Adventures in Homebrewing and Homebrewing.org are currently having a great promotion on All Grain Homebrewing Equipment.
Adventures in Homebrewing Coupon Code
If you are looking to transition from extract home beer brewing over to all grain brewing, you might want to check out the promotion that Adventures in Homebrewing currently has running. For a limited time you can pick up a homebrewing mash tun cooler and hot liquor tank cooler both for just $179.
This package deal from Adventures in Homebrewing includes 2 Igloo coolers with stainless steel ball vales. One 10 gallon cooler will be used as a hot liquor tank which includes a ball valve and hose for sparging while the mash tun comes with a stainless steel false bottom and a stainless tube, and ball valve. For more details on this limited time offer, click the following link:
The results from the West Coast Brewer home brewing style survey poll are in!
I asked the viewers of WestCoastBrewer.com, “What method of home brewing do you use?” and 3,491 home brewers responded and here is the breakdown.
What method of home brewing do you use?
Extract 942 (26.98%) BIAB – Brew In A Bag 514 (14.72%) All Grain (Non BIAB) 1476 (42.28%) Mini Mash Grain Mash & Extract 559 (16.01%)
Total votes: 3491
It looks like All Grain Home Brewing is the most popular, making up 42% of the total home brew population with Extract Home Brewers coming in 2nd at just shy of 27%. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the poll.
Please contribute to our most recent home brewing poll “How many years have you been home brewing for?”
If you are currently all grain brewing and not using a software such as BeerSmith 2, you may want to consider making the investment. For about $24, Beer Smith allows you to easily design homebrew recipes and tells you when you are in and out of alignment for the attributes of the beer style you are brewing such as bitterness, color and gravity. You can add easily customize your beer recipe by adding different grain types, hop varieties and quantities to see the impact that it will have on your beer before you actually brew it. In addition to that you can customize your water profile by adding minerals to mimic the ideal water composition of your style.
BeerSmith also helps you organize your brew day! It tells you how much water to add and at what temperature to help reach your mash temperature efficiently. It also provides you with a list of hop additions and times for them them to be added and it is all on one sheet of paper.
Here is a list of some of the features:
Get step-by-step instructions for any recipe
Build recipes in minutes, not hours
Match beer styles from around the world
Share and compare recipes with brewers from around the world
Great for both beginners and expert home brewers
Add a custom equipment profile
Save and store recipes for future batches
If you are looking to purchase BeerSmith 2, MoreBeer has a promotion on it today while supplies last. You can pick it up for $18.99 using promo code Beerdeal.
For those of you who are not familiar with RIMS, it stands for Recirculating Infusion Mash System. Basically it is a method for regulating the temperature of your mash tun during the mashing process when the grain starches are converted to sugars. The mash temperature is critical when brewing a beer and a swing of just a few degrees can have a dramatic impact on your finished beer. For instance, a mash temperature of 146F to 150F will create very simple sugars that are easy for yeast strains to convert into alcohol, providing you with a beer that has a dry finish. While a mash temperature of 154F to 158F will create a good deal of complex sugars that the yeast can not digest which makes for a very full bodied beer that will be lower in alcohol.
If you conduct your mash in metal kettles such as the stainless steel Blichmann 20 gallon kettles that I use, you will find that your kettles will shed a good deal of heat during the mash process. In order to maintain a proper mash conversion you will need to either heat the kettle or the fluid inside of it. The problem with adding direct heat to your mash tun kettle is that you risk scorching your grain bed or wort and may also have a large temperature variance at the bottle of the mash tun and the top of it. If you are going to apply direct heat, it is important that you are recirculating your wort with a pump to help minimize those issues. Another potential problem with direct heat is that it can be difficult to monitor and control with out the use of a temperature controller and means for regulating the heat source; if you are not careful your temperature can swing by 5 degrees very quickly.
For the reasons I stated above, I recently started work on a RIMS (Recirculating Infusion Mash System) to help me properly maintain my mash temperature. I am still conducting tests with it but plan on brewing my first test batch of beer this weekend and am optimistic that it will work out well and help me brew the best beer possible. The system is rather simple. I am constantly recirculating the wort in my mash tun via a march pump. The wort flows into a stainless steel chamber where I have an electric stainless steel heating element at the point of entry. At the opposite end of the chamber is a thermowell that is connected to a Ranco digital temperature controller. If the Ranco temperature controller detects that the temperature of the wort has fallen below my target temperature, then it activates the low watt electric heating element until the target temperature is once again reached and then shuts the element off. The wort flows out of the chamber and back into my mash tun via my MoreBeer Ultimate Sparge Arm. Instead of obsessing over my mash temp and constantly fiddling with my burner and pumps, I can kick back, toss the football around with a friend and enjoy a cold beer until my timer goes off! It should make for a more controlled mash and less stressful brew day if all goes well. Once the design is fully tested I will submit another blog entry with more details on how to build one of your own. In the meantime, you can find Ranch temperature controllers and the MoreBeer Ultimate Sparge Arm here.
I figured that I would give a simple break down on all grain home brewing for those of you who have been doing extract brewing for a while and are considering making the change but want some basic information on what you are in for before you do.
So what is the difference between extract brewing and all grain brewing? With extract brewing, the home brewer bypasses the mashing process and instead uses either concentrated dried malt extract (DME) or liquid malt extract (LME) to brew his or her beer. This greatly lowers the complexity of the home brewing process since the brewer does not need to worry about water pH levels, mash conversion temperatures, water profile composition, sparging, lautering or things like tannin extraction problems. Also, the extract home brewing takes far less time and equipment than all grain home brewing. With all grain brewing, you do not utilize any forms of malt extracts and instead convert all of the sugars yourself from grain starches and adjuncts. With all grain home brewing it is important to check your gravity readings throughout the brewing process to make sure that you are not extracting too much or two little sugar. You are also in charge of the type of sugars that are created during the mashing process. If your mash temperature is a few degrees to high your beer may come out very sweet, if it is a few degrees to low you may end up with a very dry beer. Mastering all grain brewing is all about understanding the process, tailoring the process to the style of beer you are brewing and being as exact as possible.
So what equipment will you need to do all grain home brewing that you do not need for extract brewing? Unless you are going to go the brew in a bag route, you are probably going to want 3 kettles and or combinations of 3 kettles \ coolers. One will be your Hot Liquor Tank (HLT) which will allow you to quickly modify the temperature of your mash during the different steps of the starch conversion process. The second is your Mash Tun which is where you will place your grains and convert the starches to sugars. A mash tun typically uses a false bottom which allows the wort to pass through it during the lautering and mash out process but restricts the grain husks from being transferred to the boil kettle. If you will be conducting a fly sparging process, which many home brewers do in order to boost your efficiency of extracting the sugars from your grains, you will also need to purchase a sparge arm. Lastly you will need a boil kettle that has a sufficient volume for the quantity of wort that you will be boiling. Aside from that, the equipment is very similar to what you would use during the extract home brewing process.
If you are looking for a ready-made all grain home brewing stand, brewing sculpture or home brewery; there are several options available here that range from cooler based setups to stainless steel home brewing racks!