you were using a cpvc or copper manifold that it would be difficult to keep the grain on the very bottom from doughing up and clogging the manifold resulting in a stuck mash.

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Old 01-15-2013, 03:51 PM   #9
Oct 2011
, Ontario
Posts: 146
Liked 27 Times on 17 Posts

I heat my water above strike temp and add to the mash tun. Wait for it to cool down to strike temp then add grain. That way I know the cooler is pre-heated. Give it a good stir to ensure it's mixed well, close the lid and set the timer.

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Old 01-15-2013, 04:25 PM   #10
Dec 2012
, ID
Posts: 51
Liked 4 Times on 2 Posts

This works for me: I mash in a kettle on the stove. Dough in at 120. If I want clove flavor, let it rest 20-40 minutes. Direct heat to mash temps. Lauter first run, then batch sparge.

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