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Old 10-26-2009, 01:49 AM   #1
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Default Partial mash vs extract brewing

Why do people switch from extract brewing to partial-mash brewing? Is partial-mash cheaper? Does it make better beer?

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Old 10-26-2009, 01:53 AM   #2
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Partial mash is kind of an in between step between extract and AG. Some people use it as a way to learn the AG methods, others don't have the space or equipment for AG so its the closest they can get.

You can make great beer with either method, but partial mash gives you more freedom and control over what goes into it

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Old 10-26-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
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I'm a partial masher who started as an extract brewer. I do it for four reasons (in no particular order):

1. To learn mashing/sparging/lautering techniques on a small scale
2. To add a "fresher" malt flavor to my beer (this could be debated)
3. To use grains that must be mashed, for which there is no extract available
4. To feel a bit more connected to the brewing process instead of just dumping ingredients together.

On the whole, I like it, but it is a bit more work and lengthens the brew day compared to extract brewing.

-Steve

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Old 10-26-2009, 02:06 AM   #4
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Partial mash is simply extract brewing with one extra step -- you steep a bag of grains at the beginning. Everything else is the same. With the wide variety of specialty grains available, adding this one very simple step (requiring zero extra equipment) can give you a lot of flexibility in terms of the flavor of your beer.

It really is a small leap. In fact, my very first kit was an "extract kit" with a bag of grains to steep. I didn't even know at the time that I was technically doing a "partial mash."

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Old 10-26-2009, 02:09 AM   #5
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I didn't know until now that I am a partial mash brewer. lol

The least grains I have used is 2 lbs.

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Old 10-26-2009, 02:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Partial mash is simply extract brewing with one extra step -- you steep a bag of grains at the beginning. Everything else is the same. With the wide variety of specialty grains available, adding this one very simple step (requiring zero extra equipment) can give you a lot of flexibility in terms of the flavor of your beer.

It really is a small leap. In fact, my very first kit was an "extract kit" with a bag of grains to steep. I didn't even know at the time that I was technically doing a "partial mash."
PM is more than Extract with steeped grains. It requires steeping at controlled temperatures and using grains with diastatic power (the enzymes to cleave starches into simple sugars).
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:27 AM   #7
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PM is more than Extract with steeped grains. It requires steeping at controlled temperatures and using grains with diastatic power (the enzymes to cleave starches into simple sugars).
Well, yes. You have to use the right grains, and you have to steep it correctly. That goes without saying (I thought). But it is correct to say that it only adds one step to the process, and shouldn't be seen as anything to be intimidated by. That was my main point.
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Well, yes. You have to use the right grains, and you have to steep it correctly. That goes without saying (I thought). But it is correct to say that it only adds one step to the process, and shouldn't be seen as anything to be intimidated by. That was my main point.
I think you are confusing steeping grains and a partial mash. They are different and although not overly difficult, PM does involve more
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:36 AM   #9
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Ok, so maybe I am not doing a PM. Anyone have a good link to a partial mash writeup to clarify?

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Old 10-26-2009, 02:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peripatetic View Post
Well, yes. You have to use the right grains, and you have to steep it correctly. That goes without saying (I thought). But it is correct to say that it only adds one step to the process, and shouldn't be seen as anything to be intimidated by. That was my main point.
OK, I agree with that.
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