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Old 09-18-2010, 09:56 PM   #1
jayL
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Default Greetings. First PM sanity check?

Hi all. I am new here, and new to brewing (for beer, anyway). I have one batch of extract brew under my belt, and a decent bit of small batch cider and mead experience. This forum has been an absolutely amazing source of information, and dare I say, peace of mind.

If you wouldn't mind, could you sanity check a partial mash version of an AG recipe that I snagged from an old post here?

The beer is an attempted clone of big sky moose drool.

Boil volume: ~3gal
Final volume: ~5.5 gal

Partial mash:
2 lb american 2 row
8 oz american crystal 20L
1 lb american crystal 60L
8 oz carapils
5.5 oz chocolate
2 oz black patent
8 oz flaked oats

This results in just under 5 pounds of grain for the mash. Is there enough two row in there? I am new to the mashing thing, but I am aware that you want as much base malt as possible for conversion. Would it be wise to simply steep the crystal malts, and make up the difference with more base malt? Is steeping and mashing interchangable for crystal malts?

I plan on mashing with a 3 gallon drink cooler, and am open to suggestions on the amount of sparge water I'll need to hit my 3 gallon target for boil. I plan to use a version of deathbrewer's wonderful method, but will be doing my mashing in a cooler, since I have a crappy electric stove. I plan to do the sparge in my brew kettle, then add the mashed wort for the boil.

According to what I have found using the beer recipator, it looks like I will need around 4lbs of DME to hit my target gravity of 1.058 or so. Does this sound right? I feel that my method makes sense, but I am open to any criticisms and suggestions. I'd consider myself lucky to pull this off without a hitch, and I'll take any advice I can get. If there is any more info I could provide to help you help me, let me know.

Thanks!



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Last edited by jayL; 09-18-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 01:57 AM   #2
throwbookatface
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My understanding is that steeping and mashing are interchangeable for crystal/caramalts - the sugars have already been converted by kilning the malts while wet, resulting in a "mash" as the crystal malts are being prepared. They are then dried, so the converted sugars should just flow into your wort solution as you steep. Your dark malts have little convertable sugars, so those a great for steeping. No idea about the oats, though - someone else should chime in as I've never used them.

I think you could easily make up the difference in 2-row with more extract, but I don't know about your oatmeal. I've always done partial mashes with more unique base malts like Maris Otter, Vienna, etc., but I'm not sure about the flavor difference between DME and 2-Row. I want to say I've heard most DME is a mix of 2- and 6- row, but someone else might be able to help more.

Mashing in a 3-gallon drink cooler sounds right, I think that should fit your 5 pounds of grain. However, how are you lautering/draining? If you're mashing in a grain bag and the cooler has a drain plug, that should be sufficient for a partial mash; If not, you can sparge in the aformentioned grain bag with a collander/strainer above the boil pot.

I think in partial mashing a super-efficient sparge isn't your #1 priority, as the DME should make up most of your gravity. When I do partial mash I aim for a normal mash, maybe a but more water if I can swing the room (say, 1.25+ qts per lb of grain, or 1.5+ gallons mash water in your case) and a gallon or so to sparge. I also leave the grain in the strainer/collander after sparging over a pan and throw the last of the wort that drips out into the boil once I get it going (probably adds nothing, but hey. It's still well-filtered wort.).

Since you mention your weaker stove, I assume you're doing a smaller partial boil. I might add only 1/4 to 1/3 of your extract at the beginning of the boil to make sure the wort is thin enough for A) full hop utilization, and B) to prevent extra darkening of your wort through scorching/caramelization, then add the rest of the extract with about 5-15 minutes left just to sterilize it. However, Moose Drool is pretty dark, so color shouldn't be a problem.

For my top-up water, I pre-boil about 3 gallons of top-up water the night before, cool it, then pour into sanitized plastic jugs in the fridge so my top-up water also cools my wort in the bucket. This means I don't have to cool my hot wort all the way down to 65 deg in an ice bath. 2 gallons of 90 degree water and 3 gallons of 40 degree water bring you to a 68.5 degree final temp in a closed system, and since those last 30 degrees or so are the longest to cool, this cuts down on my cooling time by a LOT.

Happy brewing!

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Drinking: Belgian Tripel, Caramel Blonde, a crappy estery IPA that fermented too warm
Enjoying: Lagunitas Lucky 13 Ale, Grand Teton Sweet Grass Pale Ale (a MUST-TRY!), Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, some Coors Light too.
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