Single Temperature Infusion - Mashing

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Evening All.

So far I am happy with the two AG Brews that I put down, apart from polishing up my methods. One of them is the time I should take to Mash In. BeerSmith appears to say that it should take 2 minutes. The way I do it is obviously wrong for it takes two to three times as long. For the Dough In I pour 2L of my strike water to my preheated Mash Tun and stir in some grains. I stir to make sure it is fully wetted. I continue doing this in batches until all my grains and strike water are thoroughly mixed. In order to reduce my time thereby preserving the temperature to the desired level, should I just dump all the grains to some water, stir and top up? I think the answer is yes but I am wondering if this is so.

Keep on Brewin'
Hi Peter. Yep that the way I do it, I work out Ph of water first then preheat my Mash tun, just enough to cover the manifold/false bottom. Then I tip that out when my HLT is at the desired temp.

I add all my water at once allowing for the temperature variation of the cold grain,then the grain, grab my mash paddle and give it all a good stir so that there is not dry spots.

I then check my mash temp, it is really handy to have cold water on hand as well as a kettle full of boiling water as well, just in case you miss your target temp.

Hope this helps,

if using beersmith and youhave the settings right in the calcutaor with strike temp it should be fine so u need temp of grains ect but i know from a doing a few ag what my temp should be with my tun and i ger close of hitting temp with out adding extra water and i mix it in stages and the time preiod i do not worry about to much as long as it dont take ages ......but generall i heat the strike water to the temp mash in and no probs easy as
Thanks fellows.

DS. Your method obviously would not take any more than two minutes so next time I will not be so pedantic about mixing in batches and wil follow your way...
" I will follow on..."

Hi Peter,
which ever way you go about doing it it should all work out fine. One thing i'll throw into the ring is you can totally leave out the preheating the mash tun step and just calculate that step into your HLT, ie work out how much hotter your water needs to be if you don't preheat. Basically just use hotter water if you need too.
Most brewers generally end up doing it this way, not that it makes any diff' to your beer iam just making a suggestion that may help you in someway.

I'm with Jayse on this. Tweak your thermal mass and you can hit your temperature right on the knocker without pre-heating.
Yep, way to go. :super:

I measure the temp. on my strike water and usually add it to the tun at about 5c over the required temp. I just fill the tun say 500ml-1 litre short of my total water level and augment it with either the strike water or some cold water to get the required temp.

Depending on the grain temp (yep generally measure that too). My strike water is usually about 8-10c hotter than my desired mash temp.

Then just dump the grain in quite promptly and dough in for about 5 mins to get the thing mixed up correctly. I stir in a circular motion and occasionally stir upwards to lift the doughballs up to the side of the tun and break them up with the mash paddle.

Then I put the lid on the tun for say another 5 mins. Make sure the temp. has settled correctly and maybe give it one more stir if there's any lumps.

Warren -
I do mine a different way.

I dont preheat my mash tun - i add all the crushed grain into it first.
Then i underlet the strike water into it.
Once the water level is reached - i then give it a stir.
Takes about 2 mins - never seen a dough ball yet.

With Underletting - the water should push the air out as it fills up from the bottom - it is also very very easy to mix...

Hope this helps you out.
Hi Peter Shane,

I dough in using the underletting method exactly the same as GMK

With Underletting - the water should push the air out as it fills up from the bottom - it is also very very easy to mix...

If you are not aware, the term "underletting" means introducing the strike water to the mash through the outlet valve of the tun.
To use this method you will need the appropriate plumbing from the HLT to the mash tun.
I preheat my mash tun with hot water from the hot water tap (house supply) and when I drain this water just prior to adding the grains for the mash, I dough in and then add that water back to the HLT for the sparge. ( I just drain it into a bucket ).

Cheers and good luck with your brewing
An extra point to bear in mind when mashing. Most of our malt is fully converted and loaded with enzymes. Especially any malt that is produced with the megabrewers in mind.

There are heaps of enzymes ready and rearing to do the mashing. Most of the starch to wort sugar conversion happens in the first 20-30 minutes. Try and get the mash temp spot on, otherwise the incorrect balance of enzymes will work on your brew, making the wort either too dextrinous, or too thin.

I fill the mash tun with strike water, wait till it settles in temp, then dump in the grain and stir for a few minutes, wait a few minutes then take a temp reading, then adjust if neccessary. Certainly keep records of all mashing in temps, the grain temp, the air temp and the strike water temp. After the first few brews you will be able to hit your aimed mashing temp.
I also am an underletter, but with my backyard plumbing it was a big deal hooking up to the mash outlet so now I just drop my hot water hose into the bottom of the tun and dump the dry grain on top then flood up to the desired volume. About 30 seconds of stirring sees me back reading my book.
Thank you all again for your very informative replies. From what I have read it seems to me this underletting is the way to go.
Dicko and GMK thanks for explaining what underletting is. I envision it this way using a two tiered system:

1. Heat or fill my HLT with the desired quantity of water and strike temperature. (Actually 5 - 8C higher to allow for cooling).

2. Fill Mash Tun with all the grains. (Mash Tun may be preheated if desired).

3. Connect the oulet of the HLT with the outlet of the Mash Tun and open both taps to allow gravity to do its bit and fill the Mash Tun from under the grains. Stir and mix the grains whilst the tun is being filled to allow for water absorption and to break up any clumps.

4. Check for need for temp adjustment at close to completion of drain.

Have I got it correct or does the system needs other plumbing like a pump?

Keep on Brewin'
Hi Peter,

If you decide to preheat the tun then most just use hot water and drain it out before placing the grains in for underletting.
I use a large stainless steel vessel for a mash tun and I have found that my strike temps are a lot more accurate if I preheat it. When I used to use a Rubbermaid esky then I didnt bother as the tun seemed to be a lot more stable with temperatures.
Whatever way you decide you need to stick to the same procedure each time so you DO hit the desired strike temperature.

Stir and mix the grains whilst the tun is being filled to allow for water absorption and to break up any clumps.
If underletting I dont stir the grains until the water just starts to cover the top of the grain bed. I find that by doing it this way I virtually reduce the chances of any "dough balls"
When all the water is in the tun give it a good stir with your mash paddle, as this will help to even out the temperature and then, just play the waiting game.

If you are relying on gravity then you wont need a pump.

Cheers and good luck
Exactly as Dicko said - but he is right - i currently use a 36ltr Rubbermaid as a mash tun - taht is why i do not preheat.

When i upgrade to the SS 50ltr Mash tun - i will preheat....

Good Pick up Dicko....

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