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So you've tried extract brewing and want to take your brewing to the next step. This is where you can really start adding your own flair to your beer by adding grain and hops.

What is partial mash brewing? 

A partial mash is a brewing system where a part of your wort (pre-fermented beer) is made from grain and the other from extract (this can be liquid of dry malt extract) 

The small amount of grain you add to your beer adds flavour and colour while the malt extract makes up for the the rest of the fermentable sugars needed. 

What equipment do I need to make a partial mash beer?

  1. Fermenter with a airlock and grommet
  2. Spoon 
  3. Measuring jug
  4. Thermometer 0 - 100°C
  5. Pot 15 liters of bigger
  6. Grain bag
  7. Colander
  8. Hydrometer

   

            

 

Partial mashes can be made using a) a mixture of base malts and specialty grains with malt extract or b) only extract and specialty grains.

What are base malts/grain? 

Base malts are used to produce fermentable sugars for the yeast to ferment and contain significant amounts of starch. These include Pale Malts,  Munich, Vienna and aromatic malts. To convert the starches into sugars a process called mashing is used. Mashing refers to steeping the crushed grain for a hour between 66 - 68 °C. 

What are speciality malts/grain?

Speciality malts are used mainly for flavor and color. The malt has been roasted to achieve different flavours and colours and most of the starches have already been converted to sugar. These include Crystal, Chocolate, Black, Caramunich, Carafa, Caraaroma, Carabelge, Carafa, Carared, Biscuit malts etc. Since there are no starches to convert these grains only need to be steeped them in water to leach out the sugars and flavor profiles. 

What ingredients do I need to make a partial mash beer? 

  • Selection of grains (crushed)
  • Liquid / dry malt extract
  • Hops
  • Yeast
  • Irish moss

 

      

Partial mashing with base malts and specialty grains

Step by step

  • Crush the grain (this can be done with a grain mill or cracked with a rolling pin) and put into a grain bag.  
  • Heat 7.5 liters of water is (called strike water) in the pot to 76°C. Add the grain bag (the temperature should drop to 68 °C once the grain is added). 
  • Move the bag around & gently stir to make sure all the grain particles are in contact with the water. 
  • Put the lid on the pot and leave the grain to mash for 60 minutes. The temperature should be checked every 15 minutes to make sure it stays within the 68 degree range (to maintain the temperature the pot can be wrapped in a blanket or the pot reheated while stirring the wort (take care to never heat the water to more than 77 °C).
  • Heat 7.5 liters of water in another pot to 78 °C (this is known as sparge water). 
  • Lift the grain bag out of the pot and place in the colander. Rinse the bag with the sparge water. 
  • Bring the entire mixture to a boil.
  • As the wort starts to boil, remove from the heat and add the liquid malt extract, stir thoroughly to make sure all the malt dissolves.
  • Return to the heat, add hops and and boil for 60 minutes.
  • Add aroma hops and irish moss is in the last 10 minutes of the boil.
  • Turn of the heat and place pot (with the lid on) in a sink or bath filled with water and ice to bring the temperature down as quickly as possible.
  • When the beer is cool enough, transfer to the fermenter (leave as much solids behind as possible).
  • Add more water until there is a total of 19 liters (depending on the recipe) in the fermenter. 
  • Splash and aerate beer in fermenter to introduce yeast friendly oxygen.
  • When the beer temperature is between 18 and 23 degrees add your yeast.
  • Aerate your beer again by shaking up the fermenter or stirring vigorously with a sanitized spoon. 
  • Fit airlock and fill with clean water.
  • Leave to ferment for 2 weeks.

 

Partial mashing with speciality grains 

Step by step

  • Crush the grain (this can be done with a grain mill or cracked with a rolling pin) and put into a grain bag.
  • Fill the pot with 15 liters of cold water. Add the grain bag.
  • Move the bag around & gently stir to make sure all the grain particles are in contact with the water. 
  • Place the pot on the stove / burner on high.
  • Let the grains steep in the brew pot until the water temperature reaches 77 °C.
  • Remove the grain bag from the pot, put in a colander and let the liquid drain back into the pot.
  • Remove pot from the heat and add the liquid malt extract, stir thoroughly to make sure all the malt dissolves.
  • Return to the heat, add hops and and boil for 60 minutes.
  • Add aroma hops and irish moss is in the last 10 minutes of the boil.
  • Turn of the heat and place pot (with the lid on) in a sink or bath filled with water and ice to bring the temperature down as quickly as possible.
  • Fill your fermenter with about 4 liters of water (depending on the recipe).
  • When the beer is cool enough, transfer to the fermenter (leave as much solids behind as possible).
  • Splash and aerate beer in fermenter to introduce yeast friendly oxygen.
  • When the beer temperature is between 18 and 23 degrees add your yeast.
  • Areate your beer again by shaking up the fermenter or stirring vigorously with a sanitized spoon. 
  • Fit airlock and fill with clean water.
  • Leave to ferment for 2 weeks.

 Recipes will be posted soon!

Written by Lynnae Endersby — July 10, 2012

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