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Old 02-14-2009, 05:16 AM   #1
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Default Need advice on mini-mash - how much water to use?

I posted this in the Easy stovetop partial mash thread (sticky), but didn't get an answer, so I'll try it down here.

I'm a noob at homebrewing, having only done one all extract brew. For my second brew, I decided to go with a mini-mash kit from AHS (SN pale ale clone). I just received my kit today and see that the instructions call for a lot more mash water than what has been recommended here. The grains in the kit are 2.5 lbs 2-row and 10 oz. Crystal 60L, for a total grain bill of 3.13 lbs, with 5 lbs. xpale extract added later. The instructions call for heating 2.5 gallons water to 160 F, then soaking the grains at 155 F for 45 min. followed by rinsing with 1.6 qt (1 qt. per 2 lbs grain) of 170 F water. This means mashing 3.13 lbs grain with 10 qts. water, or 3.2 qts. per pound - approx. double what DeathBrewer recommends in the sticky thread above. If its better to use less water (to maintain a high enzyme concentration?), why would AHS recommend the larger amount - maybe just because its easier to keep the temp. constant with more water? Would I be better off to use about 5 qts water at about 165-168 F instead of the 10 qts. at 160? And then just sparge with whatever I need to get my desired boil amount (I plan on doing about a 4 gallon boil).

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Old 02-14-2009, 06:04 AM   #2
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you paid for the Kit. Follow the kits directions. They adjust for everything when they design it. With this being your second one stick with the directions. Other ways may be better but they may not. Stick to what the kit designer says to do.

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Old 02-14-2009, 06:18 AM   #3
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Following the kit instructions would be my normal inclination, but I've heard that kit instructions are often pretty poor and should sometimes be ignored.

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Old 02-14-2009, 06:36 AM   #4
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I disagree with the others - IMO those are poor instructions for a partial mash. If it were me I would mash the 3 lbs of grain with 4 - 5 quarts of water for 45-60 minutes, then sparge the grain bag in the 2.5 gallons or so to reach your boil volume. You're on the right track with your last sentence, I think you will get better conversion that way.

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Old 02-14-2009, 02:25 PM   #5
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Having done many of the AHS mini-mashes I can say, "Follow the instructions!" Nothing wrong with a thin mash for a mini-mash. Getting a really big grain bag so you can tea-bag after the mash is a good idea.

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Old 02-14-2009, 02:52 PM   #6
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While new to brewing I have made three mini-mashes to date (and 4th will be in about an hour) form AHS and following their directions always resulted in a good tasting beer.

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Old 02-14-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeafSmith View Post
I posted this in the Easy stovetop partial mash thread (sticky), but didn't get an answer, so I'll try it down here.

I'm a noob at homebrewing, having only done one all extract brew. For my second brew, I decided to go with a mini-mash kit from AHS (SN pale ale clone). I just received my kit today and see that the instructions call for a lot more mash water than what has been recommended here. The grains in the kit are 2.5 lbs 2-row and 10 oz. Crystal 60L, for a total grain bill of 3.13 lbs, with 5 lbs. xpale extract added later. The instructions call for heating 2.5 gallons water to 160 F, then soaking the grains at 155 F for 45 min. followed by rinsing with 1.6 qt (1 qt. per 2 lbs grain) of 170 F water. This means mashing 3.13 lbs grain with 10 qts. water, or 3.2 qts. per pound - approx. double what DeathBrewer recommends in the sticky thread above. If its better to use less water (to maintain a high enzyme concentration?), why would AHS recommend the larger amount - maybe just because its easier to keep the temp. constant with more water? Would I be better off to use about 5 qts water at about 165-168 F instead of the 10 qts. at 160? And then just sparge with whatever I need to get my desired boil amount (I plan on doing about a 4 gallon boil).
I would email your questions to AHS. I have in the past and they always get right back to me.

It would be interesting in hearing thier response.
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Old 02-14-2009, 03:24 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. One question for those of you who have used the AHS kits before and followed their directions - did you hit the O.G. you were supposed to get?

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Old 02-14-2009, 04:55 PM   #9
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I wouldn't mash 3 pounds in 10 quarts. Cut it in half to 5qts. While you're mashing, heat up another 5 qts to 175-180f and dunk your bag into that for the sparge.

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Old 02-14-2009, 05:26 PM   #10
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I've hit the OG within 2 points for every one of their kits I've made.

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