Partial mash is a great way to brew your own beer at home, and is used by people who are good at extract brewing, but do not have the equipment or expertise for all grain brewing. Even experienced brewers prefer this method as it requires minimal effort and time, and yields high quality beer. Partial mash does not require a lot of equipment and the process is fairly straightforward. If you know how to make extract brews, you probably already have the required equipment. The only additional things required are a grain bag for storing the grain, an extra cooking pot, and a floating thermometer.
First you need to lightly crush the brewing grains so that their exterior shell cracks, enabling wort to start the process of conversion of starch and proteins into non fermentable and sugar for flavor. Remember, you do not have to grind the grain into a powder, just lightly crush it. You can do this with the help of a grain mill that is attached to a cordless drill. Now heat two gallons of water in a five gallon pot to a temperature of 170F – this is your “strike-water”. When this strike- water is ready, gently submerge the bag filled with crushed grains, all the while stirring continuously to avoid the formation of dough balls.
Now cover the cooking pot and wait for an hour. Constantly monitor the temperature during this one hour and keep it maintained at 150-155F. Separately heat two gallons of water at 175F – this sparge water is required to strain sugars. When the pot starts giving a sweet aroma, your partial mash is complete. Separate the wort and the spent grains. Sparge the spent grains to press out the wort that has been converted. Make sure that you are gentle while washing the grains; you do not need to crush them.
That’s it, now you can brew at home in a manner similar to extract brewing. Just adjust the recipe and use less malt extract than usual.