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How do you do your all extract brew

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Danhutch333

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Hi All,

I've been putting down all extract brews for the last year or so. I'm not far away from giving BIAB a go but I'm still keen to learn everything I can at each stage a long the way. At the moment I feel like my learning curve has stalled a little so I'm putting this quesetion out there.

How do you do your All Extract beers? I'm interested to know how my method differs from others (or how it is the same).

The following is a break down of a fairly standard brew day for me.

- I prepare a recipe using the spreadsheet pinned to this forum.

- I steep the following grains in 6-7L water for 30mins. 200-300g carapils/foam + 200-400g crystal (light - dark, depending on the type of beer I'm aiming for). The grains are smashed up using a coffee gringer of similar type to the one in the "BIAB for under $30" thread. Strike temp is always between 65-70 degC. Temp after grains are added sits between 63-68 deC and I never seem to lose more than a couple of degC during the 30mins because I have the pot wrapped up well.

-Once the grains are out I add DME to bring the liquid up to approx 1.040 (calc using the spread sheet). I sometimes sparge, sometimes not.

- Boil generally lasts 60 min and all hops are added to a hop bag so it can be removed at the end of the boil.

- Additional hops added at flame out which stay for the fermentation.

- I cool the wort in an ice bath and then add it to the fermenter. I also mix in the extra DME + sugars + water. Batch size = 23-25L Check temp, add yeast.

- Sometimes dry hop, sometimes not.

So there you have it. My average brew day. How does yours differ? I would be interested to know.

Happy brewing

Dan
 

goomboogo

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There's not a whole lot more you can do without buying more equipment. Are you happy with beers you're making? Do you feel that you have a good grasp on what each of your ingredients bring to the beer? You don't mention fermentation process. Are you doing anything in terms of controlling fermentation temperatures?

Your process appears sound. I'm not a fan of the coffee grinder but it's a minor thing when compared to some of the half-arsed things people are attempting to pass off as good practice.
 

MarkyMark

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Hi Dan,

I do pretty much exactly the same as you, assuming you have some way of controlling fermentation temp as mentioned, and I'm very happy with the quality of the end product. I've done a couple of BIAB brews via the "BIAB for under $30" method. You don't need a lot more gear and it was fun to have a go.

I moved to kegs a few months ago, which was definately a good move as I was getting frustrated with the inconsistentancy of priming bottles (even though I was bulk priming). I'll probably give BIAB another go when I get time.

Cheers Mark
 

verysupple

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Dan,
You do exactly what I did for ages. Made great beers and was a completely sound process (assuming temp controlled ferment as mentioned).

By the sounds of it, you have plenty of equipment to do a partial mash. It seems like you have your steeping temps figured out and stable so all you need to do is add base malt, use an appropriate liquor to grist ratio, and mash at an appropriate temp( search some partial threads) and you're there. Partials are great to do before going full BIAB as it lets you learn the mashing/sparging process with a safety net - if you get poor conversion or efficiency you're still adding extract and can boost the OG.

Happy brewin'.
 

ianh

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One difference in what I use to do was add any DME/sugar etc at the end of the boil rather than after its cooled, kill any nasties.
 

Danhutch333

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Thanks for the replies gents.

Nice to know I'm tracking a long the correct path.

Fermentation temps are rock solid. I've got a freezer set to a thermostat and can make the temp what ever I want. Add a heater belt if it looks like it will be too cold.

Fair point on adding the make up sugar/DME at the end of the boil. I have done that at times myself. It all comes down to where my malt is stored. Sometimes it just seems like a pain in the arse to take it all to the kitchen when I know I'm about to take the wort to the brew room.

Happy Brewing

Dan
 

roverfj1200

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Dan. If there was one thing I learnt doing extract is that more is not always good. I always found myself over doing it on the darker grains. You can make great beers with no spec grains at all. Also the qualtity of the extract is a big thing. Useing good extract that will not throw wild flavours is a must. You can rely on coopers DME and LME and Morgans is OK. Watch out for DME that home brew shops bulk buy.

Cheers.
 

pcmfisher

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I do my hop boil in 10:1 water to ldme. ie 6 litres water to 600g ldme.
While this is happening I steep my spec grain in separate container.

While hoppy wort is cooling, strain and rinse grains and boil up runnings for a couple of minutes. Use this to dissolve the rest of your fermentables either in the pot or in your fermenter.

Saves you half an hour.

