Author Topic: Extract / Partial Mash -- I'm confused  (Read 5844 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Extract / Partial Mash -- I'm confused
« on: February 20, 2009, 10:19:43 PM »
So from my first batch I've been doing extract and steeping specialty grains --- simple and easy. Now I look at the Brew Wiki under Partial Mash -- and the difference between steeping and partial mash seem pretty minimal. I mean where does steeping end and partial mash begin ?

I see this line in the wiki
Partial mash brewing follows the same steps as all grain brewing, but only specialty grains are mashed with a small amount of pale malt to provide enzymes. After mashing, extract malts are added to provide the bulk of the fermentable sugars.

Which really just adds some pale malt to your existing grains. How do you convert an extract/grain recipe to partial mash ?
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Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Extract / Partial Mash -- I'm confused
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2009, 01:43:42 PM »
That is about right.  You wind up with 3-4lbs grains including some 2 row.  You have some light wort before your extract.  It gives you a little more flavor than extract only and is about 30-45 minutes faster than all grain.

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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Extract / Partial Mash -- I'm confused
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2009, 07:43:19 PM »
Well, yes and no.  Yes, the technical difference is minimal, and anyone currently steeping some crystal/caramel grains could likely do a partial mash.  But no, it's not just adding some pale or 2-row to your crystals.  Steeping is possible with grains like crystal, chocolate, roasted, etc., b/c those grains were kilned and processed in such a way that their starches were partially converted in the kernal.  All the brewer must do is soak and rinse out that sugar.  The more lightly processed grains such as 2-row, pale, munich, vienna, etc., must be mashed for the starches to be converted to sugars. 

So, if your personal steeping process for crystals is to soak/steep crystals at 170F for 30 minutes before removing and adding the DME, then that's too hot for conversion of any "base" grain. 

If the recipe you're using includes base grains, such as munich and vienna, then you'd want to choose a proper "mashing" temp between roughly 148F and 158F, depending on the body/mouthfeel/fermentability profile you desired.  It's a dual-edged sword:  anyone can do it, but partial mashing is a slippery slope to being fully responsible for the entire process and the result.  With extract and steeping, the brewer is much more at the mercy of the maltster, be it Briess, Muntons, or whomever. 


Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Extract / Partial Mash -- I'm confused
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 07:48:06 AM »
+1 Maltlicker
Nailed it!

Cheers
Preston
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Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Extract / Partial Mash -- I'm confused
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2009, 09:58:56 PM »
Maltlicker -- THANKS for the info. !

I was curious because I just did a porter clone that had 3/4 pound of 2 row malt and a several specialties --- called for all to be steeped for 30min at 150deg. The resulting "tea" was dark and thick and as we headed to a boil it began foaming as if we had added LME or DME.

So I was just wondering if I had just done some kind of "half-assed" partial mash ....

I did some more looking at partial mash proper .... and it looks just more complicated than I want to do right now
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Extract / Partial Mash -- I'm confused
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2009, 04:40:53 PM »
Sounds like you did fine.  Lower mash temps favor the enzymes that create simpler sugars, so easier to attenuate, drier finish.  Think altbier or tripel.  Higher mash temps favor the enzymes that create more complex sugars, harder for yeast for eat, maltier/sweeter finish.  Bock, Marzen. 

I would suggest you try to stick with it.  One known limitation of extract is lack of malt aroma, which is largely eliminated by the mfg process.  Partial mashing allows you to put that back in, per the style you seek:  bready, bisquity, toasty, caramelly, toffee, etc.  Since some specialty malts are enzyme-dead, adding some 2-row provides the enzymes to convert the dead ones, while adding its own malty goodness.  If you have a comparable beer, try it side-by-side with an extract/steep beer and see if you can tell a difference against your latest one. 

 

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