Mini-mash = partial mash. Same exact thing. It's just mashing some of the grain, and using extract for some of the fermentables.
Mini is kind of a misnomber- it can be as big as you'd like. If you have room for 6 pounds of grain, then you'd need less extract. If you only have enough room for 2 pounds of grain, then you'd need more extract. I've made some excellent beers with partial mashing.
did a wit as a mini mash with 2.5 lbs of grain but the last couple of "partial mash' kits were two lagers with 5 lbs of grain and was just looking at AHS and they have mini kits with 2.5 lbs of grain so was wondering if this was a newer slightly different form of partial mash or somewhere in between. thank you for replying so quickly
I guess you could think of mini and partial as the same but I could think of a reasonable nuance that might make one description better than the other. Partial is generic term for a batch where some portion of fermentables are derived from mashed grain and some from malt extract. For most PM brewers, the size of the mash has a lot to do with the size limit of either the MLT or brew kettle. I might say that a mini mash is still a PM, but the mash of grain is only as large as it has to be to extract from grains that must be mashed like flaked oats. That would be like a pound of 2-row and a pound of flaked oats.