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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > 1.25 qt/lb or 1.5 qt/lb??
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Old 01-23-2011, 03:01 AM   #11
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I use a variety of thicknesses and vary it for given recipes based on traditional styles.

I use thicker mashes closer to 1 qt/lb for English and UK styles and more traditional 1.25 to 1.75 qt/lb (for highly attenuative styles) for most other styles. From what I have seen documented, only mashes outside of the usual 1.25-1.75 qt/lb thicknesses will give you anything but very nearly equivalent results.

That said, I also try to adjust based on mash schedule. If you are going to do a multi-step infusion mash, you will want to start thick and add judiciously as to not end up exceedingly thin. Likewise, if you are doing decoctions (usually attenuative german styles that you are trying to keep a lot of malt character), you can start out right in range and stay there through mash-out. Also, I fly sparge, so I do value a thinner mash to a higher degree than batch spargers might.

Obviously, YMMV, but I don't think enough evidence exists to give anyone enough conviction to tell you there's a right or wrong answer here.

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Old 01-23-2011, 10:26 AM   #12
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I use a very scientific approach to this...what ever ratio gets me closer to half unit measurements in my mash and sparge quantities. (Meaning I'd rather measure out 3.5 gallons and 4.5 gallons then 3.3253 gallons and 4.653432 gallons).

:P

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Old 01-23-2011, 12:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSB View Post
I use a very scientific approach to this...what ever ratio gets me closer to half unit measurements in my mash and sparge quantities. (Meaning I'd rather measure out 3.5 gallons and 4.5 gallons then 3.3253 gallons and 4.653432 gallons).

:P
I do this too. If my recipe has 11.25 lbs of grain at 1.5 qt/lb that's 16.875 quarts. I will pick a round number that's close to 16.875, say 4 gallons (16 qt) and then enter 16/11.25 as my mash thickness into Beer Smith and I get a thickness of 1.4222 qt/lb and a strike water volume of 4 gallons even. I can't believe there's much difference between 1.5 and 1.422, but an even 4 gallons is easier to measure accurately and hopefully will yield a mash temp closer to what I want.

L
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:20 PM   #14
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Reading over Brewing Better Beer by Gordon Strong and it mentions that thinner mashes may cause too much dilution and enzymes may not convert as much, as good, as fast... So I would stay away from getting the mash too thin. On a typical brew day he suggests 1.5qts water per lb of grain. I do like one of the above mentioned posts that if you have a NON-heated mash-tun going a little lower offers the ability to adjust temp if need be by adding more water without running the risk of getting a thin mash. I think I will give that a test run, starting with a 1.25qt ration then adding more as needed for temperature correction.

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #15
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I've been reading about overnight mashes. The word on the street is to use 1.75. I suspect this is driven by thermodynamics (keeping the mash hot) rather than fermentation, though.

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Old 12-06-2012, 07:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvestsmiles View Post
Reading over Brewing Better Beer by Gordon Strong and it mentions that thinner mashes may cause too much dilution and enzymes may not convert as much, as good, as fast... So I would stay away from getting the mash too thin. On a typical brew day he suggests 1.5qts water per lb of grain. I do like one of the above mentioned posts that if you have a NON-heated mash-tun going a little lower offers the ability to adjust temp if need be by adding more water without running the risk of getting a thin mash. I think I will give that a test run, starting with a 1.25qt ration then adding more as needed for temperature correction.
If this were true, why do I as a BIAB brewer manage to get 80 to 85% efficiency with evidence that conversion has occurred in 15 minutes? I think his information is a bit suspect. My mash is usually done at a 2.3 to 2.5 qts per pound of grain.
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:47 PM   #17
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I use 1.3 for no particular reason. A round #

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:56 PM   #18
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I initially calculate for 1.5, then round the resulting strike water number and recalculate the ratio for BeerSmith.

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Old 12-07-2012, 01:50 PM   #19
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As RM says, BIAB can get great efficiency at full volume. I might have less than 20 AG brews under my belt but as soon as I went to full volume my efficiency went way up. I think if you were brewing something with very little Diastatic power then a thin mash would leave it too low to convert starches to sugars. If your using mostly self converting grains with high DP then go as thin as possible while maintaining correct pH of your mash. That's easy for Biab'ers who don't sparge but if you do need to sparge then obviously don't go so thin that you have no volume left to spare with.

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