How can I mash in faster?

I’m on my second 10 gallon batch, each time I loose too much heat mashing in. Today I started at 185 and by the time I mixed in the 22 pounds of grain I was at 146. Doing it by myself takes a long time and a big heat loss. Anybody have any tips or tricks to mixing in grains quickly or do I just need to increase the strike water temps? Thanks

How long are you taking to mash in? I used to take my time and slowly add the grains to the water while trying to stir. Now I add all the grain to the mash tun, dump in all the water on top, and stir for a minute or two. If you have a good mash paddle, it should break up any dough balls quickly.

That seems like a lot of heat to lose, what are you mashing in? Using a cooler I have no issues expecting ~15 degrees loss (though I let my software calculate it). I put all my strike water in the cooler, dump 1/2 my grains in, stir, dump the rest of the grains in and stir and I’m good. Typically I bring my water in a bit warmer than needed so I can just stir for a bit to bring my mash temp down to the target temp.

If you’re mashing in a kettle perhaps you need to find a way to insulate it a bit.

Yeah that’s what I’m doing, stirring and adding little by little, takes about 20 minutes.
If your method works, I’m going to adopt it, that should solve my problem.

Do you pre-heat your mash tun?

I’m using a large rectangular cooler and big kitchen spoon. Might need something with more leverage.

I used to pre-heat it, and then I decided it wasn’t worth it. Just one more fairly un-necessary step during the brew day that I found can be eliminated by increasing the water temp by a few degrees. Check out the wooden mash paddle that NB sells, with the dowel construction. It’s a well made piece and does the job very effectively.

I use a cooler as well, if the weather is cold I put some hot tap water in first as my mash water is heating to warm up the cooler, then add my mash water and then dump the grain fairly quickly-maybe 1/2 and stir, then the other 1/2 and stir with a plastic mash paddle. I can hit my mash temps within a degree or so after some practice. No need to take 20 minutes adding the grain though. Just stir enough to break up any dough balls and get the temps fairly even.

Thanks for all the help !

I use a big wire kitchen whip to stir. It mixes a lot faster than a spoon and breaks up dough balls nicely.

I use a cordless drill and a wide fluted plastic paint stirring paddle. Dump in the grain, hit it with the drill & paddle, and in seconds it’s completely mixed.
Also it will help to preheat your tun with hot water.

It shouldn’t take twenty minutes to stir in your grain. I do ten gallon batches 24 lbs grain in a pot and I’m done in under 5 minutes. Pour from a bucket under my arm and stir with the other arm.

I siphon my strike water into the grain bed. Works like a charm.


I run a gallon or so of my heated water into the mash tun, then dump all the grains in, and then top off with remaining water. Stir in with my monster paddle and shut the lid.
I made this one myself - go to your local hardware store and get a piece of 1x6 natural, untreated red oak. Cut it out with a jigsaw, sand the rough edges and you are good to go.
Plus, if you hang it in your garage, it keeps my son’s friends walking the straight and narrow as they wonder what I use it for!

My life got easier when I traded my spoon for a wire whisk.

Just raise your mash in temp by the amount you fall short.