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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: violaleebrews on March 25, 2011, 10:26:57 AM

Title: dough-in method
Post by: violaleebrews on March 25, 2011, 10:26:57 AM
wondering if anyone out there has a dough-in method better than the one i'm employing which is to tip my 5-gal bucket and slowly pour in my grains while stirring so i don't get any air pockets.

i know there's gotta be something better out there.  any tips would be greatly appreciated.  (my back thanks you too!)
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: oscarvan on March 25, 2011, 12:37:10 PM
I put the grains in and THEN the water...... 1.5-1.8 qts/pound which is thin enough for a good stir to get any lumps out, then close the lid and have a home brew.....
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: jeffy on March 25, 2011, 01:07:44 PM
I dump the grain into the liqour (water) all at once and stir until all the dough balls are mixed in thoroughly.  Then temp check, then pH check. 
This is the way I've seen it done at most of the small commercial breweries, too, although some spray water in while dumping and stirring the grain. 
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: maxieboy on March 25, 2011, 01:13:49 PM
Grain to water all at once, stir, go.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: bearcat on March 25, 2011, 01:20:48 PM
I have a heated MT so when water reaches temp- dump all the grains in and grab the drill with the paint mixer attached and about 30 seconds later am done. 
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: Malticulous on March 25, 2011, 01:34:55 PM
I use a cooler and found the best way is to put the water in a little bit hot and let it sit a few minutes. If necessary I add some ice cubes to get the exact strike temp. Then I pour in the grain and stir until there are no dough balls and it's at the mash temp.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 25, 2011, 01:44:54 PM
Water at the correct strike temperature then I pour the grain in, while my assistant brewer (the wife) stirs.  Very few dough balls dion it this way.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: bluesman on March 25, 2011, 01:45:18 PM
I've done it both ways and have found that adding grain to water allows for ease of doughing-in. It's easier and faster to get a uniform consistency in the mash this way. Using a cooler mash tun, I target a higher mash temp because it's easier to cool down the mash than it is to heat it up.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: Mark G on March 25, 2011, 01:45:47 PM
The best method is the one that works with your system.  ;)  I mill my grains directly into my mash tun, so I add the water to the grains. It's nice to have someone else around to stir while I dump the water.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: ajk on March 25, 2011, 01:55:15 PM
I mash in a Denny-style cooler, and I've recently started pushing hot liquor in through the out hose.  So I have a cooler full of grain sitting on one stand and a hot liquor tank sitting on a higher stand with a hose running between the spigots on each.  I open the valves and the mash tun fills with hot liquor.  A friend pointed out this technique (on his very different system) results in fewer dough balls, and so far it works for me.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: JKL on March 25, 2011, 01:56:13 PM
I use a cooler and found the best way is to put the water in a little bit hot and let it sit a few minutes. If necessary I add some ice cubes to get the exact strike temp. Then I pour in the grain and stir until there are no dough balls and it's at the mash temp.

I've been thinking about doing something like this method on my next batch.  I would normally waste a bunch of hot water to preheat my tun, dump it then add my strike water and grain at the same time. Now, I'm thinking about shooting for about 10 deg higher, waiting 5-10 min then adding my grain to it and adjust as needed.
-J.K.L.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: jeffy on March 25, 2011, 02:40:52 PM
I use a cooler and found the best way is to put the water in a little bit hot and let it sit a few minutes. If necessary I add some ice cubes to get the exact strike temp. Then I pour in the grain and stir until there are no dough balls and it's at the mash temp.

I've been thinking about doing something like this method on my next batch.  I would normally waste a bunch of hot water to preheat my tun, dump it then add my strike water and grain at the same time. Now, I'm thinking about shooting for about 10 deg higher, waiting 5-10 min then adding my grain to it and adjust as needed.
-J.K.L.

Yes, and use the calculator here to figure the water temp: http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: JKL on March 25, 2011, 02:47:45 PM
I use a cooler and found the best way is to put the water in a little bit hot and let it sit a few minutes. If necessary I add some ice cubes to get the exact strike temp. Then I pour in the grain and stir until there are no dough balls and it's at the mash temp.

I've been thinking about doing something like this method on my next batch.  I would normally waste a bunch of hot water to preheat my tun, dump it then add my strike water and grain at the same time. Now, I'm thinking about shooting for about 10 deg higher, waiting 5-10 min then adding my grain to it and adjust as needed.
-J.K.L.

