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Old 03-08-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
iverasp
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Default Reduce mash water to accommodate mash tun size

Hi,

Would it be possible to reduce the amount of mash water and rather use more sparge water in several additions in order to accommodate for a smaller-than-practical mash tun? In my first brew I used 6kg of malt and 16L of mash water and my mash tun was filled to the brim (~28L tun). For my next brew I would like to do an IPA but the increased grain bill (~9kg) would suggest I have to make a smaller batch than the recipe suggests (5 gallon) or do other adjustments.

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Old 03-08-2012, 05:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by iverasp View Post
Hi,

Would it be possible to reduce the amount of mash water and rather use more sparge water in several additions in order to accommodate for a smaller-than-practical mash tun? In my first brew I used 6kg of malt and 16L of mash water and my mash tun was filled to the brim (~28L tun). For my next brew I would like to do an IPA but the increased grain bill (~9kg) would suggest I have to make a smaller batch than the recipe suggests (5 gallon) or do other adjustments.
Anything is possible; some things aren't recommended. I'm not good with liters, but I'll give it a shot.

I typically do ~0.95l (1.25qts) per 0.45kg (1lb) or grain. With your mash tun size that would obviously overdo it for the 9kg grain bill. Many people recommend a 1:1 ratio which would basically be 1l to every 0.5kg. At this rate you would need 18l of strike water. You could go with less, but I think efficiency would suffer. I would either brew a smaller batch (like you said) or buy new equipment.

Palmer states:
"The grist/water ratio is another factor influencing the performance of the mash. A thinner mash of >2 quarts of water per pound of grain dilutes the relative concentration of the enzymes, slowing the conversion, but ultimately leads to a more fermentable mash because the enzymes are not inhibited by a high concentration of sugars. A stiff mash of <1.25 quarts of water per pound is better for protein breakdown, and results in a faster overall starch conversion, but the resultant sugars are less fermentable and will result in a sweeter, maltier beer. A thicker mash is more gentle to the enzymes because of the lower heat capacity of grain compared to water. A thick mash is better for multirest mashes because the enzymes are not denatured as quickly by a rise in temperature."
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:05 PM   #3
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With too thick of a mash your efficiency would suffer and since you can't add even more grain to counteract that, it's not feasible. Better just downsize the batch.

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Old 03-08-2012, 07:37 PM   #4
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28L is about 5 us gallons?
i use a 5g cooler as my mash tun and it works PERFECTLY for 3g batches

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Old 03-09-2012, 12:00 PM   #5
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Sorry about the metric units guys

28L equals 7.4 gallons (mash tun).
16L equals 4.2 gallons (mash water used in the last batch).
6kg equals 13.2 pounds (grain bill used in the last batch).
9kg equals 19.8 pounds (grain bill for the IPA).

Thanks for the input. How about doing more than one mash? If care is taken into making the mashes as identical as possible (using the same amounts of the same grains in each mash with the same amount of water) it might be quite reproducible, just taking double the time and work (i.e. double the fun).

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Old 03-09-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iverasp View Post
Sorry about the metric units guys

28L equals 7.4 gallons (mash tun).
16L equals 4.2 gallons (mash water used in the last batch).
6kg equals 13.2 pounds (grain bill used in the last batch).
9kg equals 19.8 pounds (grain bill for the IPA).

Thanks for the input. How about doing more than one mash? If care is taken into making the mashes as identical as possible (using the same amounts of the same grains in each mash with the same amount of water) it might be quite reproducible, just taking double the time and work (i.e. double the fun).
That would work fine as long as your boiling kettle is large enough for the combined batch.
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