Author Topic: Mash thickness  (Read 1276 times)

Offline lenphallock

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Mash thickness
« on: November 19, 2016, 04:46:44 PM »
I have a quick question about mash thickness as it relates to adding crystal malts and all non-base malts during vouloff. I'm sure I'm over thinking it. If I add my strike water at the grist/water ratio for base malts, will it be too thick to recirculate when I add the specialty malts? I have a RIMS system FYI. Thanks!!!


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Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2016, 05:01:38 PM »
I have a quick question about mash thickness as it relates to adding crystal malts and all non-base malts during vouloff. I'm sure I'm over thinking it. If I add my strike water at the grist/water ratio for base malts, will it be too thick to recirculate when I add the specialty malts? I have a RIMS system FYI. Thanks!!!


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That depends on how much specialty grains you plan and on how thick/thin your grist/water ratio is.
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Offline lenphallock

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2016, 05:11:08 PM »
That's the main reason why I'm asking. I usually don't use that much but this time I'm brewing a malty Christmas type beer. About 3lbs for this 6 gallon brew.


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Offline a10t2

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2016, 05:14:54 PM »
Playing devil's advocate, why not mash all the grain together? Or use enough strike liquor to account for the total grain bill?
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Offline denny

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2016, 05:25:34 PM »
Playing devil's advocate, why not mash all the grain together? Or use enough strike liquor to account for the total grain bill?

THIS^^^^.  Why are you adding the specialty malts separately?
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Offline lenphallock

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2016, 05:33:48 PM »
Because I ain't smart enough to adjust my pH, figure residual alkalinity, use spreadsheets...some on and so on. I find simplicity in consistently adjusting my water to the base malt only. 1 tsp of phosphoric acid per 5 gallons of RO water and a tsp of calcium, whether it be by way of gypsum or calcium carbonate. Simple, repeatable and right up my alley. Think of it as your philosophy for batch sparging. It's the way my poor little brain works.


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Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2016, 10:38:05 PM »
Playing devil's advocate, why not mash all the grain together? Or use enough strike liquor to account for the total grain bill?

THIS^^^^.  Why are you adding the specialty malts separately?



Yep, mash it all together and account for it in Brunwater. Even dark beers. Rather than add the roasted malts at the end of the mash, just mash it all together at 5.6 pH. Works wonderfully.


Edit - Saw the part about you not liking spreadsheets - my bad. It may seem overwhelming at first but Brunwater is actually easy to use and helps you hit your target pH very accurately. We can help. $0.02  .
« Last Edit: November 19, 2016, 10:41:47 PM by HoosierBrew »
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Offline rob_f

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2016, 10:56:36 PM »
Just add water when you add the specialty malts in the same ratio you used for the base malt. If the amount of water you calculate isn't much, skip it.
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Offline brewinhard

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2016, 12:04:07 AM »
Just add water when you add the specialty malts in the same ratio you used for the base malt. If the amount of water you calculate isn't much, skip it.

And, if you prefer to travel this route, then as stated above, keeping the specialty malts separate until vorlauf, simply calculate your typical water to grain mash thickness you went with and heat that water up separately to add later to the mash tun. I would recommend heating it a bit warmer as well to potentially maybe get closer to a "mash-out" temp when adding back your specialty malts and extra water.

Oh, and +1 to Brunwater. Pretty easy to figure out, even for simple minds like mine and yours.

Offline JJeffers09

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2016, 01:33:00 PM »
I am with everyone else, Bru'n Water is the way to go.  But if you are absolutely against it, then MAYBE steep them in the kettle and extract what flavors you can...
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Offline skyler

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2016, 04:21:54 PM »
Honestly, with most styles (pale to light brown) and with most water, you are probably fine just mashing everything together. Only if you have particularly acidic water does it make sense to mash all base malt and then add the specialty grains, but then using a water spreadsheet isn't difficult, either.

Offline kramerog

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2016, 06:11:27 PM »
Because I ain't smart enough to adjust my pH, figure residual alkalinity, use spreadsheets...some on and so on. I find simplicity in consistently adjusting my water to the base malt only. 1 tsp of phosphoric acid per 5 gallons of RO water and a tsp of calcium, whether it be by way of gypsum or calcium carbonate. Simple, repeatable and right up my alley. Think of it as your philosophy for batch sparging. It's the way my poor little brain works.


Your approach works for Gordon Strong so it's probably fine.  On the other hand, a lot of brewing recipe software now has mash pH calculations built in, e.g., Brewer's Friend and Beer Smith 2, IIRC.

Offline TGerbracht

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2016, 08:28:33 PM »
I believe you should be doing 1/4 tsp 10% phosphoric acid per five gallons of mash water.

Also a Strong water profile user here.

Offline lenphallock

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2016, 05:29:08 PM »
I actually have to do a whole tsp for some reason to mash at 5.6 with a tsp of salts as well.


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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Mash thickness
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2016, 06:16:38 PM »
Hey, be careful when mentioning the Strong dosing methods. That is for RO or Distilled water only. It could be a total screw up if a brewer applied that recommendation to their tap water.
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