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SkewedBrewing 01-30-2009 08:20 PM

PM Brewing, How Simple is it Really?
 
Ok, So I've been doing extract with specialty grains for my entire brewing career. When I originally started brewing my LHBS had bulk DME so I would just bring a reusable container and he'd fill it for me, depending on what I needed, usually around 7 lbs for a decently high ABV (I was in college). This made buying extract one, easy (only one, reusable container) and two, cheap because he had it in bulk and would just measure it out (Not to mention the fact that its been three or four years so prices have changed).

Now, here in Chicago, my LBHS doesn't have any bulk extract and buying 2 3.3# can's of Liquid extract or two pouches of 3# Dry Extract is neither simple nor cheap.

After reading DeathBrewer's awesome posts on stovetop AG and PM (thanks, BTW) I want to, at the very least, move to PM. I live in an apartment and it makes sense to make a better brew (and its a little, a little), better on my wallet).

What I want to be able to do is buy a can or a pouch with 3-3.3# of extract for some solid fermentables and have the remaining fermentables be left to the grains.

If I understand correctly, I need two brew kettles. One can be 3-4 gallons and the other has to be at least 5 or 6. I mash my grains in the larger pot at 155 and heat my remaining sparge water in the other to 170. (I should mash with about 2 gallons and sparge with another 2.) I mash for 30-60 minutes and then drain. Then I pour the sparge water over the grains into the larger pot. This should leave me with a 3 gallon boil?

After the mash is complete i treat it like a regular wort and the extract, hops, etc.

My questions are, how much grain should I use to supplement the extra 3# of extract I would normally have and is this all you really have to do to start doing a PM?

Is this how other people do it? I appreciate anyone taking the time to read through this post and taking the time to help me out.

Another thing:
Just for my own clarification, a simple PM IPA might look like this (I just made this up...):

3.3 lbs. Munton Liquid Extract
4 lbs. English 2-row Pale
1/2 lb. Crystal 60L
1 oz. Kent Goldings
1 oz. Willamette
Safale 04

Etc...

:mug:

ArcaneXor 01-30-2009 09:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkewedAle (Post 1102407)
If I understand correctly, I need two brew kettles. One can be 3-4 gallons and the other has to be at least 5 or 6.

You just need one. I heat up my mash water in it and add to to my 2-gallon rubbermaid mashtun. You can then heat up the sparge water in the same pot. Collect the wort in a bucket and pour it back into the kettle once you are done sparging. Proceed as if you are doing an extract batch.
If you want to mash more than about 4 lbs of grain per batch, a larger (3 or 5-gal) mash tun is advisable.

The whole process is easy. There is plenty of software and online brewing calculators to tell you the temperatures you need to hit and how much grain to substitute for the extract.

DeathBrewer 01-30-2009 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkewedAle (Post 1102407)
If I understand correctly, I need two brew kettles. One can be 3-4 gallons and the other has to be at least 5 or 6. I mash my grains in the larger pot at 155 and heat my remaining sparge water in the other to 170. (I should mash with about 2 gallons and sparge with another 2.) I mash for 30-60 minutes and then drain. Then I pour the sparge water over the grains into the larger pot. This should leave me with a 3 gallon boil?

Close. If you are using my tea-bag method, you do not want to pour the sparge water over the grains. Mash in your 3-4 gallon pot and heat up the sparge water in your 5 gallon. After you mash, just drain the bag for a few moments and then transfer the bag to the 5 gallon sparge water for 10 minutes.

You want your sparge MASH to be at 170F, so this would involve heating the water closer to 180F.

If you let the bag drain properly you will probably have closer to 3.5 gallons pre-boil.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkewedAle (Post 1102407)
After the mash is complete i treat it like a regular wort and the extract, hops, etc.

My questions are, how much grain should I use to supplement the extra 3# of extract I would normally have and is this all you really have to do to start doing a PM?

Is this how other people do it? I appreciate anyone taking the time to read through this post and taking the time to help me out.

Another thing:
Just for my own clarification, a simple PM IPA might look like this (I just made this up...):

3.3 lbs. Munton Liquid Extract
4 lbs. English 2-row Pale
1/2 lb. Crystal 60L
1 oz. Kent Goldings
1 oz. Willamette
Safale 04

Etc...

:mug:

Off the top of my head, my dunkelweizen recipe uses 5 lbs of grain and 3 lbs of DME, coming to about 1.048. Your recipe would be lighter than this.

SkewedBrewing 01-30-2009 09:12 PM

Cool, thanks.

So I would just dunk the grains again in the second kettle to sparge and thats that?

ifishsum 01-30-2009 11:51 PM

Pretty much, I let them soak in the second kettle for 5 minutes or so, then tea-bag and drain.

You don't need 2 pots, I use a 2 gallon round drink cooler for the mash and then sparge directly in the boil kettle. The large grain bag fits in the cooler nicely, and it holds temperature for an hour with no problem at all, especially if pre-heated - and I don't need the oven.

The trickiest thing (at least the first time) is hitting your strike water temp so that when combined with the grains it drops down to your proper mash temperature. With the cooler setup and 4-5 lbs of grain I usually heat my strike water to 166 to hit a mash temp of 152-153.

DB's PM method is good, and it's really not much harder than steeping grains. You just have to pay more attention to water/grain ratio and mashing temperature.

SkewedBrewing 01-31-2009 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ifishsum (Post 1102913)
Pretty much, I let them soak in the second kettle for 5 minutes or so, then tea-bag and drain.

You don't need 2 pots, I use a 2 gallon round drink cooler for the mash and then sparge directly in the boil kettle. The large grain bag fits in the cooler nicely, and it holds temperature for an hour with no problem at all, especially if pre-heated - and I don't need the oven.

The trickiest thing (at least the first time) is hitting your strike water temp so that when combined with the grains it drops down to your proper mash temperature. With the cooler setup and 4-5 lbs of grain I usually heat my strike water to 166 to hit a mash temp of 152-153.

DB's PM method is good, and it's really not much harder than steeping grains. You just have to pay more attention to water/grain ratio and mashing temperature.

Thanks, I'll try this way on my next batch. You'd think that after three years of on and off brewing I'd have moved on from Extract. Can't wait to move on to the partial mash...

DeathBrewer 01-31-2009 12:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ifishsum (Post 1102913)
You don't need 2 pots, I use a 2 gallon round drink cooler for the mash and then sparge directly in the boil kettle. The large grain bag fits in the cooler nicely, and it holds temperature for an hour with no problem at all, especially if pre-heated - and I don't need the oven.

You definitely need two VESSELS. Whether you use a pot or a cooler is up to you. There are certain advantages to each.


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