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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: dean on February 12, 2010, 04:14:45 PM

Title: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: dean on February 12, 2010, 04:14:45 PM
I'm going back to a ratio closer to 1:1.  I know with a higher water to grain ratio you get higher efficiency but I like my beer a littl maltier and more mouthfeel.  Any thoughts on it?
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: denny on February 12, 2010, 04:22:38 PM
I'm going back to a ratio closer to 1:1.  I know with a higher water to grain ratio you get higher efficiency but I like my beer a littl maltier and more mouthfeel.  Any thoughts on it?

Why do you think that will make your beers maltier and give them more mouthfeel?  I certainly haven't found that to be the case.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: dean on February 12, 2010, 04:36:35 PM
All I can say is that I like the lower mash ratio in "most" beers except IPA's.  From batches made in the past, to me it seems a higher ratio is more grainy or harsh while a lower ratio seems to have a more mellow finish.  I'll definitely know after lowering it for the next few batches, and I'll do a few of the same recipes at a higher ratio just to prove it for myself. 
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: denny on February 12, 2010, 04:38:10 PM
All I can say is that I like the lower mash ratio in "most" beers except IPA's.  From batches made in the past, to me it seems a higher ratio is more grainy or harsh while a lower ratio seems to have a more mellow finish.  I'll definitely know after lowering it for the next few batches, and I'll do a few of the same recipes at a higher ratio just to prove it for myself. 

Well, testing for yourself is the only way to know.  Make 2 identical batches, changing only the ratio.  I gotta tell you, though, I haven't noticed that kind of effect in my beers.  I'm really digging the thinner ratio.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: ndcube on February 12, 2010, 04:41:47 PM
Do you use the same water?

Maybe there are more salts in the mash at the higher ratio affecting your pH more.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: denny on February 12, 2010, 04:43:59 PM
Do you use the same water?

Maybe there are more salts in the mash at the higher ratio affecting your pH more.

If you mean Dean and me, no we don't.  And I'm having a hard time trying to wrap my head around why pH would make a difference in mouthfeel.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: ndcube on February 12, 2010, 04:48:39 PM
If you mean Dean and me, no we don't.
Sorry.  I meant does Dean use the same water for the low ratio vs high ratio mashes?


And I'm having a hard time trying to wrap my head around why pH would make a difference in mouthfeel.
I guess I was referring to the grainy/harsh comment.  Maybe I'm way off there too.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: redbeerman on February 12, 2010, 05:13:33 PM
I've played around with different ratios and I can't say I've noticed a difference in mouthfeel or flavor either.  I went from a 5 gallon cooler to a ten gallon cooler, which gave me the opportunity to use a higher water/grist ratio and the only thing I've noticed is that I don't need to sparge more than once after the additional run off.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: tom on February 12, 2010, 06:17:16 PM
pH of the mash could affect the tannin extraction which would lend a "dry" mouthfeel.
The water ratio may affect his mash pH. Dean do you check your mash pH?
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: stout_fan on February 12, 2010, 06:36:49 PM
...  My back is really appreciating the thinner ratio.

FTFY :D
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: blatz on February 12, 2010, 06:46:17 PM
I've played around with different ratios and I can't say I've noticed a difference in mouthfeel or flavor either.  I went from a 5 gallon cooler to a ten gallon cooler, which gave me the opportunity to use a higher water/grist ratio and the only thing I've noticed is that I don't need to sparge more than once after the additional run off.

agreed - I sort of let the ratio 'find itself" so that I get equal runoffs from the first run and sparge.  as long as it is within 1.25 qt/lb and 2.0 I don't worry about it.

Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: bluesman on February 12, 2010, 06:51:05 PM
I've played around with different ratios and I can't say I've noticed a difference in mouthfeel or flavor either.  I went from a 5 gallon cooler to a ten gallon cooler, which gave me the opportunity to use a higher water/grist ratio and the only thing I've noticed is that I don't need to sparge more than once after the additional run off.

agreed - I sort of let the ratio 'find itself" so that I get equal runoffs from the first run and sparge.  as long as it is within 1.25 qt/lb and 2.0 I don't worry about it.



+1

...equal amounts for first runnings and sparge is my target.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: denny on February 12, 2010, 06:55:05 PM
I've played around with different ratios and I can't say I've noticed a difference in mouthfeel or flavor either.  I went from a 5 gallon cooler to a ten gallon cooler, which gave me the opportunity to use a higher water/grist ratio and the only thing I've noticed is that I don't need to sparge more than once after the additional run off.

agreed - I sort of let the ratio 'find itself" so that I get equal runoffs from the first run and sparge.  as long as it is within 1.25 qt/lb and 2.0 I don't worry about it.



+1

...equal amounts for first runnings and sparge is my target.

+ me too!
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: dean on February 12, 2010, 10:45:17 PM
This last batch I had a ratio of 1.25:1 and maybe its just the yeast or maybe the fact that I finally have a handle on the pH... but it sure smells heavenly!  I was mashing at 1.5:1 and its only since I mashed that high that I started not getting the flavors I had in past batches, including those I brewed while I lived in Ohio.  Who knows... maybe its all in my head but I'm not done messing with my recipes and procedures yet.   ;D
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: Kaiser on February 13, 2010, 02:14:16 PM
Interesting observation.

Mash thickness does affect pH. The more residual alkalinity you have the more pronounced the effect will be. While thicker mashes tend to give lower mash pH they also leave more water for sparging which means the pH can rise more during sparging.

What would be necessary to pin this down is a side-by-side or even back-to-back experiment where you take a number of pH numbers and also determine the ferment ability of the wort. But if 1:1 mashes work for you better than 1.5:1 or 2:1  you may as well just stick with it. There is no dogma with respect to the mash thickness that you should use.

Kai
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: dean on February 13, 2010, 03:28:45 PM
Kai, how would you suggest adding mineral salts if more than one sparge is used?  I would think the amount of mineral salts needed would go up?
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: denny on February 13, 2010, 04:28:54 PM
But if 1:1 mashes work for you better than 1.5:1 or 2:1  you may as well just stick with it. There is no dogma with respect to the mash thickness that you should use.

Kai

This^^^^^^
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: euge on February 25, 2010, 07:15:00 PM
I went to a 1.6qt ratio back in 2008 since it fits in well with my batch-sparging system. Noticed the brews ended up fermenting and tasting better with a more pleasing and thinner mouthfeel in the finished product.

Average efficiency went up a couple points too.



Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: mtbrewer on February 26, 2010, 08:39:20 PM
I use whatever I can get away with, depending on how big grain bill is. 1.75/qt. to pound is sure nice to stir, but some times it's 1.1  I really haven't seen a difference in the final product. To each their own.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: Rhoobarb on February 26, 2010, 09:31:58 PM
I try and keep it b/w 1.25 to 1.5 qts. and can't say I've noticed a difference.  My water's pH is ~7-8.
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: bspisak on February 27, 2010, 12:19:41 AM

I've heard that using a thinner mash benefits lighter lagers in that you don't have to sparge as much and thus minimize extraction of tannins. (Although that only works if fly sparging.)  Anyone have any experience here?
Title: Re: Water to Grain Ratio
Post by: tubercle on February 27, 2010, 12:31:50 AM
Whatever it takes to prevent a stuck sparge.