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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Can you partial boil All Grain?
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Old 01-10-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
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Default Can you partial boil All Grain?

Hello all,

I could really use an all grain brewer's help. My dad got me an all grain pale ale kit for xmas, the only problem is that:

1. I have never done all grain
2. my boil pot is 22 quarts.

From what I have read, you should be starting wit (24qts) 6 gallons, plus head space for all grain. So here are some more questions....

1. Can I work it by adding in hot water to the boil as it reduces off?
2. Can I add LME or DME to increase sugar to match O.G. on the kit? I will probably be steeping the grains for a single infusion only (in my brew pot), with a ghetto fabulous sparge through a collander and water from a second boil pot. i.e. my efficiency will likely suck. Was thinking I could touch up sugar value with extract as needed.

Unfortunately I don't have all grain equipment and can't get the wife on board for it just yet (kegging system was a xmas gift).

The crappy part is the specialty grains and regular grains are premixed, so I can't even try separating them and using them as additions for extract brews. Well I could, but it would be a lot of "mystery" beers.

Suggestions? Words of wisdom?

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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Old 01-10-2011, 06:01 PM   #2
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Yeah you could fudge it a bit. You should read up on BIAB threads. (Brew In A Bag) That might be your best bet.

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Old 01-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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+1, BIAB is the way to go, at least for now: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

you can partial boil, it'll just reduce your sparge and give you a slightly lower efficiency. If you batch sparge you can get away with less sparge water though. I;ve done up to 12lbs (that was a mess tho) BIAB in a 20qt pot, so as long as the kit is under that you should be ok

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:03 PM   #4
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Thanks guys - much appreciated. My pops got me a grain mill too, so he thought he was doing the right thing. Maybe he was at teh end of the day

One other question. Do you have any idea how poor my efficiency would be steeping alone? I.e. if I just went with steeping and no additional extract, would have have a super low sugar wort?

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:07 PM   #5
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You need to convert the starches to sugars and then extract the sugars. This isn't accomplished through what you know as steeping.

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:10 PM   #6
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mashing is just a more temperature controlled steep involving enzymes from base malts. if theres base malt in your steep, you're mashing

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:38 PM   #7
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Gotcha - well I don't have any extract in the actual kit. i.e. it is an all grain kit, not partial mash. I was thinking that steeping at the prescribed temperature for the time, then sparging with 170F or so water would pull out the sugars and then add dme to bring up the O.G. (like I do with ciders)

Sounds like my understanding of all grain is poor, and that the steeping as I described it above with the sparge will not leach out the sugars I was hoping to get (would not convert the starches to sugars).

The kit I got was:
http://www.midwestsupplies.com/amari...grain-kit.html
Beer malt is domestic 2 row

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
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I do it all the time. I boil about 5 gallons in a 22q pot using fermcap to prevent a boil over and top off with 1.5 gallons or so. I can only get 5 gallons to boil on my stove so this seemed like a good alternative. I would boil as much as you can as it will also lower your hop utilization. I use beersmith to calculate the amount of hops I need and keep track of my recipes. I get between 69 & 71% efficiency since I got my Monster Mill. Prior to that I was getting about 65% while getting the grain crushed at my LHBS.

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:47 PM   #9
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Just steep the grains in a bag in 14-17L (1.25-1.5qt/lb grain) of around 154F water for an hour and mix on occasion. the water will need to be around 170F before adding the grain to achieve that temp - this is your strike temp. this temperature range will cause the enzyme activity that convert the starches in the grains into sugar. higher temps give more body, lower temps give more fermentables. after an hour, remove the grains and sparge (batch or fly) with about 2 gallons (all your pot will take) of 170F water. then boil as usual

I'd give this a read before you start if you wan to know more about the mechanics of mashing: http://www.howtobrew.com/section3/chapter14.html

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Old 01-10-2011, 07:51 PM   #10
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Milleniumsmoker - What kind of a grain crush should I be going for? I have always crushed them in the store, but since I have 10 lbs to do at home on a basic cheapy mill, I expect that I will have a work out. I wanted to get a monster mill or barley crusher, but until I go all grain, couldn't rationalize the cost.

I guess what I am asking is, did you get a better
efficiency from a light crush or more towards shredded? A mix of the two?

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