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Maxing out your mash tun?

Found a couple big beer recipes I would like to try and plugged them into the Can I Mash It calculator online which told me technically that I could. At 1:1 ratio I would need 8.9 Gallons of space and at 1:1.1 I would need at least 9.59 Gallons.

Is there any negatives to mashing at such a low ratio? This is Denny’s Old Stoner with 27lbs of grain and it seems absurd to me that that could fit in my 10G cooler. Also did some research and read Fred Bonjour’s article “How to Brew Big Beer” in which he suggested a really thin mash. Has anyone done anything this big in a 10G cooler? I’m skeptical.

Interesting question. I BIAB and totally maxed out my mash/brew pot capabilities this past weekend. 14.5lbs of grain with 5.5gal of water. I mashed with 1.5qt/lb and was completely maxed out. My eff suffered hitting only 66% when I can usually hit 75%+. I’m wondering if I used a lower water to grain ratio, like maybe 1.25qt/lb if my eff would have been better or worse. And if I did use a lower ratio, I could fit more grain, but I assume my eff would suffer even worse.

I developed the Old Stoner recipe using my 48 qt. mash tun at a 1 qt./lb. ratio. It was full to the top and insanely difficult to stir. When we wanted to do 10 gal. we’d use 2 coolers…still insane. When we went to a 152 qt. cooler (for 10 gal.) and a 1.5 ratio, it was much easier and the beer turned out better. With your 10 gal. cooler you might want to consider a 3 or 4 gal. batch.

I have gone as low as 0.8:1# and it works just fine. My typical mash is 1:1 and I get BH efficiency around 85-92%. I have 3 mash tuns and use the one which will get closest to maxing out so that I have a nice thermal mass as compared to the cooler.

[quote=“cam0083”]This is Denny’s Old Stoner with 27lbs of grain and it seems absurd to me that that could fit in my 10G cooler. Also did some research and read Fred Bonjour’s article “How to Brew Big Beer” in which he suggested a really thin mash. Has anyone done anything this big in a 10G cooler? I’m skeptical.[/quote]My smallest MLT is a 12 gallon and it is maxed out at 29 lbs so I doubt a 10 gallon cooler will hold 27#

I was just curious as to what others thought because it seemed difficult if not impossible in my mind. I may try it with a smaller batch at some point or wait for some friends to finish assembling their keggles they’ve had sitting around

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