Full or Partial Boil?

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Heineken

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I just did my first partial mash this weekend using DeathBrewers easy partial mash instructions. Everything went quite well thanks to the details DB provided.

I used 6 lbs of grains and 3 lbs of DME. So the mash was for about 6 lbs total of wheat and munich grains.

I question though whether I could use a full boil vs. doing the partial boil per the instructions. I used about 2 gallons of water for the mash and another 2 gallons for the sparge. After boil off, I was left with 3.5 gallons of wort which I brought up to just over 5 gallons by adding cold water after I had it chilled down to 80 degrees.

So instead of doing the 2 gallons of sparge water, couldn't I have increase the amount so that I could have done a full boil - say double it to 4 gallons of sparge water. Then I would not have to add the cold water at the end. It would seem that I would have increased my efficiency using this method. I think my efficiency was about 62%.

Or would 4 gallons of sparge water with my 6 lbs of grain be too much water for conversion?
 

double_e5

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It wouldn't be too much water for conversion, becuase conversion takes place during the mash. You have to be careful how much sparge water you use because you can start extracting tannins if you over sparge.

In the future if you want to do a full boil, before the boil just top up to 6 gallons or whatever volume you want to get down to your post boil volume. You won't hurt a thing doing this.
 

malkore

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the real question is: can you rapidly cool the full 5 gallons post boil? If so, rock n roll!

and, why do a partial mash at that point? if your cooler/mash tun can hold more grain, go all grain baby!
if you miss target gravity you could still add a little DME to fix it, or if its close enough say 'screw it' like I do (and a lot of us do).

extracting tannins has a lot to do with pH, and over sparging could screw up your pH. You could go with a little more mash/strike water too, splitting the difference with the sparge water.
or do a double sparge.

I'm assuming you're batch sparging and not fly sparging too. batch sparge is pretty safe in terms of pH. fly sparging is the one that lends itself to possible pH issues, especially if you're sparging too fast or too much.
 
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