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Mash water

What is the correct ratio for mash water? I have been using 1qt of water per pound of grain and I am not getting alot of volume from my first running s.

Did you take into account the amount of water absorbed by the grain?

I have a simple mash water calculator on my web site.

afaik 1-2 qt/lb is normal. Might want to visit Denny’s cheap and easy brewing
and look up John Palmers online book.


Whatever works for you is the correct ratio. One to 1.5 qt/lb is considered the norm. At the low end of the scale more water might be added to mashout and/or sparge to yield the proper amount of liquid for the boil. Don’t be slave to some brewing spreadsheet. If you need more water, put it in. :cheers:

I started all grain brewing late last year and have been playing around with what works best for us and our system. That said we’ve been getting good results around 1.5qts/lb while normally changing it up a bit to get equal runnings from the the first draining of the mashtun to the sparge water.

The recent trend has been to thinner mashes with a modest increase in efficiency. I typically use 1.5 qt/lb whereas I used to aim for 1.25 to 1.33.

Another aspect of mash thickness is its effect on mash pH. Depending on the alkalinity of your water, you may want to tailor the mash thickness with that pH effect in mind. You can read more about this on the Water Knowledge page of Bru’n Water.


I usually use 1.5qt/lb but have used between 1.25 - 2qt/lb depending on the recipe.

Depends on how you sparge, too - when I no-sparge I’ll go much thinner, 2+ qt/lb, then add the rest of the water at the end for a temp boost, but batch-sparging, where you want to keep the sparges roughly equal in volume, requires adjustment to the ratio depending on the weight of the grain.

I would consider a thickness as close to 2 qt/# as you can get, while getting the rest of your numbers to work out, to be preferred. That should help conversion and decrease the pH shift during the sparge that can extract too much tannin. I usually settle for something around 1.75 qt/#.

1 qt/# is way too thick for most systems.

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