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Old 02-11-2013, 06:36 PM   #21
dbsmith
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Of all the brewing literature I've read, I've never heard of a problem in mashing "too thin" as related to enzyme activity. How else would you do a no-sparge?
If it works, then great. The thing is that concentration affects other variables relating to the quality of your wort. Is the pH still going to be in the correct range at that dilution? It's just that I've never heard of anyone doing a water-to-grist ratio that high. If you were doing a no sparge, you could mash relatively thin and add top off water. This doesn't really apply to him, though.

As for his case, he does a sparge anyway, so I'm saying that if you are going to do a sparge, you might as well use the correct volumes. Instead of mashing too thin and sparging too thick, why not mash and sparge closer to the appropriate H2O to grain ratio? Maybe you're right and it won't change anything, but I tend to trust the practices of brewers before us, though I know there is a difference in the modification of the malts.

Anyway, the point is that he is trying to boost his efficiency. No sparge is just not going to be as efficient. If it were more efficient to mash super thin and sparge only a little, then it would probably have been done this way traditionally. I just know that most brewers are able to achieve a higher efficiency, so all I can do is show deviations from the norm which may be the reason for the low efficiency.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:40 PM   #22
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Thanks for the thoughtful insight. I think I'm going to check in at the BIAG forum to clarify my water volumes. I understand that even if Brewsmith calls for a volume of water and BIAB is supposed to allow you to mash with all the water, doing so might affect my eff.

I just checked my FG for the second time (after 11 days in primary) and I've seemed to stop at 1.014. That gives me a ABV of 3.8% which is ok. I'm more about the flavor and it has a nice flavor already.

I just dropped 1 oz of EKG in a hop bag and added it to the fermenter. Would it help with clarifying the beer to move it from the 64F room to my 45F garage as sort of a cold crash for the final week before I bottle?

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Old 02-14-2013, 05:46 PM   #23
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Thanks for the thoughtful insight. I think I'm going to check in at the BIAG forum to clarify my water volumes. I understand that even if Brewsmith calls for a volume of water and BIAB is supposed to allow you to mash with all the water, doing so might affect my eff.

I just checked my FG for the second time (after 11 days in primary) and I've seemed to stop at 1.014. That gives me a ABV of 3.8% which is ok. I'm more about the flavor and it has a nice flavor already.

I just dropped 1 oz of EKG in a hop bag and added it to the fermenter. Would it help with clarifying the beer to move it from the 64F room to my 45F garage as sort of a cold crash for the final week before I bottle?
A little time in the garage definitely wouldn't hurt. If you bottle without allowing the temp to rise back to room temp, make sure to account for the low temp in your priming sugar calculations.

Yeah, with BIAB you can use all the water at once, and it is quick, but I think that efficiency is the trade off. You just won't get great efficiency with BIAB. All you have to do is spend an extra buck or two on grains though (probably about 1.5-2 lbs of extra grain per recipe). The key is just figuring out the numbers for your system, and then adjusting accordingly.

Good luck with you beer
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #24
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Thanks again Blair.
I guess that is why BIAB folks look for a finer crush in their grains, to make up the difference. I'll have to keep fiddling with it. I did order a barley crusher to start crushing my own.

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