Going partial mash to all grain

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

BmillaTheBrewzilla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
232
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago
Thanks to the awesome information found on HBT and the very helpful tutorial by Deathbrewer, I went from brewing extract to partial mash pretty quickly. I enjoyed my first couple extract batches, but man, the move to partial mash made my brews so much better. And way more fun. The next step would obviously be to go all grain. I'm not sure I'll be able to do this anytime soon, though, because I live in an apartment. My landlords also live in the building and are very protective of THEIR yard and garage.

So here are my questions for you all grain brewers (especially those who have also tried partial mash):

1) How big is the jump in quality from partial to all grain?
2) Do any of you live in apartments and still pull it off?
3) Does anyone regularly do stove top all grain? What do you think of it? There is another Deathbrewer tutorial on this method and it looks interesting, but obviously different from the more traditional all grain brewing techniques that I've read about.
 

Token

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
522
Reaction score
22
Location
UP of MI
Deathbrewer's stove top all grain is what I've been doing to transition from partial mash to all grain before I get my mash tun built. It works very well.
I brew in my kitchen, and I do best with half-batches because it's tough for my stove to get a big pot of wort to a boil.

Definitely try Deathbrewer's Stove Top method even if you have to do a half batch. It'll get you in the swing of all grain.
 

ThreeRatBastards

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
195
Reaction score
9
Location
St. Louis
I don't qualify for questions 2 and 3 because I don't live in an apartment, and I haven't done AG Stovetop, but I have recently switched from Partial Mash to All Grain. I personally found there to be a good sized jump. I find that any time I brewed with extract I got the "twang" flavor that is talked about so much on these boards. Since I switched to All Grain that flavor is no longer in my beers, which to me is a big win.
 

Got Trub?

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
1,538
Reaction score
12
Location
Washington State
I would go all grain for one (or both) of two reasons:

1) I love the brewing process and can't get enough of it and all the toys associated with it
2) I want to brew beer styles/recipes that require the control all grain brewing provides

If you are using quality ingredients you should be able to make awesome tasting beer. Beer that can go head to head with all grain recipes in competition without anyone knowing the difference. If you are using quality ingredients and are having problems with off flavours etc you have a process problem that may or may not be solved by going all grain.

My 2c worth

GT
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
4,877
Reaction score
260
Location
Keller, Texas
I live in an apartment and I can do it.

I do a lot of 1 gallon batches as experiments, test runs for new recipes, and cider. I always do these BIAB because there's no sense in using the MLT for a few pounds of grain. I can mash in a 1.5 gal pot and then sparge and boil in the kettle.

I also do 3-5 gallon batches. I do use the MLT and then just boil in the kettle. With 3 gallon batches I can get a rolling boil pretty easily on an electric stove. Anytime I do a 5 (or more) gallon batch, I break it up into two boils and then add them together. It's time consuming, but I don't know if I could get 6-7 gallons of water boiling on a stove. I've never tried.

If you want to go AG and full boil for 5 gallon batches, you might need to build a heatstick to assist the stove in reaching and maintaining a boil.
 
OP
BmillaTheBrewzilla

BmillaTheBrewzilla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
232
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago
I'm still doing partial boils with my partial mashes. Reverse- what is a heatstick?!?

As for the extract twang that I've read so much about- I really haven't noticed it. My friends have really been enjoying the brews. My first partial mash batch was a Bell's Two Hearted clone. I poured an actual Two Hearted and my clone and had my fiance try both. She loves Two Hearted, but she said she thought the homebrew was even better. So what I'm saying is- I'm happy with my current process- but if I could do all grain effectively in my apartment... that would be the dream. I may try it in some smaller batches... Thanks for the advice everyone.
 
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
4,877
Reaction score
260
Location
Keller, Texas
I'm still doing partial boils with my partial mashes. Reverse- what is a heatstick?!?
If you jump up to AG you won't do partials, so that's something you'll have to consider. You can easily make three gallon full boil batches on a stove with a five gallon brew kettle. It just depends on how much/how fast you drink and what your equipment can support...

You'll find a huge thread explaning how to build heatsticks in the DIY area. Basically, it's a PVC pipe with a heating element attached to it. You stick it in the wort and it heats up. You just plug it in and it gets really hot. It's an easy option if you can't -- or don't want to -- use propane and your stove won't meet your needs.
 

wcarter1227

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
436
Reaction score
17
Location
Austintown,OHIO
Thanks to the awesome information found on HBT and the very helpful tutorial by Deathbrewer, I went from brewing extract to partial mash pretty quickly. I enjoyed my first couple extract batches, but man, the move to partial mash made my brews so much better. And way more fun. The next step would obviously be to go all grain. I'm not sure I'll be able to do this anytime soon, though, because I live in an apartment. My landlords also live in the building and are very protective of THEIR yard and garage.

So here are my questions for you all grain brewers (especially those who have also tried partial mash):

1) How big is the jump in quality from partial to all grain?
2) Do any of you live in apartments and still pull it off?
3) Does anyone regularly do stove top all grain? What do you think of it? There is another Deathbrewer tutorial on this method and it looks interesting, but obviously different from the more traditional all grain brewing techniques that I've read about.
Ive done 12 batches so far using deathbrewers stovetop AG Brew in the bag method.

Timewise it takes the same amount of time if you were doing a partial mash, you still have to mash and then do a dunk sparge, if anything i have less of a boilover due to the hotbreak doing this method and ditching the dme.

