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Old 09-05-2007, 05:56 PM   #1
Cos
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Default How much better is partial mashing?

My first couple batches of extract brewing are good, but not exactly what I'm looking for.

Will partial mashing make a big difference?

If I have an extract recipe with grains for steeping, do I just use the same amount of grain for a partial mash?

Can I substitute a certain amount of grain for liquid malt or do I need to look for partial mash recipes?

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Old 09-05-2007, 06:23 PM   #2
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PM can make a difference but it is hard to say for sure without knowing exactly what you didn't like about the extract recipes you made. What is it that you don't like?

In its most basic form a PM will replace some of the extract with 2-row and keep the specialty grains about the same. Then you mash all the grain rather than just steeping it. I would recommend finding a PM recipe at first rather than trying to alter an extract recipe. Once you have a feel for the mechanics you can start experimenting.

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Old 09-05-2007, 08:14 PM   #3
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PMing has made all the difference for me. I did a 5 gal converted cooler that can hold up to 11-12 pounds of grain. I actually mash a lot more than a regular partial mash, but it's cheaper and I have the capability to. My extract Nut Brown is good, but has the "twang." My American Wheat is full flavoured with a much better mouthfeel (mashed 5.5 lbs grain, added 3 lbs WDME).

I also like the challenge of the mash: will I hit my O.G.? Oh no, my temp's not hitting, what can I do? What if I mashed at 148 rather than 154? What if I decocted? It's a tool for me to become a better brewer. I would think extract would get boring after a while.

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Old 09-05-2007, 08:52 PM   #4
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Yes, doing a PM batch will make a difference. Some kits have you steep 1 pound or so of grains before adding extract, but with a PM you maybe steeping up to 2 or 3 times the amount of grain, which contribute to a better tasting beer without that extract 'twang'.

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Old 09-05-2007, 09:20 PM   #5
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Honestly, though, if you're going to go through all the steps of partial mash, you might as well go all grain. It's the same procedure, except you get ALL your sugars from mashing, not just some of them

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Old 09-05-2007, 09:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Brewer
Honestly, though, if you're going to go through all the steps of partial mash, you might as well go all grain. It's the same procedure, except you get ALL your sugars from mashing, not just some of them
Except you might need more equipment, a bigger brew pot, and for many of us, a new burner if your stove isn't power full enough for AG. If you want to go AG, fine, but brew how you want and don't let people convince you that there is only one way to brew. I, like many who brew from extract or PM, used to explain that I use partial mash because I don't have the equipment or space for AG- it's almost like a knee-jerk reaction to explain why I prefer my method. But then I realized that I am an adult who can do whatever I want and shouldn't feel obligated to explain myself to people and neither should anyone. Sorry if I went off, but it is really frustrating that whenever someone asks about PM over extract, people inevitably answer the question "niether," which was not the question asked. This might be hard for many to swallow, but AG is not for everyone, and it is not the only way to brew. I used to want to eventually go AG, but then wonder if I'll act like an elitist if I do. I am seriously not trying to troll here, but I feel on this and many forums, that if I even mention PM, so one will tell me that I'm wrong and I should go AG, despite that I did not ask that question, which makes me hesitant to even bring the subject up. It's even happened a lot at the LHBS, and I'm to the point that I will be downright rude when another customer chimes in with advice I never asked for.
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Old 09-05-2007, 10:11 PM   #7
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If I move into a small apartment, I am going PM. No way is the equipment size worth the loss of space.

Right now I have a lot of space though, so AG it is. But that can change....


As for PM vs Extract, it's a no brainer. PM teaches you recipe formulation. It's almost as good as AG. It takes up less space.

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Old 09-06-2007, 12:32 AM   #8
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Hi, Cos.

>>Will partial mashing make a big difference?<<

It will make some improvement to body and fullness.

>>If I have an extract recipe with grains for steeping, do I just use the same amount of grain for a partial mash?<<

Not really. Most of the time, the steeping grains are "specialty" grains used to add flavour.

>>Can I substitute a certain amount of grain for liquid malt or do I need to look for partial mash recipes?<<

You may if you wish. Extracts generally have 46 sacc points, and grains center-up at about 37 sacc points. Figuring your PM mashing effticiency to be ~70%, then you could use about 1.75 lb grain to replace 1 lb of extract in the recipe, or you may look for PM recipes.

As you can see, if grain costs most of us ~ 1.50 a pound, and extract costs ~2.25 a pound, extract brewing is actually cheaper at 70% eff.

The reason we do it is flavour and control.
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I read your post,Michael, and I know your frustration when it seems like someone is offering an unsolicited opinion. But, really, eveyone here is just wanting to help, and they offer as best they can. Most AG brewers do not look at extract brewing as being less than just brewing. Extract, PM, AG it's all part of the same package. I've been brewing since 1974, Yet, I don't think I am any more elitist than a guy doing his first extract brew, and if he or she has a question, I'll give my best answer, or just say "i don't know, let's find out", because "oldtimers" want to advance the hobby and help if they can. This BB has a lot of experienced, kind, helpfull members.

Cheers! ..........

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Old 09-06-2007, 01:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newell456
Except you might need more equipment, a bigger brew pot, and for many of us, a new burner if your stove isn't power full enough for AG. If you want to go AG, fine, but brew how you want and don't let people convince you that there is only one way to brew. I, like many who brew from extract or PM, used to explain that I use partial mash because I don't have the equipment or space for AG- it's almost like a knee-jerk reaction to explain why I prefer my method. But then I realized that I am an adult who can do whatever I want and shouldn't feel obligated to explain myself to people and neither should anyone. Sorry if I went off, but it is really frustrating that whenever someone asks about PM over extract, people inevitably answer the question "niether," which was not the question asked. This might be hard for many to swallow, but AG is not for everyone, and it is not the only way to brew. I used to want to eventually go AG, but then wonder if I'll act like an elitist if I do. I am seriously not trying to troll here, but I feel on this and many forums, that if I even mention PM, so one will tell me that I'm wrong and I should go AG, despite that I did not ask that question, which makes me hesitant to even bring the subject up. It's even happened a lot at the LHBS, and I'm to the point that I will be downright rude when another customer chimes in with advice I never asked for.

Sorry I blew up. Have a homebrew and chill out.
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:17 AM   #10
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Default Full boils

I think the biggest factor I have experienced in making better homebrew is full boils. The first full boil I ever did was an extract with steeping grains and I noticed a big difference.

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