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Water or Grains What goes in first?

Here goes, tomorrow will be my first attempt at an All Grain batch. I have done way to much reading and resurch, and have become even more confused. My question is : What comes first? The grain or the Water? (mash-in) Mr. Palmer says Grain then water, NB. says the opposite. What gives, dose it really matter? East cost people you have 12 hours, west coast well, you know…

First of all, you will make very good beer. OK?

Well, I heat my Mash Tun a couple degrees above strike temp, add the water, then slowly pour in the grain.

Now, I spend a bit of time stirring, making sure there are no balls of malt floating or, sinking around.

That few extra degrees of heat allow me to stir like crazy until I close it all up at strike temp for the duration.

I too add the water first then slowly add the grain and stir.

I also add the grains to the water. With my 48qt cooler (at room temp) I heat the water to around 170 degrees. When the water drops to ~160 I add the grain (~65). I end up right around 150.

I go grain to water as well so that I can raise the temp of my water to preheat the MT and make up for the heat loss.

It doesn’t matter which goes in first, but one or the other will sometimes have advantages for a particular mash tun.

Adding the water first can help preheat the tun, which can make it easier to hit your mash temperature, and can help prevent dough balls, if you add the malt gradually with stirring. Once you know your system, hitting mash temperature is just a matter of a calculation, and mashing thin enough makes dough balls much less of an issue.

Use whichever works best for you and your system, with the goal of getting the malt evenly wet and at your target mash temperature.

I mash in a 7 gallon kettle, so I pre-heat the water to strike temp first; I heat to about 10-12 degrees above my target temp before adding grain, to account for ambient grain temperature heat loss.

FYI- AG is easier than it seems… if you are like some of us, reading thousands of pages will only make it more of a mountain… truth is, stick to established styles, recipes and temps for a few batches, just to get a consistent method down, before you start experimenting…! AND DON"T GO USING A TON OF ADJUNCTS, CRYSTAL, OR SPECIALTY GRAINS!!!

BTW, what are you brewin??

Good luck!

Well, I guess I’ll be the only one to answer this way. I put the grain in my MT first and then the water. I don’t think it matters as long as you figure your system out, and it will take you a couple of times. I bring my grains and MT up out of the basement the night before to let them warm to room temp. Heat my water up 15 to 17* above mash temp and as I’m measuring and pouring the water in, I’m stirring. Always keep some boiling water and cool water around. It will get easier, have fun.

My grain bills vary from 45-75 pounds so for me, it is much easier to add grans to water, stirring them in as I go. I imagine it would be pretty tough to do it any other way.

Thank You for all your support and advice…

My MT is a keg, so I heat the water in it about 10* over, then add the grain. As long as you can evenly saturate the grain, either one will work.

I usually add the grains to water, just like everyone else is suggesting. I tried it the other way once out of curiosity and ended up missing my mash temp by a lot and having to stir a lot to get rid of doughballs. I have since gone back to the other way.

+1. Grain first, then water. Stir time takes no time, and I have yet to find a doughball as long as I spend half a second stirring. I likewise keep a couple quarts of boiling water and cold water on hand for any adjustments. No big whoop.

But of course, the bottom line is, you’re going to make good beer either way. Do whichever method works best for you and your system. No biggie.

I add water to grain because it is simplest for me to grind my grain directly into the tun then just dump water in.

To hit temperature, you need to know how to account for the tun’s heat capacity and grain and tun temperature, or have a system for adjusting the mash temperature when you miss the target. Ice, boiling water and decoction all work to adjust it after the fact, but I usually start with strike water that is a little too hot and just add 75% of it, come back in 5 minutes, stir and add as much as I need to hit my desired mash temperature.

I seem to have completely removed any problem of dough balls when I switched to thinner mashes.

Water to grain, I crush right into the MLT.

I was thinking of doing this but with the water already in it.

I pre-heat my blue cooler with hot tap water for a few minutes while my strike water is heating. I pour it out, then put in the grains, then add the water, about 3/4 gallon at a time, stirring once a get enough water in that it gets everything wet. I continue to add the amount of hot water called for from my calculations. A while back I got an app for my Droid phone called Brewzor Calculator that has put me right on the exact mash temp every time. The big thing is to make sure all of the grains are soaking. The sugars have to leech out into the liquid and the enzymes need time and space to work. So it seems to come down to a chicken and the egg question. Do witch ever one works best for you.

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