- Add strike water* to the GF - about 2.5L per KG of grain plus an additional 8L. So a 7KG grain bill will require (7 x 2.5) + 8 = 22.5L. Bring up to your mash temp - normally 67'C. (Common rookie error is to forget to insert the hop filter).
- Mash in slowly, stirring in the grain continuously. Try not to get any grains into the main vessel.
- Insert the top perforated screen and start recirculating. Throttle the ball valve so that wort is not going down the overflow pipe.
- After an hour, turn up the mash temp to 75'C (mashing out) and continue recirculating the wort through the grain bed for another 15 minutes.
- Lift up the grain basket and set on the ring near the top of the vessel. As soon as the wort drains, press the top screen down to compress the grain bed.
- Sparge with as much water to bring the level up to your final volume + boil off (about 5L) + 1L for every 40g of hops you'll be using**. A hoppy beer will require a pre-boil volume of 30L
- Add a few drops of anti-foam or a couple of pellets of hops to help prevent boil-overs.
- As soon as boil is achieved, start a 60 minute timer (or 90 minute as per recipe). Add hops and adjuncts as per the recipe. A hop bag marked 60 will need to be added to the boil 60 minuted before the end of the boil. Whirlpool or Flame Out hops (marked WP, 0 or F/O) are added after the boil is finished.
- Your post-boil volume should be 24 to 26 Litres. Add boiled water to top up if necessary.
- A vigourous stir will whirlpool the hop trub into the centre of the vessel. Use the pump (with the valve about half open) to slowly empty the vessel, either through the wort chiller or directly into a no-chill cube.
I thought I would write a little blog detailing the process I go through in cloning beers including tips and how this aids in creating my own recipes and understanding ingredients and balance.
This is how I personally approach it and is not the only way or possibly even the best way, but it works for me :)
A large number of homebrewers seek out recipes on websites from Australia, Europe and the USA.
With large communites, there is a huge amount of recipes available as well as forum threads discussing the more popular ones. One thing I notice is that many home brewers will choose a recipe, print it out and bring it in to a homebrew shop to gather the ingredients without any further research or analysis. More often than not, the ingredients are not available in New Zealand, the recipe is rounded to ounces or pounds (Pet hate here... do homebrew shop staff a favor and convert to metric!) and lacks information. They are unable to say who wrote the recipe and may have selected it as it had a cool name and was given a 5 star rating on Beersmith by the person who created it. Personally, if I am going to throw $50 and a heap of time into making a beer, I want to be sure of the recipe and source.
Choose reliable sources such as brewing magazines, books by well known authors such as Jamil or do some research to confirm the recipe is a good one.
It's been a fantastic Summer so far and the Cricket World Cup is starting in a couple of weeks. Perfect conditions for an easy-drinking, refreshing fruit-beer.
Most of this method is based on this presentation by Jess Caudill – Wyeast Laboratories Inc. and Jason Kahler – Solera Brewery.
A bit of background first - we're in the process of setting up a brewery in the storage area at the back of the shop (more of which anon). One of the pieces of kit we're looking at investing in is an oxygenation system to ensure an adequate supply of O2 for our yeast pitch. This typically consists of an Oxygen bottle, regulator, a couple metres of high pressure hose and an inline oxygenation stone to dissipate the O2 into the wort.
For my first blog entry, I've chosen a subject that's near and dear to my heart; a relaxed brew-day. I've designed (by necessity) a brew schedule that allows for a happy and contented household that doesn't incur the stress of a high maintenance, fully hands on brew day. None of this is based on new brewing techniques, most have been around a lot longer than I've been brewing. And the kicker; the equipment is fairly basic and economical but the beer can be as good as any beer brewed on the most expensive systems available.