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Partial mash with a mash tun

ok. so I am a kind of new to this. I have a couple extract brews done, thought I would try a partial mash. doing with what I have. I have a mash tun that I made, but I do not have a lauter tun and I do not have a cooker so I am still stuck on the stove top. that said, I have a question about temps, mashing and the sparge process. Can I use the mash tun to steep the 5 lbs of grains, drain that off then just add the sparge water let it sit and drain that into the first run? I am seeing stuff where you raise your first run to 170, add the sparge then add it to the wort. If I do this will it hurt my beer? Should I get my first runn, heat it to 170, then add the water from the sparge after it has soaked for 10 min to it? I don’t know. Seems like there is either something here I dont know, or I am making it too complicated.
my org. plan was. heat 5 qt 162. pour into tun. add 5 lbs of grains, get down to 152, 153. let sit for 1 hour. drain wort into kettle. add another 5 gal of 170 water to tun with the grains still in it. let sit for 10 min, drain into kettle. begin boil. seems like there is something inbetween the first running and the sparge that I should be doing. should I be keeping the first run at 170 so when the sparge is drained into it it doesnt shock anything or should I raise the temp of the first run to 170 before I drain it? but I cant exactly put my mash tun on the stove, its a rubbermaid cooler. just don’t want this to turn out like my first batch, learned a lot from the many mistakes I made there.

Take a look at this site:

http://hbd.org/cascade/dennybrew/

You are real close on your process.

I would start with water closer to 170. Put that into the cooler and allow the temp to come down to the ~160 level. You have now heated the cooler. Then add your grain and the temp should come down to the ~150 level. Stir as needed to help it get there if needed.

Mash (soak) for 1 hour. Recirculate a couple qt’s of water to get a filter bed set up with the grain husks. Then drain the wort into your bottling bucket.

Add your next batch of hot water. This can be near boiling if you like. I have never had my grain get much above ~160 when adding boiling water. Stir a bit.

Pour the wort from the bottling bucket into your boil pot and get it on the heat to start boiling.

Then recirculate the wort in the mash tun and drain. No need to allow it to sit any longer than the time it took tom move the previous wort to the boil pot. Drain into your bottling bucket and then dump into the boil pot.

When you are finished boiling, add your extract, cool, add top up water and pitch the yeast.

For ease a calculating, I would go with 1.5g of water for the mash (just over 1.25qt/lb) and 1.75 gallons for the sparge. This will give you ~3.5g into the boil pot. If you can handle that much.

Check out MashWater 3.3 for help with the numbers.

http://suburb.semo.net/jet1024/beer/sof ... tware.html

Couple of questions. Does your cooler have a false bottom and a spigot of some kind?

You are making it a little complicated. It sounds like you are doing a batch sparge. One helpful step is to preheat your mash tun. Just pour in some hot water and then dump it out so the cooler won’t drop the mash temp. Use about 1 or 1.25 qts of water per pound of grain. Just what your planning. Add the grain to the water or water to the grain, no difference. Mix it up and wait the one hour. I stir it once half way, others don’t. After the hour drain off a qt or two into a pitcher and slowly pour it over the mash. Repeat this until it runs clear, meaning no particulate. Next do an iodine test. Remove a teaspoon or so of just the liquid from the top of the mash and pour it onto a white saucer or something. Let it cool a little then drip a drop or two of iodine from the drug store into it. If it remains tan or brown you are good. If it turns black the conversion has not been made from starch to sugar so just wait longer and try t again. Toss the sample with iodine, it is poison.

Now that your mash is complete just open the spigot and let it rip into your kettle. When it has stopped or almost stopped then pour in enough 170° to get your pre-boil amount, stir, wait 10 min then drain that into your kettle.

Some things to consider. There will be some dead space in the cooler so you can’t get all of the wort. The grain will also absorb some. There is lots of brewing software that will help determine water quantities, temps and loss. When I first started all grain I shot a little high on my mash in temps since especially with a cooler it was easier to add cold water to get the temp down that to heat it up. Only a go few degrees though. I find mashing very forgiving. If you are anywhere near high 140s to 160 it will come out beer. Maybe not the best you ever had but beer. Then you can start to tweak it and get used to your system and hit your temps every time. Have fun!
EDIT: some of this is redundant because Nighthawk must type faster than me :slight_smile:

To add to the above, don’t concern yourself with bringing the mash to 170°. That’s called a mashout and it’s something homebrewers really don’t need to worry about doing. The purpose of a mashout is to denature the enzymes in the mash to stop conversion and preserve the fermentable sugar of the wort. It’s an important step in large scale commercial breweries where it may take several hours to drain the mash and get hundreds of gallons of wort to a boil, whereas on the home brew level that usually happens in less than an hour.

