Archive for the brewing Category

Let’s brew: all grain demo

I got into all grain brewing about 8 months ago, after about a half dozen batches of extract. I really like how you can fine tune the grain bill, and tweak times and temperatures of your mash to emphasize and alter certain characteristics of the grain. People have this notion that all grain brewing is difficult. It’s not! It just takes some extra time and equipment.

more grain being added to the strike water

Gather your ingredients, sanitize your gear and get ready to brew…. or just sit back and have a read. Today, we are brewing a red rye beer… affectionately dubbed Greenethumb Rye.

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Homebrewing DIY: Building a Mash/Lauder Tun out of a water cooler

I have decided to move into All Grain brewing and leave the extract behind for the time being. I have really gotten into brewing and All Grain is more work, but gives you the most control of your beer. Instead of buying a bag of pre-extracted sugars from malted grains, in All Grain brewing you extract all the sugars from the grains yourself.

To aid in this process, you need a container for extracting the sugars from the grain (mashing) , a Mash Tun, and a container for separating (sparging) the sugary water from the grain husks, a Lauder Tun. Orrrr, you can be creative and use the same container for both mashing and sparging, and you can even build it on the cheap with common plumbing equipment and a water cooler. A cooler is ideal, because you need the insulation to help maintain your desired temperatures throughout the mashing and sparging processes. I just built a mash/lauder tun and took some pics of the process.

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Newest Batch: Semi-California Common

The newest batch of homebrew is a steam beer ( aka California Common ). Ok, well its an attempt at a steam beer. Steam beers are malty, full-bodied beers more characteristic of ales ( not lagers ), but use a bottom fermenting ( lager ) yeast. Since lager yeast requires lower temperatures, ~48 degrees F, and I have no way of controlling temperatures in my apartment, I had to go with an Ale Yeast that works in higher temperatures. So really, I just made an Ale, but in the spirit of a steam. I am excited to try it soon!

At first, I overshot my target gravity, meaning I got more fermentable sugars in the wort than I was aiming for. I also ended up with about .5 gallon more wort than I was expecting… I am getting better about not spilling so much in the racking process! This extra sugar and less headroom in my primary fermentor resulted in some heavy blow-off. I emptied my blow-off glass a few times in the first day or two. Here is a shot of my glass:

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