How thick is to thick of a mash

Started small on my first mash tun, 5 gallon igloo cooler. Now I am finding it hard to brew what I want, like Zombie dust. 13 # of grain.

Used “Can I Mash It”, and with a mash thickness of 1.25 qt/pound, came in at 5.1 gallons. Adjusted to 1.2 qt, and came in at 4.94 gallons.

What is the lowest you would go for a mash of 13#? I know the less water I use the more efficiency I will lose as well.

I’ve gone as low as 1.0 qt/lb when needed. Makes a bit more of a pain to break up the dough-balls of grain, but just have to be diligent and make sure all the grain mixes in well.

With proper sparging I don’t think you should suffer too much in the way of lost efficiency though.

+1 to the above. I’ve done 1.0 qt/lb as well. Don’t know if I would go much lower, as it’s a VERY thick stir. If you’re worried about efficiency, you could double batch sparge.

Awesome, thanks for the feedback!! :cheers:

I’ve done as low as 0.8 with good success; just more work.

The lowest I’ve gone was around 0.85 to 0.9 qt/lb. You couldn’t get all the grain wet with anything much lower than that. Maybe 0.8 qt/lb at best but that’s really really thick.

1qt for me is also as low as I have gone. +1 on the dough balls being more of a PIA. I have also filled my MT so full that it was difficult to stir without slopping some out. It is worth the work for a nice high gravity beer though.

Not sure if this is a help, but I use a cordless drill with a plastic paint paddle to stir mash. Mash is fully stirred in seconds. Double sparge is a good one, also adding extract to boil to bump gravity works.
Just .02 cents worth.

The kit was a gift, otherwise I would have cut back on the main grain and used some DME to bump it up.

Thanks for all of the input gents. Always appreciated.