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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Transition to PM brewing
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Old 11-27-2007, 03:50 PM   #1
cd2448
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Default Transition to PM brewing

So now I have fully 3 extract brews under my belt, I'm interested in taking the next baby steps up to a partial mash. I've read papazian's and palmer's stuff on this but there are some things I can't get clear in my mind, so I'm asking those (potentially stupid) questions here...

My main question is about equipment - do I need to build an MLT to do this? Can I use my brew kettle to do the mashing in (with a second large pot to boil/heat additional water)?

I have a limitation in that my boil is limited to 3-3.5 gallons right now by the size of the stock pot (23 qt). I'm thinking to go PM I'm going to need a wort chiller, right now I can get extract amounts down to temp in about 30 mins, but PM will have a larger boil volume from what I understand. Is that right?

I'm thinking I can do this without extra equipment, but want to go AG in time so might be worth building the MLT in any case.

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Old 11-27-2007, 03:53 PM   #2
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You can mash in your oven if you don't want an MLT. You also don't need the wort chiller with that size boil. One thing I've done with 3 gallons boils, is add one 7lb bag of ice to the wort. That much ice equals one gallon, putting me to 4 total. For the 5th gallon, I added chilled spring water and mixed. Combine that with the ice bath and I had no problems chilling in about 20 minutes. If you're gonna get the extra equipment, just go all-grain. Partial-mashing does require some less equipment but its pretty much just as much time as all-grain...

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Old 11-27-2007, 04:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cd2448
So now I have fully 3 extract brews under my belt, I'm interested in taking the next baby steps up to a partial mash. I've read papazian's and palmer's stuff on this but there are some things I can't get clear in my mind, so I'm asking those (potentially stupid) questions here...

My main question is about equipment - do I need to build an MLT to do this? Can I use my brew kettle to do the mashing in (with a second large pot to boil/heat additional water)?

I have a limitation in that my boil is limited to 3-3.5 gallons right now by the size of the stock pot (23 qt). I'm thinking to go PM I'm going to need a wort chiller, right now I can get extract amounts down to temp in about 30 mins, but PM will have a larger boil volume from what I understand. Is that right?

I'm thinking I can do this without extra equipment, but want to go AG in time so might be worth building the MLT in any case.
Here's your MLT. Read this article on Countertop PM in BYO.

http://www.byo.com/feature/1536.html

I just did my first PM with this method and it worked like a charm. Hit above my estimated OG.

As for the ice in the wort, I did this for my first 13 batches without infection, but every batch I thought I was on borrowed time. This past batch (PM, 3 gallon boil), I used a cold water bath (just water) for my brew kettle. I did this 3 times, changing the water every 5 minutes, then I submerged it in an ice/water bath twice, about 7 or 8 minutes each. Transferred to primary bucket and topped off with "back porch cooled" spring water (42F ish). I hit 62 degrees in about 25 minutes. Not bad.

I don't think I"ll ever put ice in the wort again.

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Old 11-27-2007, 06:59 PM   #4
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thanks dudes, that's a great article on BYO.

i can definitely do this and might even try to pimp out my remaining extract kit by adding a partial mash section and some base grains. it's an austin home brew ESB kit - i think maybe 2lb of 2-row pale malt could be added to the speciality grains already in the kit to good effect - i guess i'd be upping the fermentables, and therefore the ABV, get me into the process of PM, but stay more or less true to the style of the beer.

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Old 11-27-2007, 11:36 PM   #5
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i have a dumb follow up question. if i want to buy a 10 gallon cooler in preparation for a much later move to 10 gallon AG boils, i can still do PMs in that using the grain bag + batch sparge approach outlined in the BYO article, right? the space above the grains + water in the cooler won't have a negative effect on flavours and stuff, will they?

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Old 11-27-2007, 11:48 PM   #6
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No, if you're batch sparging, the grain bed depth doesn't matter. It's really, really big, though, so not really ideal for smaller batches, or for PM with only about 4 pounds of grain. Youd have to tie up the grain bag, so I'm not sure you'll get a good flow with the grains.

There are lots of ways to do it, though. I used to PM in my bottling bucket that I lined with a very large mesh bag that lines the entire bucket. I mashed in, put a sleeping bag around it, and drained through the bottling spigot. Then batch sparged the same way. When I was done, I lifted out the bag of grains and disposed of them. It was cheap (free) and easy and worked until I bought my 10 gallon cooler.

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Old 11-27-2007, 11:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cd2448
i have a dumb follow up question. if i want to buy a 10 gallon cooler in preparation for a much later move to 10 gallon AG boils, i can still do PMs in that using the grain bag + batch sparge approach outlined in the BYO article, right? the space above the grains + water in the cooler won't have a negative effect on flavours and stuff, will they?
It won't hurt anything, but it will add another piece of equipment to clean up. When i was doing PM, I like to use my boil pot in the oven with a grain bag like Soulive posted.
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Old 11-28-2007, 12:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cd2448
i have a dumb follow up question. if i want to buy a 10 gallon cooler in preparation for a much later move to 10 gallon AG boils, i can still do PMs in that using the grain bag + batch sparge approach outlined in the BYO article, right? the space above the grains + water in the cooler won't have a negative effect on flavours and stuff, will they?
It won't hurt anything, but it will add another piece of equipment to clean up. When i was doing PM, I like to use my boil pot in the oven with a grain bag like Soulive posted.
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Old 11-28-2007, 02:11 PM   #9
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I have a 48 quart Ice Cube and do PM's in-the-bag. Not a problem at all.

I've also bag-mashed in the kettle, using 2.5 gallons and no sparge. This also works fine.

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Old 11-28-2007, 03:28 PM   #10
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I would say the only thing you have to worry about would be mash temp. With all of the ambient space, it may drop a few more degrees than anticipated by the article. That's not a real problem, though, as long as you adjust for it at Mash in.

FYI, the 2 gallon bev cooler that I got ran me 8 bucks at Wally World.

Cheers,

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