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Monday, October 1, 2012

Brewing

I went over to a buddies house on Saturday and brewed for a solid 8 hours. I've had some questions as to the process and such, so I figured I'd post with pictures. This guy has much more and better equipment than me, so in two weeks, I plan on posting my brewing process.

So we just brewed a generic ale with almost no-bitter taste (IBUs) because we're testing what 5 different yeasts do to the same brew.

1. We used 9 lbs of 2 row grain, which is sort of the basic basis for most beers. This is my buddy grinding it... shortly thereafter he robbed a train.




2. While that was getting ground, we heated water up to a proper mashing temperature. Basically, you submerge your grain in water around 160-165 degrees to pull all the sugars and enzymes out of it. So you take this set up, and slowly pull water from the cooler. After it runs through the grains it turns a darker, smokey color. We then dump the water from the picture back into the cooler and run it through a few times until the smokey water looks clear. 


3. Now we heat up enough water for our total brew, in this case about 8 gallons  and put it in a sparge cooler. It's a similar process to the mashing, but this time we are running hot water over the grain bed slowly, trying to keep the grain bed loose, and then emptying it into our brew kettle. You have to make sure the water level stays high enough, otherwise the grain will compact and you won't get as much sugar out of the grains as you need.

4. At this point, we take what's called wort (This is unfermented, unhopped beer) outside and throw it on a sweet propane burner. We got it up to temp, threw some hops in, boiled for 60 minutes. 

5. After that, we cooled the wort down to 70 degrees, put the beer into 5 small fermentors and pitched our vials of yeast. By now, there should be CO2 leaving through the airlocks and in about 3 weeks it'll be ready for bottling. 



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