My First Mini Mash And Extract

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I was going to get stuck into it this weekend but a couple of things have prevented this funds and mothers day :unsure: it is now scheduled for next weekend or the one after, which will be my birthday weekend. :beer:

What I am after is a bit of hand holding (metaphorically speaking) and some advice on my planned method.

OK, the plan is to get all the ingredients together, I am 75% sure I will be using a reciepe that I got from this group depending on the availability of the stuff at the HBS.

2 x 1.5 cans coopers unhopped malt extract.
250 g dry malt extract
450 g 80L crystal malt (or 350g 120L crystal such as cara aroma)
120 g black malt for a robust version or 230 g of choc malt for a standard brown.
70g kent goldings.

Yeast - still investigating this.

First step - After sanitising everything - will be to put my (pre cracked) grain into my esky and add 3L of water at 65C give it a good mix and put the lid on. At this point I will crack open a bottle and put my feet up. :super: about one hour later I will return to my esky and after giving it another stir I am going to strain the mixture through a fine sieve into my large saucepan return the grain to the esky and add a further 3L of water, this time the water will be around 50C leave it for the time it takes me to drink a second well earned bottle of homebrew and then strain this further mix into the saucepan. Allowing for the water the grain will soak up and other small losses I would like to have around 5L of wort.

How am I doing so far?

Right, next I will add to the wort my 2 x 1.5 cans coopers unhopped malt extract and bring to the boil once boiling I will add 50g of hops and the other 20g about 45 minutes later, I will boil for a further 10 minutes. I will then place the saucepan into a bath of cold water to cool it as quickly as possible, once down to the mid/high 20's I will pour it into the fermenter and add water/ice to bring it up to 23L and the temp down to 20ish and take an OG reading, now I pitch my rehydrated yeast and kick back for a week.

I am not quite sure at what point I should add the DME but I am uessing it will be into the fermenter before the wort is poured on top of it?

Easy, right? :eek:

Please feel free to criticise my method and put me right if I am wrong.
A few tips, if I may...

Boil as much water as you can (depending on the size of your boiler : No, not the missus...not that type of boiler).

Add maybe 1/2 the extract for the full boil and the rest at about 10 min before the end (in my experience), including the DME.

My recent hop schedule was about the same (EKG - 60g for 60 min and 15g for 10 min). Mine is a DME beer.

I recommend W1028, as I advised Trent 2nite.

All your other techniques/schedules are good. :D

PM me if U wish. :D

Adding 50 gms of hops can be a hazardous way of brewing, your bitterness levels could be out.

Post your boil volume, hop alpha acid rating and ibu's you are aiming for your beer and that way someone can give you the right amount of hops to add. The final 20 gms should be fine.

When adding malt extract to the boiler, it is easier to boil your water, turn off the heat, add the malt extract, stir thoroughly to dissolve as you want no gloopy stuff on the bottom of your boiler when the heat is on, double check it is all dissolved, then turn on the heat again and watch out for boilovers.
Thanks for your replies guys but as the replies are somewhat contradictory I have been left somewhat confused (as ever).

Firstly Weizguy, when you say boil as much water as I can. Do you mean that I should add this boiling water to the grain or use it as top up at the end? Remember that my only means of chilling at the moment are dunking the saucepan into a ice water slurry. I am looking to make an immersion chiller this week at work depending if I can scrounge the parts.

POL I do not have any other information to post, I am going to just go for it. I know I am at the bottom of a steep learning curve and I will make mistakes along the way but the important thing is that I WILL learn from them and hopefully not make the same mistake twice.

Why do you think that adding 50g could be hazardous? I am not being fascicious just trying to get my head around this whole brewing thing.
Hmmmm I would never add 65C water to black or chocolate malt, just tepid, then let it stand overnight--astringency results otherwise. Cold steep the crystal with the roast grains.

Drinking while brewing is not recommended.

I would add the DME to the cool wort from cold steeped grains, mix well, then top up to 5L, boil, adding the hops at the 60 and 15 minute marks. With 10 minutes left to go, remove 2 L wort from the boil, add the LME, stir well to dissolve, add this back to your main boil.

I recommend 450g choc malt and 50g roast barley for a nice complex porter.

Look at:

Jovial Monk
Oddball - the whole "boil as much as you can" comment is for a couple of reasons. The more concentrated the wort, the more chance of it darkening or scorching. Also, your hop extraction goes down.

As for adding the 50g of hops, i think POL is hinting on the whole extraction issue. Normally you try to hit and IBU target, rather than saying a certain amount of hops.
Beer is a balance of flavours. These are malt flavour, hops bitterness, hops flavour, alcohol, yeast fermenation flavours and the carbonation level. To get within the guidelines of the style you are brewing, you need the right bitterness level. This is a ratio of the hops alpha acid rating, the amount used, volume of wort boiled, sg of wort and boil time.

