All Grain Brewing
Home Brewing Recipes
Baker Street Ales Associate Brewer
Arny Lands
Beer Nexus
the crossroads of the beer world

I've received more than a few e-mails asking me to devote a
column to all grain brewing, so here it is. I hope you give it a try;
it's worth the effort!

                            ALL GRAIN METHOD & EQUIPMENT

GRAIN MILL – I use a corona traditional corn mill . It has a hand crank,
                a hopper and two blades that crush the grain perfectly for
                mashing . Some people attach a power drill to the crank
                to automate the mill . Other options are to buy per-crushed
                grains if possible or to use a less effective food processor .
                (food processor will tend to overcrush and powderize your
                Grain- no good ! )

MASH TUN – crushed grain is added to water in the mash tun to extract
               molecules usable for body, color, flavor and alcohol. A four
              gallon stainless steel pot is a good choice . You can get one
              that has gallons marked on the side or make your own
              markings if possible.  

LAUTERING RESERVOIR – This is my own idea for my method of brewing
             I use this to store 2 ½ to 3 gallons 170 degree water for the
             sparging process . A three gallon thermos with a bottom
             spout is perfect .

BREW KETTLE – You can use this to bring 5 quarts of water to raise your
           mashing temperature to 150 – 158 degrees as you will see in
           the method . But it will eventually be used to bring your wort
           to boil, and the hopping process .

LAUTER TUN – This is made from two 6 or more gallon buckets . Ones
           that have gallon markings are nice or make your own marks.
           The top bucket will have to fit snug into the lower bucket .
           You must drill lots of 1/8” holes in the bottom of the top
           bucket to form a strainer . The bottom bucket will need a
           spout much like your bottling bucket . To use it properly
          you will need to fill it to 3-4” with 170 degree water from your
          lautering reservoir to avoid clogging when you add your mash .
          When you read the method you will understand what I mean .

GLASS CARBOY – a 6 gallon one is preferable with an airlock . A 5 gallon
         one will work as well . But in either case you may need to make
         a blow off tube to allow excess yeast to escape without air
         contact during early fermentation

BLOW OFF TUBE – A blow off tube can be made by placing the airlock
        cork into your carboy and inserting a plastic hose that fits snug
        in the cork and run the other end into a bucket of water . I like
        to use a growler for the bucket it works great !

LOTS OF ICE – and a sink or tub that can hold your brew kettle and lots
       of ice water. They make copper wort chillers that work well but
       after the boil the less equipment you use the better and wort
       chillers can be difficult to sanitize and keep clean.

MISCELLANEOUS- spoon, funnel, grain bags (for steeping grains, hops
      or if it works to place over your funnel as a strainer), floating or
      candy thermometer and hydrometer.
          
                       ------------------------------------------------------------

                                    
 ALL GRAIN BREWING METHOD

You will have to mill all your grain before starting. (Consult your recipe)
Sanitize all your equipment before starting. Some beers are trickier than others
to brew so you may have to add steps. Use this as a guide to get you started.

1) Using your brew kettle bring 2 ½-3 gallons water to 170 degrees and
then transfer to your lautering reservoir (the 3 gallon thermos). Then
add 5 quarts water to brew kettle and bring to a boil for step 4.

2) While working on step 1 bring 2 ½ gallons water to 145 degrees in    
your mash tun.

3) The Mash-Stir in your 10 lbs of crushed grains to mash tun. The resulting
temperature should be 133 degrees. Maintain this temperature for 30 minutes
stirring every 5 minutes. (add heat if necessary.)

4) After mashing for 30 mins add the 5 quarts boiling water from step
one to your mash tun and stir. This will bring the mash to 150-158 degrees. Keep
at 150 degrees (more alcohol less body) to 158 degrees
(more body less alcohol). {consult your recipe} for thirty minutes.

5) After 30 minutes bring the mash to 158 degrees and maintain for
10 mins.

6) Add 170 degree water from your lautering reservoir to your lautering
tun until it is 3-4” above the strainer of the upper bucket.
7) Transfer all grain and liquid from the mash tun to the lautering tun
a little at a time while stirring frequently. Drain almost all the liquid from the
lautering tun to your brew kettle. Leave a little bit so you don’t clog the strainer (3-
4” above the holes)

8) Quickly begin to sparge the grain using the 170 degree water from the
lautering reservoir running it through the lautering tun and out the spout into your
brew kettle. Continue until it runs clear or you have 5 to
6 gallons in the brew kettle. Consult your recipe.

9) Adjust the wort to desired volume in the brew kettle and bring to a
boil, adding hops and whatever else you want to boil according to your recipe.
Boil your hops for at least 45 minutes and add finishing hops for the  last 10-15
minutes or add as much hops whenever you want. Just be sure to boil at least
one hour and not to reduce your volume of wort
too much. If you need to add water after the boil you must be sure it is clean or
preboiled. don’t worry though because I always add water in my canned malt
method and have experienced no problems.

10) After boiling is complete you want to cool your brew as fast as possible using
an ice bath and spoon for stirring or a wort chiller. It must be below 70 degrees
so as not to kill your yeast.

11) Using your funnel and grain bag strainer transfer the cooled wort to your
glass fermenter. Remember you will need to remove the hops somehow, the
grain bag strainer will make it easier. Go slow and remove hops that get in your
way as necessary. You can always dry hop if you desire. Again consult your
recipe.

12) Add your yeast—See Yeast instructions to make it active before you
start the process. Now place your blow off tube or air lock on the carboy and
ferment away.  I highly recommend the blow off tube .

13) Ferment

14) Bottle

15) Age

16) Call Arny and invite him to drink !

This my seem like a lot of work but you'll see the results in your beer.  Give it a try!
Best of luck and remember when you make beer you doing a good thing!!

                               -----------------------------


     Good Brewing and Cheers!

                Arny Lands
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