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Old 07-07-2013, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default Water-to-grain ratio question

If I'm steeping specialty grains (full extract) or mashing grains (BIAB partial mash), how does the water-to-grain ratio affect the final product? I do full boil 5 gallon batches, and it is easier for me to steep in more water due to the size of my pot and desire to get the grains fully saturated. Would using more water than the 1.5 quarts per pound of grains that I've seen on here change the outcome? How so?

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Old 07-07-2013, 02:16 PM   #2
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Steeping ratio isn't really important. Mashing ratio is more important, but less important than many people think. The traditional mash ratio is 1 to 1.5 quarts per lb. Traditional German mashes are usually thinner, maybe 1.75 qts/lb. One problem with a thin mash is that you have less sparge water. But is this really a problem? The Australian BIAB method calls for mashing with all of your brewing water - mash and sparge at once. One consideration is the size of your mash tun. If your tun is small then you simply may not have room for a thinner mash.

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Old 07-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Don't steep in full boil volume, at least I would not go over a gallon per pound and most would say go less. You will extract tannins.

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Old 07-07-2013, 05:39 PM   #4
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Since I do partial boil/partial mash biab,I use 2 gallons of water for 5-6lbs of grains. I sparge with 1.5 gallons for a boil volume of 3.5 gallons in my 5 gallon kettle. That's as much as I can do & have a little room for the hot break. So at this point when steeping,I'm in the habit of using the same water to grist ratios as mashing. but a gallon or two for steeping grains is ok,since they're already converted & you're just sokaing out the sugars already in them.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Malticulous View Post
Don't steep in full boil volume, at least I would not go over a gallon per pound and most would say go less. You will extract tannins.
Why would this extract tannins? You wouldn't be sparging the grain and the temperature would be the same throughout the steep. Ph?
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:42 PM   #6
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Water doesn't know if it's mashing, steeping or sparging. It's all the same thing basicly. A steep too thin is the same as over-sparging. pH will get out of hand.

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Old 07-08-2013, 11:43 PM   #7
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Why would this extract tannins? You wouldn't be sparging the grain and the temperature would be the same throughout the steep. Ph?
Agree with this. Tannin extraction is a factor of pH and temperature. The amount of water would not have any effect.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:52 PM   #8
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Temperature is not really much of a deal. I boil decoctions and never get much astringency from it. I did steep a pound in over six gallons and it was pucker city.

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:39 AM   #9
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Correct Malticulous doing decoctions you boil but that is why you boil the thickest part of the mash. With steeping temp plays a hand in pH getting out of control as well.

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Old 07-09-2013, 12:45 AM   #10
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With decotions you boil the thick to save enzymes, then boil the thin for mash out once your done with the enzymes. There is certainly husk in the thin mash, at least the way I pull it.

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