The alpha acid rating is given to you at the time you purchase your hops. It is usually printed on the outside of the hops package. If it is not, or your supplier does not know the alpha acid rating, change suppliers.

There is a huge range in the alpha acid rating depnding on the source of the hops. Take Saaz. In Europe, it is around 2-4%. In NZ it is around 6-7%. This means for the same amount of hops, your beer could be three times as bitter if the recipe assumed low alpha European and you sub in high alpha NZ.

Getting the hop bitterness right is important part of your brewing.
Thanks again for all your replies. I am learning so much from this site but so far it is all theory apart from the two kit brews I have made. I am keen to try something with grain and when I searched this site I found this thread.

This is where I got my information and judging from the results it looks to be a good brew.

The one thing I have noticed is how one person will say one thing and somebody elses opinion is totally different, this, when you are a newbie is a little unsettling but I will persist and in the end I too will be able to contradict. :super:
By the way guys something else come into my head today...The Hops...Do i use a hop bag or actually drop them in to the pot? If I do drop them in how do I get them out again and is one way beneficial over the other?

Using a hop bag does make it easier to get the crap out, oddball, but it decreases your extraction rate; because the hops are stuck in a little bag rather than flowing all through the pot, there's not as much wort flowing over then and you don't get the same level of bitterness.

As I don't have a way of whirlpooling or filtering out the rubbish with my current setup, what I've done in past is dump all the crap in the fermenter and rack as soon as primary fermentation finishes. However, I think that I am going to rack 12 hours after putting the beer in primary, before the fermentation has begun but after the crap has settled.

Jovial_Monk said:
Drinking while brewing is not recommended.

But it sure is fun.

Hope your Extract Partail goes allright.
POL's Advice as usual is spot on.
From your recipe and comments i take it u r trying to make a porter..
u need to decide between the different styles...
- Brown Porter, or
- Robust Porter

Makes it easier for us to advise.
Your Recipe - no reason for 65 degrees if u are only using Xtal and Dark Malts - no enzymes in there - better off to steep only.

IMHO i would add more grains and cut back on the crystal:
- 150 Xtal
- 250 Amber
- 200 Choc or Carafa Wheat I
- 100 Black Malt
- 50 Roast Barley ( omit if u want a brown Porter)
- 150 CaraPils
- 750 Ale Malt
- 250 Munich or Vienna

Do a small mash at 66 degrees in at least 5 ltrs of water for 60 mins - then sieve into your pot - then rinse the grains with 2 ltrs of water into your pot.
Boil at least 7 ltrs of water with your hops but i will comment on the hop schedule when i know the style u want.

Hope this helps...and does not confuse you anymore...or any Less

:eek: :p
2 x 1.5 cans coopers unhopped malt extract.
250 g dry malt extract
450 g 80L crystal malt (or 350g 120L crystal such as cara aroma)
120 g black malt for a robust version or 230 g of choc malt for a standard brown.
70g kent goldings.


I remember that recipe :p
Its like looking back on the photo album of the kids when they were younger, in this case brewers when they were younger. That was the recipe i put together for johnno's first big adventure into craft brewing almost 2 years ago.
Anyway I think you can't go wrong with that recipe.
The IBU should be around 35, you'll have to post the the A.A% of the hops you get and i'll work out the exact amount of hops for 60 mins if you like.
Its for around a 11litre boil with only one of the cans, the second can goes in at the end.

GMK said:
IMHO i would add more grains and cut back on the crystal:
- 150 Xtal
- 250 Amber
- 200 Choc or Carafa Wheat I
- 100 Black Malt
- 50 Roast Barley ( omit if u want a brown Porter)
- 150 CaraPils
- 750 Ale Malt
- 250 Munich or Vienna


Oh my god that recipe is craptaboolus <_<
I won't even start to rip kens ideas to shreds but i think the recipe oddball started the thread with is perfect. Of course swapping some extract for a pale malt mash would be great but blot all kens ideas there out of your mind. :blink:

The song remains the same
You guys are awesome, I owe you all a bottle of HB.

To be honest what I am trying to achieve is a strong Stout, after reading and asking questions here I dic=scovered the reciepe for a porter and it got me thinking and one thing led to another and now I want a crack at making it.
I don't know anything about IBU's ( I just checked on google what it stands for) so I suppose that will be incidental to my first attempt. Some of you old pro's will probably cringe at that. :lol:

Anyway, thanks again and once I get the gear together I will post what I have got and hopefully go from there.

whirlpooling is easy. When you turn the heat off under your boil stir the pot strongly enough so the wort forms a wirlpool. Put the lid on the brewpot and let stand for one hour, then strain into the fermenter through a sieve in one smooth continuous pour.

You don't need an hour for a proper whirlpool, ten minutes will suffice. Only way you need longer is if you're waiting for the wort to cool within the kettle, in which case you'll want it in a sink of cold or ice water too, if you have no other means of cooling.

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