Advanced Brewing

Advanced Brewing
  • What do I need to start All-Grain brewing? The main thing you need is more time. Doing an all-grain batch typically takes up an entire day. As for equipment, the main thing you need is a Mash Tun/Lauter Tun, there are many different types so I suggest doing some research. You will also need a brew pot large enough to do a full boil; so if you’re doing 5 gallons, you’ll need at least a 7 gallon kettle. Lastly you’re going to want a wort chiller of some kind. An immersion chiller is the simplest but again, do some reading to see what works best for your set-up.
  • Should I try Brew-in-a-Bag (BIAB)? Yes. BIAB is a great short-cut to all-grain brewing. You simply use a large grain bag in place of a mash tun. It’s not the most efficient method but if you’re not quite ready to invest in a mash tun but you want to up your game a bit, give it a try.
  • How do I do a yeast starter? A yeast starter is essentially a mini batch of beer. Simply boil some water and add some malt extract (yeast nutrient is a good idea too), let it cool down, stick it in a sanitized container, add your yeast and let it ferment for a day or two. On your brew day just dump the whole thing into your fermenter. Depending on how big of a starter you’re doing you can use a mason jar, a growler or even a spare fermenter.
  • What can I do to make my beer less cloudy? The most common thing is the use of clarifying agents like Irish moss or whirfloc. Clarifiers cause particles floating in your beer to settle to the bottom. Transferring to a secondary fermenter will also help more particles settle out, particularly if you store it at colder temperatures. Another simple thing you can do is move your fermenter to your bottling station a day before you actually bottle. Moving your fermenter stirs up the sediment at the bottom, so give it time to settle back down.
  • Man, bottling is tedious is there another option? Yes, I hate bottling and started kegging years ago. I have never met a home brewer who regrets switching to kegs. The trick is you need the space and some pricey equipment to get set-up; but it is a one-time cost and will save you hours of labor down the road. There are lots of options for kegerators so do some reading before you decide. There are some alternate systems out there like Party Pig and Tap-a-Draft but I’ve heard mixed reviews and could not personally recommend any of them.
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