This idea came to me while posting in this thread:
I think we as a team should figure out how to design and build a mini mash system that extract brewers could use to do partial mashes when they brew.
I want to say right off the top that this isn't intended to slam extract brewers. If you enjoy the hobby by doing extract only then by all means stay with it but if you are doing extract with steeped grains this method might not be much more difficult or take much longer. If it works it will make your home brew better.
We need input from everyone.
From the extract brewers:
- Would you be interested in a mini mash system?
- How much would you be willing to spend to build this system?
- What would you want this system to do for you?
From AG and experienced brewers:
-Would a mini mash system even work?
- What procedures and equipment would work best?
- Would the addition of a bit of pale 2 row help in the mash? (Maybe 1 or 2 pounds)
- What would its limitations be? (adjuncts may not work too well)
I think this system should:
1. Not be too costly to assemble so there is not a big expense to step up to PM.
2. Create about 2 to 3 gallons of wort. The malt extract could be added to this in a fairly small brew pot.
3. Be fairly simple to use and not extend the brewing session too long.
4. Strait forward assembly with parts that would be easy to get.
Brewsmith found this link for a 2 gallon cooler. I think this is a good start. for the mash/Lauter tun.
The cooler will need to contain 3 to 5 pounds of grain and the strike water needed to mash it. (5 pounds of grain would take about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 gallon of water)
A false bottom is needed to strain the wort. What would be best? stainless steel braided hose? A type of false bottom? a manifold made from copper pipe? Any other suggestions? (Thanks again Brewersmith)
What procedures would make this work best? I would say a simple infusion mash at about 150 to 155 degrees and batch sparging with 170 degree water. After the sparge is done the brewing session would be the same as pure extract.
If this would work, I think it would be a system for brewers who either don't have the time or don't want to hassle with doing a full all grain brew. It might be good as well for anyone who wants to step up to AG but wants to first learn through PM brewing.
I would love to get input from everyone.