A few threads ago I learned that to utilize some of the more fun grains and their flavors in my extract beers, I would need to do a mini-mash or I would get a lot of non-fermentable and undesirable starches in the beer.
I found this insulated one gallon Coleman “Teammate” cooler at Bi-mart for $9.97.
The inside of the lid says “not for hot liquids”. Nah! I filled it with boiling water and left it for an hour…no problem. Also, drill a small hole in the lid opposite the spout for a vent and plug the vent in the top of the spout to prevent hot aeration when pouring.
Perfect for a grains-in-a-steeping-bag mini-mash. Put in the bag 4 oz. of, say, crushed Melanoiden malt (diastatic = 10), 4 oz. of crystal grains and a lb. of 2 row Pilsner (d = 110), add 3 qts. of 166 F water to settle in at around 152 F, wait an hour and viola, sweet wort can be poured from the spout. Pull the bag and rinse out the rest of the sugars by dunking it in the 165 F water that you’re steeping the other grains in. Easy-pie!
Well, except that you need to get the water chemistry right so that the PH of the mash comes out in the right range. So, many kudos to Martin and his Bru'n Water software. Target was 5.5. My cheapo pen PH meter read 5.6 on a small sample I cooled to 72 F. I think that’s amazing for a 3 quart mash!Then I saw the PH
Now I’m a believer.
One more thing.
As a formerly happy extract brewer, what I what to know is this: Am I screwed?
Have I been infected by insidious, creeping all-grain-itis? Have I stepped off onto that slippery slope from which there is no return? Am I doomed to have friends at parties roll their eyes when I start babbling incomprehensible terms like “strike water”, “stuck sparge” and “trub”?
Good lord, what have I done!