Originally Posted by alexavery
I think the most specialty grains I've used so far is about 1.5 lbs. But I don't see why I couldn't steep more. I think I've got the temp control down pretty well while steeping. I move my pot on and off the burner to keep the temperature within a couple degrees either way of the target (which for me has been 155 based on my recipes from Midwest).
So thanks for the help...but now I think I am a little confused as to what partial mash is. I've been steeping grains at a constant temperature for my extract recipes. So is partial mash really that similar? Maybe just steeping a little longer than a typical extract recipe??
Yes, the technique for steeping is very much like the technique for stovetop mashing. The main difference in technique is controlling the temperature for a set period of time and the amount of water you use. Because you need to use basemalt in a partial mash, there should always be some basic 2-row or 6-row malt to help convert the others. A good rule of thumb is one pound of base malt for every pound of specialty grains as a minimum. Also, it's important to mash in the correct amount of water. Too much water means the ph would be too high- so use 1.25-1.5 quarts of water per pound of grain.
Sometimes in steeping, people add the steeping grains to the water and then bring it up to 150 degrees. In a PM, it's important to get the water up to temperature (about 5-6 degrees higher than the desired mash temp) and then add your grains. Make sure that they are "loose" in the mash water. If you're using a grain bag, that's fine but don't pack them tightly. Use a couple of bags if you have to. You want the grains to be thoroughly in contact with the water. Stir well. Then for sparging, you can either pull out the grain bag and "tea bag" it in 170 degree water in a separate pot, or lift up the grain bag in a colander and pour the 170 degree water over it. You can use up to .5 gallons per pound, to get to your boil volume.
Deathbrewer has an awesome picture tutorial, and it's helpful to "see" it in action.
For your recipe above, I'd do just as Poindexter suggested.