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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: resto3 on December 08, 2010, 08:23:30 PM

Title: mash thickness
Post by: resto3 on December 08, 2010, 08:23:30 PM
How much will the effeciency of a mash be effected at 1.0 qt's per pound of grain vs. 1.25 qts per pound of grain vs. 1.33 qts per pound vs 1.5 qts per pound of grain.......

My mash tun size restrictions are a bit of a pain in the a$$ for me at the moment.

Thanks for your replies!!

Richie
Title: Re: mash thickness
Post by: denny on December 08, 2010, 08:25:22 PM
Very little.  I find my efficiency increases slightly as my ratio increases.  Maybe 2-3 % as a WAG.

Edit: To clarify, as you run more water through the mash, you lauter efficiency will increase as Euge said.  That could be a big increase depending on how much water you use.  Also, though, I find my conversion efficiency to increase also as I mash at higher ratios.  That increase, while significant, is smaller.  But the best thing to do is for you to play around with ratios as much as your system will allow and see for yourself.
Title: Re: mash thickness
Post by: euge on December 08, 2010, 08:25:33 PM
It will be affected. IMO greatly. However, if you batch sparge you can always go for a third lauter.
Title: Re: mash thickness
Post by: Kaiser on December 08, 2010, 09:32:57 PM
The mash thickness may effect your efficiency significantly or it may not. It all depends on other factors. Fact ist that thin mashed tend to convert faster and more complete. This doesn’t matter much if the thick mash also gets to near 100% conversion. But it may matter if the thick mash gets you to only 80% conversion. In this case there are still 20% conversion that could be gained by a thin mash.

There is also an effect on the efficiency of the lauter since thicker mashes leave you more sparge water.

I’m with Denny and suggest that you play around with different mash thicknesses. In particular you may want to do a mash gravity test to determine the conversion efficiency of the mash Determining Conversion Efficiency (http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Troubleshooting_Brewhouse_Efficiency#Determining_Conversion_Efficiency). This will give you an idea of the mash performance and if the changing mash thickness affects it.

Kai
Title: Re: mash thickness
Post by: mabrungard on December 08, 2010, 10:01:02 PM
What about the effect of thickness on fermentability and body of the wort produced?  I recall recommendations in several of my brewing books that thicker mashes produce less attenuated and higher body worts.  But, I seem to recall that there may be more recent testing that may debunk that.  (I might be remembering wrong also)

Any thoughts on this?
Title: Re: mash thickness
Post by: bluesman on December 08, 2010, 10:34:30 PM
Converting the starches to sugar happens when conditions permit. Use of highly modified malts, achieving an ideal mash pH and using an appropriate water to grain ratio are the main things to be considered while attemtping to achieve conversion. Once conversion has been completed then lautering becomes the next hurdle.

I have been shooting for a water to grain ratio of 1.5:1. This seems to give me the right consistency. Anything less and the mash appears too thick for a desireable lauter. In other words,the thicker the mash the less desirable the lauter. This is my theory as I have not tested it. However there comes a point where too much water will begin to dilute the sugars to a point of diminishing returns.
Title: Re: mash thickness
Post by: Kaiser on December 08, 2010, 11:53:05 PM
Martin, check out this old thread. It touches on the same subject.: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=411.0

Kai
Title: Re: mash thickness
Post by: Hydro on December 09, 2010, 01:21:39 PM
How much will the effeciency of a mash be effected at 1.0 qt's per pound of grain vs. 1.25 qts per pound of grain vs. 1.33 qts per pound vs 1.5 qts per pound of grain.......

My mash tun size restrictions are a bit of a pain in the a$$ for me at the moment.

Thanks for your replies!!

Richie
Since $$ and size are the issues for you.  I would recommend for you to add as much water to the mash to get to the 1.5 qts per pound of grain as you can.  After the mash has set long enough, start to slowly drain out a portion of the wart while adding more water to the top of the mash.  Stopping periodically to stir and give it time to rest.   Try to keep the grist covered with hot water at all times, while you are in the mashing process.  Once mashing has completed, drain as normal.  Yes you will suffer a bit of efficency.  You can only do what you can do with limited equipment you have.  Don't worry, have a home brew and relax while your working through this part of your brew process.