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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Grain/Water ratio

Is there a general ratio that is used when creating a grain mash? Most small recipes usually have the mix around 10 pounds of grain for 6 gallons of water. I know you can find slight variations on the amounts, but would this scale up for a 300 gallon mash?


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it really depends on the grain, Corn needs a much lower ratio than Barley or Wheat.


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Is there a general ratio that is used when creating a grain mash? Most small recipes usually have the mix around 10 pounds of grain for 6 gallons of water. I know you can find slight variations on the amounts, but would this scale up for a 300 gallon mash?


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Does anyone measure specific gravity of their mash, and if so is this monitored throughout the production process? Is there a target specific gravity to achieve, and if so what is this value dependent upon? Is based upon the capabilities of your pumps and do they come with listed capabilities? I apologize if this is an off base question.


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Bluestar, could you pm me please? If you wouldn't mind answering a couple questions...


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No single answer. But I can tell you we have been running with 100-120 lbs per 50-60 gallons of water.


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At our Colorado Gold Distillery we start out with 70 gallons fresh water, start steam flow then dump in slowly about 330# of various grains and cook it. The steam is direct injection so it will add about another 30 gallons of water to the process of bringing it up to temperature. Coop


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So coop you are 3.3:1 in ratio, in what size of a mash tank? I don't think that the ratio will change, per the original question, but it all needs to fit in whatever size vessel you are using to mash in.


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Tank rating is 237 gallons I believe, once the mash is cooked we then add more water to bring temp down to 150. Total water from beginning to end is about 220 gallons.


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I use 3-3.5. Sometimes 4 lb per gallon of water.

But I implement different type of technologies and different uses than normal to achieve this.

Thanks

Joseph

Master Distiller


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I'm working with grist to mash ratios as well. I've been brewing a long time, and I find that for my saccharification I like a fairly stiff mash...it loosens as the mash turns from starch to sugar. I'm not sure what you're mashing with, but with 2-row I like 2.8 or 3:1 ratio.

However, I'm playing with adding water prior to pump out on my on-grain fermentations. I figure if I have "x" amount total sugar, it makes little difference if my wash is 100 gallons or 300 gallons. In fact, the waterier (is that a word?) wash ferments faster than the high grav mash.

Anyone using a mash filter for wort extraction?

Good luck

Nat


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Man, I love to read everyone's feedback on such basic (elemental) parts of the process. It's awesome how many ways there are to skin the cat.

Perhaps I missed it here, but there's some direction in other threads that cover the PPG formula to determine water and (different) grain combos based on gravity targets. The grain, water, malt and enzyme (if you use them) contents will vary, so everyone's ratios will differ, as you can read here. Our grain bill gives us nearly a 2:1 ratio of total grain volume to water. Using enzymes and a carefully worked/tested mashing protocol gets us starting gravities between 1.19 and 1.22. That might be high for some, but it works great for us.

As for checking gravities during the cook process I am sure there are smarter peeps here that can expand on its possibility. A simple iodine test can check for unconverted starch is one solution, but we get great conversion even if our test shows we havent converted completely. Certainly, the presence of fine grains in your test sample will effect the tests, so we've found that results will vary.


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Your starting gravity and your grain to water ratio doesn't really make sense to me Blackheart. Seems like you should be around 4:1 to hit 1.2 SG.


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Hey Jeff: Not knowing our grain bill, our mash process, and going by descriptive words like 'nearly' that we used, perhaps you might reconsider your assumption. We have daily tours here, call ahead and we can let you know our mash days -- and you can see for yourself. Again, there's a bunch of ways to skin the cat, and ours is ours. Cheers!


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Blackheart,

Wasn't trying to bust your balls, just trying to make sense of your numbers. Are you running 2:1 grain to water by volume or you meant 2 lbs per gallon? I immediately assumed you were referring to the latter, which made the SG seem too high. I thought I remember from the ADI show you said you were running 4 lbs per gallon though..was just looking for clarity. I have no doubt that you know what you are doing and I greatly enjoyed your wheat shine. Cheers.


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Oh man, i just ready my post and it did seem like I was givin ya the chop. Not intended. We're a bit over 2 lbs per gallon of grains (maybe 2.2-ish). We just focus on conversions, pH, stepped cooking/cooling. No $hit, these are the ranges we get for the gravities! Took a while to get there, but experimenting worked, and so did (to a small degree) throwing out the original hypotheses.

We knew to keep pushing for higher gravitites when a team member (me, in all fairness) let a mash ph get adjusted incorrectly. The end result gave us a great mash with starting gravity pretty far above our production target. Looking at the data, i tried a few experiments and realized that pH mattered a lot, as did temp steps (but everyone already knows this), but that my previous assumptions (from beer brewing training) were not correct, or rather not an apples-to-apples comparison. However, by kind of forgetting what i knew and modifying the cook path and pH - substantially - gave us some awesome outputs.

Give me a holler and i'll tell ya more. im at eight six four six 4 0 zero five three 1.


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Go ahead, spill the beans on the pH regimen you used for that gravity.


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Drop it like it's hot. I have been waiting like 2 years to use that, by the way.

Standard pH i had been taught was 5.2. For may grain bill, I keep mash below 4.9 consistently. Grain in at the beginning, not at heat. Protein rests at the proscribed temps (according to enzyme manufacturer), and re-add and re-hold if I have to kick heat above 165 to spur gelitinization.

Oversimplified a bit, but them's the major pieces.