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Old 02-04-2013, 06:59 PM   #1
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Default Water:Grain Ratio

I am preparing to do my first all grain brew. it is a recipe (Multiple-Honey Ale) and since it has such a small grain bill, I was wondering how much water I should use when I mash the grain? I have heard that you should use the ratio of 1-1.5 qts of water per pound of grain. Since the grain bill is so small, i was wondering if it is ok to use more water. I realize that it is impractical to use more water with larger grain bills but I am just wondering if it hurts anything if I use more water?

Any help and/or suggestions would be great!

Thanks guys!

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:02 PM   #2
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Generally, using 1.25-2 quarts of water per pound of grain is good, as it keeps the pH in range.

I'd probably go with 1.5 quarts/pound for the mash and then sparge up to my boil volume.

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
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I do all grain brew in a bag (BIAB) and use about 2.5 qts/lb. It doesn't leave me much to sparge with but with BIAB, my efficiency is high enough that I could do without sparging entirely (and have).

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:18 PM   #4
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How does brewing in a bag work (and thanks for clarifying what BIAB is, Ive seen it several times on the forums)? I thought about putting all of the grain in a paint strainer bag, but then do I just put that straight into my mash water? With this being my first all grain batch, I haven't got my pot ready to go yet. I was thinking about using a large (I think 6 gal) aluminum tamale steamer (I think im going to put some screen on the bottom of the steam base which should make a false bottom and then drill and install a ball valve) as my brew pot. Does that sound like it would work? thanks for all of your help!

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dhammers91 View Post
How does brewing in a bag work (and thanks for clarifying what BIAB is, Ive seen it several times on the forums)? I thought about putting all of the grain in a paint strainer bag, but then do I just put that straight into my mash water? With this being my first all grain batch, I haven't got my pot ready to go yet. I was thinking about using a large (I think 6 gal) aluminum tamale steamer (I think im going to put some screen on the bottom of the steam base which should make a false bottom and then drill and install a ball valve) as my brew pot. Does that sound like it would work? thanks for all of your help!

Sure it sounds like it would work but it sound too much like work for me. I use an online calculator to determine the temperature of water that when I add the amount of grains in the recipe at a known temperature causes the water/grain combination to come to the right temperature for mashing. Then I heat that much water to the specified temperature and turn off the heat, put the paint strainer bag into the water making sure the top is secured to the pot, and start stirring the crushed/ground grains in, stirring fast to make sure they get properly mixed with no dough balls. Then I put the lid on, wrap the whole thing in an insulating material (I work indoors so all I need is a big bath towel) and walk away. An hour later I remove the towel and lid, pull the bag up to drain and then squeeze out all the wort I can, usually using a colander in a separate pan and a pot lid to push down. Pour all the extra wort you collect into the pot you started with that already contains most of it, turn the heat back on and wait for it to boil, being careful as it approaches boil so it doesn't boil over. Add hops when the hot break settles and let it boil for another hour.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:55 PM   #6
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Ok, that sounds a lot easier than what I was planning on doing. How is the clarity of the final product?

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #7
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Ok, that sounds a lot easier than what I was planning on doing. How is the clarity of the final product?

What do you want to read through it? My lightest color ale is so clear that you could read the newspaper through it. It did have plenty of time in the fermenter and more yet in the bottle.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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Hahaha well I guess that will have to be clear enough! Did you use any clarifiers like irish moss?

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:12 PM   #9
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No clarifiers except time and gravity.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:39 PM   #10
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Ok, thanks for all of the valuable info!

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