Yes, and use the calculator here to figure the water temp: http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

Thanks for the link!!  I should've known there was calc for that.
-J.K.L.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: maxieboy on March 25, 2011, 02:59:29 PM
I use a cooler and found the best way is to put the water in a little bit hot and let it sit a few minutes. If necessary I add some ice cubes to get the exact strike temp. Then I pour in the grain and stir until there are no dough balls and it's at the mash temp.

I've been thinking about doing something like this method on my next batch.  I would normally waste a bunch of hot water to preheat my tun, dump it then add my strike water and grain at the same time. Now, I'm thinking about shooting for about 10 deg higher, waiting 5-10 min then adding my grain to it and adjust as needed.
-J.K.L.

No need to dump MT preheat water. Just determine your strike water volume , heat it 8- 10 degrees above strike temp(you'll determine how much by doing it a few times), add to mashtun, and mash in when it's at your desired strike water temp. I like to mash in 1 or 2  degrees high, stirring the mash to bring it down to my desired  temp.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: glastctbrew on March 25, 2011, 03:50:11 PM
I use a cooler and found the best way is to put the water in a little bit hot and let it sit a few minutes. If necessary I add some ice cubes to get the exact strike temp. Then I pour in the grain and stir until there are no dough balls and it's at the mash temp.

I've been thinking about doing something like this method on my next batch.  I would normally waste a bunch of hot water to preheat my tun, dump it then add my strike water and grain at the same time. Now, I'm thinking about shooting for about 10 deg higher, waiting 5-10 min then adding my grain to it and adjust as needed.
-J.K.L.

No need to dump MT preheat water. Just determine your strike water volume , heat it 8- 10 degrees above strike temp(you'll determine how much by doing it a few times), add to mashtun, and mash in when it's at your desired strike water temp. I like to mash in 1 or 2  degrees high, stirring the mash to bring it down to my desired  temp.

 *Smacks self in forehead * Such a simple solution to the waste of the preheat water makes me wonder why I never thought of it.  Thanks for the tip, I'll be implementing it Sunday.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: Beer Monger on March 25, 2011, 04:16:47 PM
I put the grains in and THEN the water...... 1.5-1.8 qts/pound which is thin enough for a good stir to get any lumps out, then close the lid and have a home brew.....

Same - mostly.   I add half/most of the grains and then add the rest just after turning on the line from the hot liquor tank. 

Basically, very little water is in by the time all my grains are in - then I add the water & stir w/ a mash paddle a few times like you to ensure no lumps/dry spots. 
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: beersk on March 25, 2011, 04:53:35 PM
I do the same of the OP.  I dump my mash water in to the cooler, making sure it's a few degrees higher than what my strike temp is, then add my grains fairly slowly whilst stirring.  Seems to work pretty well.  I used to scoop the grain in with a 2 cup measuring cup and stir each scoop in.  I was having troubles hitting mash temps (too low) so I started adding the grain a little quicker.  I tried heating my strike water higher, but still seemed to hit a low mash temp. 
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: euge on March 25, 2011, 04:57:36 PM
Add the water to preheat tun. Dump in half the grist in if it is more than #10. Stir. Add the rest. Stir.  Often, with thick or big mashes the grist will float. I scrape the top and then come from underneath the mass to lift the grain and break it up. If one pushes the floating grain down it will certainly form dough-balls.

My second/third sparges I break the compacted grain-bed up before adding more water. Mixes easier that way.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: beer_crafter on March 25, 2011, 05:19:32 PM
I put in maybe 1/4 of my water.  Then I put in like 1/3 of my grain and mix it up until it is good and thick.  Then I add probably 1/2 of the remaining water and mix.  Then 1/2 of the remaining grain and mix.  more grain to get it thick.  Then the rest of the grain and then the rest of the water. 
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: denny on March 25, 2011, 05:23:29 PM
I used to preheat but I decided it was one extra step that I didn't need to do.  I just took about 3 batches to experiment and find out how much hotter my water had to be if I didn't.  I hit my mash temps within a degree.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: tschmidlin on March 25, 2011, 05:41:22 PM
My mash tun is direct fired, so I heat my water to strike temp, dump in the grain and stir.  How fast I dump it in depends on the grist, sometimes I add some, stir, add more, stir, etc.  Sometimes I just dump it all in and then stir.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: maxieboy on March 25, 2011, 07:43:20 PM
I used to preheat but I decided it was one extra step that I didn't need to do.  I just took about 3 batches to experiment and find out how much hotter my water had to be if I didn't.  I hit my mash temps within a degree.

