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Old 10-22-2012, 02:55 AM   #1
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Default SMaSH BIAB - low gravity batch? or smaller batch?

So, with my current set up, I can handle a mash of about 7 or 7.5 lbs. of grain. If I'm going to do a SMaSH with that amount of grain, should I just make it a low gravity 5 gallon batch? Or should I do a smaller batch and something closer to a typical Pale Ale gravity?

Or rather, not which should I do, but which would you do?

I've got the ingredients for one other batch that I need to brew before I have a chance to do a SMaSH, but I was just batting around the idea in my mind. I do have a dark mild that needs to be bottled soon, and the other batch I have ingredients for is a rye bitter that I'm calling Quite Rye-ght! So, that might be enough low gravity brews to last me a while. However, if it turns out tasty with a 1.038 to 1.040 OG, then I'd have more tasty beer that wouldn't get me wasted very quickly. #beerworldproblems

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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Personally, I do smaller SMASH recipes in the middle of the APA style range. I buy one malt in bulk and several different varieties of hops. This allows me to taste/drink different SMASH combos quicker and then the ones that really stand out go to 5 gallon recipe.

I just finished a round of 5 different hops with MO. The MO/Simcoe won hands down.

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:26 PM   #3
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the general wisdom with SMaSH is to go for small batches and do more than 1 type so you can really compare between the different grains/hops. this way you're not stuck with 5 gallons of a (let's face it) boring beer. I also tend to find 1040 beers to be pretty watery, especially if there's no cara/crystal malt in there to increase body. if you do go that route, make sure you mash high.

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
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That looks like 2 votes for doing a smaller batch.

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Old 10-22-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
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Make that 3. As was suggested though, SMaSH does tend to be a bit thin so mash high (or toss some crystal or cara in to "cheat" a bit and get some body).

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Old 10-22-2012, 03:26 PM   #6
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What is considered mashing high? Like 154F? Or higher than that?

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Old 10-22-2012, 03:31 PM   #7
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I usually go 153-155F with a SMaSH. Play around a bit and see what you like, that's the beauty of doing small batches.....you can make a lot of them rather quickly.

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Old 10-22-2012, 03:48 PM   #8
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If you go light, also consider a less attenuative yeast. If you're doing a smash to get a feel for the malt, leave out the crystal, but if you're trying to get a feel for hops, just use the same grain bill (with crystal, etc.) and isolate only one variable. I'd consider doing as large a batch as you can to get the gravity you want, mixing all the runnings, then splitting them and doing two boils from one mash as long as you have smaller fermenters. This would be like a partigyle, but with the same gravities, and you'll have a few 6ers of each hop variety.

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:17 PM   #9
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I put together a recipe in Brewpal and came out with a 3.75 gallon batch at 1.057 for an OG. I'll wait and see which hops the LHBS has, but I'm hoping to do Simcoe. Aiming for mid-30s ibis, and 2 ounces for dry hopping

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Old 10-22-2012, 08:21 PM   #10
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I went small. In fact, I didn't even use my 5-gallon setup -- I did 4 stove top BIAB batches at the same time instead. Now if you make a SMaSH that you really like, then make a full 5 gallon batch. I consider SMaSH as an educational tool so I only wanted a dozen bottles or so per batch. It really depends on what you are tying to accomplish with your SMaSH brews.

I also brewed them in the 6%-7% range and they came out great.

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