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Old 12-04-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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Default New to partial mash

So far I've completed about 5 extract brews, but I'm looking at moving towards partial mash. I wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions on techniques/recipes/equipment I might need. Thanks for the help!

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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Are you brewing smaller batches indoors? What are your kettle size(s)? Typical start boil volumes? What styles do you want to start brewing via Partial Mash?

-Familiarize yourself with BIAB (Brew-In-A-Bag).
-Get used to doing full volume boils with no top off water.
-Learn a bit about the attributes of certain grains/malts.
-Give more specifics. Ask questions.

Partial Mash recipes give you additional flexibility & complexity without the need for more equipment.

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #3
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I agree with starting by looking into the BIAB methods. It doesn't require any additional equipment besides a mesh bag (though a second kettle can help speed things up if you plan to sparge/rinse).

Regarding full volume boils, I would consider that to be an entirely separate question from PM vs extract-only.

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post
Regarding full volume boils, I would consider that to be an entirely separate question from PM vs extract-only.
Not as separate as you may think since many beginner extract brewers are used to following kit instructions to top off with additional water.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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If you haven't already, I'd suggest reading this thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/easy...ng-pics-75231/

Very clear instructions, shows just how easy it can be.

After years of only doing extract + steeped grains, I recently did two partial mashes. It was much easier than I thought it would be, and I feel kind of silly for not trying it earlier.

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Old 12-04-2012, 02:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbrews View Post
Not as separate as you may think since many beginner extract brewers are used to following kit instructions to top off with additional water.
Using top-up water does not determine whether it's PM or not. If you get some of your wort from a mash, it's PM whether or not you do a full boil.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #7
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You can get into partial mash with minimal new equipment to purchase if you want to jump right in and get started, then you can upgrade later if you want. All you really need is a 3-gallon beverage cooler and a 5-gallon paint strainer bag. My process is basically as follows:

-Get strike water heating in your brewpot.

-Put paint strainer bag in cooler and pour in grains. I do about 6 lbs of grain because I’ve found that my cooler can accommodate this much using 1.25 quarts strike water/lb. It’s the same amount of time and effort whether you mash 2 lbs or 6, so I figure I might as well mash big. Having the cooler close to full will also increase its thermal mass, so it will hold temp better.

-Pour in about half of your strike water and stir well.

-Pour in the rest of the water and stir well again. I also like to lift up the bag and dunk it a couple of times at this point to make sure I get some water in between the bag and the sides of the cooler.

-Take your temp, adjust if needed, and put the lid on. The cooler should hold temp pretty well for an hour.

-I like to take the lid back off and give it another stir when I have about 15-20 minutes left in the mash, but that’s probably not necessary.

-During the mash, heat up your sparge water in your brewpot. I just use 2 gallons for 6 lbs of grain.

-At the end of the mash, lift the bag up and let it drain back into the cooler. Give it a squeeze and get most of the first runnings out of there.

-Leave the first runnings in the cooler and place the bag of grains in the brewpot with the sparge water. Stir the grains in the bag and dunk it a couple of times. Burner can be off during the sparge, as you're really just rinsing the grains and don't need to be continuously applying heat.

-Let grain bag sit in sparge water for 10-15 minutes and pull out and drain/squeeze.

-Add your first runnings and proceed with boil.

I won’t make any claims that my method is better than any other, but it works extremely well for me and requires no equipment you probably don’t already have except the cooler. Also check out DeathBrewer’s excellent partial mash how-to that chicken linked to.

Have fun- you definitely won't regret moving on to partial mash!

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeg View Post
Using top-up water does not determine whether it's PM or not. If you get some of your wort from a mash, it's PM whether or not you do a full boil.
I never said that. I said the majority of extract brewers are topping off (where as the majority of PM and AG brewers are not). So if you're not used to full volume boils, try to get used to it for the purposes of making better beer... whether brewing Extract, PM, or AG. You certainly don't want to hold onto that poor method for AG beers.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #9
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Ok, but as I said, it's a separate issue from moving extract->PM.

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:36 PM   #10
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We have a common misunderstanding with one another. I noticed the same thing in this thread...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/extr...ml#post4636904

...where you later went on to finally understand and "Like" my post.

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