# Water to Grain Ratios

### Help Support Homebrew Talk:

#### shine

##### Member
I've read a couple of posts in forums and a few recipes touting the use of really high water to grain ratios (on the order of 2.5 gallons/1 lb of grain) in lieu of sparging.

Thoughts?

#### Facinerous

##### Well-Known Member
I assume you mean 2.5 quarts to per pound?

You could do this but I think you will be disappointed with your efficiency.

#### z-bob

##### Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
What about using normal mash ratios, but then add boiling water for the mashout?

OP
S

#### shine

##### Member
I assume you mean 2.5 quarts to per pound?

You could do this but I think you will be disappointed with your efficiency.
I would agree, but literally, the latest recipe I read came along with a recommendation stating the use of 18 gallons of water for (sorry) 7 kilos of grain and NOT performing a sparge.

#### Facinerous

##### Well-Known Member
So 7 kilos of grain is 15.4324 pounds. Just to make my math a little easier.

So that comes out to roughly 1.17 gal per pound of grain. Thats a hell of a lot of water. The weight of grain makes sense for a 5 gal batch, but your water is more for 10 gal. I think the instructions are wrong. They probably mashed to different batch volumes together. So if you have 7 kilos of grain I would say it is safer to assume 9 gal of water on my part, or your going to have the ultimate session beer.

This would work, but you will have quite a bit of sugar left in those grains when you remove them. If you were to go with around 6.5 gal mash, and rinse the grain with the remaining 2.5 you may have a better result.

Just thought of something. Is this a 10 gal extract recipe?

OP
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#### shine

##### Member
No, its all grain. I run the grain calculations through beer smith and using a normal mash/mash-out/sparge process, I'll hit my target 4%. I doubt I'll ever go the massive water-ratio route, I was just curious if anyone had heard of it as opposed to normal M/MO/S.

#### Magnus314

##### Well-Known Member
This sounds like a normal no-sparge BIAB recipe.

15.4 pounds of grain with 85% efficiency and high (80%+) attenuation will give you 10 gallons of a 5%+ ABV beer.

If you're looking to try it, all I have to add is that you really need to watch your mash ph or you can get a weird off-taste.

Some people have reported that with full-volume BIAB on Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde, for example.

When I do those kinds of beers, I use a sparge and add mineral salts to keep the flavor profile I want with all that water.

OP
S

#### shine

##### Member
good tip. Thanks.

Here are some accompanying comments with the last recipe I looked at. The recipe in question totaled about 7.6 lbs of grain:

"77% efficiency with a no-sparge mashing technique (mashed with ~9.5g of water). Mash at 152. The no-sparge is a potentially important step as most sources suggest you get more malt flavor doing this vs. sparging."

#### RM-MN

##### Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
It looks to me like those recipes are expecting you to do a massive amount of boil off so they start with a huge amount of water. It can work but why would you want to use that much energy to boil off so much?

#### Likefully

##### Well-Known Member
Google 'thin mashing' - generally achieves maltier beers, just the way I like them.

#### soonerpike1748

##### Well-Known Member
This sounds like a normal no-sparge BIAB recipe.

15.4 pounds of grain with 85% efficiency and high (80%+) attenuation will give you 10 gallons of a 5%+ ABV beer.

If you're looking to try it, all I have to add is that you really need to watch your mash ph or you can get a weird off-taste.

Some people have reported that with full-volume BIAB on Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde, for example.

When I do those kinds of beers, I use a sparge and add mineral salts to keep the flavor profile I want with all that water.
Lots of water and light beer color can make you miss your pH. I do no-sparge mashing, and I'm adding gypsum and/or phosphoric acid to get into the 5.2-5.4 range. Darker beers tend to naturally have a lower pH during the mash.

#### Magnus314

##### Well-Known Member
Google 'thin mashing' - generally achieves maltier beers, just the way I like them.
I get exactly the opposite result from full volume mashes on light grain bills... thin body, and close to 100% attenuation with a very thin, dry mouthfeel.

That's why I switched to sparging those. It gets me a "fuller, maltier" finished beer.