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Old 04-23-2006, 03:11 PM   #1
Jun 2005
Posts: 46

I was hoping I could get some feedback on starting my first mini-mash.

It is a Vanilla Oatmeal Stout and has 7.5lbs of grain, which from reading is a big mini mash.

Forgive me, but I'll be doing this with no special equipment (tuns) etc. but with utensils I use in my standard Extract setup. I'll be working to set up the proper equipment soon enough for subsequent mini-mashes.. then onto full grain in the near future.

I'm going to lay out my plans that I've read about on a few forums and was hoping someone could critique or tell me what I'm doing right or wrong with what equipment I do have. lawd help me. be gentle.

-- Bring 2.5 gallons to 170F, dump in my grains (no sock), stir for 3 minutes or so, remove the dough balls and maintain a temperature of 152F ish for 1 hour. Cover the kettle with 3 heavy towels to maintain fruity goodness and heat. Check every 20minutes, if it drops below 150, add a quart of boiling water.

-- Strain the entire thing through a collendar! Add the grains to a sock, and (heres where I need an option if I havent shocked and dismayed half of you), laddle 2gallons of 170F water over the grain sock

-- OR drop the grain sock into a 170F water and batch sparge. Removing the grain sock after 5min. then continuing on my extract process as normal.

A couple questions I did have....

I've read about Ph Balance with mashing. I'll be using bottled mountain spring water. Is Ph balance still a concern?

If laddling is the way to go. I also understood that if you have the equipment the sparging process with the right equipment can take a good 45min. But I'll be doing it by hand. I imagine if by hand it will take a good 10min. am I on the right track? or should I batch sparge.

I will be using an electric stove.

Am I close to working the mash process "ok" with what I have outlined? Or did I miss anything?

Appreciate your thoughts.

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Old 04-23-2006, 03:36 PM   #2
El Pistolero
El Pistolero's Avatar
May 2005
Houston, Baja Oklahoma
Posts: 3,585
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IMHO, option one will yield very poor efficiency...something on the order of 40% at best, which basically means you're steeping. Option 2 has the potential for yielding much better efficiency...I'd even go for two or three rinses to make sure you're getting all the sugars.
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Old 05-01-2006, 09:37 PM   #3
Apr 2006
Posts: 7

I have used Phil's Mini Lauter Tun, and I haven't drank the results yet, but that seems to be a good in-betweeen system... It's about 25$ Not sure about the efficiency, but kept it at about 155* for 45 minutes, then sparged with 180* which brought it up to about 165* and got about 2-3 gallons of wort, boiled for an hour, and then added the extract bit at the end. It's about 25$ at my local brew shop. You can do about 5 pounds of grain in it.

I don't have room or ability to do AG at the moment, maybe when time/space/$$$ permits. But for now, I'm more satisfied with this than extract only or dunking...

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