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Old 02-25-2008, 09:09 AM   #1
May 2007
Pacific Northwest
Posts: 107

Is there any benefit to having a thick or thin mash? I screwed up my math this morning when brewing and ended up with the thickest mash I've ever had. I'm just wondering if I could run into any problems because of that.

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:45 AM   #2
Apr 2007
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how thick?
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:14 PM   #3
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Jun 2007
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I don't have the book with me and I don't know the details off-hand, but Greg Noonan (New Brewing Lager Beer) speaks highly of thick mashes in certain situations. Down to 1:1, qt:lb. I can't imagine it will be a bad thing.

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Old 02-25-2008, 04:01 PM   #4
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Oct 2006
Richmond, VA
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I do all my English-style pales with a thick mash (1 qt/lb). Thick mashes tend to produce more dextrins than a thin mash at the same temperature, so you get a fuller body in the finished product.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:13 PM   #5
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Aug 2006
Whitehouse Station, NJ
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Thicker mashes also lead to higher efficiencies in some cases because it reserves more of the total volume for sparging. Of course, if you go too thick, you could have conversion problems which would negate the increase but I'm talking about a reasonable 1-1.25qt/lb which I always shoot for.
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Old 02-25-2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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Oct 2007
North Western PA
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I tend to do everything at 1 qt. per pound. It allows me to brew higher gravity beers with my current 12 gal. cooler mashtun than I would at a higher water/grain ratio.

For what it is worth, 1 qt. per pound is what Papazian recommends in the Complete Joy of Homebrewing....course the copyright on my copy is

I know a lot of my homebrew buddies use the current standby of 1.25 qt. per pound, also with good results.

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Old 02-25-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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Apr 2007
Washington State
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As noted above it will affect your fermentability but to a much lesser extent then mash temperature.


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Old 02-25-2008, 10:06 PM   #8
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Aug 2005
Torrance, CA
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I used to do almost all of my brews at a ratio of 1:1 qt/lb because of mash tun space. I even ran some bigger beers at 0.9 qt/lb just so it would fit. Now that I have a bigger mash tun I run 1.25 qts/lb on about anything. Assuming the mash had enough water in it to properly have the grain covered in water, I'd say you're fine.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:31 PM   #9
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Feb 2006
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Same goes for me. All of my Mashing is done with the 1 qt per pound ratio.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:53 PM   #10
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Oct 2005
Long Island
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Another 1 qt per lb here.

I've never seen so many thick mashers all in one place.

GT. Do you have any proof that the mash thickness has much less affect that temperature on fermentability? I have no proof, but I believe the opposite is true, at least when comparing mashes using 1 qt vs 1.25 qt per lb.


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