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Old 09-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #1341
Sep 2011
Glendale, CA
Posts: 582
Liked 60 Times on 45 Posts

I have a 4 gal cooler and a 5 gal brew kettle and I've determined that I can mash up to 7.5 lbs of grain fairly comfortably. BeerSmith has been awesome for helping me calculate my recipes. I just enter in an all grain recipe and then drop enough of the base malt to bring the lbs of mashed grains down to about 7 lbs and then add in enough LME to get back to the starting OG. Then I usually fiddle with the amounts to get round measurements. Btw, this setup is big enough to do some low gravity all grain batches, like a cream ale or ordinary bitter. I do have to top up with ~1 gal, but no biggie. Mashing this much grain has made it necessary for me to learn about water chemistry though, and the EZ water calculator spreadsheet has been a huge help with this.

My suggestion would be to buy a 5 gal home depot cooler so you won't need to upgrade right away if you decide to go all grain. With my 4 gal cooler I only loose ~2 degrees over 60 minutes. One thing that really helped me retain heat is to rest 2-3 layers of aluminum foil on top of the mash. Good luck.

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Old 09-04-2012, 10:35 PM   #1342
Mar 2012
Buffalo, NY
Posts: 64
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

My suggestion is to actually spend the extra dollars on a 10 gallon water cooler. You won't regret it. The heat loss is not really an issue. As you may have read, it's all about just relaxing about the process. I did about 4 batches this way, then just went to 10 gallon mash size of AG. I'll never go back.

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Old 09-06-2012, 03:17 PM   #1343
Jul 2012
Halifax, NS
Posts: 21
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Thank you guys for the helpful hints. My only concern about to go with the AG is that it will take me a day to boil 5 gal. of mash on the regular electric stove. But anyways I will follow the advise and go with the 5 gal.

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Old 09-21-2012, 09:55 AM   #1344
Jul 2009
Posts: 14

I am doing my first partial this weekend, but it just so happens that my son broke my hydrometer. Should I push on or wait for a new one to arrive. This weekend will be the last chance I get for a while. Plus I'm pumped to give it a go. Should I give it a go?

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Old 09-21-2012, 10:39 AM   #1345
fermentinginpa's Avatar
Apr 2012
Douglassville, PA
Posts: 165
Liked 11 Times on 11 Posts

If you aren't going to be able to brew in awhile, I say push on! Not ideal but its better than not brewing at all.

Primary: Janet's Brown

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Old 09-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #1346
Nov 2009
Posts: 31

I'm back. Brewing a partial mash Cascadian Dark Ale and I'm using some wild hops for flavor. These were probably planted shortly after the civil war and were just rediscovered about a month ago. I have no idea what they are but they look, taste, and smell fantastic.

What a great day in America!

Has anyone else ever used wild hops? I figure I'll use a few ounces as I didn't dry them.

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Old 10-02-2012, 01:14 AM   #1347
Oct 2012
Miami, Florida
Posts: 26
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

It would be impossible to thank you too much for this. As an extract brewer it can always sound a bit daunting to take the next step, so thank you for showing me that I already have everything I need (just need a bigger bag and I'm on my way). Thanks to you my next brew will almost certainly be a PM.

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Old 10-08-2012, 05:07 PM   #1348
Apr 2012
Posts: 30
Liked 4 Times on 2 Posts

Great instructions Deathbrewer. Did my first partial mash this weekend. It was an English Pale ale with Fuggle Hops. I am calling it Mind the Gap Pale Ale. I used the Lowes paint straining bags and used the oven to maintain my mash temp. I discovered the hard way how long it takes my thermometer to register temp changes. My strike water hit 180 just after I put the grain in, so I just added ice and stirred like crazy to bring it down to 155. From what I could tell I hit just over 70% for efficiency. Not too bad for my first time I guess. It took me about 4.5 - 5 hours. And I ended up dropping my hydrometer right before the boil was done. Luckily I am only 5 minutes from my LHBS.

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Old 10-14-2012, 02:11 AM   #1349
Oct 2012
Cambria, California
Posts: 6

Hi guys. I'm a nubie to this forum as well as to home brewing. So please have patience with me here. I've only brewed four five gallon batches to date. When I brew I bring three gallons of water to 155 degrees then put all my grains in a grain sock and let them steep for 30 minutes. I then remove the grain sock, put it in a colander and let it drip back into the pot for a few minutes. I then add my LMEs and bring the water to 212 and start my boil. My question is, how is this different than partial mash brewing? And my second question is how do I determine the efficiency and when? Thanks for any info here.

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Old 10-14-2012, 02:59 AM   #1350
Jun 2012
Posts: 1

Drukin - here is some good info for mashing and steeping:



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