My MT temp can vary from the teens to 90*(70 qt. Extreme w/copper manifold, stored in unheated garage) so I preheat. Otherwise I would use your SOP.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: kgs on March 25, 2011, 07:59:08 PM
I used to preheat but I decided it was one extra step that I didn't need to do.  I just took about 3 batches to experiment and find out how much hotter my water had to be if I didn't.  I hit my mash temps within a degree.

I mash in the kitchen (fairly constant temp) so I have found this also to be the case. I use Beersmith's strike water guidelines for my equipment setup, and that works great. I add grain to water in a slow steady stream, stirring gently with a 22" whisk. I tried water to grain... once once enough.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: oscarvan on March 25, 2011, 08:20:30 PM
I LIKE the valve to valve hose on a gravity setup.....filll from below.....hmmmm. Gotta try that.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: denny on March 25, 2011, 08:25:46 PM
I used to preheat but I decided it was one extra step that I didn't need to do.  I just took about 3 batches to experiment and find out how much hotter my water had to be if I didn't.  I hit my mash temps within a degree.

My MT temp can vary from the teens to 90*(70 qt. Extreme w/copper manifold, stored in unheated garage) so I preheat. Otherwise I would use your SOP.

Interesting.  Mine stays in the garage, which can be anywhere from 35-90F and it doesn't seem to have much effect.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: maxieboy on March 25, 2011, 10:15:25 PM
I haven't tested to see if there is an appreciable difference, just assumed(I know, I know) there could be some variance. I'll probably stick with preheating and mashing in a degree or two high, stirring til I hit my mash temp. The steady stirring helps ensure uniform temp throughout the mash.
I've come up below desired mash temp at mash in a few times not preheating and had to scramble to bring the mash temp up.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: violaleebrews on March 26, 2011, 12:35:08 AM
sounds like a lot of good methods here.  i'm too nervous about adding all the hot liquor to a mash tun full of grain or just dumping all the grain at once into a mash tun full of hot liquor.  i might be overanalyzing it, but i cringe at the thought of dough-balls in my mash.

i guess i'm looking for a better way to pour my grain into the mash tun - a more controlled pour.  thinking of a way to not be hugging a grain bucket with one arm and stirring in with another.  using a scoop isn't a bad idea, i've got a 2Qt pitcher kickin around here... somewhere.

THANKS FOR THE INPUT, Y'ALL!    ;D
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: kgs on March 26, 2011, 01:21:26 AM
sounds like a lot of good methods here.  i'm too nervous about adding all the hot liquor to a mash tun full of grain or just dumping all the grain at once into a mash tun full of hot liquor.  i might be overanalyzing it, but i cringe at the thought of dough-balls in my mash.

Gently, grasshopper! Pour slowly, stirring all the while. 1,000 one, 1,000 two...
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: violaleebrews on March 26, 2011, 03:23:54 AM
Gently, grasshopper! Pour slowly, stirring all the while. 1,000 one, 1,000 two...

i'd rather do it that way and take my time doing it to make sure it's done the best way i know how. 

i love brewing and enjoy every process.  doughing in, i think, is a little more cumbersome than it needs to be.  i might have an idea or two.  i'll send pics when i get things worked out.

thanks for the encouragement, kgs!
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: malzig on March 26, 2011, 01:27:38 PM
I used to preheat but I decided it was one extra step that I didn't need to do.  I just took about 3 batches to experiment and find out how much hotter my water had to be if I didn't.  I hit my mash temps within a degree.
My MT temp can vary from the teens to 90*(70 qt. Extreme w/copper manifold, stored in unheated garage) so I preheat. Otherwise I would use your SOP.
Interesting.  Mine stays in the garage, which can be anywhere from 35-90F and it doesn't seem to have much effect.
My grain and tun temperature can vary from 45-70°F and I can miss my strike temperature by a few degrees if I don't try to account for these.  Occasionally even when I do account for them I'll miss by a couple degrees.

