Basic Brewing process, 5-10 Liter, using basic kichen utensils, low cost!

The idea of this website is to give the new brewer the necessary ballast and knowledge to  start brewing full “all-grain” beers by the Brew-in-a-bag process right away in a easy manner without excessive investment ! So the equipment you need is listed into “Must be purchased” and ” Kitchen stuff”, the latter is assumed to exists in a normal household.

Kitchen stuff.

We assume every home have the following (10-25 Liter pot, measuring cup, spun, weight and a “filter-net”):

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It is important to use metal especially with the cooled wort as we can boil metal = sterilized. A wooden spun during the mask step is ofcouse ok. Regarding the  weight, it is important that it can messure correctly in the low end (with a 5-10 Liter brew the hop amount is limited), but otherwise you can weigh the double volume and halve by eyes (please don´t do this for the yeast due to  infection risk). In addition, we shall make use of your oven, sink and refrigerator.

Must be brought.

As we are brewing in a bag (BIAB), you can either buy a ready made bag, or use cheese canvas (it is cheap).

skal købesYou will need a hydrometer, fermentor  (heat resistant if you wanna easy-chill), airlock-connector to hold the airlock, measuring glass, (mash)thermometer, a suction tube and a few clamps to go along.rartathave

 

 

You will also need bottle cleaner, Mini-auto siphon, Bottling Bucket Spigot/Bottle filler and maybe some clips to hold stuff steady (I don´t use them anymore).

The mashing, boil and fermentation process.

Beer brewing involves basically three to five steps, (milling malts), Mashing, boiling and Fermentation, and “largering”. The milling can be skiped if you buy pre-milled malts. By “Mashing” we draw sugar from starch stored in the malt, while “boiling” both extract bitter substances from hops and sterilize the wort and “Fermentation” converts sugar to alcohol over a 1-3 weeks. The 5th step would be the very prolonged storage and maturing by the bottle storage and this 5th step is Alpha Omega to get good beer, and thous, you should probably not taste the beer before it have stored for 2-3 weeks in the bottle! Wheat beers and to some IPA´s can be drunk after a few days to a week after the 10-14 days bottle carbonation , but the darker the beer the more a profound storage time in bottle is needed going up to many months for porters, brown ales.

Below you will find My 5-10 Liter Bag Brew process visualized  by the following pictures carousel. This was how I started out with 5 Liter brews and after 10-15 brew I went till 10 Liters. Later 18 Liters. This process is very much inspired by http://www.picobrew.co.uk/

Resume (10L brew): 1). Cheese canvass attach to pot like a bag; 2). Water (13-13,5 Liter) is heated to 70-73 degrees, depending on the desired mashing temperature; 3). The malt is added to (2000-2500 g) with stirring, and stirred occasionally for the first 10 min while the temperature is checked (64-68 degrees depending on the type of beer); 4). The mashing finishes in the oven at 65 degrees over 60-90 min; 5). There afrer the temperature is raised in a mash-out step on the stove till 74-75 degrees) and leave for 10 min. Squeeze the malt-bold form liquid and remove it from the liquid; 6). Temperature is raised till boiling; 7). When Wort is boiling hops is added over 60 min and fining ageants are added to the end on the recipe; 8). Wort is transferred still warm/hot to heat-resistant ferment wessel though a metal filter-net (boil it in wort for a coupe of min). ; 9). The wort cools in ferment vessel either in sink/fridge overnight, Please ensure the air-lock contains alcohol or starsan solution as the falling temperature will drag air including possible bacteria into fermentor ; 10). Next day, if needed tap water is then added till final volume (PLEASE notice if you tap water are sufficient clean else boil); 11). Shake the fermentation vessel thoroughly to oxidize the wort, open it carefully a couple of times and re-shake, then take OG measurement; 12). Add Yeast (5 g dry yeast re-hydrated in 100ml water at 29 Celsius left for 15-30 min before addition) and shake again; 13). Finally, ferment, leave for 14 days!

BIAB – Water ration matters

In regards to BIAB one should know the water amount do have an impact on how much stach we can extract form the malts and as such try to take into account to have an water/malt ratio over 5. This will benefit your efficacy,e.g. how much strachs you extract and hence convert til sugar during the mash.

In below table you see what I have used of pot sieze, malts amount, water ratios and efficacy gained (taking 67 BIAB brews into account):

Brew Sieze Mash Water,
Liters
Malt amount,
gram
Water/Malt-ratio**,
L/ka
Efficacy***,
%
Pot Size
18-22 15 + 5* 4000-5600 4,2 (3,1)* 56-73% 22L + 10L
9-10 13-14 2000-2800 5,8 63-75% 22 L
5 7 1000-1600 5,4 67-78% 10 L

* The additonal 5 L is used either as a Mash-out step, or some of the malt is mashed in an additional pot! If only 15L is used a raion of only 3,1 is gained.
** Mean used for malts in the calculation.
*** The efficacy ranges a bit, as high gravity beers will have a lower water/malt ration!

Milling

How fine you mill the malts will also interfere on the efficacy, and please notice some BIAB-users double mill there malts. As wheat malts have a smaler sieze please consider to mill wheat alone at a smaler milling sieze. As beginniner I would recommend you to buy pre-milled malts for the first 10 brews. Please notice that if you grind it to fine there can be an risk of extract to much tannins/bitter compounds and this can especially interfere on the beers if these small particles goes into the boil. Hence, a compromise on the grinding is needed.

Mashing Time

The time of the mashing also do impact on the efficacy, and the longer you mash, the better conversion of starch into sugar we will get, hence, place the pot in the oven for 2 hours. Agian if you go to the exstremes and let it mash the whole day you might extract tannins/bitter compounds so keep it around the 2-2½ hours max.

Fermentation and racking to bottles

I normally let the wheat beers ferment for 12-14 days before transferring to bottles, Ale´s and higher gravity beers a bit longer and these I almost always Cold-crash in the fridge for 3-5 days before bottling. The cold-crash step help settle yeasts, proteins, hops (especially if using pellets), and generally help clear the beer. As I transfer everything into ferment vessel, then the cold-crash step also helps settle the trup part. Please always remember to have at least 2 consistent gravity measuments of the beer before deciding to bottle so we avoid battle bombs!