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Old 06-20-2012, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Little help with my first partial mash brew, and yeast starter.

Hello folks,

So in a couple of days I will be starting my third brew ever. So far I've brewed two extract kits, one with specialty grains, and this will be my first partial mash brew. I'll be making Northern Brewer's Oatmeal Stout kit.

I've done little more than open the box and I've already noticed one mistake!

I was planning to make my (first ever) yeast starter tonight, and because I didn't properly read up on the subject before ordering, I ordered Munton's Plain Dark DME for my yeast starter.
Now this might be fine for this particular beer (I think...?) but if not, the kit contains a pound of DME.
Could I just dip into that for my starter?
How much should I take? I've got a half gallon mason jar to pitch my starter into.

Any help is much appreciated! ...and I'm sure I'll need a lot over the next few days, haha

Thanks!

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Old 06-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
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You are fine using the Munton's Plain Dark DME for your starter. Just cold crash the starter for 24 hours before you start your brew day. Then just decant the beer off the top of your starter and pitch into your carboy.

Cheers!

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Old 06-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Thanks, Matkon!

...one more thing I forgot to mention!
I don't have a mesh bag for my grains, but I do have a double mesh strainer, think that should suffice?

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Old 06-20-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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I've never done a partial mash brew, so someone with more experience in that area will have to answer. Sorry.

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Old 06-20-2012, 02:45 PM   #5
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You can get the bags at Home Depot. Or use the strainer, but it will be easier with the bags. I don't recommend getting any type of DME except EXTRA LIGHT OR PILSEN DME for partial mash beers. Using the dark DME for a starter won't be the worst thing in the world, but I wouldn't use the dark DME for your actual beer.

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Old 06-20-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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@bobbrews,
Okay, I'll look into getting some cheesecloth or something then. Thanks!
I realize that about the DME now, wish I had known when I placed my order... Sorta jumped the gun on that one, no biggie tho.

So what would be a good thing to do with the leftover dark DME since I have it on hand? Any recipe suggestions?

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Old 06-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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dark dme is fine for the starter, really the last thing to worry about
use 3/4 cup dme per liter of water
a one liter starter is fine, i'm assuming the OG is around 1.060
don't forget to boil the water/dme to sanitize

the goal with the partial mash is to eventually separate the grains from the wort. how you do this is up to you. you could use a fine mesh strainer, but a muslin bag would be easier. to use your strainer, you'll need to do your mash and then pour it through the strainer into some other large vessel. don't underestimate the challenge of holding the strainer while pouring the pot. so you need two large vessels instead of one. you could use your fermenting bucket for this task. sanitation doesn't matter at this point, it will all be boiled. anyhow, while the first wort is in the bucket, you could do your sparge in your main brewpot for 10 mins or so. preheat the water if at all possible so that it doesn't take forever. if you have a second brewpot or even large stockpot, it will come in very handy. some of these kits don't call for a sparge, but even a cold water sparge is much better than nothing. to accomplish this, sparge the grains with sanitized water in some sanitized vessel while you're brewing and then add this water to the fermenter at the end.

note: i just looked up the recipe. you really don't need a starter if you're using the yeast from the kit. but if you want to do it, more power to you. i'm assuming you got the wyeast 1945 neobritannia

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Old 06-20-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
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Use the rest of it up for your starters. Like I said, it's not the biggest worry since you'll be decanting much of the starter wort prior to pitching the yeast in your main wort.

If you use cheesecloth, be sure to rinse it first. It's not as clean as the nylon bags.

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Old 06-20-2012, 10:59 PM   #9
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What do hardware stores sell these nylon bags for?
I mean like, in what aisle around what type of items are they typically found?
I'll pick one up if I get the chance

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Old 06-20-2012, 11:40 PM   #10
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You're looking for a paint strainer bag. It's in the painting aisle, typically near the rollers and roller trays. Be careful, the first time I bought them I accidentally bought one gallon bags instead of five gallons bags. If your hardware store has the same bags mine does, the packaging is tricky - even though it shows a five gallon bucket on the label it says "one gallon" at the bottom in small print.

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