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Old 02-23-2007, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default Partial Mash and Steeping

I am going to do a partial mash, yet can only do 4lbs. of grain at a time. Part of the grain bill is 1 lb. of crystal 40L. Since crystal 40L needs only be steeped, could it be possible to steep, say, the sparge water with the Crystal 40L so as to be able to throw in another pound of grains that need to be mashed? Will it affect efficiency or flavor? Has anyone done this before?


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Old 02-26-2007, 01:35 PM   #2
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one bump....no one has any opinion on this?


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Old 02-26-2007, 01:39 PM   #3
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I don't quite understand your question- if you can mash up to four pounds, you can mash the crystal with the other grains.

What's the recipe? That would help.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:44 PM   #4
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I've been wondering the same thing, and I think I'm going to give it a shot when I brew tomorrow or Wednesday. It won't be very scientific--it's only my third partial mash, so I don't have a good handle on my average efficiency--but I can't imagine that a pound or maybe a half-pound of crystal could saturate the sparge water with so much sugar that it would have too much effect.

I'll try to keep some good notes for once.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:40 PM   #5
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Here is the recipe:

4.00 lb LIGHT Dry Extract
1.75 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 40L
1.00 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM)
0.50 lb Victory Malt (25.0 SRM)
1.50 oz Fuggles [4.50%] (45 min) Hops 11.8 IBU
1.50 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (15 min) Hops 7.1 IBU
1.00 oz Goldings, East Kent [5.00%] (1 min) Hops 0.4 IBU

I was wondering, instead of putting the 1 pound of Crystal 40L in the mash, to steep it in the sparge water so I can ADD another pound of 2-row to the mash. I would then be able to reduce my DME requirements.

Is this a no-no?
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:48 PM   #6
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OK, now I understand! Are you only have enough space to mash 4 pounds? Well, my first suggestion is to use something else for your mini-mash! I used to use my bottling bucket (and still will, if I have a mini-mash). You can line it with a big (huge!) grain bag/mesh paint strainer, and throw tons of grains in there. Wrap it with a blanket or sleeping bag and mash away! It's not ideal, but it does work.

You could do what you're thinking, of course. Crystal doesn't need to be mashed. But you won't reduce your DME requirements by much- you'll probably only get in the neighborhood of 50% efficiency. So, maybe reduce your DME 1/3 of a pound? That's a wild guess, I"m sure someone who can calculate that would be able to help you figure that for sure, though.
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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Hmmmm, I was hoping I would at least be able to get 70% efficiency. That would mean more than 1/2 lb. of DME. While not a tremendous amount of savings, over time it can add up. Hey, we still cut coupons to save 50 cents!

What I need to know is if the water chemistry changes drastically (via steeping crystal 40L in the sparge water) so as not to get a good enough sparge. Anyone with that type of info?
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Old 02-26-2007, 08:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mk010101
Hmmmm, I was hoping I would at least be able to get 70% efficiency. That would mean more than 1/2 lb. of DME. While not a tremendous amount of savings, over time it can add up. Hey, we still cut coupons to save 50 cents!

What I need to know is if the water chemistry changes drastically (via steeping crystal 40L in the sparge water) so as not to get a good enough sparge. Anyone with that type of info?
Even in AG, I'm happy to get 72-80%, so I think a mini mash would give you quite a bit less. However, I"m certainly no expert in this.

Crystal does not really give up any fermentables, so no, that part is ok. You won't change the ph or anything that much. You can steep the crystal, and then mash the grains if you want.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:06 PM   #9
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I don't understand the problem. Your recipe has a total of 4.25 lbs of grain. That's only .25lb more than your capacity. Are you using a 2gl cooler? That's what I use for mini-mash and I've been able to do 4.5lbs at a 65%+ efficiency. You should be able to throw your crystal in with the rest of the grains. Or, am I missing something here?

Edit: Oh snap! I get it... Duh! I personally wouldn't worry about adding extra 2-row, I don't think it's worth the hassle of steeping & mashing. Or like Yooper said, just use a larger vessel.
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Old 02-26-2007, 09:45 PM   #10
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If the point of partial mashes is to get better beer, why not try to utilize the mash to the maximum possible? I haven't done a PM brew before, so maybe I am off the wall, but I guess I don't see the harm in steeping the crystal 40L while heating up the mash water. You have to heat it anyway, so let it steep while the mash is, uh, mashing! As long as it doesn't affect the efficiency, flavor, etc. I think it worth a shot.

Yes, I will be using a 2 gallon cooler with a grain bag. Eventually, I will make a 3 or 5 gallon vessel dedicated for this purpose, but that will be later in the fall.


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