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Old 10-06-2010, 05:12 AM   #1
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Default false bottom too high?

I working on a new mash tun made from a Sanke keg. The only change from my old mash tun is that I'm raising the false bottom a few inches so the pickup tube and thermometer probe are all underneath the false bottom. This should make stirring easier as I won't hit the thermometer probe and pickup tube while I'm stirring.

I've got everything put together. The only issue is that there is about 2 gallons of volume beneath the false bottom that will fill with wort but not grain. I have a couple questions about this.

A typical 5-gallon batch may require 3 gallons of mash water. If I put 3 gallons of mash water in my mash tun the top of the grain likely won't even get wet. Can I just add 2 gallons to however much mash water I need? Meaning that if I calculate that I need 3 gallons, I can add 5 gallons? Adding 5 gallons would get the right water/grain ratio correct where the grain is in contact with the water. This would also dilute the enzymes. Not sure if that dilution is significant enough to effect conversion.

I have a HERMS so the mash is continuously recirculated. I can work on reducing the volume under the false bottom but am not sure if that is necessary. I understand I won't be able to use as much sparge water but with my HERMS I'm hitting high 80s for efficiency and that's not a big concern.

Another clarification, I do runoff nearly everything from the mash tun including the 2 gallons underneath the false bottom.

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Old 10-06-2010, 11:44 AM   #2
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I would just up the water to grain ratio. I regularly mash at 2.0 qt/lb and my beers come out fine. Thinner mashes are easier to stir, also!

This should help with your problem, and if you constantly recirculate then the space underneath the false bottom is going to be getting constantly replaced anyway.
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