Author Topic: Water to Grist Ratio  (Read 3987 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2013, 10:17:39 AM »
The dark-roast grain tannin extraction is interesting. Will have to think about that one...

I'd guess that it's becasue as you increase the amount of water you use, you decrease the amount of buffering you'll get from the grain.  If that's the case, all you'd have to do would be to treat your water appropriately and you'd avoid problems.

Now would this apply when steeping darkly-roasted grains?

IMO, yes.  You should steep in about the same amount of water you'd use to mash in order to be certain to avoid pH issues.
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Offline knafrancis

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2013, 11:23:08 AM »
It would be interesting to know how the diastatic agents in base malts buffer or "fill up" the solubility of the hot water (am I supposed to call it brewing liquor?)  The question about steeping grains is a really good one - if there's no base malt there, why aren't we noticing the "thin mash tannin extraction" problem with that?  Simply a case of volume - ie keep the mash ratio the same, and it doesn't matter whether it's base or speciality grains?

Is there something in the enzymatic activity of a full mash that prevents tannin extraction that isn't there when steeping more heavily roasted malts?

And how many of us would travel back in time and study some serious organic chemistry in college, had we known how useful it would be?

Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2013, 11:43:15 AM »
It would be interesting to know how the diastatic agents in base malts buffer or "fill up" the solubility of the hot water (am I supposed to call it brewing liquor?)  The question about steeping grains is a really good one - if there's no base malt there, why aren't we noticing the "thin mash tannin extraction" problem with that?  Simply a case of volume - ie keep the mash ratio the same, and it doesn't matter whether it's base or speciality grains?

Is there something in the enzymatic activity of a full mash that prevents tannin extraction that isn't there when steeping more heavily roasted malts?

And how many of us would travel back in time and study some serious organic chemistry in college, had we known how useful it would be?

Diastatic power has nothing to do with tannin extraction.  It's a pH issue and you can have pH problems whether the malt is diastatic or not.
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Offline euge

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2013, 12:50:42 PM »
Thanks Denny! I've done this and never felt there was much of a difference but it makes sense.
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Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2013, 12:52:36 PM »
Thanks Denny! I've done this and never felt there was much of a difference but it makes sense.

Yeah, obviously there's no guarantee that using more water will cause problems, but if you want to be safe it's best to either control the amount you use or treat it to avoid problems.
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Offline malzig

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2013, 05:22:09 AM »
I want to say that I've heard thinner mashes (more to the 2qt water-to-grist ratio) run the risk of lighter body in the finished product, and picking up more tannins from dark-roast grains. 
Luckily, mash temperature has a substantially greater effect on fermentability than mash thickness, so you can easily override any possible effect of a thinner mash lightening the body with a slightly higher mash temperature.

Similarly, tannin extraction is primarily influenced by water chemistry and pH.  Thin mashes can be an issue because inappropriate water has a greater effect on pH the more water you use.  Dark mashes should have less of a problem with this since the dark grain will tend to lower the pH and high pH is typically the cause of tannin extraction.
The question about steeping grains is a really good one - if there's no base malt there, why aren't we noticing the "thin mash tannin extraction" problem with that?
I've never noticed this relationship with a thin mash, either.  For me tannin extraction tends to be more an effect of the sparge.  I find that I get less tannin from a beer mashed very thin and not sparged than I do from a beer mashed thicker and sparged, with or without dark malts.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 05:42:15 AM by malzig »

Offline knafrancis

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2013, 07:47:43 PM »
Good observations.  I suppose the grain crush also is a factor in tannin extraction.  Temperature and pH makes sense.

Offline denny

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2013, 10:35:11 AM »
Good observations.  I suppose the grain crush also is a factor in tannin extraction.  Temperature and pH makes sense.

Grain crush and temp are factors IF the pH is off.  If the pH is correct, those have virtually no effect.
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Offline kramerog

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Re: Water to Grist Ratio
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2013, 10:59:00 AM »
I started at 1.25 qt/lb as my default mash thickness and am now at 1.5 qt/lb now that I have a bigger mash tun.  The primary reason why I like 1.5 qt/lb is that it is easier to dough in using a mix stir, which I have only recently taken up.
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