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What I want to do today is provide a demonstration of simple all grain brewing. I want to encourage extract brewers to consider making the move to all grain, it’s a lot of fun it’s not too difficult. It doesn’t have to be very expensive and the results I think are quite a bit better than extract beer.
You can see some of the beers I have on tap right here, I’ve got a coffee stout a holiday cheer which is a spiced amber ale with beer still kind of late in the season for that and then a ALM aid with all homegrown hops. So I think they’re great the results are turned out wonderful and you can make all kinds of different styles, even more styles than you can make with extract.
So I say give it a try you’ll like it I like to heat up my mash water and my sparge water on my kitchen stove. You can do it in your boil kettle, but this just means that I have to go refill my propane tank a little bit less often. Just want to do a quick shot of my mash tun this cost about $ to make and very simple. There’s a stainless steel toilet supply line here and then on the outside a tube goes through and it fits in there so tight that it’s a perfect seal very cheap plastic clamp. And that’s about it I have instructions on building something like this on my website.
The first step to all grain brewing is pretty simple you just heat up your strike water, add it into the mashed ton. I like to close the lid and leave it in for a few minutes just kind of heat up the whole cooler. Once your strike water is at the right temperature then it starts get fun. Now you’re going to add your fresh drain. I just add it all in at once and they’re night I’ll stir it you want to just break up any pockets of grain that are sticking together.
You want to have the water be able to get to every piece of grain and just get a nicely and evenly all stirred up. And then you’re going to want to take a temperature, and make sure you hit your mash temperature and that’s going to be about it for this part.
Once the mash is at the proper temperature and I have it stirred up, well I cover the mash tun with blankets to help keep in as much heat as possible. And then it’s going to sit for usually an hour.
Mash has been going for an hour and I’ve only lost about one degree of temperature ,so this simple mash tun works great. What I’m doing now is the mash out adding a couple gallons of boiling water and I want to raise the temperature a little bit to make the work a little bit easier to run off into my root kettle. The first thing that we do is the voir loss and that’s just collecting some of the work into a pitcher like this and that allows the grain bed to settle.
And so by the end of this two quarts the world will be much more clear which it already is coming out pretty clear. Now and then what I do is I just fill up this quart picture I allow the grain bed to settle and then I just start collecting it into my kettle like that.
Here’s a quick shot of the work draining out of the mash tun has a nice filter set up by the grains at the bottom going through the stainless steel tube coming out through here and collecting in the kettle.
I’ve collected my first runnings and now let’s see how many gallons I have I’ve made this stick ahead of time with notches. So I have one two three I have about three and a half gallons and I want to get up to about six at least or six and a half so I’m going to probably add three gallons of sparge water.
I’m going to add about three gallons of sparge water that is about degrees and I’ll stir it up and take a temperature make sure the temperature looks okay and then I’ll collect the word again I collected the rest of the word and I have a whole kettle. And now I’m just bringing it to a boil making a steam beer you can see the color is even at this early stage it looks to be about right so now we just have to get it boiling.
I’ve added the hops, it’s going to boil for an hour I’ll add some more hops a little bit later and after the hour then I’ll start cooling down the work I’ve boiled the work for an hour. And now I’m cooling it down I have my kettle sitting in a little bit of an ice water bath but I also have the wort chiller and I’m collecting the hot water that comes out of there into the washing machine and probably do a load of laundry later.
The wort is cooled down now it’s time to give it into the carboy I used to pick up the whole -gallon boil kettle with all the work and dump it into the carboy like this. But then I got smart and just sanitized a pitcher like this make sure it’s nice and clean and sanitized and I just scoop it out until it gets light enough that I can just pick it up and dump the rest in. The wort is cooled down and it’s time to add my yeast I’ve already swirled it up so all these is in suspension I’m just going to dump the whole thing and that’s how I do it I took a gravity reading.
I didn’t quite get to the gravity I hoped for but that’s okay there’s a couple factors I think that may be a cause of that but it’s very close and it’ll still be a great batch of beer. Here’s a batch of all grain steam beer that’s going to be great about one month for more details on brewing this way as well as all kinds of recipes and pictures of the recipes and how they turn out. And happy brewing!