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Old 04-16-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
michael.berta
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Default Another Water to Grist Ratio Question

For making strong Belgian ales (1.070 and higher) do people tend to use a larger water to grist ratio and mash for longer to get a more fermentable wort? Like say as high as 2 quarts per LB of grain?

Also, I am adding corn sugar toward the end of the boil. Should I take the corn sugar into account for this calculation? I'm assuming I wouldn't but figured I'd ask.
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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You can do what ever you want. Less strike watter and you may be able to get higher efficiency due to more sparge. 2qt/lb seems high to me but I would figure out what I would do after I look at the grain bill and your MLT. If you mash low enough for long enough you may not need as much sugar to hit your FG.
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Old 04-17-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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I tend to use thinner mashes for big beers for exactly the reasons you state. Plus, a thinner mash is easier to mix which improves the removal of starches from the grain.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:36 PM   #4
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I don't adjust my mash ratio for any size beer. It's a ratio so the thickness stays consistent. If anything, you'd want to go thicker to reserve more volume for sparging in a fixed preboil volume situation. If the grain bill is large enough, and you go 2qt/lb, you COULD reach a point where you have no sparge volume left.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #5
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I only adjust my ratios to get convenient volumes going into the MLT. It's easier to measure out 4 gallons of water compared to 3.875, ya dig?

That may change the ratio from 1.25 qt/lb to 1.37 qt/lb or something similarly insignificant.

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Old 04-17-2009, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael.berta View Post
For making strong Belgian ales (1.070 and higher) do people tend to use a larger water to grist ratio and mash for longer to get a more fermentable wort? Like say as high as 2 quarts per LB of grain?

Also, I am adding corn sugar toward the end of the boil. Should I take the corn sugar into account for this calculation? I'm assuming I wouldn't but figured I'd ask.

FWIW, I use 2qt./lb on nearly all my beers and with a 154F mash, get 72% attenuation generally with S-05. I have not seen a noticeable increase in attenuation.

I would though still mash relatively thin, LONG and LOW. Pitch a BIG starter and aerate well. Keep the ferment temp. up as well. I think the other variables will affect attenuation MUCH more than simply mashing thin.
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