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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Reducing water/lb grain for larger grain bills?
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Old 10-05-2010, 10:05 PM   #1
Tall_Yotie
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Default Reducing water/lb grain for larger grain bills?

Howdy all.

I just did a 5g batch AG with 20lb of grain, largest I have done by a long shot. I did my standard 1.25qt/lb for mashing, but ended up with only 2 gallons to do a double sparge. Needless to say, my efficiency was crap (50%, normally I get mid 70's) as I figure I didn't wash the grain with enough water during the sparge. Mash temp was 152F for 60min, and sparging got the grain bed up to 170.

So, with larger grain bills, is it wise to reduce the ratio to 1qt/lb or less so I have enough water to sparge with?

When I figured out what I had left for sparging I knew I had shot myself in the foot, but decided to go with lower efficiency than a smaller batch. I could have collected more, but I would have overfilled my pot and I didn't have the time that night to boil off an extra gallon. Ah well, lesson learned.

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Old 10-05-2010, 10:25 PM   #2
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Not a problem. When I was using a cooler to mash in, I would frequently use .75qts/lb in order to fit everything in. It was a pain in the ass to stir the mash, but it worked just fine.

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Old 10-05-2010, 10:52 PM   #3
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Awesome, I will just adjust the ration when needed so I can get a proper sparging. Thanks for the reply!

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Old 10-05-2010, 10:53 PM   #4
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Yes agreed, a thicker mash would leave you more sparge water. For big grain bills, you might want to consider partigyling sp? a 2nd batch of moderate gravity.

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Old 10-06-2010, 02:33 AM   #5
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Take a look at this link.

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avidhomebrewer View Post
Take a look at this link.
Thank you so much for the link! Really useful!
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:37 AM   #7
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This is some really good info on brewing a big beer. When brewing a big beer you want to mash thin to promote greater fermentability.

http://beerdujour.com/Howtobrewabigbeer.htm

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Old 10-06-2010, 04:56 AM   #8
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Awesome, thanks! This is a great read (especially after the super rum and coke my wife made me).

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Old 11-25-2010, 01:09 AM   #9
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If you're not doing a pale/golden beer, don't worry about doing a longer boil to drive off excess water if you want to maintain decent efficiency. It'll change the flavors a tad, but in a lot of styles (barleywines, Scotch ales, dubbels/quads/BDS, export stouts, etc.)it'll change in a good way.

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Old 11-25-2010, 01:55 AM   #10
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My last 20 lb no sparge came out at 6.5 gallons at 1.083. I put one gallon of it in the partygyle.

Increasing sparge water is the wrong way to increase efficiency. Increase the conversion of your mash.

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