Author Topic: All grain brewing  (Read 1679 times)

BarriedaleNick

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All grain brewing
« on: February 03, 2019, 16:52:35 »
Just recently got back into making my own beer and have given all grain brewing a go (as opposed to using malt extract).  First lot is in bottles and I may have a sniffter tonight.
Second lot is mashing away downstairs in a converted icebox. I am keeping it fairly simple at the moment as I get used to the process but I hope to get more adventurous as I get more experienced.

Anyone else into brewing beer?

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All grain brewing
« on: February 03, 2019, 16:52:35 »

DrJohnH

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 19:05:23 »
Nick,

I used to brew with extract (a long time ago), but might like to give all grain a go- where did you get the info from to do this?  Do you need loads of gear to get set up?

Cheers!

Beersmith

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 21:56:06 »
Nick,

I used to brew with extract (a long time ago), but might like to give all grain a go- where did you get the info from to do this?  Do you need loads of gear to get set up?

Cheers!

You will need some equipment. If you intend to brew in 5 gallon batches, you have to go through five basic processes.  1) Mashing needs an insulated vessel capable of holding a good volume of grain and water for an hour or so at 68 or 69 degrees centigrade without any appreciable drop in temperature 2) Sparging  Draining the wort  and washing residual sugars out 3) Boiling needs a large vessel that can boil the sweet wort for 45 minutes minimum 4) fermentation vessel is easy almost any taint proof and easily cleaned vessel will do 5) Storage Bottles are an immense amount of work The modern solution is to use kegs Cornu kegs or modern alternatives. Stainless easily cleaned and dispense draft perfectly.

More to follow.

Not mad, just out to mulch!

BarriedaleNick

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2019, 09:45:46 »
Nick,

I used to brew with extract (a long time ago), but might like to give all grain a go- where did you get the info from to do this?  Do you need loads of gear to get set up?

Cheers!

Old fashioned I know but I bought a book - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Homebrewing-Third-Harperresource-Book/dp/0060531053
Then I went on a brew day at my local brewery

Then of course the internet where recipes and endless chat and info can be found.

In terms of kit - I had some lying around from my wine making days but I am slowly buying a few bits here and there.

To keep things simple I am doing small batches of around 10l.
As above (cheers Beersmith!) - mashing is the bit that can be tricky but an old ice box will do or you can buy them fitted out with tap and filter.  Some people just use a big bucket and wrap it up in a duvet!
Sparging can be done in the ice box.
Any big stock pot will do for a boil but I am going to have to buy one as I dont have anything big enough and have been forced to divide my wort in two so far.
Pro tip - do not try this when OH is trying to cook a roast dinner!
Cooling your wort quickly is important but at the moment I just put the fermenting bucket in a bath of cold water.
To ferment I am using a 16l plastic brew bucket.  
Bottling it is a bit of a pain but I am using 1l plastic bottles I have lying around so it doesn't take too long..

So far I can say that all grain brewing is pretty rewarding and there is a much cleaner taste to the beer than extract.  The learning curve is pretty gentle but long!  The more you read up the more you realise you have to learn..

You can do most of this on the cheap with stuff you already have but it gets easier if you buy a few bits and bobs and of course like any hobby you can go to town and buy serious kit.  As I get better I will ask for pressies - wort boiler is on my birthday list!

DrJohnH

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2019, 16:00:50 »
Great- I might give this a go- I think I have all the stuff pretty much to hand including an icebox with an outlet at the bottom.  Good idea with 10l batches- otherwise too difficult to handle at the initial stages.  Also good volume to try different recipes. 

Just ordered the book.

Watch this space.

Dr John

Beersmith

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2019, 20:23:26 »
Great- I might give this a go- I think I have all the stuff pretty much to hand including an icebox with an outlet at the bottom.  Good idea with 10l batches- otherwise too difficult to handle at the initial stages.  Also good volume to try different recipes. 

Just ordered the book.

Watch this space.

Dr John

Good for you.  And excellent advice from Nick. You will probably need a filter at the bottom of your ice box, stainless steel mesh tube is a good option used by many. Otherwise you look well set.

In truth brewing using grain has become steadily more popular and as a consequence there is more and more helpful kit available for the home brewer. Of course this comes at a price but do consider the benefits of stainless kegs ( Cornelius kegs ). Originally containers for the soft drinks industry, some are still recycled from that source but you can also get new ones manufactured in different sizes. Twenty minutes to clean and refill. Compare that to bottles!

You will also find you can source good quality malts hops and yeast these days, every bit as good as used commercially. For many years a lot of stuff available to the home brewer was often poor.

As I do more on the allotment and other hobbies, my son brews more often than me. I have a twelve pint keg he refills sometimes for me to provide variety, as we tend to use different recipes.

Happy brewing!!
Not mad, just out to mulch!

BarriedaleNick

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2019, 13:08:11 »
Well my latest effort is in the next room and by the sound of it - it is fermenting merrily away!
Those Corny Kegs look interesting but it seems I need a regulator and some other bits and bobs - still birthday in a few weeks ;-)

DrJohnH

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 14:47:59 »
Got the book- very good recommendation.

I'm a bit daunted in going full pelt AG right now (partly because I don't drink much beer), but might brew a Tim Taylor extract recipe with existing gear I have (plus bottles) to see how things differ from brewing from Geordie Bitter kits (which is what I used to do about 30 years ago when I was an impoverished student).  Baby steps.

Dr John

Beersmith

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 15:23:15 »
Well my latest effort is in the next room and by the sound of it - it is fermenting merrily away!
Those Corny Kegs look interesting but it seems I need a regulator and some other bits and bobs - still birthday in a few weeks ;-)

Purely out of interest, and as i mentioned before, the range of kit available to the home based all grain brewer has grown enormously over the years.

Here is my mini keg, complete with regulator, takes small screw thread CO2 cannisters to provide top pressure, although secondary fermentation may be enough to dipsense most of the beer.
(It was a generous Christmas gift from my sons)

Not mad, just out to mulch!

hippydave

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2019, 17:46:35 »
hmm Citra one of my favourite hops.
you may be a king or a little street sweeper but sooner or later you dance with de reaper.

Beersmith

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2019, 23:30:15 »
hmm Citra one of my favourite hops.

I like a bit of variety, but if I was forced to pick just one, I reckon citra would probably be top of my list.
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BarriedaleNick

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 08:01:33 »
Not sure I have enough experience of hops to pick a fav but I do like citra in beer.
Currently trying a few SMASH recipes and Marris Otter/Citra is on the cards.  I love opening the vacuum packed hop bags - the smell is amazing. 
My first go hasn't turned out too bad.
Good mouth feel and nice head. Refreshing and light but far too bitter on the aftertaste and a bit of a taste of treacle.  Still in all I was happy with it.
Just about to bottle the 2nd lot and then on with the Marris Otter/Citra SMASH at the weekend.

Beersmith - your mini keg looks amazing.  Once I get my technique and process sorted then I'll be looking to keg too.

LottieLil

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Re: All grain brewing
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2019, 17:50:21 »
We have made a couple of brews, but we used the facilities in a local shop that allows you to 'rent' the use of their Grainfather and temperature controlled fridges.

We made an Irish Red first, then an Exmoor Beast recipe, then a Christmas ale, and our most recent was a Baltic Porter which was yummy!

We love doing it, and it's a fun day out as we get to visit the local pubs during the brewing time!

Must book another..... :blob7:
Has a 5 rod plot in Portsmouth.