I am confused...is this partial mash?!?!

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dutch101st

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As I am tryin gto self-educate on all of this great homebrew stuff, I keep hitting a wall when trying to understand what sort of brewing I have been doing; don't get me wrong, I know what I am doing, just not sure how to define it.

I have been using a liquid extract HOWEVER I am also steeping specialty grains for 30-40 minutes in 1 to 2 gallons of water at 155 degrees, then "sparging" the grains in the mesh bag into my main boil water. I started out with pre-fab kits from my local brew shop (and the steeping and 'sparging' is in their instructions), but as I am now moving away from those and creating my own recipes, I am not sure if what I have been doing could be considered "partial mash".

What do you guys think- have I been doing partial mash?
 

eriktlupus

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extract with steeping=all fermentables come from the extract with color and flavor alteration from the steeped and 'sparged' grain

partial mash= most fermentables come from extract with the balance being made from a grain bill that includes some sort of converting malt (2row, 6row, or pilsener are the usual types) and some specialty grains and is also 'sparged', usually by dipping in a water bath or holding in a strainer and sprinkling water over


AG or all grain= all fermentables come from the mash and are sparged in container they were mashed in
 

ifishsum

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You're steeping - most specialty grains have no enzymes and contribute mostly color and flavor. A partial mash would include a pound or two of base malt like 2-row or Maris Otter plus your specialty grains, and maybe some other adjuncts that need mashing (like flaked oats or flaked wheat). The difference is not that much in procedure, you just need good temperature control and a proper water/grain ratio, and 45-60 minutes. With a partial mash you're getting a percentage of your grain sugars from the mash and reducing the amount of extract used.
 
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dutch101st

dutch101st

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You're steeping - most specialty grains have no enzymes and contribute mostly color and flavor. A partial mash would include a pound or two of base malt like 2-row or Maris Otter plus your specialty grains, and maybe some other adjuncts that need mashing (like flaked oats or flaked wheat). The difference is not that much in procedure, you just need good temperature control and a proper water/grain ratio, and 45-60 minutes. With a partial mash you're getting a percentage of your grain sugars from the mash and reducing the amount of extract used.
Cool...that clears that up...Thanks!
 

ifishsum

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NP - it's real easy to convert AG recipes found in the recipe section to partial mash. What I do is substitute all but about 2 lbs of the base malt with light extract, and use the other specialty grains/adjuncts as called for (along with the ~2 lbs of base grain) and mash in a nylon bag for an hour (ala Deathbrewer's Easy Partial Mash thread, which was my inspiration). Sparge, combine the mash and sparge water and start the boil, adding hops per the recipe. I add the extract in the last 10 minutes, cool and then top-up to recipe size in the fermenter.

The only other critical info is conversion ratios - 1 lb of base grain = .75 lbs LME or .6 lbs DME, and you need to plan your mash/sparge around your boil size, trying to keep the mash ratio of 1.25 quarts of water per pound of grain and sparging with a little more up to your boil size. I usually mash 4-5 lbs of grains in a 2 gallon round cooler, between mash and sparge it gives me 3 gallons for the boil pot.

Basically it's an all-grain half batch and I use LME to bump it up to 5.5 gallons. It gives you a lot of flexibility in recipes without making the full leap into AG brewing, and takes little more equipment than you probably already have. Feel free to PM me if you want more info.
 
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dutch101st

dutch101st

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I already have my MLT built as well as a liquor tank...so I will most likely skip partial all together and go straight to AG...as soon as I hone my brew skills with extract.

Thank you again! I do appreciate the help!
 
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