Less grain for on the grain mash

Any hardware used for mashing, fermenting or aging.

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PoppaW
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Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by PoppaW » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:40 pm

If the on grain mash is more efficient then does anyone try to use less grain? If you normally use 2lbs per gallon of water can you get away with less? I’m not cheap but I try to be efficient. Lol

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Hambone
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by Hambone » Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:29 am

Less grain = less fermentable sugars. 1.6-2 lbs (or even slightly more) provides enough sugars to produce a reasonable amount of alcohol by volume in a mash.

It takes as much energy to run 10 gallons of 1% abv wort as 8% wort. So less grain is actually less efficient....
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StillerBoy
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by StillerBoy » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:52 am

Hambone wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:29 am
Less grain = less fermentable sugars. 1.6-2 lbs (or even slightly more) provides enough sugars to produce a reasonable amount of alcohol by volume in a mash.
And add to this a very important value of doing an all grains.. " Less Flavor "

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jonnys_spirit
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:25 am

Grain = alcohol so a mash with less grain / gallon is going to produce less low-wines. Is it necessarily accurate that those low wines have less flavor if you run it to the same ABV?

I don’t have first hand experience of that result yet.

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seabass
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by seabass » Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:16 am

It depends on what you're using as your baseline. Many here just go with a simple lbs/gal ratio. If you're actually building a recipe based on your measured efficiency, then yes, you will use less grain with on grain ferment. What are you aiming for? If you are aiming for a specific starting gravity, then assume 100% efficiency for on grain ferments.

It is important to use the right efficiency in your calculations. Most home brew calculators assume 70-80% efficiency. If you don't change that, you'll end up with 10+% abv when you're aiming for 8%.

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Twisted Brick
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by Twisted Brick » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:11 am

.
All good advice above on lbs/gal and eyeing efficiency percentages.

One of the biggest increases in yield (efficiency) you can control comes from proper grain crush (ie: meal vs cracked corn). This goes hand-in-hand with monitoring water and mash pH, temp control and ferment conditions. There's nothing wrong with a strictly-controlled mash/ferment that yields 9%ABV, that all in, is more energy and time-efficient than using less grain for a 7% wash. Some go higher than 9% but for my system this works out perfect as my upper limit.
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jonnys_spirit
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by jonnys_spirit » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:59 am

What are your guys thoughts on a lower AVB mash - say 5-7% where the goal is less corn so that you can fit a better ratio of clear wash in a boiler and the slop into the thumper for a better ratio of liquid:solids kind of situation in the processing of a single ferment?

Cheers,
jonny
————
i make stuff i break stuff
water into whiskey into water
just getting started in home distilling - been drinking for decades
16g copper pot still, 10l alembic, and a column or two
————

seabass
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by seabass » Tue Aug 04, 2020 1:03 pm

jonnys_spirit wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:59 am
What are your guys thoughts on a lower AVB mash - say 5-7% where the goal is less corn so that you can fit a better ratio of clear wash in a boiler and the slop into the thumper for a better ratio of liquid:solids kind of situation in the processing of a single ferment?

Cheers,
jonny
I'm all for it if it simplifies the process. It certainly won't harm the product. Personally I would aim as high possible in that situation. I normally aim for 8%, so 7% isn't much of a change.

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Hambone
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Re: Less grain for on the grain mash

Post by Hambone » Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:20 pm

I shoot for 7-8%, but I do no boil corn so have to grind fine and squeezing is a reality. That’s one great thing about ujssm: much more can be sucked out with a filtered hose. In fact I usually don’t squeeze ujssm because it’s less worth the effort.
Good judgement is the result of experience.

Experience is usually the result of bad judgement..

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