All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step | TigerDroppings.com

Posted byMessage
BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2010
12760 posts

All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


Other homebrew step-by-step threads

Extract step-by-step from LoneStarTiger

All-grain step-by-step by Zappa's Stache

BugAC and s14suspense do an all-grain double feature. Fly Sparge bonus from Bug

quote:

Some of you more experienced brewers should do a step by step guide next time you brew. I know I would love to see how to brew some more difficult beers.


In another thread TheOcean requested a picture step-by-step of some all-grain brewing. I decided to give it a go when I brewed today. This is my first time doing one of these picture step-by-step thing. Hopefully it's clear and all the pictures come through.

The goal for this recipe was a French farmhouse ale. I took a biere de garde recipe, tweaked it just a touch, and will use an American farmhouse yest blend. Recipe help came from this book. I highly recommend the book.



The recipe is as follows:

10.50 lb Pilsner
2.10 lb Munich Malt
0.70 lb Aromatic Malt
0.50 lb Caravienne Malt
0.25 lb Chocolate Wheat Malt
0.16 lb Biscuit Malt
0.05 lb Black Patent Malt

1.50 oz Fuggles [4.50 %] (60 min) Hops 21.6 IBU
0.50 oz Hallertauer [4.80 %] (15 min) Hops 3.8 IBU

Will be fermented at 68 using WLP670 American Farmhouse Blend.

Started off heating the mash strike water. I use my stove for this part. Usually the strike water will fit in one pot, but I needed a touch over 18 qts for the mash and had to split it between two pots.



While that's going on I preheat my mash tun with hot tap water.



Once my strike water is at the desired temperature (162 in this case), I dump it in the mash tun and then pour the grain in. I give it a good stir and check the temperature.





I was a little over my target mash temperature. I was shooting for 150. I added a little cold water and gave it a stir and it came down to right at 150.

Now that the mash ahs started, I can start drinking. Sipping on a homebrewed Oktoberfest.



After about 30 minutes of mashing I start prepping my sparge water in the two pots. The target temperature for the sparge water will be between 160-170.

After an hour I it's time to drain the mash. First I check the temperature.



I lost a little over a degree during the mash. I take the cooler outside and begin the vorlauf the wort. Vorlaufing is taking a draw from the mash tun and gently pouring it back over the top of the grain bed. You do this a few times until the grain bed is settled and you get clear wort.



After that's done I drain the wort from the mash in to the brew kettle.



After the mash is drained, I add the sparge water. I did a single sparge today. I try and aim for as close to 170 as I can get, but today I did not do so well. I let this sit for 10 minutes then drain in to the brew kettle.





As you can see, the wort is almost to the top of my kettle. This will pose a problem when the boil starts as the hot break will most certainly boil over. For those that don't brew, when you first start boiling the wort will boil up a great deal and if you are not careful with it the beer will come spilling over the sides and cause a mess. So in comes Fermcaps. Fermcaps are a food-safe additive that prevents boil-overs. Also works during fermentation to prevent explosive fermentation. I love the stuff.



Now I wait for it to come to a boil. As I wait I clean out my mash tun and compost the grain.






This post was edited on 4/20 at 5:13 pm



Back to top
Share:
BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2010
12760 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


Once the beer comes to a boil and you're sure it won't boil over, it's time to sit back and relax. I'm reading A Clash of Kings.



First hop addition is at 60 minutes left in the boil. It's 1.5 ounces of Fuggles. Second hop addition is at 15 left in the boil. It is 0.5 ounces of Hallertauer.



After 90 minutes of boiling I kill the flame. I give the wort a good swirl and let it sit for a minute to whirlpool. What this does is concentrate the particles and protiens in to a cone in the middle of the kettle. As I drain the wort off, most of the junk is left behind in this cone.



Cone of junk after draining.



So here's where I differ from a lot of brewers. Most brewers will rapidly chill the beer within 10-30 minutes and transfer the beer directly in to the fermentor. The beer is usually chilled with an ice bath, an immersion chiller (essentially a metal coil that is dunked in the kettle and has cold water running through it), a counterflow chiller (A double layered pipe where beer flows one way as cold water flows the other), and a plate chiller.

I don't chill my beer. I started doing this when I started all-grain brewing when I was in my old apartment. As we know in the deep south, groundwater gets hot in the summer. This makes cooling beer hard unless you are able to pre-chill the water in a seperate container before it goes in to the wort chiller. Well my apartment was tiny and I didn't have the space or money for another cooler, chiller, and pump. I had read an article about how, due to water restrictions, Australian brewers in the outback didn't chill their beer. I decided to give it a go.

Instead of quickly chilling and transferring to a fermentor, I drain my kettle in to a food and heat-safe container where it cools at it's own pace overnight. I am essentially canning the wort. I can transfer it to a fermentor at my own pace. I usually brew one day, make a yeast starter the next day, and then start fermentation on the fourth day.

Here's my draining the hot wort in to the storage cube.



After that it's clean-up time.

This is my first time doing one of these picture/step-by-step thing. Hopefully it's clear and all the pictures come through.

Finished product several months later:




This post was edited on 8/24 at 9:27 am


Back to top
BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2010
12760 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


I forgot to add, if this beer ends up being decent, I will bring it to the Zapp's Beerfest and you can try it.





Back to top
Zappas Stache
Snotterburgh
Member since Apr 2009
9305 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


You're cooling time to ferm start is interesting. But if it works, it works. I generally mash one day and boil the next which disturbs some people. It just shows that brewing beer Doesn't have to be some nazi progression.





Back to top
rds dc
Nebraska Fan
Member since Jun 2008
6219 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

I will bring it to the Zapp's Beerfest and you can try it.


