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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > *Advice: MLT Dead Space and Mashing Out
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:25 PM   #11
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hmm. thats what I saw beersmith suggested as well. but what I dont get is by adding more water to my strike volume (to fill the deadspace) doesn't that in turn change my target water/grist ratio?
It depends...is there grain in your deadspace as well, or is it underneath a false bottom (for example). In either case, it depends on exactly what you're trying to do in measuring your water-to-grist ratio.

Personally, I figure out my water:grist ratio excluding the deadspace under my false bottom because I'm mostly interested in the mechanical stiffness of my mash. If you're interested in something else, you might need to think about it differently.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #12
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hmm. thats what I saw beersmith suggested as well. but what I dont get is by adding more water to my strike volume (to fill the deadspace) doesn't that in turn change my target water/grist ratio?
Yes, that's why it's undesirable to have dead space


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I may be completely missing something, but I don't think that you adjust up like that. Otherwise, people using huge rectangular coolers would be using a ton of water, which would just kill the ratio. In effect, the size of cooler you own would dictate the kind of beer you could make, and that just doesn't make sense.
People who use coolers usually use a bazooka screen, or a slit-manifold, and therefor have nearly 0 dead space.

Where exactly is the dead space?
By dead space, do you mean wort that will never be collected?
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:29 PM   #13
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What is missing is that the dead space water has a bigger impact on smaller grain bills (like when you do smaller batches like the OP). Dead space volume is fixed.

e.g.
With 6 lbs of grain, 1 quart (0.25 gallon) of dead space water increases the mash ratio goes from 1.25 to 1.4qt/lb.

With 12 lb of grain, mash ratio goes from 1.25 to 1.3 qt/lb.


The other thing to note is that a larger cooler may not have a proportional increase in dead space size.

Even though its not ideal, I agree that you need to account for it in the strike water since this is when that volume is first filled.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:30 PM   #14
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I don't know if it would be enough to make a difference or not, depends on how much dead space. But if I were you, anything you add to the strike, subtract from the sparge.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:31 PM   #15
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I have 2 gal dead space under my false bottom. I add them to my strike water. It works. Efficiency is %70+. Beer comes out good. I do 5gal batches.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #16
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but again, wont adding water to the strike volume change my target water/grist ratio???
still have not bought and converted a cooler yet, doing all-grain in a Zapap MLT. last batch I was doing a fairly thick mash, 1:1 qt/lb and there was definitely not enough water because the deadspace sucked it up. had to add another gallon to make up for it.

I don't see any other way around it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #17
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I don't know if it would be enough to make a difference or not, depends on how much dead space. But if I were you, anything you add to the strike, subtract from the sparge.
I wouldn't do this; dead space is by definition unrecoverable. If you subtract from the sparge then you'll be short at the end. I would add to the strike, not worry about the small different in mash ratio, and collect according to your process.

Although unrecoverable, the dead space will be "washed" of sugars, similar to the grain bed. Its not like you'll have 0.25 gallons of first runnings stuck under there. It will be the gravity of the end of your last sparge (or should be close).
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:39 PM   #18
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I wouldn't do this; dead space is by definition unrecoverable. If you subtract from the sparge then you'll be short at the end. I would add to the strike, not worry about the small different in mash ratio, and collect according to your process.

Although unrecoverable, the dead space will be "washed" of sugars, similar to the grain bed. Its not like you'll have 0.25 gallons of first runnings stuck under there. It will be the gravity of the end of your last sparge (or should be close).
This makes sense.

I also feel better now, as to start with, I was thinking headspace, not deadspace.

I am such a noob.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:42 PM   #19
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This makes sense.

I also feel better now, as to start with, I was thinking headspace, not deadspace.

I am such a noob.

I'll just go ahead and second that.... Thanks for the explanation.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:52 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
What is missing is that the dead space water has a bigger impact on smaller grain bills (like when you do smaller batches like the OP). Dead space volume is fixed.

e.g.
With 6 lbs of grain, 1 quart (0.25 gallon) of dead space water increases the mash ratio goes from 1.25 to 1.4qt/lb.

With 12 lb of grain, mash ratio goes from 1.25 to 1.3 qt/lb.


The other thing to note is that a larger cooler may not have a proportional increase in dead space size.

Even though its not ideal, I agree that you need to account for it in the strike water since this is when that volume is first filled.
thanks for responses everyone. but what broadbill is saying is exactly what im dealing with here! with my small batches (which i love) even a quart of deadspace throws all my numbers off and vastly increases my mash ratio.

if add 0.25 gallons to my mash-out water, im worrying that I'll way overshoot mash out temp (~170C)

to everyone else out there: my dead space is beneath my SS brain and yes, grain can go down there unlike a true false bottom. unless i tip the cooler, that wort will never be drained.
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