Thanks Guys. Awesome replies all. Like I said this is my first try at Partail mash, I plan on going all grain as soon as i can afford to get off my stove top. the Tun I made does not have a false bottom, instead I did the old braided steel tube trick, removed the inner hose, kept the braided steel. I built a bulkhead where the spigot was added a valve with male barb on the outside and inside of the cooler. inside I zip tied the braided steel (now filter) with a brass plug on the end and the outside of course 4 feet of tubing. I figured doing a partial mash now will get me used to the mashing process before I jump into all grain, which should be next month (march) sometime. basically I’m gnawing at the bit and just didn’t want to keep doing extract kits til I could afford to go all grain, partial mash was the in between I could afford this month. Extract kits are fun beers, but they don’t seem much like brewing to me. I’m a really good cook, I know a lot about sauces and preparing wonderful meals and I enjoy doing things from the ground up and understanding how it all works from the science end of it… I know I can learn the same with brewing, just have to learn the science like I did with cooking and get my equipment set up. I’ve been using NB for a while now, this is my first time on the forum. I look forward to getting to know everyone and learning and hopefully helping those like myself someday.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]For ease a calculating, I would go with 1.5g of water for the mash (just over 1.25qt/lb) and 1.75 gallons for the sparge. This will give you ~3.5g into the boil pot. If you can handle that much.

Check out MashWater 3.3 for help with the numbers.

http://suburb.semo.net/jet1024/beer/sof ... tware.html[/quote]

Math is off a bit. ^^^^, 1.5 + 1.75 = 3.25 :wink: and, you’ll lose at least 1/2-3/4 gallon to absorption. So final would be 2.5-2.75g into the boil pot. Process is right on, though.

I routinely mash approx 5 lbs in my tun. I’ve found that 1.25qts/lb is a very thick mash and more difficult to get a good mix/stir without loosing a lot of temp in the process.

I mash with 9 quarts and sparge with 9 quarts (18 total for 5 lbs). Over 2 years, this has proved to be most efficient for my batches and the numberes are easy to remember. Anyway, that results in appox 15 quarts total in the boil pot after the sparge and accounting for absorption. I still use my 5 gallon extract pot for the boil on the stove. I usually pull 1 quart before the boil and stash it in the freezer for use in my next starter. If I begin with 14 qts in my pot, after a 60-75min boil, I’ll have approx 10-11 quarts after the boil.

:cheers:

Edit: then i repeat the process and have my full 5 gallon batch: ful AG, no partial. Makes for a long day though with 2 mashes and 2 boils.

thanks. I think I’ve got plenty to chew on between now and brew day now. I’ll let you know how it went next week.

Thanks Again All! Very Very appreciated.

[quote=“StormyBrew”][quote=“Nighthawk”]For ease a calculating, I would go with 1.5g of water for the mash (just over 1.25qt/lb) and 1.75 gallons for the sparge. This will give you ~3.5g into the boil pot. If you can handle that much.

Check out MashWater 3.3 for help with the numbers.

http://suburb.semo.net/jet1024/beer/sof ... tware.html[/quote]

Math is off a bit. ^^^^, 1.5 + 1.75 = 3.25 :wink: and, you’ll lose at least 1/2-3/4 gallon to absorption. So final would be 2.5-2.75g into the boil pot. Process is right on, though.

I routinely mash approx 5 lbs in my tun. I’ve found that 1.25qts/lb is a very thick mash and more difficult to get a good mix/stir without loosing a lot of temp in the process.

I mash with 9 quarts and sparge with 9 quarts (18 total for 5 lbs). Over 2 years, this has proved to be most efficient for my batches and the numberes are easy to remember. Anyway, that results in appox 15 quarts total in the boil pot after the sparge and accounting for absorption. I still use my 5 gallon extract pot for the boil on the stove. I usually pull 1 quart before the boil and stash it in the freezer for use in my next starter. If I begin with 14 qts in my pot, after a 60-75min boil, I’ll have approx 10-11 quarts after the boil.

:cheers:

Edit: then i repeat the process and have my full 5 gallon batch: ful AG, no partial. Makes for a long day though with 2 mashes and 2 boils.[/quote]

I forgot the .9g of mashout water before the 1st sparge. :oops:

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