Author Topic: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...  (Read 1005 times)

Offline James Lorden

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
  • Forest Hill, MD
    • View Profile
Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« on: September 26, 2011, 08:38:47 AM »
A few weeks ago I posted that I was going to step away from the brew sculpture and conical fermenter and do an extract batch in a bucket.  Well since then I have done 2 more partial mash brews and it has been really enjoyable.

I don't have a ton of time these days and when I do an all-grain batch it takes a long time - on most days to much time.  Still, I have that brewing itch just about every weekend and partial mash seems to be the answer.  This weekend I came home from work on Friday, put the kids to bed and then knocked out an ESB recipe that I had been working on.  If I had to build this into my all-grain schedule it would be a long time before I got to it.

In some ways I think I owe my rediscovery of partial mash to Brewing TV.  I have been inspired seeing those guys do an extract one week then all-grain the next...

To sum up, if I have seven hours to burn on a Saturday - I'm breaking out the full set of gear, but now I have given myself the option to knock out an extract batch in three hours on a thursday night before bed if I want to and that is a lot of fun too!
James Lorden
Beer Drinker Beer Maker & Beer Judge

Offline James Lorden

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
  • Forest Hill, MD
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2011, 08:41:23 AM »
An analogy


Just because you've played football in full pads doesn't mean that a game of two hand touch can't be fun.  In many ways it's just as fun, just a little less intense!
James Lorden
Beer Drinker Beer Maker & Beer Judge

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1139
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2011, 10:14:15 AM »
Can you give me some tips about changing an all-grain recipe to partial mash please?  I'm an all grain brewer for some years now, but I'm trying to show some newbies how to do a partial mash with kitchen cookware so that they can brew at home.  I used to do extract with infusions and never did partial mashes.  I intend to make an all-grain version just to compare.
Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers
Oak Park Homebrewers

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7658
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2011, 11:17:12 AM »
+1

I've returned to my roots. Sure I can bang out 12+ gallons of AG brew but it takes at least 7 hours. I did 12 of extract last week and I was pitching yeast in 3 hours.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1694
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 12:01:27 PM »
If I'm pressed for time I can bang out a batch of AG in under 4 hours.  But I would agree that extract brewing produces an excellent brew, and the variety of products has grown in recent years.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline James Lorden

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
  • Forest Hill, MD
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 12:20:37 PM »
+1

I've returned to my roots. Sure I can bang out 12+ gallons of AG brew but it takes at least 7 hours. I did 12 of extract last week and I was pitching yeast in 3 hours.

Some people refer to themselves as "extract brewers" others call themselves "all-grain brewers"  from now on I am simply a "homebrewer"

Can you give me some tips about changing an all-grain recipe to partial mash please?  

What I do is try and mash at least 25% of my total fermentables for a five gallon batch but generally don't exceed 6 lbs since that is what comfortably fits in my grain bag .  In actuality I try to get as close to 6 pounds as possible every time because I've got all the temperatures memorized for that volume ;D.  The consistency makes it easier for me to judge mash temp after I dough in since it's always the same variables (6 lbs of grain in about 2 gallons of water).  If that's more then 25% of total fermentable then that's a bonus! Based on my set up and crush I get about 60 to 65% efficiency.  I use BeerSmith to figure the extract amount.  I generally shoot for full containers of the extract and then use either DME or adjust my partial mash grains to get the proper gravity.  I usually use about 1.5 quarts per pound of grain that I heat up in one pot to 165 then add my grain and generally get a mash temp of about 152.  While that mashes for an hour I heat the rest of the volume of water that I will need for a full 7 gallon boil to about 175.  I use my big brew pot on my brew sculpture for this which wouldn't be an option for a stovetop brewer (although I am doing partial mash, I am still using some of my all-grain equipment which is a big advantage).  After an hour I lift the grain bag out of the mash pot and let it drain then place it into the other pot, stick a spoon in the bag to mix everything up and then pick it up and let it drain again (sort of like a batch sparge).  At this point I combine the two pots and start the boil.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2011, 01:32:42 PM by James Lorden »
James Lorden
Beer Drinker Beer Maker & Beer Judge

Offline James Lorden

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
  • Forest Hill, MD
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 12:26:34 PM »
If I'm pressed for time I can bang out a batch of AG in under 4 hours.  But I would agree that extract brewing produces an excellent brew, and the variety of products has grown in recent years.

It takes me at least 30 minutes to bring water to temp, mill grain, and  basically set up.  Takes about an hour to mash, and hour to sparge.  Boil is another hour.  30 minutes to chill and transfer.  Add another 30 minutes to do various end of brew activity like aerate and pitch yeast... ect ect.  And finally a good 30 minutes to clean everything up.  That's 5 hours minimum for me but there is almost always another hour thrown in there.

My system is pretty automated so I can walk away for a good chunk of time, but I never seem to get anything serious done during that time.
James Lorden
Beer Drinker Beer Maker & Beer Judge

Offline beersk

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2266
  • In the night!
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 12:35:12 PM »
I think Lennie is a 3 gallon batch brewer, such as I am.  Kitchen all grain brewing.  Takes me about 4 hours to brew a batch.  If I'm brewing during the week I mill the grains the night before so I'm ready when I get home from work to heat up the mash water.  7 hours to brew a batch? Yeeesh.
Go big AND go home.

Jesse

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7658
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2011, 02:07:04 PM »
+1 James that's good point about being just a homebrewer though actually I like "brewer". ::) I don't make any distinction except as a description of process.

And the bag in the stock pot works well. A smaller version of the BIAB. I went all out and built a 2 gallon mashtun for small or partial batches. I can get decent effs on a 2.5 gallon batch. Otherwise I just no-sparge in the 70qt and take a hit. That shaved some time off the process, but not much. Last year I wasn't enjoying brewing so changed up my game. Honestly, though as with all-grain brewing being more technical and overall mentally consuming I'd suggest getting better fermentation control and other equipment over buying a mashtun to anyone just starting out. I know that's a little controversial but homebrewing with steeping or partial mash produces excellent and controllable results without much fuss. For the foreseeable future it'll be stove-top brewing in my house.

Except boil-overs. This does not go well with my white stove top. ;D






The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline oscarvan

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1707
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 05:14:30 PM »
Except da powder is do darn expensive.......<snort>.......
Wooden Shoe Brew Works (not a commercial operation) Bethlehem, PA
http://www.woodenshoemusic.com/WSBW/WSBW_All_grain_Setup.html
I brew WITH style..... not necessarily TO style.....

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1139
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2011, 07:41:47 PM »
Thanks.
Brewers of South Suburbia
Brixie's Brewers
Oak Park Homebrewers

Offline tomsawyer

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1694
    • View Profile
Re: Really enjoying returning to partial mash...
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 04:57:14 AM »
If I'm pressed for time I can bang out a batch of AG in under 4 hours.  But I would agree that extract brewing produces an excellent brew, and the variety of products has grown in recent years.

It takes me at least 30 minutes to bring water to temp, mill grain, and  basically set up.  Takes about an hour to mash, and hour to sparge.  Boil is another hour.  30 minutes to chill and transfer.  Add another 30 minutes to do various end of brew activity like aerate and pitch yeast... ect ect.  And finally a good 30 minutes to clean everything up.  That's 5 hours minimum for me but there is almost always another hour thrown in there.

My system is pretty automated so I can walk away for a good chunk of time, but I never seem to get anything serious done during that time.

I'm a batch sparger and that saves me 30min off your schedule.  Plus I cool my wort to 100F and then put it in the basement to let it finish and pitch several hours later.  That kind of cuts that part off the main brew day and doesn't seem to hurt anything.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO