Partial mashing involves the majority of all grain brewing skills. Yet it is an easier and less time-consuming method. Results are pretty good.
A partial mash is different to an extract brew as the extract remains enzymatically active. Dead malts have some of their starch transformed into sugar; the effect of heat destroys natural enzymes. However, wheats and unmalted extracts need the help of enzymes to transform their starches into sugars.
Experienced home brewers make their own extract from crushed malted barley (or unmalted wheat, barley, oats, rye or corn. This necessitates the use of an insulated vessel called a mash tun.
There is a general choice of 66°C for the mashing, although home brewers and professionals vary mash temperature and pH for different results. Generally speaking, the more hot and more alkaline your mash is, the thicker and sweeter your final beer will be. On the other hand, the more acidic, the cooler your mash is, the more alcoholic and drier your final beer will be.