Originally Posted by grimstuff
Of all the brewing literature I've read, I've never heard of a problem in mashing "too thin" as related to enzyme activity. How else would you do a no-sparge?
If it works, then great. The thing is that concentration affects other variables relating to the quality of your wort. Is the pH still going to be in the correct range at that dilution? It's just that I've never heard of anyone doing a water-to-grist ratio that high. If you were doing a no sparge, you could mash relatively thin and add top off water. This doesn't really apply to him, though.
As for his case, he does a sparge anyway, so I'm saying that if you are going to do a sparge, you might as well use the correct volumes. Instead of mashing too thin and sparging too thick, why not mash and sparge closer to the appropriate H2O to grain ratio? Maybe you're right and it won't change anything, but I tend to trust the practices of brewers before us, though I know there is a difference in the modification of the malts.
Anyway, the point is that he is trying to boost his efficiency. No sparge is just not going to be as efficient. If it were more efficient to mash super thin and sparge only a little, then it would probably have been done this way traditionally. I just know that most brewers are able to achieve a higher efficiency, so all I can do is show deviations from the norm which may be the reason for the low efficiency.