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Old 10-14-2006, 09:39 PM   #1
dancingbarefoot
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Default Accidental venture into partial

Uh-oh, what have I gotten myself into? I went to the LHBS today in search of an extract kit for a porter. Ended up leaving the shop with a kit, alright, but it's got a bag o' grain in it. Gah! What have I done? At the time, I was thinking, "Sure, that's no problem. I can just find some directions for a partial mash and that'll be a piece of cake." I must've been insane!

The more I read brewing books and websites, though, the more complicated it seems. I've been reading John Palmer's "How to Brew" site, of course, but how do I know if this grain needs mashing or just steeping? (It's the British porter recipe on this page.)

I tried searching, but there are just too many search results to sift through. Can someone direct me to a foolproof, step-by-step guide to doing your first partial? This looks fine for steeping, but again, how do I know if I need to steep or mash?


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Old 10-14-2006, 09:47 PM   #2
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That is indeed a partial mash recipe. You can tell because there is pale 2-row in it, that's always the biggest indicator.
As far as easy step by step instructions... Hmm, well you're basically doing a tiny AG batch without the complicated sparge. You'll have a lot to read if you don't know the process. You're on the right track with how to brew, another awesome resource is Papazian's complete joy of HB.
Not the easiest thing to read about, pick-up and execute all in one afternoon I'm afraid...


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Old 10-14-2006, 09:52 PM   #3
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I use secondaries. :p
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Quote:
1 lb. British pale malt
1 lb. medium crystal malt
10 oz. chocolate malt
1/4 lb. Special "B" malt
2 oz. black patent malt (optional)
OK... this might turn into a big steep vs. mash thread, BUT....

The chocolate, crystal, and patent are grains that EVERYONE will agree can just be steeped.

The religious debate will happen over the pale malt and the special B grains.

You CAN steep them. After all, the first thing you do with AG batches is STEEP THE GRAIN IN WATER. If you steep at the proper temp (155ish) this will activate enzymes in the grain and the starch will start turning into sugar. If you steep it long enough, all of the starch will be converted to sugar. You have MASHED grain. Woooohoooo!

Now, it's just a matter of getting the sugar rinsed out of the grain. (SPARGING). You could skip this rinsing step. All it means is that your gravity will be a few points lower. SImple steep will extract roughly 40% of the sugar available in the grain. Proper sparging will get you up in the 70%'s for extraction.

SO....

Put everything in water (about a gallon) that is heated to 160 or so.
The 160 temp will drop due to adding cold grain to the water.
Let it sit for an hour at this 155ish.
Remove the grain from the water.
(Optionally, pour hot water slowly over the grain to rinse more sugar.)
Heat to boiling.
Add extract.
I think you know it from here....

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Old 10-14-2006, 09:52 PM   #4
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OK I thought I had some advice, but now I'm second guessing myself. So now I have to ask instead: if this is a kit, doesn't it say what to do with the grains on some directions somewhere? I haven't started partial mashing yet, but I'm sure there's someone one here that knows how

Geez you guys are fast!
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman Cheyco
That is indeed a partial mash recipe. You can tell because there is pale 2-row in it, that's always the biggest indicator.
As far as easy step by step instructions... Hmm, well you're basically doing a tiny AG batch without the complicated sparge. You'll have a lot to read if you don't know the process. You're on the right track with how to brew, another awesome resource is Papazian's complete joy of HB.
Not the easiest thing to read about, pick-up and execute all in one afternoon I'm afraid...
Thanks!

See, I just feel like a moron reading the ingredients list, because what I actually have in the bag from DeFalco's is one tub of liquid malt, a bag of grains, a vial of yeast, Bru-Vigor, and two little packs of hops pellets (also some dextrose, but of course I won't need that until bottling time). I'm assuming some of the malts are combined together already? (Sadly, it didn't occur to me to ask at the shop, because they just put everything from the kit in a bag and I didn't think to question. D'oh!)

I don't necessarily need to do it all this afternoon, although I might if I can figure out how not to screw it up. We've got a mini-vacation from school so I have a nice, long weekend to get this done. The liquid yeast can just chill in the fridge (literally!) until I'm ready.
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:54 PM   #6
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I use secondaries. :p
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwinofjoni
OK I thought I had some advice, but now I'm second guessing myself. So now I have to ask instead: if this is a kit, doesn't it say what to do with the grains on some directions somewhere? I haven't started partial mashing yet, but I'm sure there's someone one here that knows how

Geez you guys are fast!
"kit" doesn't have a real definition here, does it? It's certainly an ingredient kit, it just lacks directions for what to do with them.

-walker
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:54 PM   #7
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Does it have a nylon bag for the grain to mash in? If so just keep the grain bag in about 2 gallons of water on the stove. Use a thermometer to keep the temp at 152 for an hour. Then procede like normal with the extract.
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:56 PM   #8
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You guys beat me
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwinofjoni
OK I thought I had some advice, but now I'm second guessing myself. So now I have to ask instead: if this is a kit, doesn't it say what to do with the grains on some directions somewhere? I haven't started partial mashing yet, but I'm sure there's someone one here that knows how

Geez you guys are fast!
You would think! There are, in fact, no directions included. I didn't even think to ask about directions because every other time I've been there, directions were included. Why would this time be any different? Here's where making assumptions bites me in the ass.
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Old 10-14-2006, 09:57 PM   #10
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Walker's post is more helpful for your situation, but I still strongly suggest reading up on what actually happens in the mash, so you can better understand it and make better beer.

PS Walker has you mashing too high, I wouldn't go above 153F for that recipe!



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