Subject: Small Batches (Mini-Mashing)
Date: 1990-05-15 21:46:43 GMT
In HOMEBREW Digest #417, Ken Weiss asks the musical question:
"This leads to my ... mash question: Can I mash an all-grain
batch with only 3 gallons of water, and then mix with cold water
for 5 gallons total volume? Or is it really necessary to boil the full
volume of wort in an all grain mash?"
The snag is in the sparge. In order to get away with that approach,
you'd need to use (much) more grain than if you were boiling the
whole volume, and just take the first runnings for your high-gravity
boil. The same kind of problem comes up in making barley wines:
you're left with the choice of a normal sparge and a LONG boil to get
the desired concentration, a "short" sparge and lots of wasted
grain, or a normal sparge and an addition of extract. If the
limiting factor is the size of your boiling kettle, Todd Enders
seems to have the answer with his "mini-mashes". You're still stuck
with the need to cool it after boil, though. My first few batches
were slightly oxidized, and I suspect it was because I poured the
hot wort through a strainer into cold water. I took to adding as
much ice as I could into my small boiler, then straining over ice to
chill & dilute, which helped. Going to an immersion chiller
eliminated oxidation altogether, as far as I can tell. Pouring cold
wort seems safe (unless you're as clumsy as I am, and splash the
stuff all over the kitchen), but pouring hot wort seems to cause
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