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Old 09-22-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
Graeme
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I've read a couple of conflicting ratios online, is there a general water to grain ratio? I'm a little worried about my upcoming partial mash. I only have a capacity of around 5L for the partial mash itsefl, and my grain bill is 4lbs. Thanks in advance!

 
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Generally speaking you want about 1.25 quarts per pound.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:50 PM   #3
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You need to find what works best for you in your brewery.

Personally, I have been using two quarts per pound but this produces a lot of wort that needs to boil off. This means much longer boil times, more gas wasted, etc. I am moving back down to 1.5 since I really didn't see any difference in either my efficiency or in my mashing process.
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:50 PM   #4
Graeme
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Thanks Fingers! Looks like I'll be lucky with this one. It's actually really difficult to find large pots here! I don't really want to buy a small picnic cooler mash tun, I'd rather wait until I'm brewing AG and get a big one then

 
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:45 PM   #5
kanzimonson
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I don't think you'll have enough space if you only have a 5L pot. First, using 1.25qt/# means you'll need 5qts. That's more volume than 5L. Second, you're not accounting for the volume of the grain as well.

Check out this calculator:
http://www.rackers.org/calcs.shtml

It estimates you'll need a mash-tun just over 6qts to mash 4# at 1.25qts/#.

I wouldn't recommend going any lower than 1.25qts/#... the grains absorb so much liquid that by the end of the mash it will be very thick.

 
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:38 PM   #6
Graeme
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Well, 1 Quart is 0.9L, but I take your point regarding accounting for grain volume. I'm going to check the exact volume of my pot, it might be around the 6L mark, if not I'll just have to buy a larger one I guess!

 
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #7
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Use less water then. Go 1 qt (or L) per pound.

Look into getting a bigger pot. In my kitchen we have a pot that easily holds over 10 qts.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:45 PM   #8
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No conflict. Like everything else in brewing there are different methods, that product different results. I've seen ratios from 2.2:1 (by weight) to 7:1. Homebrewers tend to use lower ratios, partially because of lack of space.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:48 PM   #9
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Yeah it definitely sucks when you realize you've maxed out your system. I built a lauter-tun out of two 6gal buckets which holds about 13.5# of grain. Then I realized I'd need something bigger if I wanted to make bigger beers. So I found a couple 7.5gal buckets and now I can sparge 16.5#. But I'm at that cusp where if I could just fit another 3-5 pounds, I could easily make 10gallon batches... but then I'd have to upgrade my brewpot as well.

Lesson learned: wait until you can buy the biggest thing you think you'll ever need. Since you're getting into partial mashes now, there's a pretty good chance you'll go all-grain at some point, so be patient and try to scavenge the biggest equipment you can find.

 
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #10
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Get a 10 gallon cooler. I used my 10 gallon for small 5 gallon batches for years...now I'm using it for 12 gallon batches. Well worth the $40 I paid for it.
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