I live in an apartment and i have a stove that has a pretty decent burner, it takes about 45 minutes to get 7 gallons of wort boiling.

I brew at least once a week, sometimes twice if i can, ive gotten it down to a system that the day i bottle, i start a batch and once i hit mash temps i let it be and bottle a batch. then when i am done with boil and it is cooled down i just pitch on top of the yeast cake.

clean up is a breeze, its just 3 pots, a collander and a few odds and ends vs having to clean out a mash tun.

:mug:
 

Token

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2007
Messages
522
Reaction score
22
Location
UP of MI
I live in an apartment and i have a stove that has a pretty decent burner, it takes about 45 minutes to get 7 gallons of wort boiling.

clean up is a breeze, its just 3 pots, a collander and a few odds and ends vs having to clean out a mash tun.

:mug:
Good to know about the time it takes to get wort boiling; I was in a bit of a panic this past weekend trying to get mine going on the stove!

I've been eyeing up new stoves with the "power burners" on them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with my kitchen stove, but those power burners are very tempting to a lady brewer!

Hmmm, I was looking forward to using a mash tun. Now I'm not so sure.
Ya, I'm still excited to get it going. I'll have more options this way. :D
 

joex444

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
45
Reaction score
4
I do 5 gallon batches indoors all-grain. I use a traditional converted cooler as a mash tun. I did try the brew-in-a-bag method for 2.5 gallon batches and found it to be a pain with about 8lbs of grain. But it really was a pain because I only had a 5gal pot. Sort of said enough of that and went with the cooler and larger pot simultaneously.

It really isn't a problem to do this stuff in an apartment. I have a 40qt aluminum pot and it is big enough to fit over 2 burners (I use the 5 gallon stainless pot for heating water because it has a lid). It will boil 8 gallons, as I found out last week. It is not unreasonably slow doing that, but with a 6 gallon boil it is about a half hour from mash temperatures to boil.
 

Dauntless

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
83
Reaction score
2
Location
Quebec city
1) How big is the jump in quality from partial to all grain?
2) Do any of you live in apartments and still pull it off?
3) Does anyone regularly do stove top all grain? What do you think of it? There is another Deathbrewer tutorial on this method and it looks interesting, but obviously different from the more traditional all grain brewing techniques that I've read about.
1. Haven't noticed any.
2. More carboys in my room than rooms in this apartment.
3. The stove here is pretty powerful so boiling 6 gallons of wort is a breeze, especially when I turn it on the second mashing is over. I use Deathbrewer's method with a couple of 1 gallon sparges in a brewing bucket till I fill the brewpot. Effeciency usually sits around 75%.
 
OP
BmillaTheBrewzilla

BmillaTheBrewzilla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2010
Messages
232
Reaction score
1
Location
Chicago
1. Haven't noticed any.
2. More carboys in my room than rooms in this apartment.
3. The stove here is pretty powerful so boiling 6 gallons of wort is a breeze, especially when I turn it on the second mashing is over. I use Deathbrewer's method with a couple of 1 gallon sparges in a brewing bucket till I fill the brewpot. Effeciency usually sits around 75%.
How big is the pot that you using for boiling 6 gallons of wort? I'm looking to buy a bigger pot- right now I have two 5 gallon warriors.

By the way, I brewed a partial mash last night and got about 80% efficiency from my grains! I calculated the amount of DME I'd need beforehand based on the the 65% efficiency I had been getting with previous batches. I guess adding the grain in several increments and then stirring up made a big difference. Anyway, using the same amount of DME I had been planning on using I ended up with a higher OG (1.061) than I had planned on. My PA became an IPA! :ban:
 

SamuraiSquirrel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
579
Reaction score
10
Location
Aurora
I do not live in an apartment. I have a buddy who I brew with. He lives in a one bedroom apartment and has a full all-grain setup (propane, 15 gallon pot, cooler mash tun, chiller, etc.) On top of that he has a two 5.0 cu.ft freezers lol.

I have never done partial mash. I went to all grain after 2 extract batches. I have a garage full of brewing stuff. It's stuff I've collected over time though.

All you NEED to add to go all-grain is a cooler mash tun. I vote DO-IT!
 

AdamWiz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2011
Messages
352
Reaction score
20
I don't live in an apartment, but I don't have full-boil capabilities due to my budget(plus I really like the convenience of staying in the kitchen). I had been doing mini mashes using the GREAT thread by Deathbrewer. My reasons for wanting to go AG were not issues with extract beer quality(AG purists can say whatever they want, but a well made extract or PM beer CAN be just as good as AG as long as the extract is reasonably fresh. I really think that the huge quality jump people report is just a matter of them being better overall brewers by the time they go AG - even if they had stayed with extract, their later brews would obviously be better than their earlier ones just due to improved technique). I just wanted more flexibility to use different grains and more complex recipes, plus mashing grain is a lot more fun than stirring in a bunch of extract. Doing an extract brew just feels like you're "putting together" someone else's beer rather than truly making your own. So I came up with a way to do 3 gallon AG batches and 5 gallon "mostly grain" batches on my stovetop without needing anything additional other than a simple cooler MLT I made for about 30-40 bucks. I mash about 6-8 lbs. of grain and get the rest from a late-boil addition of DME. I use another unmodified cooler I already had to hold sparge water, so I don't even need a second kettle. I just had to get over the notion that I absolutely had to brew 5 gallons every time.
 

Latest posts

Top