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Water to Grain Ratio

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RLinNH

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Just a little thread about Water to grain Ratio. What do you use? I have been using 1.33 quarts per pound of grain, and I have been getting ****ty efficiency. My crush is good as I WAS using a fellow Home Brewer's Mill who is getting 83% eff., but that's on his system. I now have my own JSp AA mill, and I am anxious to break her in tomorrow. But, back to the subject. I will be using a 1 quart per pound Water quocient tomorrow with my new mill which is set at .045 from the factory. I have a 15 gallon HLT(converted Keg) with a 48 quart Coleman rectangular coleman cooler for a Mash tun which I Batch Sparge into a 15 gallon(converted Keg) Boil Tun. I burn off 1.5 gallons of Wort per Hour.


So, what do you use for a quart to pound Water table?
 

WBC

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You could enter 1.15 qt per lb if you were tight for space in your mash tun and even 1 qt per lb. If you go over the std 1.25 you are making a thinner mash and enzymes are more sparcely spread out in your mash and so a slower conversion takes place per unit of time. Like was said above the standard 1.25 qt per lb water is the best way to go.
 

ajf

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The mash thickness has a definite effect on the character of the beer.
I use 1 qt/lb for all my English style beers (bitters, pale ales, and IPA's), and it yields a very full bodied beer. Some people say that mash temperature has much more effect on body than mash thickness. I think that they both have a very noticeable effect, and I have tried thick and thin, as well as different temperatures.
Most American beers have less body than their English counterparts, and a thinner mash (like 1.25 qt/lb) is fairly typical, but it certainly isn't a standard, or necessarily the best way to go.

FWIW, I have the JSP model P malt mill (non adjustable), and I regularly get 85% efficiency with a fly sparge, or 80% with a batch sparge. That's with the standard gap (0.045)

-a.
 

RichBrewer

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How much sparge water do you use? This will also affect your efficiency. Many AG brewers limit the amount of water because they don't want a large amount of water in the kettle that will have to be boiled for a long time. You need to take this in to consideration as well.
 

Distilled

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I've got a question to build on this - if you utilize a cooler as a mash tun you'll undoubtedly have to make some additions to obtain/sustain your target temperature right? So how do you really maintain 1.25 qts/lb?

On another note, mashing in a kettle will result in evaporation, so is it wise to maintain the water level by adding additional water?
 

Yooper

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Well, the reason we mash in a cooler is because over the course of an hour, you don't lose much heat at all. I preheat my cooler, and then mash in and the temperature stays the same (maybe dropping one degree) for an hour. Same with mashing in a pot- if the temperature starts to drop, just turn the heat on until it's correct again. There wouldn't be any volume loss, because you're not simmering or boiling the mash.
 
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RLinNH

RLinNH

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I only lose about 1/2 to 1 degree of Temp in an hour from my Cooler. I cover it with a big moving blanket while it's Mashing. Haven't had an issue maintaining temp.
 

Distilled

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Interesting, maybe I need a new cooler.....well, I guess it was 30ºF outside the last time I brewed though.. ;)

I'm just getting geared up for the AG brewing, I've done a couple dozen extract brews and a half dozen partials on the range in the house with pretty good success (to taste), but I didn't track half the stuff that I should have or at least half the stuff that a lot of you track. In addition my boils were pretty small for 5 gallon batches, maybe 2 gallons remaining by the end of a 60 minute boil.

I've picked up a lot from these forums so I decided to pull out some gadgets from the shop and start production on my brew station. I made a mash tun, wort cooler, sparge ring, etc. and set up a crude brew station on the front porch for a test run on a stout. (http://home.comcast.net/~distilled/images/brew.jpg) Other than struggling with the mash temperatures, likely due to the below freezing ambient temps, the process went amazingly well for brewing by myself. Now that I've got a large volume brew under my belt I think I'll upgrade a few items and get some spigots and valving set up to ease the transfers and then roll on in to an AG.

I can definitely see the value in spending a few extra bucks on good kettles with outlets, thermometers, and maybe even site glasses for volumetric info - I'm looking forward to upgrades.
 
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