Mashing- Water in first, or grain? - Home Brew Forums

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:29 PM   #1
Nov 2007
Posts: 186

I'm a frequent reader of a really good blog, where I read something that gave me pause yesterday. He claimed that as a general rule when mashing, you add the water first, then the grain. It kind of surprised me, as he was way down on grain in first, and I thought that's how you were supposed to do it.

I hadn't really thought I had a choice. I had been reading New Brewing Lager Beer when I did my first all grain, and he said ALWAYS wet into dry. I figured he knew what he was talking about, so that's what I've always done.

Generally, I preheat my mash tun with a few cups of boiling water, which I dump right before the grain goes in. Then grain, then strike water. I've been real close every time so far on nailing my sacch temp.

What does everyone else do? Is there a particular reason you do it that way?

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:32 PM   #2
ohiobrewtus's Avatar
Nov 2006
Posts: 7,785
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I don't really know that it makes much of a difference. My process is to heat my strike water about 15F higher than my target mash temp. I them dump the water into my MLT and use this water to heat the MLT. Once the water gets to 9 degrees above my target mash temp I dough in.

Every system is different, but this is what works for me. I haven't missed a mash temp by more than 1 degree for quite some time.
Originally Posted by the_bird
Well, if you *love* it.... again, note that my A.S.S. has five pounds.

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:33 PM   #3
Blender's Avatar
Jan 2006
Santa Cruz, CA.
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I add the grain to the water. There may be less chance of dough balls but I have always done it that way.

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:38 PM   #4
WBC's Avatar
Jun 2007
La Puente, CA, California
Posts: 2,164
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I vote water first for the following reasons.

1.) Less problem with dough balls

2.) You can fill your mash tun with te required amount of water to a mark on the mash tun or dip stick.

3.) I can go a few degrees over the strike temp when doing number 2 and allow the mash tun to pre-heat and stabilize at the strike temp. When It does not change and is at the strike temp when stirred I then add the grains, stir wait 5 minutes and stir again and I hit sac temp dead on.

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:39 PM   #5
Glibbidy's Avatar
Oct 2005
Sunny Southern Vermont
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Bleach or Iodophor?
Copper or Stainless?

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:45 PM   #6
Pimp Juice
Aug 2005
San Leandro
Posts: 119

If you got a helper, both at the same time while the helper stirs.
there are worse things than
being alone
but it often takes decades
to realize this
and most often
when you do
it's too late
and there's nothing worse
too late.

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Old 03-05-2008, 04:52 PM   #7

I add ~a gallon of water, then the grains, then the remaining water and stir. Before I did my first AG batch I had read that it helped eliminate dough balls and stuck sparges. So, I did it that way and never veered from it.

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Old 03-06-2008, 12:43 AM   #8
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ajf's Avatar
Oct 2005
Long Island
Posts: 4,646
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I add enough foundation water to ensure that the grain is suspended above the false bottom, then add grain and water in small increments, never allowing the grain to get compacted.
When I started AG brewing, I used to add water to the grain, and often got stuck sparges. Since I changed my method, I never never had a stuck sparge.


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Old 03-06-2008, 12:49 AM   #9
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Nov 2007
Portland, ME
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Originally Posted by Glibbidy
Bleach or Iodophor?
Copper or Stainless?

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Old 03-06-2008, 01:06 AM   #10
Nov 2004
Posts: 2,601
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It really doesn't matter. What's important is that the grist and water get thoroughly mixed. Commericial breweries use grist hydrators which mix water and grain together as they enter the mash tun, maybe some homebrew gearhead needs to make and market one.

I put some water in first then add some grain and keep alternating and mixing until all is nicely blended.

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