Water to Grain Ratio

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Mr. Mojo Rising

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What has been the most successful ratio that homebrewers use here? I have not seen a good discussion on it. It will help me decide wheter to pull my mash out water from the intial mash water quantity or my sparge water, or whether to increase my total water quanity.
 

cefmel

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I’ve been brewing 5 gallon batches for a while now and if I’m making a lighter beer with a starting gravity of around 40, it will take about 10 lbs of grain. I’ll heat 6 gallons of water to 185 deg F and set another 2 gallons aside at room temperature. Then I’ll start off with 2 gallons of the hot water in my 10 gallon Gott cooler which is my mash tun.

Start adding grain and stirring with a spoon. When things get so thick that you can no longer get the grain on top wet, add some more hot water. Try to get as much grain in with as little water as possible.

When all the grain is in, check the temperature and add hot or cool water to reach desired temp. 153 deg F for sweeter beers or 147 for dryer beers.

Hints: Its easier to cool down the mash than it is to warm it up, especially if you can not apply direct heat because you’re using a cooler for the mash. So aim high and be careful about adding cool water.

Once all the grain is in, do not over react to an initial high temp reading. It takes about 5 minutes of stirring for temps to even out – the initial temp of the cooler and all the other variables will conspire to bring the temperature down. So wait and stir for 5 minutes and then make your adjustments using hot or cool water.

The water to grain ratio may be 2.5 to three gallons of water for 10 lbs of grain. For me, the ideal mash will have enough water to soak all the grains but not so much that they are swimming around freely. Remember, for conversion of the starches to work, the enzymes must be in physical contact with the starches, so you don’t want to dilute things too much.

For rinsing the grains, I use the remaining 4 gallons of water and try to end up with 6 gallons of wort for my 5 gallon batch of beer. I louse about a gallon when initially transferring from the boiler to the primary fermenter.

For higher gravity beers, I will use more grain and rinse with more water. For a Bock beer, I may end up with 8 gallons of wort and then boil it for an hour to get it down to the 6 gallon mark before taking an OG reading.

I hope this will give you an idea of what the water to grain ratio should be, but it’s really more of an art than a science.
 

Got Trub?

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I use 1.25

Increasing or decreasing the ratio can affect fermentability - but only to a very small degree. Mash temp is much more critical.

GT
 

Dr Malt

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1.25 quarts/lb of grain most of the time.

It varies for me depending on the beer style from 1.0 - 1.5 qts/lb. I was just reading about making a helles and the book suggests the low end of 2 qts/lb grain up to 3.5 qts. That seems a little thin by my experience.

Dr Malt:tank:
 

Gabe

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Roughly 1.10. I like my mashes a little thicker for some reason. I just have always done it that way.
 

ScubaSteve

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Agreed, though I prefer gallons to liters.....just because it's a smaller number. I use 1.25-1.33 qts/gal. It seems to work well for me; I can't see how my beer would improve much if I added or subtracted water. I use pumps, so I like a slightly thinner mash to pull from.
 

Buford

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I use 1.25 qt / lb for most styles, but I mash thicker (1 qt / lb) for English bitters and thinner (1.5 qt / lb) if I'm doing a decoction.
 

Orfy

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A Litre is ~a quart (Well .946 Litres)
A Kilo is ~ 2.2 Lb

So

1.25qt/lbs

=2.75qt/kilo

=2.61L/Kg

Easy.

Try it... It makes the beer taste better but only if you serve it in Pints.

:D
 

bigben

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LOL...

I make my beer using qts/gallons... But I serve it a pint at a time.
 

IowaStateFan

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I'm still trying to figure out why the English don't even use their own system of weights and measures. Good grief, they created a monstrous system and then dump it in favor of something created by the French. What has this world come to??
 

Danek

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IowaStateFan said:
I'm still trying to figure out why the English don't even use their own system of weights and measures. Good grief, they created a monstrous system and then dump it in favor of something created by the French. What has this world come to??
The reason we give to other people is that we use the metric system because we're members of the European Union, and so using the same units as the other EU member states helps with trade and price transparency (I believe there is even a legal requirement for British traders to use the metric system on saleable goods). But the real reason we switched is because it makes us look endearingly quirky.

Mind you, you guys have added your own craziness to the imperial measures system. WTF is a cup? I thought that was a piece of sporting equipment, but you guys use it to measure stuff in? :confused:
 

Danek

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killian said:
WTF is a stone?
srry:off:
A stone is a measure of weight that's equal to fourteen pounds. Its origin is from the time when British cavemen used to do all of their mathematical calculations in base fourteen, rather than base ten as is more commonly used nowadays.
 

Brewsmith

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Danek said:
Mind you, you guys have added your own craziness to the imperial measures system. WTF is a cup? I thought that was a piece of sporting equipment, but you guys use it to measure stuff in? :confused:
1 cup = 1/16th Gallon, 1/4 Quart, 1/2 Pint, 8 oz, 16 tablespoons, or 48 teaspoons
 

Jacob

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I have a question about water/grain ratios for high gravity brews and I figure this thread is as good a place as any to ask.
So if I have around 23 lbs. of grain and mash with 1.2 qts/lb I figure to collect around 6 gallons. If I'm shooting for 7.5 gallons before the boil is it better to do a small sparge or adjust the ratio so that the mash and sparge are closer to being even?
 
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i mash at 1 qt/lb, because i do a mash out, which is an equal amount of water to the mash in. this relatively low mash volume allows me to sparge with a slightly larger volume, which allows better efficiency in my system. from my reading and research 1-1.5 qt/lb seems to be where everyone is at.
 

Joker

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African or European Swallow?.............................. sorry wrong thread :drunk:
 
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