Homebrewing blog and resource

Doughing In

Since this is a homebrewing resource blog, Mike and I decided to start writing up posts that define homebrewing terms that people new to the hobby may not know.  We even created a new category called Glossary to keep them in their own place on the blog.

The first term we want to define is Doughing in.

Doughing in is the process of introducing hot water to the grain in your mash tun.  Sometimes I will read recipes that state that I should “dough in” at a certain temperature.  This instruction means I should pour water into the mash tun to get the grains to the stated temperature.

If you have anything to add to this definition, please comment below.


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  1. I like the glossary idea!

    Maybe worth noting that in order to dough in at a given temperature, your strike water must be somewhat hotter than your target temperature, around 12 degrees F, depending on a variety of factors.

  2. Herb Meowing

    Palmer (How to Brew p. 144) and others make a distinction between ‘doughing in’ and ‘mashing in.’

    ‘Doughing in’ refers to a 20 minute rest @104F where grains are “…mixed with water to allow time for the enzymes to be distributed.”

    ‘Doughing in’ and ‘mashing in’ are often used interchangeably; however, there is a distinction.

  3. Herb Meowing

    Here’s a ‘doughing in’ reference from BeerSmith…

    “The other popular step used by modern brewers is the dough-in rest (protein rest). Usually done at a temperature between 100-120 F, the dough in allows the grains to soak and saturate as well as allowing the key various lower temperature enzymes to begin chopping up longer chains of molecules. This will generally lower your pH slightly, and improve your mash efficiency by a few percent. I personally recommend a 20 minute dough in at a temperature between 100-112F for maximum impact.”


  4. Thanks Herb. Good stuff.

  5. Gary

    Every website has the same info on Doughing In. I get the basic idea of adding hot water to the grain to let it sit at about 110 deg F for 20-30 minutes. However, how do I calculate the remaining volume and temp of the strike water to reach my target Mash volume temp? I have BeerSmith but can’t figure out the nuts and bolts of those calculations.


  6. Mike

    Gary thanks for the comment and question.
    To be honest I think its BeerSmith that’s tripping you up. Its best to learn to calculate this without software. Then its easier to know you’re setting the software up right later on.

    There is no need to pre-incubate the mash at 110F. What you are describing is a malt conditioning step that just isn’t necessary. You’d need to do a new infusion near boiling water to hit your mash temp. I’ve tried that in the early days and to be honest most of the time adding even boiling water wouldn’t get me to my desired mash temp without seriously diluting my mash thinner than “they” advise.

    You should be shooting for your target mash temp right off the bat. Single infusion style. You should figure 1.25qt per pound of grain. To hit a target mash temp of 154F, heat your mash water to about 10 degrees over, so shoot for 164F. Put that water in your mash tun, add your grain and mix it all in. Measure the temp and right it down. Remember it. Next time you brew if you were a few degrees short of 154 then heat the mash water to 12 degrees over. If you were too high, shoot for a lower strike temp.

    BeerSmith does a pretty good job at estimating it, but I find its better to start this way. Then when you apply all the inputs that BeerSmith is asking for you can look at the strike water it gives you and know its pretty close because you have real world data you’ve generated in your own process.

    If you need more help with this send us direct email and we can work it out.


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