Water to Grain Ratio

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modenacart

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What ratio are people use for water to grain. I just kind of mix until it looks good to me, but I am not sure I am using the right amount.
 

Wade E

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Typically 1.25 qrts. of water to every lb. of grain. Then sparge with 2 qrts. for every lb of grain. With the grains soaking up much of the water you should end up around 6.5 gallons and boil off about 1 gallon.
 
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modenacart

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A thinner mash (more than 2 qts/ lb grain) will dilute the concentration of enzymes, taking longer to convert starches to suger, but giving a more fermentable mash, a thicker mash (less than 1.25 qts/ lb grain) will give convert a lot faster, giver a sweeter finished beer.

I batch sparge and have been very happy with it so far. The second time I did it I got 79% efficiency, but the other times have been about 73%, same as I was getting fly sparging.
 

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modenacart said:
A thinner mash (more than 2 qts/ lb grain) will dilute the concentration of enzymes, taking longer to convert starches to suger, but giving a more fermentable mash, a thicker mash (less than 1.25 qts/ lb grain) will give convert a lot faster, giver a sweeter finished beer.

I batch sparge and have been very happy with it so far. The second time I did it I got 79% efficiency, but the other times have been about 73%, same as I was getting fly sparging.
I typically use 1.25 quarts per pound, and have been very happy with it. I also batch sparge, and have no plans to change to fly sparging.

I usually use temperature for adjusting the fermentability of the wort, along with the yeast attenuation, and don't do a thinner or thicker mash for that. UNLESS I'm planning a step mash (I use a cooler MLT) so I may do my first rest a bit thicker, and end up with the saccrification rest at a pretty thin mash.
 

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For English style Pale Ales, 1 US qt per lb. I find that mashing at 150 and 1 qt per lb produces a much more dextrinous wort than mashing at 155 and 1.25 qts per lb.

-a.
 

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ajf said:
For English style Pale Ales, 1 US qt per lb. I find that mashing at 150 and 1 qt per lb produces a much more dextrinous wort than mashing at 155 and 1.25 qts per lb.

-a.
I get the opposite. I find I have much more control over fermentability by changing temperature then changing water:grain ratio. I wonder if that is a system thing? I do a single step infusion, mash out and batch sparge.

GT
 

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i use 1qt/lb and have had no problems at all. i'm drinking my second in the keg, 3rd AG and i've found that this works well with my system. my best advise is to try it a few different ways and find out what works best for YOUR system. every ones system is going to be different so use what works best for you. 1.25qts/lb is just a guideline, not a rule set in stone. this is homebrewing, its not exact, its how ever you want it to be. if what your using now makes beer that you like to drink, why change whats making you happy??

just my 2 pennies
 
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modenacart

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Reason I am asking is because I never get the Iodine test to work. I was thinking maybe it was my water/grain ratio.
 
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modenacart

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Also, water here is very soft. I tend to end up with a mash pH of about 6 or more, and there is a crapload of sodium in it.
 

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How does that work with steeping grains?

Typically (sometimes), I use up to 2 lbs of grain for my lighter brews and steep in 1 gal of water and sparge with another gallon.

The wort is sweet after straining so I just continue doing it that way.

Since I normally only boil 1.5-2 gals anyway I figured 2 lbs of grain equal 1.2 lbs of DME and my gravity is still close to 1.040.

Since I also do late addition I'll just boil the grain wort for 45 mins before adding the DME to steep for 15.

Anyone see anything wrong with that method or an I using too much water for my wort?
 

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homebrewer_99 said:
How does that work with steeping grains?

Typically (sometimes), I use up to 2 lbs of grain for my lighter brews and steep in 1 gal of water and sparge with another gallon.

The wort is sweet after straining so I just continue doing it that way.

Since I normally only boil 1.5-2 gals anyway I figured 2 lbs of grain equal 1.2 lbs of DME and my gravity is still close to 1.040.

Since I also do late addition I'll just boil the grain wort for 45 mins before adding the DME to steep for 15.

Anyone see anything wrong with that method or an I using too much water for my wort?
I think that's fine in this case- I don't think there is anything wrong with doing steeping grains that way. I've read (I think in John Palmer's book, but not sure) that too much water with steeping grains can lead to astringency due to ph issues, but I've never known anyone to actually experience it.

MODENACART said:
Reason I am asking is because I never get the Iodine test to work. I was thinking maybe it was my water/grain ratio.
I'm wondering if it's a temperature thing, rather than a water/grain ratio. Also, since you have so much sodium and a high mash PH, I'd look there before thinking it's the grain ratio.

I assume you're not using bottled water? I think what I'd do is either try using PH stabilizer (that 5.2 stuff), or use some RO water for the next batch. Then, use 1.25 quarts per pound of grain. Test for conversion, and efficiency. I really think that it's the mash ph more than anything, though.
 
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modenacart

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My water is
Calcuim 1.0
Magnesium 1.0
Sodium 136.0
Sulfate 0.0
Chloride 44.0
BiCarbonate 247.0

PH 8.33

All ppm of course.

I mash at about 149-156 F. I direct fire when I need heat so I don't get under 149. Even after mashing two hours I still get black when doing Iodine test. It doesn't make sense. I recirculate about 2 qts before I tested last time so I know it was clear.
 

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modenacart said:
My water is
Calcuim 1.0
Magnesium 1.0

Sodium 136.0
Sulfate 0.0
Chloride 44.0
BiCarbonate 247.0

PH 8.33

All ppm of course.

I mash at about 149-156 F. I direct fire when I need heat so I don't get under 149. Even after mashing two hours I still get black when doing Iodine test. It doesn't make sense. I recirculate about 2 qts before I tested last time so I know it was clear.
You have a water problem :( . You have high bicarbonate but almost no Ca++ or Mg+ ions that will counteract it and help bring the pH down. I calculate your mash pH to be 6.12, assuming you add no dark, specialty grains. In your situation I would get DI or RO water and then add salts to it to get a water profile that will work with the styles of beer you brew. Ray Daniels book has an excellent chapter covering this.

GT
 
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