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Old 01-21-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
flabyboy
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Default 1.25 qt/lb or 1.5 qt/lb??

How does the water to grain ratio in the mash affect the end product? Why do 1.25 vs 1.75 qt/lb or vice versa?

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:02 PM   #2
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I use a lower amount, closer to 1.25 qt/lb. I do it this way for a couple reasons: 1) I can add more boiling water if my mash temp starts falling without the mash getting too thin, 2) I add a mash-out infusion of boiling temp water, and if the original mash ratio is on the lower end my mash-out volume can be lower, then I'm left with being able to use more water for sparging so I get a better rinse of the grains.

EDIT: I don't know if the ratio really affects the end product. Logistically the way I do it helps me get a better efficiency because I can rinse with more sparge water than using that in the mash/mashout. Hope that makes sense...

Second EDIT: I guess if it wasn't obvious I use a cooler MLT, so can't direct fire the MLT to keep the mash temp stable, or to perform the mash-out.

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
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If you're interested in the nuts and bolts of mash science, a book like Noonan's New Brewing Lager would be a good place to start.

This is also an interesting read:
http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...fusion_mashing

Noonan says that in thinner mashes, enzymes will be denatured more quickly than in thick mashes. This is a concern when trying to make very dextrinous worts, like for Scottish-style beers.

Noonan says that thinner mashes promote more fermentability, but the experiment on braukaiser indicates little relationship between thickness and fermentability, with a stronger correlation between mash temperature and fermentability.

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:42 PM   #4
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I think the grain to water ratio is very dependant on your brewery. If you have a HERMS system where you constantly recirculate your mash you might want more water. Personally, I prefer the 1.50 qts/per pound as it agrees with my system. On the other hand, if you find yourself adding a lot of water to get to mash temp then go with the 1.25 qts/per pound. In the end I don't think it makes that big of a difference

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:45 PM   #5
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I have actually experimented lately with 1.25 and 1.5, and the only difference I have found is higher efficiency with 1.5. Both beers finished the same and taste the same. I mash at 1.5.

The relationship between temp and fermentability is easy to see, but I find no relationship between mash thickness and fermentablity.

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:02 AM   #6
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I also agree with the previous replies. When I started brewing all grain I mashed at 1.25qt/lb. I have recently switched to 1.5qt/lb because it works better with my system (better recirculation, and it allows me to single batch sparge on most beers). I have noticed no difference in taste or fermentability. Go with what works best for you system.

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Old 01-22-2011, 12:12 AM   #7
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I vary my ratio according to the grain bill to allow me enough sparge water,but not too much. With 15 lbs of grain, you don't get much sparge water at 1.5 qts/lb.

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Old 01-22-2011, 11:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northcalais40 View Post
I vary my ratio according to the grain bill to allow me enough sparge water,but not too much. With 15 lbs of grain, you don't get much sparge water at 1.5 qts/lb.
sounds like you need a bigger pot!
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Old 01-22-2011, 11:56 PM   #9
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I split the difference and use 1.33. Seems to work well for me.

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Old 01-23-2011, 12:08 AM   #10
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