Brewing With Total Confidence
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Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by TrevMc, Sep 1, 2017.
Is there a particular water to grain ratio for mashing?
I have been brewing for just over a year and can tell you opinions vary on that. I'm sure there are more experienced brewers here who will correct or clarify what I present. But since I have received helpful advise here, I figured I'd put my $00.02 in to get this started and hopefully useful information that you can use. One quart of water is 32 oz. One quart of water and one pound of grain is 42 ounces of volume. If you add more water per pound you will simply be adding the amount of water to the volume. That said I've seen a 1:1 to 1.5:1 ratio of water to grain in different places. For me it's more of a practical consideration. I brew 2 gallons at a time due to space limitations and because I like to try brewing many things at once. My mash tun holds 256 ounces. Therefore the most grain that I can use in a recipe is 6 lbs. because 6 pounds times 42 ounces (one 32 oz quart of plus one pound of grain is 42 oz, 6 x 42 is 252 which fits in my 256 oz mash tun). So for me, unless the grain bill is much less than 6 pounds, I simply fill up my 2 gallon mash tun. (if the grain bill is greater than 6 lbs I can't brew it). I fill up my hot liquor tank with 2 gallons of water at the appropriate temperature and sparge to get to 3 gallons of wort. I then boil for an hour to reach 2 gallons to ferment. So 1:1 has worked for me in a small batch and I've gone to 1.25 with success as well.
Whew! Somebody fetch me a beer!
My 2c I BIAB my water to grain ratio may freek you out a bit its 6:1 explanation roughly 6 liters water(metric possum) to 1 kg of grain. So a very thin mash. Have i found this effects extraction of sugars in mash or enzymatic activity in mash? Nope not one bit i average in the high 90's for extraction efficiency and low 80's brew house.
So to 2nd hatchetigers point your water to grain ratio will be most likely determined by your brewery setup. Mash tun size...
While I agree it will depend on your gear and what type of beer you're brewing, I usually start with about 1.25 quarts per lb of grain. I'm not too worried about being exact, so I'll round up to an easier number to use
The typical number you hear for non-BIAB brewing is 1.25 or 1.5 qt/lb of grain.
There are some really technical reasons for manipulating the water-grist ratio (the ratio of water to grain) but since you're asking the question, I'd offer this answer and apologize in advance if it seems snarky: Use one and a half quarts of water to one pound of grain, at least until you know why you would want to change the ratio.
agreed. it's great to fine tune things and brew how you want, but I can't tell you how many times i've looked for a quick, easy explanation or procedure that gets the job done. case in point, ive been reading up on a lagering method that's simple and the least fussy as possible
fwiw, i BIAB and use that number. but then again, i sparge and i can't do full boils, so i guess i'm in a gray phantom zone in terms of brewing styles
I use 1.25 for step mashes as well - we're into the technical stuff that seems to be a bit more information than TrevMc needs at this time. And Trev, forgive me if I'm wrong about that.
I BIAB. I use 6 gallons or so of water for mashing, regardless of the grain bill. Then I sparge to get 7.25 gallons preboil volume.
Mash thickness varies with desired outcome as well as the limitations of your system. Since many if not most systems depend on the addition of boiling water to raise temperature between mash steps or to mash out, you have to determine the maximum capacity of your tun and work backwards from there. Unless you can mash your full volume of water you'll need to decide how you'll sparge since that's the way you make up the difference and arrive at your total pre-boil volume and get the rest of the fermentable sugar flushed out of your grain.
I start with less than 1 qt/lb for a protein rest and hit around 1.5 qt/lb after boiling water additions for my main conversion rest. Boiling water addition for 168 degree mashout puts me over 2 qt/lb and depending on my grain bill starts getting to my tuns max capacity.
If I go straight to a single infusion temp for a typical 10-11 lb grain bill, I can count on 13 quarts for strike, 6 to 7 quarts for raising to mash out and 12-13 quarts for sparge. That puts me at 32 to 33 quarts total with a loss of 3-4 quarts in grain absorption and 7 to 7.5 gallons for pre-boil and that gets me to 5.5 gallons into the fermenter.
I know...More info than requested...
Much more, I'd say.... What malt are you using that you need a protein rest? I only do one if I have a lot of unmalted grain to knock down the protein and gum.
Haha thanks guys, so much info for me to take in, wow!
For now, keep it simple. Brewing is a rabbit hole, there's no bottom to it. Pretty soon some of this chatter will start to make sense. And I hope your beer turns out wonderfully
Czech floor malted Pilsner, mostly. Protein rest isn't really necessary, but I like to dough in thick and if I'm doing any sort of step mash, that's usually my starting place. I don't do it for every beer, but I've got the process worked out so that It's easy and it gives me excellent wort and makes very good beer, so I'll keep doing it until I find that it presents a problem.
I read somewhere that equal volumes if you are batch sparging gives the best efficiency. Using this info, I upped my grain ratio to 2. Although I did not notice any increase efficiency, I like having a little less sparge volume. Palmer stated that the efficiency difference between 1.25 and 2.0 is negligible btw, so I would say do whatever suits your current equipment setup as long as you don't exceed 2.0