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Old 10-25-2006, 02:01 PM   #1
Saxmk6
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Default This may be a stupid question!

As I am new to the brewing industry.......

I have been purchaseing recipe kits from Midwest. What is the difference between the kits and the all grain/partial mash?

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Old 10-25-2006, 02:59 PM   #2
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There are no stupid questions, just stupid people. just kidding!

Seriously,

the kits may be extract only, partial mash (extract w/ grains), or all-grain. If you're just starting out do the extract only or steep some grains along with using some extract. All grain is a lot more involved and is something I haven't been able to get into yet.

Post the recipe from the kit and we'll let you know what to do.

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Old 10-25-2006, 03:26 PM   #3
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As todd said, "kit" just means the seller puts everything in one box. it isn't a brewing method.

The basic methods are:

Extract - only dried or liquid malts & sugars
Extract with specialty grains - small quantities of grain are soaked (steeped) and the liquid added to the boil. No starch to sugar conversion occurs.
mini-mash (AKA partial) - specialty grains are mashed with some 2-row, extract is added to bring up the gravity. Starch to sugar conversion occurs.
All grain - specialty grains are mashed with 2-row Starch to sugar conversion occurs.

There are people who feel you aren't really doing all grain unless you have great tubs of grains in your brewing shed, a malting floor, custom roasting and toasting kilns and mill it yourself. You also have to travel to exotic places and capture your own unique yeast. Did I mention blowing your own glassware to be a REAL home brewer? NO, glass blowing has nothing to do with brewing.

If a kit has grain, hops & yeast in it, no extract or sugar (except priming sugar) it's all grain.

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Old 10-25-2006, 03:28 PM   #4
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Ok! So you are saying that if the kits that I brew are grain, and the malt is an extract, that is a partial kit?

I have not ventured out of the recipe kits at this point, as I have only brewed three times. I want to create my own recipes, but I need to learn more about this first.

When using the recipe kits, basically the grains are measures and crushed based upon the recipe design. When using grains, theoretically I can use any grains I choose and add the malt extract correct? Is it just a matter of creating what I want the grains to be?

How do I know how much grain to use when say boiling 5 gallons?

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Old 10-25-2006, 03:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxmk6
Ok! So you are saying that if the kits that I brew are grain, and the malt is an extract, that is a partial kit?

I have not ventured out of the recipe kits at this point, as I have only brewed three times. I want to create my own recipes, but I need to learn more about this first.

When using the recipe kits, basically the grains are measures and crushed based upon the recipe design. When using grains, theoretically I can use any grains I choose and add the malt extract correct? Is it just a matter of creating what I want the grains to be?

How do I know how much grain to use when say boiling 5 gallons?
Every recipe is different, it all depends on how much sugar (alcohol) you want in the beer. Read the directions that came with the kit. If there are grains in the kit, the directions should specifically say to steep the grains or to do a partial-mash or mini-mash (same thing).
I wouldn't worry too much about formulating your own recipes just yet, just worry about getting the basics down first and then you can go from there. Check out The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, 3rd Ed. This was my 1st book and it helped out alot. Also, if you really want to get into more detail about ingredients check out Designing Great Beers. I read this earlier this year and it is a lot more involved and most of the math equations were a little over my head but it was still good info.
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:57 PM   #6
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There is no such thing as a "stipid" question!! Really . . . there is not such a thing!!



Just kidding!

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Old 10-25-2006, 04:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd_k
Check out The Complete Joy of Homebrewing, 3rd Ed. This was my 1st book and it helped out alot. Also, if you really want to get into more detail about ingredients check out Designing Great Beers. I read this earlier this year and it is a lot more involved and most of the math equations were a little over my head but it was still good info.
... In addition to these fine publications, I would recommend The Homebrewers Companion by Randy Mosher. After I got very comfortable with the "how to" of brewing and various tips, tricks, and techniques (what you'll find in CJOH), I read the Companion and learned a TON about the science part of brewing. It's a perfect step into creating your own recepies and what each ingredient and step in the process does for the beer.

Just like Todd said, though, brew a few kit batches and really get your technique down first, then read the Companion and it'll seem easy to create your own recepies.

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Old 10-25-2006, 06:55 PM   #8
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Awesome! Thanks guys. I am really having a great time brewing. One step at a time to get comfortable. I do have the Papazian book, and I have read it. Most if it anyway. I just finished the intermediat section, but have yet to get into the advanced section.

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Old 10-25-2006, 07:01 PM   #9
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Another great read is - John Palmer's How To Brew. And it's free online!

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