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Old 01-12-2009, 06:18 PM   #11
Kaiser
 
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The efficiency gains, if there are any, of a thin mash are a result of a better conversion efficiency. This means that more starches are converted and contribute to the gravity of the wort. Now that only works if there are more starches available for conversion. If you are already getting into the upper 80s or lower 90s with your efficiency than it is safe to assume that your conversion efficiency is pretty close to 100% and not much gain can be achieved.

The most can be gained from this if your efficiency is in the 60s and 70s and the reason for that low efficiency is that you get less starches converted in the mash. It seems that a thinner mash makes extracting of these starches easier. One fact is that increase sugar concentrations and less available free water increase the gelatinization temp of the starch.

And yes, a thinner mash also means less sparge water. I actually see this as a benefit as subsequent runnings from the mash will always have lower quality than the first wort. As to what extend that actually makes a precievable difference is likely to depend on the actual process and the recipe.

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Old 01-12-2009, 06:39 PM   #12
balto charlie
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We were just discussing this a week or 2 ago. I posted a comment referring to the end of a 5 gallon mlt. I was told that this was not the case but I never quite understood being able to use a 5 gallon cooler with a 1.060 beer and the 2qts/LB.
Currently: I max out the 5G cooler w/ 12 lbs of grain and 15Qts of water using the 1.25qts/grain lb when brewing a 1.060 beer.
BUT: If I were to use 2 Qts.water / lb grain then I would max out cooler at 8 lbs of grain w/ a 1.040 beer. Correct??
This method only works for lighter beers using a 5 G MLT??????? Am I right. I really want to try this method since I am in the 70% effeciency group. Thanks
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:18 PM   #13
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Balto - you are correct that a larger mash tun is needed for this situation. I use a 10 gallon tun for 5 to 8 gallon brews and a 17.5 gallon tun for bigger brews.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:52 PM   #14
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Ahoy hoy,
Ah yes, the thin mash. Works like a charm for me. If I have 15 lbs of grain, I use 30 qts of water. Yup, sounds like alot, until you take in how much of that stays in the grain after the drain. Wow Im a poet, and dont know it
7.5 gallons usually gives me about 5 gallons from the mash, then Ill get about 1.5 gallons from the 2 or so I use to sparge, so I end up with 7-7.5 gallons of wort to boil. I use a bit less in the winter indoors as my on stove boiling is not as good as my propane summer boils, and ill come up with too much juice. So, I aim at 6-6.5 for a 60 minute indoor boil. Now, remember, this is in interior Alaska, and your milage may vary. Bottom line it took alot of experimenting with too much, and not enough, to find just right
Yo Pol, its almost 10 above today, im in a t shirt running round!
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:10 PM   #15
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Since I'll probably brew at least another batch or two before I get my Barley Crusher, I'll try 2qt/# on my next batch and see what happens. I consistently average 65-70% efficiency no matter what so any thing a few percent above 70 should confirm it for me.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:39 PM   #16
The Pol
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Cool, let us know what happens... I will post my results as well

 
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:12 AM   #17
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It seems to me that you are jumping into this with a preconceived notion that even though maybe you are helping conversion (and in effect efficiency), what is the end product?

IMO, you have to consider other factors as well when deciding on the viscosity of your mash.

My point is you need to find a happy medium. Is mashing thicker affecting efficiency to the point of hurting the pocket book? On a homebrewer scale, probably not. However, is mashing this thin making your beer better? I'd say probably not. You have one major drawback going against you in this case, because the thin mash will inevitably dry out your beer (simply: denatured enzymes = high concentration of fermentable wort). There ARE ways to counteract this with a balance of mash thickness and temperature, but I think in general you need to consider the quality of the finished product over the advantage of increased efficiency (which seems is the motivation for a thin mash, and this thread).

Of course, if you step mash or decoct then this theory goes out the window because it is a whole new ball of wax as far as enzymes go.

All I ask--is your beer better when all is said and done? Is it worth it in the end?
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Old 01-14-2009, 12:53 AM   #18
The Pol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude View Post
It seems to me that you are jumping into this with a preconceived notion that even though maybe you are helping conversion (and in effect efficiency), what is the end product?

IMO, you have to consider other factors as well when deciding on the viscosity of your mash.

My point is you need to find a happy medium. Is mashing thicker affecting efficiency to the point of hurting the pocket book? On a homebrewer scale, probably not. However, is mashing this thin making your beer better? I'd say probably not. You have one major drawback going against you in this case, because the thin mash will inevitably dry out your beer (simply: denatured enzymes = high concentration of fermentable wort). There ARE ways to counteract this with a balance of mash thickness and temperature, but I think in general you need to consider the quality of the finished product over the advantage of increased efficiency (which seems is the motivation for a thin mash, and this thread).

Of course, if you step mash or decoct then this theory goes out the window because it is a whole new ball of wax as far as enzymes go.

All I ask--is your beer better when all is said and done? Is it worth it in the end?
I think you misunderstood the whole thread. The OP was a question, not a statement of truth or belief. There are no preconcieved notions... ummm. I dont know what it will do, if anything. It is an experiment based on some information from Basic Brewing Radio... where they said that they experienced a rise in efficiency and that they had not seen any increase in the attenuation of the wort at the same time.

Brewing doesnt hurt my pocket book, nor would a pound of grain... otherwise I would not have just put a $400 upgrade into my system That is what, 400lbs of pale? Could've solved my cash flow problem right there if I needed to!

No no... I think you misunderstood. This is an experiment, that is all that it is. The OP was a question based on some information that I had heard in a podcast... so I am testing it. Nothing nearly as serious as what you are making out to be Dude.

If my beer turns out like crap, I will be sure to post the results of my test to that end.


 
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:02 AM   #19
The Pol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medo View Post
Ahoy hoy,
Ah yes, the thin mash. Works like a charm for me. If I have 15 lbs of grain, I use 30 qts of water. Yup, sounds like alot, until you take in how much of that stays in the grain after the drain. Wow Im a poet, and dont know it
7.5 gallons usually gives me about 5 gallons from the mash, then Ill get about 1.5 gallons from the 2 or so I use to sparge, so I end up with 7-7.5 gallons of wort to boil. I use a bit less in the winter indoors as my on stove boiling is not as good as my propane summer boils, and ill come up with too much juice. So, I aim at 6-6.5 for a 60 minute indoor boil. Now, remember, this is in interior Alaska, and your milage may vary. Bottom line it took alot of experimenting with too much, and not enough, to find just right
Yo Pol, its almost 10 above today, im in a t shirt running round!
To all I bid a great day!
Medo, buddy... first SS for the HERMS coil, and now a t-shirt? YOU NEED HELP!

 
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:11 AM   #20
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Do you have the ability to check the pH of your mash, Pol?

I'd be interested in seeing how much the pH rises at 2qt/lb.
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