When is this gathering of the minds?






Back to top
  Replies (0)
rds dc
Nebraska Fan
Member since Jun 2008
6219 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

It just shows that brewing beer Doesn't have to be some nazi progression.


I'm sure watching some brewing from back in the day would make a lot of people lose their mind






Back to top
  Replies (0)
rds dc
Nebraska Fan
Member since Jun 2008
6219 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

Instead of quickly chilling and transferring to a fermentor, I drain my kettle in to a food and heat-safe container where it cools at it's own pace overnight. I am essentially canning the wort.


Do you store the cooled wort at room temperature until you are ready to start fermentation? What brand of container are you cooling/storing it in?

I'm very interested in this technique and may give it a try. My buddy and I were just talking about wort chilling on Friday and arguing over how important that step is or isn't.






Back to top
  Replies (0)
BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2010
12760 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

It just shows that brewing beer Doesn't have to be some nazi progression.


Indeed. I'm sure all of us on here that brew do it differently.

quote:

When is this gathering of the minds?


I think it's April 6th.

quote:

Do you store the cooled wort at room temperature until you are ready to start fermentation? What brand of container are you cooling/storing it in?


Yes, room temperature. The morning before I ferment it I will throw it in my fermentation cabinet and get it to pitching temps.

I use this container.

ETA: I forgot to mention hopping in regards to no-chill. Above I put the hops in at 60 mins and 15 mins, but in actuality it I did it at 50 and 5 minutes. I have found moving the hop schedule back 10 minutes takes care of most of the issues. YMMV.



This post was edited on 1/13 at 9:16 am


Back to top
USAF_Vol
Tennessee Fan
Member since Sep 2005
737 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


I'm an extract brewer but want to start doing all grain soon. In your opinion what are the differences and pros and cons?

I've got the general understanding but always concern about the amount of water to use. Would hate for the wort to be too watered down while sparging. Am I over thinking that?

Also what about checking the ph levels? Some info suggests you do at.






Back to top
BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2010
12760 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

pros and cons?


Pros would be more control over your recipes and not having the quality of extract being a factor in the final process. Cons are cost, space, and time.

quote:

Am I over thinking that?


It's pretty easy. After one use of your system you will have a very good idea of how much water your system needs.

quote:

Also what about checking the ph levels? Some info suggests you do at.


This is my next step. I really want to understand water chemistry. I have been doing some reading and hope to become more knowledgeable about it.






Back to top
LoneStarTiger
LSU Fan
Lone Star State
Member since Aug 2004
10909 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


You may have inspired me to do a step by step extract pictorial this afternoon







Back to top
  Replies (0)
TheOcean
Florida State Fan
Member since Aug 2004
30543 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


Dude. That was awesome.


Pretty cool to see the unique approach of not immediately chilling the beer.

Perhaps more posters could start posting step by step guides (w/ pics) for different recipes and post the end results. And then someone can just start one giant brew thread with a ton of the recipes/pics. Just an idea so all of the info is centralized and not lost.



This post was edited on 1/13 at 10:56 am


Back to top
  Replies (0)
swampdawg
Georgia Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Nov 2007
4634 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


So how bad do the composting grains smell? I have done it before and the smell was awful.

No Zapps for me this year. Unfortunately they scheduled it the same day as my wedding.






Back to top
s14suspense
USA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2007
10811 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

No Zapps for me this year. Unfortunately they scheduled it the same day as my wedding.


Damn!

Thanks for doing this Bottomland.

I might try to do this for the next batch or so per TheOcean's request. I do things a little differently as I'm sure most people here do. Kind of like a group brew day without the group. Bookmarked.






Back to top
  Replies (0)
LSUBoo
Bowling Green Fan
My Posting Goes To 11.
Member since Mar 2006
58911 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

Also what about checking the ph levels? Some info suggests you do at.


I add the 5.2 PH stabilizer... something like a tablespoon per 5 gallons of strike water.

Regarding chilling, I have a wort chiller now but I've done the overnight chill many times in the past when it was too time consuming to chill the entire batch. I'd just transfer to my sanitized fermenter, seal it up and put it in the ferementation fridge. The next day I'd check and if it was down low enough I'd pitch the yeast. Never had any problems with this method either.






Back to top
BottomlandBrew
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Aug 2010
12760 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

So how bad do the composting grains smell? I have done it before and the smell was awful.


It smells like death, but the compost pile is far away from the house as I can get it.

quote:

No Zapps for me this year. Unfortunately they scheduled it the same day as my wedding.


I guess that's a good excuse to miss it. Congrats.






Back to top
  Replies (0)
LoneStarTiger
LSU Fan
Lone Star State
Member since Aug 2004
10909 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

So how bad do the composting grains smell? I have done it before and the smell was awful.


I use mine for hog trap bait

of course, I just have 2 pounds from the steeping grains



This post was edited on 1/14 at 8:18 am


Back to top
s14suspense
USA Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2007
10811 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:

I use mine for hog trap bait


Killed a hog Saturday.






Back to top
LSUBoo
Bowling Green Fan
My Posting Goes To 11.
Member since Mar 2006
58911 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


I've always dumped mine on the bamboo out back. Never noticed a smell, but my back "yard" is condo-sized so I'll resort to bagging and trashing before too long.





Back to top
BugAC
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2007
18472 posts

re: All-Grain Brewing Step-by-Step


quote:


I add the 5.2 PH stabilizer... something like a tablespoon per 5 gallons of strike water.



I am in the process of researching pale ales, as i plan on creating my first beer recipe. I was reading a section on water, and they advise PH levels of water to be from 5.2 to 5.8. I believe Baton Rouge water is at 8.8, is this correct?






Back to top


Back to top