I've done the "add too hot-water to tun until it hits strike temperature" technique, which works well, but sometimes wastes a lot of time waiting for the temperature to come down. 

The technique I've been using most recently, that allows me to quickly hit temperature every time, is to crush the grain into the tun, add all but the last half gallon of the strike water and stir.  Once it's stirred in, I take the temperature, which should be about 2°F low.  If so, adding the rest of my mash water should hit my mash temperature.  If I'm already at mash temperature, I save the remaining water for the sparge.  If the temperature is more than 2°F low, adding the remaining water at Strike Temperature won't hit my mash target, so I heat that last half gallon to the higher temperature that will.

I never have problems with dough-balls unless I use Oatmeal.  If the grain is being a little temperamental about wetting thoroughly and quickly, I close the tun and stir again in 5 minutes, at which point it's usually not a problem.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: oscarvan on March 26, 2011, 03:00:59 PM
Quote
I've done the "add too hot-water to tun until it hits strike temperature" technique, which works well, but sometimes wastes a lot of time waiting for the temperature to come down.

I've heard of people having a bucket of ice for tweaking.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: maxieboy on March 26, 2011, 03:20:13 PM
Cold water also. Instead of waiting an inordinate amount of time for strike/preheat water to hit target temp, ice or cold water will quickly drop the temp. Much easier to drop temp than to add heat w/ a cooler MT.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: denny on March 26, 2011, 03:47:22 PM
sounds like a lot of good methods here.  i'm too nervous about adding all the hot liquor to a mash tun full of grain or just dumping all the grain at once into a mash tun full of hot liquor.  i might be overanalyzing it, but i cringe at the thought of dough-balls in my mash.

i guess i'm looking for a better way to pour my grain into the mash tun - a more controlled pour.  thinking of a way to not be hugging a grain bucket with one arm and stirring in with another.  using a scoop isn't a bad idea, i've got a 2Qt pitcher kickin around here... somewhere.

THANKS FOR THE INPUT, Y'ALL!    ;D

I put my grain into a paper bag after it's crushed.  Then I hold the bag under my left arm and pour slowly while stirring with my right.  Virtually no doughballs and since you're going fairly slowly you can see them and break them up as they happen.  Also, the slow stirring allows plenty of time to get the tempo equilibriated in all parts of the cooler.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: denny on March 26, 2011, 03:53:27 PM
Quote
I've done the "add too hot-water to tun until it hits strike temperature" technique, which works well, but sometimes wastes a lot of time waiting for the temperature to come down.

I've heard of people having a bucket of ice for tweaking.

That's what I do, although it's a bowl, not a bucket.  I can also use the bowl of ice for quick cooling a hydrometer sample that I put in a metal cocktail shaker.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: Will's Swill on March 26, 2011, 11:17:27 PM
I put my grain into a paper bag after it's crushed.  Then I hold the bag under my left arm and pour slowly while stirring with my right.

And this technique infuses that nice musky flavor, too.  :)


That's what I do, although it's a bowl, not a bucket.  I can also use the bowl of ice for quick cooling a hydrometer sample that I put in a metal cocktail shaker.

Huh?!  Where are you keeping your Bloody Mary's while the shaker is occupied?  ???

I also underlet the tun.  As the water comes up over my false bottom or manifold (depending on which tun I'm using) I start doughing in.  Keeps the water to grain ratio pretty constant as I slowly stir in the grist while the tun fills.  Then I hit it with hot or cold brewing water to adjust if necessary.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: ajk on March 27, 2011, 01:31:55 AM
By the way, when I use the fill-from-the-bottom method, I have to resist the urge to start stirring before all the water's in.  Tried it once and got many doughballs.  Seems better to let the water wet as much of the grain as possible on its own before stirring.
Title: Re: dough-in method
Post by: weazletoe on March 27, 2011, 01:42:53 AM
I add about one third my grist to the strike water. Stir it in, and bust any dough balls, and repeat. As far as preheating, I never do. I my basement brewery, I used to heat my strike water 2* horgher than what Mashwater told me, and would be spot on each time. Today, my first brew outdorrs in Idaho, on a whim, I went 4* over, and was dead on.