I’ve made a few recipes with different ratios of Water to Grain for mashing in partial mash recipes. Some seem to have too little water such that the grain bag is hardly submerged. Others are higher. What is the optimal ratio for partial mash recipes specifically and do the different ratios accomplishing anything?

  • What ratios have you used? And, are you partial mashing separately from where the extract will be added (i.e. a different pot then you combine them?) Are you mashing with a grain bag?
    – brewchez
    May 6, 2019 at 17:57
  • I could never understand doing a partial mash. I get steeping grains for some flavor/color. It's really not that hard to do BIAB full volume mash with all grain. If space is a concern, just do extract. Sorry for the rant... May 6, 2019 at 18:00
  • @brewchez I’m mashing in same pot with grain bag. 1.9kg (4.2lbs) Grain to 5L (1.3Gl) soaking water with additional 6L (1.6gl) sparge water so ratio of 2.5 water to grain to soak in and 5.7 water to grain to mash in.
    – zatbusch
    May 6, 2019 at 18:19
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    @765tgs I completely understand! BIAB doesn't require anymore equipment than you have now and is likely to cost you a lot less if you have access to malt already. Malt extract is 4x the cost of malt in the USA. The only thing you need is a mesh bag and a 7+ gallon (26 liter) pot. The rest is the same. Give it some thought. May 6, 2019 at 18:27
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    @farmersteve that’s a great idea, Tx, I’m certainly going to look into it!
    – zatbusch
    May 6, 2019 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


The mash ratio is not really essential. Your ratio of 5 L to 4 lb grain is pretty typical. Mash at whatever ratio seems right to you, then add extract if necessary, with water to hit your preboil volume, then brew as normal.

BIAB is indeed a great option and is what I do on my stovetop. I can do up to 6 gallons in 4 large pots but typically I only brew 2 gallons (8 L) at a time anyway. Batch size is totally up to your personal preference as well.

There is no one optimal way to brew. We all brew differently. The end result is the same: good beer.

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