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Old 01-07-2013, 05:05 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by mkravitz13 View Post
my dead space is beneath my SS brain
sorry, I had to laugh; it's a little funny
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:05 PM   #22
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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.
Let me put a finer point on this:

A quart of deadspace isn't throwing your numbers off that much (I'm assuming you are doing 6-7lbs of grain, right?)....I wouldn't worry about 1.25 vs. 1.4 or even 1.6.

The BIAB guys are using ALL of their water to mash in and not sparging at all, making perfectly good beer.

I don't know if you gain much by changing where you account for the dead-space.....regardless of where you put it "on-paper" that void is filled when you first fill the MT (i.e. mash).

The other option is to tip the cooler and retrieve that volume. I don't see any down-side to this, and it makes the calculations more straight forward.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:06 PM   #23
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Heck I try and over shoot the mashout temp since it means less time on the propane. I think you are worrying way to much about it since you cannot change your deadspace you are going to have to make up for it somewhere. Only time I would worry about the mash out being to hot is if the PH had dropped way down and you were extracting tannins.

If I could I would would use a larger cooler and not sparge at all just dump it all in at once and be done with it. Plenty of people do just that and have no problems at all

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:16 PM   #24
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I understand now, that's why you simply add it to the strike water and no worries after that. So the OP just adds an quart of strike water if he doesn't want to tip the cooler.

Thank you, I learned something today. And more reason to finish my sink mash tun, has a nice slope to the bottom drain and tubing, no dead space.

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Old 01-07-2013, 05:19 PM   #25
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Let me put a finer point on this:

A quart of deadspace isn't throwing your numbers off that much (I'm assuming you are doing 6-7lbs of grain, right?)....I wouldn't worry about 1.25 vs. 1.4 or even 1.6.

The BIAB guys are using ALL of their water to mash in and not sparging at all, making perfectly good beer.

I don't know if you gain much by changing where you account for the dead-space.....regardless of where you put it "on-paper" that void is filled when you first fill the MT (i.e. mash).

The other option is to tip the cooler and retrieve that volume. I don't see any down-side to this, and it makes the calculations more straight forward.
broadbill, you rule. thanks for helping me here. im located not to far from you btw, in burlington, vt. tons of snow here...

my last recipe called for just about ~5.5lb grain. 1.25 is a standard mash ratio and id like to stay in that area if i can.

just from observing guides all over the web, all of them say OK, I have 10lb of grain and @1.25qt/lb, that means i'll need 12.5 qt of strike water. not 12.5 qt + 1 gal for my dead space!

there's just got to be plenty of mashers out there who use ss braids and have dead space in their coolers!!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #26
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problem I had is not with the recoverable water, it's the thickness of the mash

brewing a PA and, following Ray Daniels recommendations in Designing Great Beers to strike at .9 to 1 ratio. So for 12.5 lb grain bill, I strike at 12.5 quarts and when I finish putting in the grains, it's like trying to stir cement. dang near snapped my mash paddle in ½

this was 6 gallon Zapap MLT, & I was pushing the limits in it anyway. what little strike water I had started splashing up through the space between the 2 buckets

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Old 01-07-2013, 06:08 PM   #27
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Heck I try and over shoot the mashout temp since it means less time on the propane. I think you are worrying way to much about it since you cannot change your deadspace you are going to have to make up for it somewhere. Only time I would worry about the mash out being to hot is if the PH had dropped way down and you were extracting tannins.

If I could I would would use a larger cooler and not sparge at all just dump it all in at once and be done with it. Plenty of people do just that and have no problems at all
single infusion w/ no sparge? id like to be a sparger!

as for overshooting mashout temp, i dont want to bother with taking pH readings. if it gets as close to 180F (from adding my deadspace to my mash out volume), im assuming I'll likely extract lots of astringent compounds.

i want my brew days to be consistent and reliable. in all honesty, does using 1.25 ratio and/or a 1.5 ratio really make that much difference with wort quality and reaching target OG?
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:04 PM   #28
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single infusion w/ no sparge? id like to be a sparger!

as for overshooting mashout temp, i dont want to bother with taking pH readings. if it gets as close to 180F (from adding my deadspace to my mash out volume), im assuming I'll likely extract lots of astringent compounds.

i want my brew days to be consistent and reliable. in all honesty, does using 1.25 ratio and/or a 1.5 ratio really make that much difference with wort quality and reaching target OG?
To be honest even with just short of boiling water I do not get much over 170 in the pot. As far as leaching tannins you are going to be using the same amount of water sparging or not sparging to get the same boil volume. And talk about consistent and reliable knowing that a pound of grain will absorb x amount of water you could multiply that by the pounds of grain add the dead space and boil volume and hit your targets dead on every time with out running the risk of leaching tannins. Not to mention the greater mass will hold its temp at a steadier rate over a longer period of time meaning you gain more consistency over your mash.

With my smaller cooler and 9 pound grain bills I do not even measure the water anymore because I know where I need to be in the cooler level wise to get my boil volume. And just because I like to play it safe I end up with maybe a quart of water left over in the tun in case I am off a little bit.
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