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Old 05-08-2009, 06:24 PM   #11
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If you can't boil much, you'll never fill that 5g cooler. That's okay. If you mash with 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain, then 6 lbs. grain = under 2 gallons of liquid. You'd sparge with the balance up to how much you can boil. Can you boil 3 gallons? 3.5? You can probably go more than 4 pounds unless your stove really sucks.

Also, I personally adjust for even numbers. I don't want to use 3.1 lbs of 2-row and 2.9 lbs. or extract, etc.

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Old 05-08-2009, 07:58 PM   #12
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See, that's where I'd disagree with the prevailing mindset that "more grain" = "better." All things being equal, that equation is going to be true, but all things aren't equal, especially if you've got constraints on your system.

The question really shouldn't be, "How much grain can I cram into my system?" It should be, "What amount of grain gives me the best final product (and/or is the most fun to do)?"

If you're someone who likes pushing the envelope (a description that I'd guess probably applies to about 90% of HBers) or are making a steady evolution to going AG, then by all means, use as much as you can fit. Otherwise, figure out what ratio makes your best beer and go from there.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:07 PM   #13
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I don't have my recipe with me, but I did a stovetop pm, where there was actually only 1 0r 2 pounds of DME in the final boil....My goal was to still be able to make a high enough gravity 2.5 gallon wort, that could then be topped off in the fermenter with another 2.5 gallons of top off water and still come out with a good beer.

I think the grainbill was 10 or 11 pounds, plus another 1 or 2 of dme.

The rationale for all grain is that you have to use full volume boils, (for various reasons) but I played around with the numbers in beersmith, including the dillution tool, to figure out the hop utilization and the right target starting gravity. I just used the extract to tweak the grav and to even out the water chemistry.

Worked great.
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