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Home Brewing INGREDIENTS
Home Brewing EQUIPMENT
BASIC Home Brewing
ADVANCED Home Brewing Procedures
Advanced Home Brewing Techniques & Procedures
All-Grain Home Brewing
Brewing from all grain can be a very rewarding experience. It does take a lot more understanding of the home brewing process, but all-grain home brewing can save a lot of money and help create beers unique to you and your own personal style of home brewing.
Infusion mashing, when home brewing, is one of the easiest all-grain homebrewing methods to learn. In order to really get a grasp on the home brewing process, we recommend trying a few batches using malt extract in a “mini-mash” first using smaller amounts of grains in order to help further home brewers along into the world of all-grain home brewing. Keep in mind that with all-grain brewing, it may be a bit more difficult to reach the desired gravities as opposed to malt extract home brewing. Gravities will vary due to grains used, equipment used and so on. Be sure to have something nearby which will help raise your home brew gravity if needed later on.
Finding out how much water is needed:
The standard amount of water that is normally used for a 10 pound batch of grain is 2.75 gallons. We say 10 pounds since this is a pretty standard batch of grain for most home brewers. Now that being said, you can use these numbers as a percentage. So 10 would be 1. Now if you were to brew a 5.5 pound batch then multiply .55 x 2.75 = 1.51 gallons of water. Just be sure when brewing that all of your ingredients will be able to fit in your kettles.
The Mashing Process
At the very start, heat the mash water to around 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit (this is about 10 degrees hotter than the mash should be, 160-170 degrees). It would also be a good idea to get the sparge water heated as well so that it will be ready once the mashing is done. Once the water is heated to around 170 degrees, place the grain inside the mash tun and begin stirring. Now the temperature should be just right. Aren’t you glad you had the homebrew mash water a little hotter? Begin stirring the grains, while breaking up all the clusters that may form. Keep the temperature at around 170 by turning the heat back on a little if needed. Continue this for about 10 minutes.
Mash Off (170 degrees)
Now it is the time in the homebrewing process to raise the mash temperatures up to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit and begin mashing your grains. First pour a sauce pan full of hot water into the sparge bucket/lauter tun so that the mesh grain bag floats a bit on top of it. The whole purpose of the mash off is to help the sugars in the grains to move about more freely as the sugars have already been converted. This will help the grains in the sparging process release the sugars more efficiently in the lauter tun/sparge bucket.
Now that everything is in place with the sparging bucket and all the grains are inside of it, quickly clean out the mash tun so that you can collect all the wort from the home brew sparging process. Once you have the brew kettle ready for the wort from the sparging, and then begin by pouring sauce pan loads of hot water over the grains in the lauter tun, or sparge bucket. Be sure when you are sparging, to makes it “sprinkle” over the grains as to prevent holes from forming all over which may cause the grains to compact and more. It is best to use something like a colander for sparging. Also be sure the liquor tank/hot water is at 170 degrees.
The sparging process should take about 60 minutes overall as you continue to pour the hot water over the grains which runs through the hose into the homebrewing brew kettle. Remember that if the sparged liquid is still clear, you can collect it and recycle it by re-sparging it over the grains. Continue to sparge until you have collected a little over the amount you need for your full batch of homebrew (remember some of the liquid may evaporate).
Upward Infusion Mashing
The upward infusion mashing process is about the same as infusion mashed except it goes through what is called a “protein rest” before the “sugar rest”. The protein rest begins at about 130 degrees when you put the grains to be steeped in, which will lower the temperature to about 120 degrees. Leave it for about 30 minutes, and then raise the temperature up to about 140-150 for the sugar rest to begin where the enzymes convert the starches into dextrin and sugar.
The decoction mashing technique is a technique widely used for mostly lagers. The process basically entails a procedure where the temperature of the mash is raised by taking about 40% of the mash out and then heating the amount taken out in a SEPARATE kettle (yes, you will need yet another mash tun kettle) up to boiling point then returning the grains back in the hot water and stirring. You will also use more water for the decoction mash which will be about 2 quarts for 1 pound of grain.For the 60% of the mash not taken, heat this mash to about 125 degrees and the other 40% to about 160 degrees. After about 10 minutes for the 40% batch, raise the temperature to a boil then let it boil for about 15 minutes. After this process is complete then add the 40% batch back to the 60% main batch making it a 100% batch of mash. The rest of the brewing process will be the same as the infusion mashing process.
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