Partial Mash Beer Brewing

There are two major types of beer brewing. One is extract brewing, and the other the all-grain brewing. Partial mash brewing is great for those who have experience with extract brewing but aren’t yet ready to try all-grain brewing.

Both brewing methods require the brewer to invest in the equipment they need for the brewing process. Moreover, extract brewing requires a wide range of ingredients. This type of brewing needs specialty grains that have to be mashed in order to be used, such as malted wheat and flaked barley. Most of these mashed grains are the ones used in authentic German beers.

On the other hand, partial mash beer brewing can be done using equipment found in a typical kitchen. This is the best way for brewers to try a new technique without having to spend much on equipment. This process only requires a small part of the specialty grain to be mashed. Pale malts serve as the provider of critical enzymes that are essential for the mashing process. A small portion of these pale malts are also mashed and mixed with a small amount of mash liquid. Materials and equipment used in this process include the grain bag and a picnic cooler in order to maintain the temperature of the mash while the process of mashing goes on. Ideally, ingredients need to stay between 148 and 158 degrees Fahrenheit while the mashing process takes place.

The mashing process is usually completed in 30 to 60 minutes. During this time, the temperature should be constant. This can be achieved in two ways. The first is to place the mash over a flame, then gradually adjust the heat so that the temperature is maintained. Another method is referred to as infusion mashing. This is done with the use of heated water. The water, the mixture and the grain inside the bag are placed inside a small insulated container and sealed well. This maintains the temperature with the help of the container’s insulation. This method is actually preferred by most brewers, as the other one is quite difficult to manage.

With infusion mashing, the crushed grains are placed inside the grain bag. The average amount of water needed for every pound of mash is around 1.5 quarts. With the BeerSmith infusion tool, brewers can determine the right water temperature. Brewers use iodine to confirm the success of mashing. To check, take out a little of the liquid mash, and drop in some iodine. If the iodine remains dark blue, this simply means that the process is not yet done.

A complete mash turns the iodine clear. If the result turns out this way, the grain bag should be removed from the mash. Malt extract should then be mixed while the liquid mash is placed in a pot. Add some water and bring it to a boil. The cooling and fermentation process are similar to those used in typical extract beer brewing.

Partial mash beer brewing can be done at home or any other place that brewers prefer. This method can be used even by beginners, though it may take a lot of effort and time to achieve perfection. However, with this method, errors are not a big issue. Partial mash beer brewing is great for new brewers, as the equipment and ingredients aren’t that costly.