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Old 03-24-2010, 03:58 PM   #471
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Instead of pouring some of my sprage water over the graints iinto the wort, should I just have more water in my strike pot to start. Instead of using 3 shold I bump it up to 3.75. That way I will only need 2.25 gal in the sprage pot. Am I thinking correctly here?
Yes and No. What you are thinking can be done, and you are correct in needing less in the sparge, but the amount of water you mash in with is very important to how the beer will come out (More so than temp, if I am not mistaken). Some beer styles require less or more strike water. The sparge doesn't really matter, as with this method it is just to make up volume, so that can vary as you need it. However, strike amount is very important to the fermentability of the beer.

Google 'Mash Thickness', and you should come across plenty of info.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:28 PM   #472
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Instead of pouring some of my sprage water over the graints iinto the wort, should I just have more water in my strike pot to start. Instead of using 3 shold I bump it up to 3.75. That way I will only need 2.25 gal in the sprage pot. Am I thinking correctly here?
No. You are pouring over your grains after they are out of the wort. (A colander would come in handy here.) You do not have enough space to add more water. You need room for the bag to move around and room to stir. I always leave about a gallon headspace no matter what.

Doing a small pour-over will help with efficiency anyway.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:30 PM   #473
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Yes and No. What you are thinking can be done, and you are correct in needing less in the sparge, but the amount of water you mash in with is very important to how the beer will come out (More so than temp, if I am not mistaken). Some beer styles require less or more strike water. The sparge doesn't really matter, as with this method it is just to make up volume, so that can vary as you need it. However, strike amount is very important to the fermentability of the beer.

Google 'Mash Thickness', and you should come across plenty of info.
The ratio wouldn't be too out of range for what he's trying, but it's just not a big enough pot. I mash anywhere from 1.25qt-1.60qt per pound...throughout that range will work fine, although it may change the beer profile slightly.

I would say temp is more important AS LONG AS you stay within that range.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:31 PM   #474
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Deathbrewer, your all grain stovetop method is a great post that gives people with limited space hope.

I have a question, what do you think about the idea of using 2 stove burners and "Splitting" their grain mashing into 2 pots. so 1/2 done on 1 burner and the other 1/2 done on the other. It would take 2 grain bags, but would be more effective IMO for people limited in space. Also, it is really easy to find 2 x 5 gallon stainless Stock pots.

Also it is easier/faster to boil 2 gallons of water than it is to boil higher amouts on your stove top, Especially in stainless pots.
You could do that, but how are you going to sparge? Are you going to use 4 pots? If so, that will work great.

I have often split the boil in the past, but never the mash. Splitting the boil (and splitting the hops accordingly) has worked great, tho.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:47 PM   #475
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The ratio wouldn't be too out of range for what he's trying, but it's just not a big enough pot. I mash anywhere from 1.25qt-1.60qt per pound...throughout that range will work fine, although it may change the beer profile slightly.

I would say temp is more important AS LONG AS you stay within that range.
I thought I read somewhere that thickness plays more of a role in the fermentables and body than temp does, but it's from memory, so it might be backwards.

From my understanding mash thickness plays much more of a role on the mash pH than most other factors, pH being an important aspect of mashing. So indirectly affecting the beer, mash thickness affects the pH more than the temp.

And found this in BYO:
"...thinning out the mash makes the enzymes less concentrated and hence more susceptible to temperature denaturation"
meaning thicker mashes are not as affected by temp fluctuations (specifically high temps I believe)

I know I read somewhere that one was more important than the other, but until I find it, I can't really say for sure.

All I know, is that if you control both, you are better off!
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:40 PM   #476
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pH is always a concern and something I have never addressed in these threads....I should really add it. Checking your mash pH and correcting it will definitely help ensure a tasty, to-style beer. High temps are indeed the concern and I would never advise mashing out at more than 165°F...I've had a few bad batches when I was hitting my 168°F mash-out temp and was not correcting my pH...it caused some astringency.

I think the only argument is what is defined as "thick" or "thin"...many people will tell you that anywhere from 1.0-2.0qt/lb is fine, but is there really a huge difference between 1.25 & 1.60qt/lb? I used to use whatever ratio was convenient for the amount of water I wanted to use, but these days I'm trying to always hit close to 1.50qt/lb.

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Old 03-24-2010, 05:55 PM   #477
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pH is always a concern and something I have never addressed in these threads....I should really add it. Checking your mash pH and correcting it will definitely help ensure a tasty, to-style beer. High temps are indeed the concern and I would never advise mashing out at more than 165°F...I've had a few bad batches when I was hitting my 168°F mash-out temp and was not correcting my pH...it caused some astringency.

I think the only argument is what is defined as "thick" or "thin"...many people will tell you that anywhere from 1.0-2.0qt/lb is fine, but is there really a huge difference between 1.25 & 1.60qt/lb? I used to use whatever ratio was convenient for the amount of water I wanted to use, but these days I'm trying to always hit close to 1.50qt/lb.


Yea, I started with your suggestion of 1.25, but have increased it since. I like 1.5, but a lot of people even think that is too thin. I think the definition of thick is less than 2:1.

My earlier comments aren't very helpful, but cause I might have got it backwards, but I do rememner one is more important than the other.

As far as pH, get some 5.2 stabilizer, and worry less. Unless you want a beer to be as close to the style as you can get, adjusting the pH isn't as important as keeping it within a certain range. 5.2 will put you there no matter what your setup tends to, low or high. If you mash high and thick, you can always add some during the mash to correct it. I usually add .5 tbsp in my strike water, and .5 tbsp in my mash after dough in (Directions call for 1 tbsp in strike I believe). If I have a lot of base malts, pilners and such, I sometimes add a dash halfway through the rest.
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Old 03-24-2010, 07:05 PM   #478
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Now that I've started checking my water, I've found the pH to be pretty close to what I need. The water is a little over 6, so I wait until I'm mashed, check again and then add lactic acid to adjust if necessary.

I think the 5.2 works pretty well, but I've been liking the idea of adjusting with more traditional methods, using lactic acid and/or acid malt. I think the 1 TBSP they recommend is probably overkill...it's original intention was not for brewing and the malts themselves will add some acidity to your mash.

My friend has the whole pH setup...I'm still using the strips.

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Old 03-24-2010, 07:16 PM   #479
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I think the 1 TBSP they recommend is probably overkill
Yea, they say you can't overuse it, but we all know there is a point that adding more will not help. They do market it for brewing use though, even if it's not what it was invented for.
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Old 04-05-2010, 03:43 PM   #480
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I think the 5.2 works pretty well, but I've been liking the idea of adjusting with more traditional methods, using lactic acid and/or acid malt.
Oh man, I got to chew on some acid malt this weekend. Harsh stuff. Very little must be needed, it has a large vinegar taste to it. How does that not come out in the beer?
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