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Old 11-03-2009, 05:50 PM   #21
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Thank you all for your replies! I think it answers my question.But I'll stick to extract brewing until I'm ready to spend more $$ on more equipment...
You can do that, and make great beer. I don't want to tell you otherwise.

But, keep in mind that you can also do a partial mash without buying one more thing. When I first started, I used a large mesh bag and my bottling bucket for partial mashing. I lined the bucket with the bag, and added the grain and water. Stirred well, wrapped it up in a sleeping bag, and came back 45 minutes later. I drained it, then poured 2 gallons of hot water over it, stirred it well, and then drained into the brewpot. Voila! Partial mash.

You can spend as little (or as much) as you like on equipment and get the same end result.
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Old 11-03-2009, 06:44 PM   #22
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Usually the obstacle to full "all grain" brewing is the expense and difficulty dealing with full wort volumes. IOW, to brew 5 gallons of all grain, you have to start by boiling about 6.5 gallons of wort. You usually start brewing with a 3 gallon pot so that would be a pot upgrade. You also usually start by chilling your concentrated extract wort in a sink ice bath. That doesn't work well for a full 5 gallons so it requires a chiller.

The great thing about partial mash is that it's usually the closest an extract brewer can get to all grain without buying ANY new equipment. You are basically starting with lower gravity wort instead of water, when you put your malt extract in.

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Old 11-03-2009, 08:40 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by grove View Post
Here is another good link on partial mashing:

http://www.byo.com/component/resourc...artial-mashing

I used my new 3 gal Rubbermaid yesterday w/ a grain bag using this link as a guide and everything worked out fine. Using 4lbs of grain in the mash and 4.4lbs extract added at flameout, I did a 4g partial boil, topped off w/ cold water in the fermenter and got 5 gallons of 1.050 wort which is bubbling away happily now.

I don't think I'll ever go back to an all-extract brew.
The method in this link also works if you want to try all-grain. A three gallon cooler works perfectly well for 3 gallon batches of beer. I have started brewing this way and I love it.

The other side benefit of 3 gallon batches is not having to worry about blowoff. I have never come close to blowing off the lid of my fermenters with this method.
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Old 11-03-2009, 09:57 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by cell View Post
But I'll stick to extract brewing until I'm ready to spend more $$ on more equipment...
As has been said, the only thing you would need to buy is a large grain bag or a 5 gallon paint strainer (pack of 3 for about $5 at you local hardware store).

See the aforementioned DeathBrewer "Easy Partial Mash Brewing (with Pics)" and see how easy/cheap/good it can be.

I've used his method for 3 batches now - the last one mashing 7# of grain and adding just 2-1/2# DME at the end.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:19 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cell View Post
Thank you all for your replies! I think it answers my question.But I'll stick to extract brewing until I'm ready to spend more $$ on more equipment...
The expense for me to do partial mashes was getting a 2-gallon thermos cooler for around $10 (optional), and using the 5-gallon paint strainer bags for the grains that I also use for hops during the boil. But I can relate to the hesitation to spend more; the lure of brewing equipment can be a slippery slope!

I decided to do PM because it opened doors to a bunch of kinds of ingredients that need to be mashed, but aren't available as extract. A side benefit, though, is that my beers took an immediate quality leap. Using pure LME, I had never once hit my target final gravity, but I did with my first PM batch. Also, the beer was the tastiest yet and had head retention unlike anything I was getting from the extract beers. Oh, and the PM wort smells better than ever before!
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:26 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNW View Post
As has been said, the only thing you would need to buy is a large grain bag or a 5 gallon paint strainer (pack of 3 for about $5 at you local hardware store).

See the aforementioned DeathBrewer "Easy Partial Mash Brewing (with Pics)" and see how easy/cheap/good it can be.

I've used his method for 3 batches now - the last one mashing 7# of grain and adding just 2-1/2# DME at the end.
I think the thing that has kept me from going PM or AG is the ability to get a full boil on my stove. My brew pot is (I think) big enough for full wort volume, but I can't even get a full boil going with my extract set-up. At least not in a timely manner...
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:30 AM   #27
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I think the thing that has kept me from going PM or AG is the ability to get a full boil on my stove. My brew pot is (I think) big enough for full wort volume, but I can't even get a full boil going with my extract set-up. At least not in a timely manner...
You can still do three gallon boils with partial mashing. You're just replacing some of your fermentables with grain, instead of extract. You can boil a smaller quantity of wort if your stove can't handle five gallons!
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:30 AM   #28
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I'd do AG if I had the room, the equipment, and the time. I don't, so partials are a nice halfway point.

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Old 11-04-2009, 02:05 AM   #29
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Using pure LME, I had never once hit my target final gravity
I would suspect a problem with accurate measurements, as ME is engineered/lab tested to give X amount of gravity points per pound.

Do not, and I repeat "DO NOT" trust the markings on the side of your typical pail. The only way to get accurate measurements is to use a properly marked kitchen container or other quality instrument to set standards. Pour a properly measured one gallon (or quart, half gallon, whatever) into your pail/carboy and mark each graduation.
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Old 11-04-2009, 04:23 AM   #30
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You can still do three gallon boils with partial mashing. You're just replacing some of your fermentables with grain, instead of extract. You can boil a smaller quantity of wort if your stove can't handle five gallons!
But how long should it take before I achieve a rolling boil?
If it take too long, am I compromising something?
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