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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I usually do a partial mash, or grain/extract recipe- it's more certain to come out awesome, and slightly easier.
You steep the select grains for your recipe, and then add the extract to the boil. Extract is just already converted sugars from grains- it looks like molasses.
I use the Northern Brewer store in town, they do a big mail order business too- before Covid19.

You can skip to the bottom to the TL/DR,and see some
ways to purchase pre -made recipes. It can also make good beer.

For the first time ever, I brewed a Beer in a Bag, Method. which is instead of having/using a tiered contraption, I put
12 # of my select grains in a mesh bag and steeped them at a specific temperature range, in my case, I was aiming at 153F for most of the hour.
It's all about the alpha amylases, and the beta anylases. These enzymes, present in the grains, work at different specific narrow temperature ranges- and each does different things to the starches/sugars being extracted from the grains.
Why do I mention this? Because it's already done for you when you use extract, and if you don't get it right when using all grain- suffice it to say- it won't be right.
This is one of many excellent websites that cover the basics + very well:

Suffice it to say I take great pride in my homebrew, and always have beer people rave about.
We'll see how my 'All Grain' will turn out.

Now for some pics and little narrative.

12# of select grain and a bottle of the beer I'm brewing a clone of:


I've never had to use so much grain, 12#, the extract is already concentrated for you. I realized I needed a bigger pot!


I went out to my shed and got my large Craw Fish boiling pot. Since it's been in WI, it's only seen Peanut Oil to Fry Cajun spiced Fried Turkeys whole. It was dirty as ever.
It had been in the garage and when I was rebuilding LiterBike #1- I had lost this little rubber fitting the goes in the front of the rear side fairings under the seat, beside the Battery. I also found a lost valve stem cap in the the strainer basket for the MudBugs.


This was my steeping set up with my digital Thermometer- so I could keep it in the desired ranges for sugar conversion, and to make sure there were also unfermentable sugars- which the gives the beer more 'body'


These are some of the hops I used (spiced flowers) already made up- homebrew stores
They go in the boil, after you have the wort- from the steeping. The boil is usually about an hour.
They are laid out in sets which coincide with 'bittering hops, flavoring hops, and finishing hops.
There are also 3 more ounces of Citra hops that go in the fermenter after several days- Called a 'dry hoping' - No, I don't know why they call it that- I just know dry hops are only added to the wort, not boiled in to it.


The hops are freeze dried into these pellets that are in the packages. When they hit the boil, or liquid they quickly come apart and dilute the flavorings in. There are at least hundreds of flavored hops used commercially.


This is what boiling the wort looks like:


Here's where that expensive, tiered contraption comes in handy. When using all grain- you have to have the right concentration of fermentable sugars for your beer. This is usually done by 'sparging' the wort- which is pouring the wort back thru the grains several times to extract all the sugars needed out. So it makes alcohol, and then carbonation also if you naturally carbonate in the bottles- like I do. Or you can keg it and shoot CO2 gas into it, like the bars do.

So, in order to drain and sparge my large bag of grains- the 12# weighs like 35 when it absorbs all the water.
I put it in the strainer on the other pot, and poured 155F water thru it, and also scouped up my wort, and ran a few pot fulls thru it also, to try and help get it to give up all the available sugars needed. they actually say is you get 60-70% conversion- you're doing good. I think they start with slightly more grain to make up for this.
My wife didn't see this part- and I tried not to get too much on the floor- a waste of good beer (potentially).




Now as soon as the wort cools off enough to add the yeast, I will be adding it.
If you add the yeast when the wort is too hot (like over 85F), the yeast will die.
No fermentation- no 'beer'!
To save a few dollars, I culture my own yeast- in the mason jar,. The bottle has the 'dregs'/ bottom of my recent homebrew- there is live yeast in there, and I'm using the very last of one of the Karben4- Fantasy factory bottles also- for the little bit of live yeast that's in there too!


I check the specific gravity with a hydrometer and correct the reading for temperature. Actually, I get a reading, and plug it into this Website like and app, and list the reading and them temp I took it at- and it gives me a more accurate reading. This is essentially to see if there is actually enough sugars to ferment.
If you subtract the Original, from the final specific gravity after fermentation is complete- you get get an accuarate ABV= Alcohol by Volume %. A lot to do, I know, right?
* I didn't take a picture of this.- It's a step that is not really necessary anyways.

Then into the fermenter, the yeast goes in, and the air lock goes on. You have to be careful here. Up until now, you boil your prepared Wort- usually takes care of sterilization. *You have to sterilize the fermenter well- otherwise, someone could get sick. They make a concentrated chemical you dilute and wash with it.


You fill the water level in the air lock and put the air lock on.



Then, After 12-36 hours, you wait and watch for bubbles in the airlock- which means- it's working- it's fermenting- by letting the CO2 created in fermentation off thru the airlock- the alcohol is made and left behind- in the beer!

I'll up date if and when I see the bubbles, or if any questions.

TL/DR
  • Get a Beer extract in a can- comes with hop flavor already, add water, ferment, and bottle or keg.
  • Use the Grain/Extract method, often known as Partial Mash. Prepare to instructions in the Recipe kit already packaged for you, boil, add the hops, ferment, bottle or keg.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
The air lock is bubbling!

It's a short video showing the bubbles.
But when I load and share it, doesn't do the vid, sorry



Simply means the yeasts are metabolizing the fermentable sugars and making CO2 - ( the bubbles) , and alcohol.
 

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Nice! Awesome thread.
I'll be following closely. This has always been an interest of mine.
Nice! Awesome thread.
I'll be following closely. This has always been an interest of mine.
For at least 20 years, I've been doing the partial mash/ or grain/extract method. I"ll probably go back to it actually as this was my first attempt at all grain, and I'm not doing it with the proper equipment/kettles.

If you don't have a good homebrew store near you, one of the online sites that sells already premade kits with some grain, extract, and the hops for that style/flavor beer.
Give it a go- it's nice to drink your won hand crafted beer.
 

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Well, I naturally carbonate my beer in the bottle, so that take about 2 weeks longer, once the fermentation has stopped.
It's still bubbling some- fermenting alcohol, blowing off the CO2 in the air lock.

So, at least 3 weeks from now?

It's labor intensive. If it wasn't any good, I never would have kept homebrewing. I still buy beer- craft beer stuff, and some more common beers. Currently drinking Coors also at home. I still have some home brew clone of Toppling Goliaths Lightspeed at home to drink also.

So, about 3 weeks.
 

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That's pretty cool. My brother and I got my dad an at-home beer brewing kit for fathers day and he hasn't started the process yet. So, start to finish, its what, a little more than a month?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It could actually at little as 2 weeks, but 3 weeks is better, IF you carbonate in the bottle.
If you shoot your own CO2 into it like kegging, it could be as little as 8-10 days!
 
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