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Walkthough of an All-Grain Brew Day

April 29, 2010 | Comments: 0 | Views: 123

The first part of the all grain brew day starts with organization. I recommend making a checklist of all equipment you will need throughout the entire process. Make sure everything has been cleaned AND sanitized. I also recommend making an outline of your brewing procedures, step by step. This might sound like a bit much, but at the very least you should go through in your head, step by step, every detail of the brew day. So many times during my brewing did I encounter things I hadn't planned on. It could be anything such as not having enough hoses sanitized, or not having a method of sanitizing the ball valves. It's better to have everything on paper so you can try to avoid problems during the brewing process. Also on this paper you should have your brewing calculations such as IBU's, sparge amount, water temperatures, etc.

  • Clean and sanitize all equipment
  • Know your procedure. If you are still developing one, write it down! If/when problems arise, make note of them for future brew sessions.
  • Make notes of all brewing calculations. IBU's, initial boil volume, evaporation rate, volume after boil, strike temperature, target mash temperature, target OG (original gravity). - Having these calculations done before brewing will help tremendously and can save time so you can focus on fixing problems if they arise ( such as missing your OG).

Here is a breakdown of my all grain brew day:

  1. Clean/Sanitize all equipment
  2. Begin heating strike water
  3. Grind your grain
  4. Determine strike water temperature
  5. Add water to grains and check temperature Add boiling water to raise, add cold water to cool...
  6. Let mash for one hour.
  7. Use starch test strips to test for complete conversion.
  8. Vourlauf (recirculate). Open valve and collect about a quarts worth of wort. Gently return it to the top of the mash. Keep doing this until there are no grain husks in the runoff (when it runs clear..).
  9. Drain into boil kettle.
  10. Add sparge water to the grains.
  11. Vourlauf (recirculate) - yes -again
  12. Drain into boil kettle.
  13. Check for hit/miss on OG. If you are under you could do a longer boil to allow some water to evaporate out, thus raising your OG. If you are over you can add water to dilute. A note on extended boils. Don't crank the flame full blast as this could cause maillard reactions and undesirable melanoidens. Caramelization could also occur which doesn't fit certain styles.
  14. Boil and do hop additions
  15. Whirlpool & Chill
  16. Pitch Yeast (from starter made in previous day)
  17. Cleanup

All-Grain brewing is as simple or complex as you want to make it. Many beginners utilize the batch sparge method along with a single infusion mash. The method used above is the single infusion method of batch sparging. This means that there is only one mash rest temperature. The mash will sit at this one temperature for the entire mash. Batch sparging is just adding sparge water directly back into the mash tun and then doing a second vourlauf with the sparge water. Fly sparging is another popular sparge method but is not recommended for beginners.

Source: EzineArticles
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