All Grain Brewing Is Not Difficult, Here's What You Need To Know
ALL GRAIN BREWING PROCEDURES:
This page is about all grain brewing and the brewing software. you should purchase to make your best beer. Here are the brewing procedures as if you were following a recipe prepared in BeerSmith Brewing Software. All of my award-winning beers were formulated on BeerSmith, I highly recommend it. CLICK THE BEERSMITH LOGO AT RIGHT TO LEARN ALL ABOUT MY FAVORITE BREWING SOFTWARE.
Before we talk about all grain brewing procedures, there are a few preliminaries you need to do first.
- One is that you
build a recipe from scratch (click here to learn how),
or pick a quality all grain homebrewing recipe that has been brewed before
(Get a copy of the book Brewing Classic Styles written by Jamil Zainasheff and John J. Palmer
-it includes 80 award-winning recipes anyone can brew, it will become your favorite homebrewing recipe reference). I've written a cool spreadsheet that you can download which makes it easy to find recipes in the book that match your ingredients.
Click Here to download my recipe index of all the recipes in the book.
- Purchase your ingredients as fresh as possible.
- Mill your grain just before you plan to brew (the longer it sits after being milled, the more oxidation occurs and the more stale the grains taste).
- Enter the recipe into your brewing software (in this case BeerSmith), review the results, and if you are trying to brew an all grain beer to style, adjust any of the ingredients or processes that will bring your recipe back to specs of the BJCP guidelines for that style (no need to worry about this if you use recipes from Brewing Classic Styles). BeerSmith brewing software automatically calculates the different variables and tells you whether they are within the ranges of the style you want to brew. Just make adjustments to the ingredients or processes, such as efficiency or sparge method, to change the variables (such as original gravity, color, IBU's, etc.)
Here are the rest of the procedures as they occur on the
- Prepare your
1-2 days before brewing.
- On brew day, clean and prepare equipment-put thermometers in place, hook up propane, set-up other equipment, prepare sanitizer, etc.
- Measure ingredients, crush or mill your grains.
- Prepare your water-filter it if needed.
- Prepare ingredients for Mash - BeerSmith gives you a list of all the ingredients you entered for this recipe.
- Preheat your mash tun-unless you made equipment adjustments or grain temperature adjustments in the software (varies by software).
- Mash Ingredients: Mash-In-the brew-sheet will tell you exactly how much water to add and what the strike temperature should be. Add water to your mash tun, add your crushed grains, stirring to mix well. The temperature should fall to the saccharification temperature you chose in your mash profile (this is where BeerSmith comes in handy, no calculating grain absorption, volumes, temperature variables, just follow the directions). Now is the time to add chemicals to modify your brewing water (Calcium Chloride, Gypsum, Calcium Carbonate, etc.) or acids if needed. BeerSmith has a Water Profiler tool that makes adjusting your water simple.
- Hold your mash at the desired saccharification temperature for 60 minutes-if you use a multiple step infusion mash, the BeerSmith brew-sheet will give times, temperatures and water volumes you need to add. If you are decoction mashing, the software will tell you how much of the grain mash to decoct (pull out and boil) for each decoction step.
- Sparge with the volume of water that BeerSmith has calculated. (You should get sparge water heated while mashing.) Transfer the heated sparge water to your Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) if fly sparging. If batch sparging, add water volume given for each "batch" of sparging.
- After you finish sparging, add water (if needed) to reach pre-boil volume specified in BeerSmith.
- Boil Ingredients-The boil is broken down into a timeline for the
sugar, nutrients and Irish moss additions. Follow the timeline and add ingredients at specified times in brew-sheet. Check pre-boil gravity and adjust wort if needed. You do this by adding water if the gravity is too high, and DME or LME if the gravity is too low. BeerSmith has a Water Dilution tool to calculate the amount of water to add to bring the gravity up to the desired level. Go into BeerSmith and adjust the efficiency to match your pre-boil gravity, then add your malt extract until the pre-boil gravity matches the desired number.
- Cool wort to fermentation temperature-with your chiller.
- Add water as needed to achieve fermentation volume.
- Siphon wort to primary fermenter.
- Measure Original Gravity-
Measure with hydrometer
and compare with estimated gravity. If you missed it, now is the time to adjust it before you add yeast.
- Measure Batch Volume-Measure and compare with estimated volume.
- Aerate/oxygenate your wort.
for the time and at the temperature you specified in your recipe.
To learn about yeast fermentation terminology, click here.
to see the yeast selection guide, click here.
- Measure Final Gravity- Measure gravity and compare with estimated FG. If your final gravity is lower (closer to 0) than the estimated FG, your yeast fermented well and you have full attenuation. If the FG didn't meet the estimated final gravity, allow it to finish fermenting, move it to a warmer place, ramp up the temperature a little, add a little sugar in place of some malt next time.
- Interested in the
calories in your beer,
the recipe page in BeerSmith gives you the calories in the all grain beer you plan to brew, just in case you're counting.
at pressure and temperature given for the style, or bottle beer with the amount of priming sugar listed.
- Age your beer (you decide how long).
- Gives the date to SAMPLE AND ENJOY!
- Be sure to keep good notes and enter them in the notes section. If you win a Best of Show with this beer and you want to brew it again, you will need all the notes you took regarding any adjustments you had to make for the inevitable problems that pop up while brewing all grain beer. These might include actual temperatures you mashed at, actual temperatures you sparged at, any differences from schedule you encountered, ie. mashed for 75 minutes because you had to go put a band aid on your child's knee, etc.
This is by no means an in depth discussion of all grain homeberwing. Click on these links below to learn more about individual topics in all grain brewing:
beer recipe formulation,
and converting recipes from degrees Plato to specific gravity,
plus a lot more that you can find
by clicking here and going to the Brewing Science page.
Purchase Your All Grain Equipment and Beer Kits at MoreBee.com
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