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Old 05-08-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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Default How many Lbs is too much for Partial Mash??

I generally do not use more than 4 lbs of grain when doing partial mash.

Is this too much.. or could I use more?

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:23 PM   #2
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The more you use the closer to AG you get, I'd say your only constrain would be your equipment.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:24 PM   #3
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I think it's only limited by the space of your MLT. I don't think there's any law of nature that says "thou shalt not partial mash more than NN% of your fermentables." If you can fit more grain/water, then you should be ok I think. Maybe someone else has a different take though...

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:30 PM   #4
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It's too much for a PM when it's 100% of your grain bill. But then you'd be doing AG, so it's a problem you'd want to have

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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See I wish I could do all grain... but unfortunately I don't have the space or $ for it.

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:56 PM   #6
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It depends on your process. If you have AG equipment, use as much as you want.

I'm a stovetop guy with only one big pot. For awhile I was going on the "more is more" theory and trying to cram as much grain as possible into every recipe. The problem is that made my dunk sparging in a secondary 1.5 G pot much less effective (five pounds of grain doesn't leave much room for water there).

So for my system, if I use up to about 3 pounds of grain, I'll get about 60% efficiency. If I try to push that to 4-5 pounds, it drops pretty dramatically. So I end up using more grain and getting not that many more fermentables. And because I didn't figure this out right away, I had a couple batches I had to top up with some hastily-boiled EL DME just to get the gravity up to something appropriate. Which, depending on the mix of grains you're mashing, can have a pretty dramatic impact on the character of the final product.

I'm not suggesting there's a theoretical limit on how efficient your mash can be when you PM. There are plenty of other stovetop brewers on this board who seem to get great results even with far more grain. But it comes down to knowing your own process. Mine doesn't scale that great beyond 3.5 pounds, so when I'm building a recipe, that's what I shoot for.

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Old 05-08-2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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Use the Can I Mash It? calculator to find out how much grain you can fit in your mash tun/pot. Then use that much, and just make up whatever is left over with extract.

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Old 05-08-2009, 04:01 PM   #8
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I picked up a 5-gallon cooler for my PM mash tun. So, my main limiting factor is how much I can boil on my weenie electric stove.

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Old 05-08-2009, 04:16 PM   #9
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The more you can squeeze into your setup the better. If all you need is another large pot to increase your grain usage, it is definitely worth it and will pay for itself quickly considering the cost difference between grain and extract.

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Old 05-08-2009, 06:09 PM   #10
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At a certain point, it becomes what I call "Mostly Grain" (MG).

Most of by brews now are MG, with just a little corn sugar or DME added to make gravity.

I just brewed a for-real AG. It was a smaller batch, for the 3 gallon keg. Easier to do the smaller batches AG.

If you want a definition, then how about this:

"If no more than 20% of your fermentables are sugar or extract, it is a Mostly Grain batch".

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