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Georgedgerton

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High folk, I havent been able to put a brew down (untill a couple of days ago) for just on a year due to ongoing family issues. I have a 50 litre four vessel system, with the the rims being an independent unit to the HLT. The problem is I'm not too young any more and handling heavy gear (for me anyway) and cleaning up and disposing of wet grain just about killed me. I don't want to stop brewing, but definitely going to have to go differently about it. I understand you can't avoid cleaning up some of the gear but I would like to take a bit of the heavy work out of it. I thought maybe going extract and mini-mash, but worried I'm going to end up with that fairly recognisable extract flavour. I haven't had much experience with mini-mash either as I went pretty much straight from extract to all grain. Some say mini mashes + extract can be pretty good. So any thoughts on this, and am I too worried about the extract flavours.
 

JDW81

I make wort, the yeast make it beer.
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I think extract is a good way forward, and in my experience you don't get much (if any) of that "extract flavour" if you use good quality spray dried DME. You can easily do a mini mash (with a few Kg of grain) or even a steep with specialty grain to make a particular style. Mini mash is easy, and served me well for many years before going all grain.

Again, you can either do a full volume boil, or a small boil (say 50% of the final volume) and then top up with cooled boiled water.

I think a lot of the "extract flavours" come from poor brewing practices by inexperience brewers (poor temp control, yeast health, sanitisation etc) than actual issues with the extract itself.
 

Hazah

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I think that this is a good way ahead or look at a smaller setup and look at smaller batches. As far as extract goes it's not like the early 90's when I first started where home brew shops bought questionable malts in bulk and it sat around for ages, the hops were crap and the yeast was just whatever was under the lid of the kit or something that the brew shop had bought a block of.

A very good mate of mine has just had his fourth hernia repaired and he has gone to a Beer Drioid thing that he bought second hand from someone on Stalkbook marketplace I think he paid $150 and it came with a beer kit! Everything that was in the kit was all dry ingredients - he put it through the machine and I was pretty impressed with the quality of the beer he knocked out using one of their kits - unsure of how long it had sat around before he got it. I'm not opposed to using extract and I have made plenty of great beers with kits and bits in the past - especially if I get too busy with life and am running low on beer.

The other thing that he's gone to is fresh wort kits - the ones' in the bladders - not the cubes - he pours half in squeezes the air out and puts the other half in his fridge (that he used to use for temp control). He ferments them in two steps and he hasn't had to do any of the heavy lifting. Instead of running 19 litre cornies he is running 10l ones and has them double staked in his kegerator - if you get sick of having the same three beers on tap you just swap one of the kegs out - it's a pretty good setup.
 
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Georgedgerton

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I think extract is a good way forward, and in my experience you don't get much (if any) of that "extract flavour" if you use good quality spray dried DME. You can easily do a mini mash (with a few Kg of grain) or even a steep with specialty grain to make a particular style. Mini mash is easy, and served me well for many years before going all grain.

Again, you can either do a full volume boil, or a small boil (say 50% of the final volume) and then top up with cooled boiled water.

I think a lot of the "extract flavours" come from poor brewing practices by inexperience brewers (poor temp control, yeast health, sanitisation etc) than actual issues with the extract itself.
Good point, perhaps a lot of the extract flavours I have tasted have quite possibly come more from poor practice than the extract
 

Georgedgerton

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I think that this is a good way ahead or look at a smaller setup and look at smaller batches. As far as extract goes it's not like the early 90's when I first started where home brew shops bought questionable malts in bulk and it sat around for ages, the hops were crap and the yeast was just whatever was under the lid of the kit or something that the brew shop had bought a block of.

A very good mate of mine has just had his fourth hernia repaired and he has gone to a Beer Drioid thing that he bought second hand from someone on Stalkbook marketplace I think he paid $150 and it came with a beer kit! Everything that was in the kit was all dry ingredients - he put it through the machine and I was pretty impressed with the quality of the beer he knocked out using one of their kits - unsure of how long it had sat around before he got it. I'm not opposed to using extract and I have made plenty of great beers with kits and bits in the past - especially if I get too busy with life and am running low on beer.

The other thing that he's gone to is fresh wort kits - the ones' in the bladders - not the cubes - he pours half in squeezes the air out and puts the other half in his fridge (that he used to use for temp control). He ferments them in two steps and he hasn't had to do any of the heavy lifting. Instead of running 19 litre cornies he is running 10l ones and has them double staked in his kegerator - if you get sick of having the same three beers on tap you just swap one of the kegs out - it's a pretty good setup.
Also good points. I think I will definitely give it a try with some smaller mashes and extract. Will stay with the full volume boil as I don't have any problem transfering from the boiler to fermenter etc.
 

An Ankoù

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Do you need to brew 50 litres? I used to do it and as I generally brew outdoors, I started doing some smaller brews in the kitchen. I've now honed my method so that I brew overstrength in a 15 litre stockpot on the gas cooker and then liquor back to 20 litres with cheap bottled water. This means I have nothing heavier than about 15 Kg to lift at any one time. I've got the mash and sparge system so finely-tuned that it gives a miles better efficiency than my SS, false bottom mash tun used to give. I'm using a 15 or 16 litre couscoussier with a mesh bag in the steamer section. This means I can use a very fine grind with fear of getting a set mash. 20 litre batches mean I can brew a greater variety of beers, too.
Brew day works like this: Get up and put the mash on, in an insulated picnic box (I think you call it an esky). Get on with the day's work. Around 4pm, sparge the wort and get the boil on. Should be ready by about 6pm. Dip pot in the kitchen sink full of water a couple of times to get the temperature down by 20 or 30 degrees. Leave to cool overnight, transfer to FV. Add sufficient water to liquor back to target OG and pitch. Job done.
 
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Georgedgerton

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Do you need to brew 50 litres? I used to do it and as generally brew outdoors, I started doing some smaller brews in the kitchen. I've no honed my method so that I brew overstrength in a 15 litre stockpot on the gas cooker and then liquor back to 20 litres with cheap bottled water. This means I have nothing heavier than about 15 Kg to lift at any one time. I've got the mash and sparge system so finely-tuned that it gives a miles better efficiency than my SS, false bottom mash tun used to give. I'm using a 15 or 16 litre couscoussier with a mesh bag in the steamer section. This means I can use a very fine grind with fear of getting a set mash. 20 litre batches mean I can brew a greater variety of beers, too.
Brew day works like this: Get up and put the mash on, in an insulated picnic box (I think you call it an esky). Get on with the day's work. Around 4pm, sparge the wort and get the boil on. Should be ready by about 6pm. Dip pot in the kitchen sink full of water a couple of times to get the temperature down by 20 or 30 degrees. Leave to cool overnight, transfer to FV. Add sufficient water to liquor back to target OG and pitch. Job done.
Thanks everyone for your input. No doubt there are a number of ways I can make things easier for myself with a bit of adjustment and experimentation
 

Brewman_

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BIAB any size and get some good lifting / handling equipment.

Good pulleys, and ropes. Get the Yatch one's from the boat shop. A bit dearer but they work so well. Trolley, and or floor dolly. Set up makes a big difference.

Hope you find a good solution.

Seen heaps of good set ups. PM me if you like.

Edit.... I know I am getting old too!

Cheers
Steve
 
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