Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Partial Mash!

I did my first partial mash brew last week, and I really enjoyed it. I tried the partial mash before I took the training wheels off with all-grain. I need a few pieces of equipment before I can go all-grain. First of all, I need a grain mill. I’ll probably go with the Barley Crusher. I hope to save a little money by buying malt by the bag and crushing it when I need it. I also need a larger brew kettle. Mine is 5 gallons, which makes it impossible to do a full boil. I’ll probably get a turkey fryer and use the kettle that comes with it. And of course I’ll need a wort chiller to cool it down. Hopefully I can procure these items in the next month or so and do my first all-grain batch.

So how did the first partial mash go? Pretty good for a first time. I was very disappointed with Beer Tools Pro. It really let me down on my mash temps. Since it was the first time I had mashed, I blindly followed the software, entered my ingredients, ambient temp, and that I wanted to mash with 1.25 quarts per gallon. Beer Tools told me to use 162F water to mash at 152 and my mash settled at 136F. I boiled two small saucepan’s full of water (@3/4 gal.) to finally get my mash to 152F. Other than the temperature issue, things were pretty smooth. Here are the details:

Beer Number: B4
Beer Name: India Brown Ale (partial mash)
Type: American Brown Ale (not to style)
Primary Fermenter: 6 ½ gal. plastic
Secondary Fermenter:
OG: 1.070
Expected IBU: 61
Expected SRM: 27
Expected Alcohol %: 7.3%

5.5 lbs. American 2-row malt
.5 lbs. Crystal 60
1 lb. Chocolate malt
2 oz. roasted barley
5 lbs. liquid light extract
1 lbs. dark brown sugar
1 oz. Warrior pellets (15.8% AA) 60 min.
1 oz. Liberty pellets (4.5% AA) 15 min.
White Labs WLP005 British Ale yeast

Step by Step Process:
Crushed grains in food processor.
Doughed in w/ 1.25 qts/lb. grain. Water Temp 162F, mash temp 136F for 10 minutes
Added 1 small saucepan of boiling water which raised temp to 149F for 8 minutes
Added 2nd small saucepan of boiling water which raised temp to 152F
Mashed for 30 min. with ending mash temp 151F
Collected 1 ¾ gal. mash water in kettle.
Heated 2 ¼ gal. sparge water to 185F and added to mash tun.
After 10 minutes, ran off 2 ¼ gal. sparge water into kettle.
Brought wort to boil and added 1 oz. Warrior pellets and boiled for 60 min.
Added 1 lb. dark brown sugar and boiled for 53 min.
Added 1 oz. Liberty pellet hops and 5 lbs. light malt extract and boiled for 15 min.
Added 1 gal. cold tap water and let cool overnight.
After 5 hours temp. was 110F
Cooled to 105F and pitched yeast, aerating with spoon for 3 minutes.
Vigorous fermentation 2 ½ days later.


hopshead said...

I brew all grain and use Beertools pro as my brewing software. It would take some practice for a partial mash, but, my process involves heating two extra gallons of water (i.e. 2 more than beertools says I need) and when the temperature of the water gets to be about 150 degrees I decant the two extra gallons out of the kettle and put it into the cooler/mashtun. This "preheats" the mashtun so that there is no temperature loss due to cold plastic/interior of mashtun. Then I drain it after a couple of minutes and put in grain with correct amount of strike water. A modified procedure similar to this might help you.

Keith said...

Thanks for the advice. I'll try that next time.