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Old 08-27-2011, 02:41 PM   #1
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Default Just realized...

...that I can't make the Rye Pale Ale I bought ingredients for because of equipment restrictions. This was going to be my first foray into partial ("mini") mash. However, my ****ty electric stove can barely get three gallons of wort to a boil; a full six-gallon job would be impossible. So aside from going out and buying a propane burner, what should I do with these ingredients? How can I convert this minimash recipe into a extract + steep job? Or is there a way I can still make this recipe but on a smaller scale that my stove can handle?

6 lbs Briess DME Golden Light
2 lbs flaked rye
1 lb American two-row pale
8 oz crystal 20L
8 oz Cara-Pils/dextrine

3 oz Cascade whole @ 60 min
1 oz Cascade whole @ 15 min
1 oz Cascade whole @ 1 min
1 oz Cascade whole @ 7 days dry hop

Any suggestions would be welcome. I was really excited to make this one and now I'm bummed.

Jay B.

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Old 08-27-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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Do it in 2 batches? Might take a while though.

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Old 08-27-2011, 03:12 PM   #3
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No problem man. Just take your grains and mash them in 1.5 gallons of water at 150 degrees or so. If you have another large pot you could be heating water in the meantime great, but not essential. If you don't, take your grain bag out, pour the wort into something, and heat a little over two gallons of water to 168 degrees. Swish your grain bag in there to "sparge" it, then add the wort from your minimash, do the recipe as normal and top off. It wont be perfect, but it will be good.

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Old 08-27-2011, 03:30 PM   #4
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A mini-mash doesn't require the ability to do a full boil. In fact, for your 4# of grain, you probably only want to use 1.5 gal or so of strike water, not 6 gallons. You can definitely still do your minimash and fit it into a volume your stove can boil.

Alternatively, if you want to do a full boil, you can split your wort across two pots and boil simultaneously on two burners. It'll work just fine.

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Old 08-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #5
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Why not mash in 2 gallons of water and add top off water after the boil?

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Old 08-27-2011, 04:45 PM   #6
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I had the same problem and just did a concentrated boil and added top-up water at the end. It always came out fine and you can chill that top-up water to almost freezing (like a slushy) and it will cool your boiled wort very quickly.

That said, if you really want to do full boils (and that's all I do now that I have a chiller), go on CraigsList and buy a used turkey fryer. I paid $30 for one and thats what I use as a boil kettle. Just get one that's at least 30qt so you can boil at least 6.5 gallons and end up around 5-5.5 gallons post-boil. Scrub the snot out of it with hard-bristle brushes and dishwasher detergent to get all the old oil out and you'll be good to go. The crappy burner that came with mine will take 6.5 gallons of cold tap water up to a boil in less than 15min.

---Chris

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Old 08-27-2011, 04:51 PM   #7
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2 brewpots work better anyways.

Boil what you can and top off.

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Old 08-27-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
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One thing I can definitely recommend if your going to do this, is don't bother with hop bags. Its going to be messy, but just put the hop pellets right into the boil. Your going to need all the hop utilization you can get with a boil that small. Also, don't add the extract till the last 5 minutes of the boil. Its already fully processed, and the viscousity of all that extract in three gallons will inhibit your hop utilization as well.

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Old 08-27-2011, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwarbiany View Post
A mini-mash doesn't require the ability to do a full boil. In fact, for your 4# of grain, you probably only want to use 1.5 gal or so of strike water, not 6 gallons. You can definitely still do your minimash and fit it into a volume your stove can boil.

Alternatively, if you want to do a full boil, you can split your wort across two pots and boil simultaneously on two burners. It'll work just fine.
Boy I'm glad I posted this. I'm pretty sure I was adding the 6 lbs of DME into my strike water calculation like a dummy. 4 lbs of grain x 1.5 quarts water = 6 quarts, or 1.5 gallons. That makes much more sense.

Thanks guys! Brew day is tomorrow!
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:10 PM   #10
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I don't see an issue at all.

You want to mash the grains in about 1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain anyway- that's 6 quarts of water. Keep that at 150-160 for an hour, then lift the grain bag out of the liquor. Pour 170 degree water over it, until you hit your boil volume.

Bring to a boil. Add the hops as indicated in your recipe. When you add the 1 minute hops, take the pot of the heat and stir in the extract. Place back on the heat to bring the wort back up to a boil (to sanitize the extract) and then immediately chill the wort as soon as you hit a boil.

Add the chilled wort to your fermenter, and top up to 5 gallons with cold water to hit 65 degrees. Pitch yeast, and you're done!

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