Author Topic: Water to Grain Ratio  (Read 4204 times)

Offline dean

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Water to Grain Ratio
« on: February 12, 2010, 09:14:45 AM »
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?

Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2010, 09:22:38 AM »
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.
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Offline dean

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 09:36:35 AM »
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. 

Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 09:38:10 AM »
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.
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Offline ndcube

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 09:41:47 AM »
Do you use the same water?

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

Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 09:43:59 AM »
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.
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Offline ndcube

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2010, 09:48:39 AM »
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.

Offline redbeerman

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2010, 10:13:33 AM »
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.
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Offline tom

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 11:17:16 AM »
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?
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Offline stout_fan

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 11:36:49 AM »
...  My back is really appreciating the thinner ratio.

FTFY :D
I'd say something witty down here, but I'm at a bit of a disadvantage in that department.

Offline blatz

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2010, 11:46:17 AM »
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.

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Offline bluesman

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 11:51:05 AM »
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.
Ron Price

Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2010, 11:55:05 AM »
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!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline dean

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 03:45:17 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

Offline Kaiser

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Re: Water to Grain Ratio
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2010, 07:14:16 AM »
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