partial miniature micro brewery..

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Nov 9, 2012
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Hi guys, new to this site but been brewing extracts with steeping and a couple of partials on the belt.. just wanted some feedback or start a discussion around partial brewing. I have a mate who is well into all grain and has won awards but he has shot down my most recent escapade saying there is no real point to doing it the way i want.
So...let me describe what i'm doing first of all... I'll have a 3 tier setup with a 7.6ltr pot at the top as my HLT (hot liquor tun...which is really just going to be hot water). second tier will be my cooler mash tun using the copper pipe with slits method. obviously mashing will be as per normal with about 2kg of grain, then sparging as you would to get the goodness leftover. the cooler has a tap which empties into a 15ltr stockpot with a 2 ring burner to boil the wort. the boil will happen as per normal but the tin of extract i will use will be added just before the end of the boil to keep the gravity of the boil down. ( i don't know why but people say high gravity boils r bad). So thats the methodology i've got going on. The grains i'll be mashing will be munichs and and viennas other types of bases to make up the fermentables plus the addition of specialties for flavour and colour. Now...Tell me, is this a bad idea?? All the stuff ive read makes sense for me me to do this as a bit of a space saving/short of algrain mess idea. He was mainly concentrating on the clarity of beer problem but there is obvious methods to counter that. he also couldn't comprehend why i would go to that much trouble using base malts when i could just use a tin. the answer i told him was to get more complexity and freshness and character from using partial grain. please comment and tell me what u think...if u can be bothered reading this... Thanks guys!!:fro:

Sir Humpsalot

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Nov 26, 2006
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I don't understand why you don't just go all grain. Malt Extract is expensive.

Compare grain @ 70 cents / lb to extract at $3/lb. You can buy 4.5lbs of grain for each pound of extract. The cost savings really add up fast if you brew a lot.

Also, it's such a small size. Why not get into 5 gallon batches? There are lots of advantages to that. Most equipment is designed around 5 gallon batches (or bigger). carboys, buckets, ingredient kits, etc.

You mention the All Grain mess, but it's really not a big deal. You just dump it all into a trash bag and rinse out the MLT... the same thing you'll have to do with your 3 tier setup anyway.

You could do BIAB. That would take your cost way lower and involve less specialized equipment than you are proposing with your oddly-sized 3-tier set up.

When I got back into brewing, I always kept some DME around to do partials, or bump up the gravity of a batch if I didn't reach my OG. But now that things are dialed in and I am no longer using old malt, it seems rather pointless. It really kills your cost savings.

Why not just buy a turkey fryer, a 7 gallon kettle, and do BIAB? Why mess with the 3-tier system? If you are going to create something that requires dedicated space, you should at least get some time or money savings out of it. Otherwise, I agree with your friend, it seems rather silly.

But then again, this is a HOBBY, and if you think this over-sized partial mash system will make you happy, then go for it... but I don't see what you're gaining beyond just doing partial mashes on the stove, or going with BIAB.