Overall summary of the home brewing process.
Home Brewing INGREDIENTS
What you will need for your
home brew and more!
Home Brewing EQUIPMENT
Almost as important as the ingredients themselves!
BASIC Home Brewing
The home brewing process
broken down step-by-step.
ADVANCED Home Brewing Procedures
More advanced techniques
such as all-grain mash and more.
The Basic Home Brewing Process
Step 2: Mashing the Grains
Mashing is the process in which the grains are steeped or cooked at a temperature which enables the enzymes in the malt to convert all the starches IN the malt to fermentable sugars. A process such as this is usually done in addition to using malt extract in order to add more character to the beer to be made from mostly malt extract.
If your grains are not cracked, then now would be a good time to crack the grains and heat up a pot of water to around 150 degrees Fahrenheit and then pour the cracked grains into the pot. Be sure there is a large enough pot that can hold all the grain as well as water. The grains should be steeped for about 45 minutes to an hour in order for the enzymes to extract all the starches and convert them all to sugar. If you are an advanced brewer and are not doing a “mini-mash” like this and using all grain and no extract, it may take a little longer for the starches to all be converted and advanced brewers should have the proper tools on hand in order to measure the amount of starches that are still left in the mash before moving forward into the brewing process. If the grains are left steeping for longer than about an hour and a half, some undesirable qualities may begin making their appearance known by adding some undesirable flavors and such to your home brew.
After the mash is complete, it is time to pour the wort into the brew kettle while separating out the grains from the liquid. You can use a strainer that can latch onto the brew kettle for this. Be careful not to tip the pot too much as grains may come tumbling out of the pot and into your brew kettle.
After you have poured out all the liquid, you will need to sparge the grains left behind. This process is simply, placing grains into the strainer and pouring warm water over them, allowing liquid to run through the grains. This will filter out even more of the sugars for the brew. You will ultimately have around 5 gallons of water in the fermenter after the brewing process is complete, so it’s ok to be adding water. Just don’t let it get too high as it will still need to boil and a boil-over really can make a mess.
At this point, you should be adding the malt extract into the brew kettle with the other liquid. Stir it up well before really turning on the heat as it can cause a charred substance at the bottom of the kettle if any extract gets stuck down the by the flame and/or heat. Add more water to the brew kettle, if needed, but again, try to keep it at a safe level in order to prevent it from boiling over.
NEXT: Brewing / Boiling
The Basic Homebrewing Procedure :
Step 1: Cleaning and Sanitizing Home Brewing Equipment
Step 2: Mashing
Step 3: Brewing (Boiling and Adding Hops)
Step 4: Fermentation (Primary and Secondary Fermentation)
Step 5: Bottling/Racking