partial mash

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

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

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2009
Reaction score
Richmond, VA
I have started to try partial mash beer making and my local homebrew shop supplies muslin bags to mash the grains in. The beer I just made was an english nut brown ale. It had 3lbs 14 oz. of grain. Is that too much grain to put in one bag? I ask this because during the mash the water was around 150-155 degrees. I was using a digital thermometer with a metal probe. I took the probe and stuck it in the bag of grain and the temp went way up! Over 190! Could that be because of all the grain being held together by the bag? Is that going to release the tannins? If I split it into 2 bags would that help? Or could I do a mash with the grain in one pot at 150 degrees with no muslin bag and stain it while pouring it to another brew pot and sparging my strainer bag with the grains in it with 170 degree water? Thanks for any help!
Welcome :)
I just did a partial mash this past weekend, my 2nd, from Midwest supplies.
They give you a muslin bag with the "kit".
I just tie the bag closed so that there is enough room for the grains to expand,
Bring the water up to temp, I think I went to 160, and then add the grain bag.
I also stuck the probe from my digital into the sack, and never saw higher than 158, and that was after I had to add heat because the "water was down to 145.
My "kit" had 4# of grains and there ws still plenty of room.
How much water/lb did you use?
I don't think the grains could have gone higher than the water, unless your water was that hot, actually hotter, in the first place.
The water was only about 150. I was using about 1 and a half gallons of water.Thanx for the info. Going to do a belgian wit tomarrow. We will see how that one goes
The grain has to be loose in the bag. I've got a 18" by 36" bag, that I originally purchased for making berry ciders.
I had a similar problem hitting temps my first partial grain batch. I put the grains in at 170 and saw a 7 degree temp drow. I was amazed at how the temperature kept steady at 163 without any heat on it. Just cover the top, put the burner on low or off and let the grains do their magic.
Thanks for the advice! I picked up an extra muslin bag to split the grain up a little more to prevent that spike in temp. hopefully. going to start a belgian wit this evening! I am sure that it will turn out great!
A great tip I learned here was to use a nylon paint strainer bag. They are in the paint section of a hardware store. They are meant for 5 gallon paint buckets, so you are pretty much guaranteed not to run out of room. The grain can float around, and you can stir it up fairly easy.

Latest posts