As mentioned watch the amount of specialty grain you use.
Also, when doing what I call average beers, ie not high abv or not high ibu or not dark beers, drop the amount of liquid/dry malt and substitute for dextrose. This makes your brew more fermentable, lowering your fg a little, producing an easer to drink, less sweet/cloying beer.
 

carniebrew

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Danhutch333 said:
Hi All,

I've been putting down all extract brews for the last year or so. I'm not far away from giving BIAB a go but I'm still keen to learn everything I can at each stage a long the way. At the moment I feel like my learning curve has stalled a little so I'm putting this quesetion out there.

How do you do your All Extract beers? I'm interested to know how my method differs from others (or how it is the same).
Hi Dan, have you seen this thread? Got some great responses to my guide with tips and tricks on optimising my extract brew day...for example VonScott's method of steeping spec grains in a separate pot.
 

Danhutch333

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Carniebrew - Thanks for the reminder on your thread. I remember seeing that when you first put it up for discussion. I've been away from AHB for a while and forgot it was there..... then I messed up my search before I posted my thread :unsure:
There's some really good info in there.

I do my hop boil in 10:1 water to ldme. ie 6 litres water to 600g ldme.
While this is happening I steep my spec grain in separate container.

While hoppy wort is cooling, strain and rinse grains and boil up runnings for a couple of minutes. Use this to dissolve the rest of your fermentables either in the pot or in your fermenter.

Saves you half an hour.
pcmfisher - great idea

Cheers gents
 

fletcher

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this isn't having a go at that particular method, but it sounds as though with all the grain steeping and such, that it's potentially more work than doing a simple BIAB. with your steeping process and then mashing, it honestly sounds as though it is basically BIAB anyway - might i ask if it is just preference to use dried malts rather than base malt grain?
 

Danhutch333

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To be honest, I've been thinking a long similar lines myself.

Up until now it has been a time thing. I know I can complete an extract brew (from heating the water through to pitching the yeast) in 2hrs. And while I'm doing it I can still manage to keep my 4 & 2 yr old boys occupied. The extra time involved in doing a full mash and full boil has been daunting up until now. But I'm beginning to think that if I structure my time well, going for BIAB in an urn shoudln't be too much of a stretch.

I'll keep you posted
 

fletcher

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that's totally fair enough given time restraints. I have noticed in my brew day though that, like you say, there are many things you could do even in manageable lesser 'chunks'. things like milling grain and preparing the urn/pot, measuring hop additions and having them ready etc I often do the night before. I also no chill which cuts down all the chilling. during mash I often have an hour or 90 mins to simply wait, then during the boil I only get to my pot once my brew mate alarm rings to pop in my hops/whirlfloc. maybe something like that could work for you too :) I end up spending most of that time having a beer and/or cleaning up or making lunch!
 

pcmfisher

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fletcher said:
this isn't having a go at that particular method, but it sounds as though with all the grain steeping and such, that it's potentially more work than doing a simple BIAB. with your steeping process and then mashing, it honestly sounds as though it is basically BIAB anyway - might i ask if it is just preference to use dried malts rather than base malt grain?
I am assuming we are talking stove top here.

As I outlined, a big time saving if you steep at the same time as you are doing your boil. .
Only doing a small boil remember. If you boil the kettle 3 or 4 times you can have your hop boil going in no time. As against heating strike water and then waiting for ages for the stove top to get 15+ litres up to a half arsed boil.

From start to in fermenting fridge in less than 2 hours with extract. It will take twice as long for a 15-20l stove top biab even to to get to no chill.

From a time and effort perspective, small boil extract wins hands down.
 

fletcher

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i wasn't trying to gauge what wins, but what was his preference. just from reading his initial post, it sounded like a lot of work. i was curious as to how long it took compared to BIAB. you've cleared that up for me.
 

carniebrew

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carniebrew said:
Hi Dan, have you seen this thread? Got some great responses to my guide with tips and tricks on optimising my extract brew day...for example VonScott's method of steeping spec grains in a separate pot.
Just to correct myself, I believe it was pcmfisher who first put me onto steeping spec grains in a separate pot, while boiling a couple of kettles to kick off my stove-top boil. VonScott suggested putting the pot with steeping grains in the oven to keep the temperature constant...if your oven goes low enough do so.

As I said, I got some great feedback from a few of these guys, it's cut my extract/spec grain brew time basically in half.
 

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