Sunday, 14 December 2008

My First All-Grain

After years using dry malt extract as the base of my home brewing, today I finally used my home-made mash tun to do my first full batch all-grain brew. I decided to make an amber ale with pale ale, munich and crystal malt, and a hop I had never used before; glacier. Hence, I named the beer Glacial Amber. The recipe is here if you really want to know.

I'm not going to get all brew-geeky right now, but it was a long process. Exactly the reason I used extract till now, as it meant I could make a beer in three to four hours. Today took about eight or nine hours from start to finish. However the process is so slow with lots of waiting that I made a very tasty cottage pie in between as well as trying to clean the place up before my Mother arrives on Wednesday. I need to find a new place to put the fermenter actually...

Right now I'm sampling a bottle of my Christmas beer. Although only bottled a week ago, it has a light carbonation that I think improves it. Plus it's been in the fridge. Tomorrow is the office Christmas party, so I was considering bringing in a few bottles if it was any way condtioned. I'm tempted. It gives a nice spicey warmth. I don't know what beer will be on offer, but I fear a night of Becks or Veltins.

Next brew should be a barley wine. I can't wait!

5 comments:

Bionic Laura said...

Congratulations on the all grain brew. I'm sure when you taste it all the work will have been worth it.

I found that it took ages as well when I did the all grain brew. I still do extract brews as they can be done in an evening and don't take all day like the all grain.

At least you got a tasty dinner made during all the waiting around. Or maybe you could do like me and take up knitting to do while you're waiting for the mash!

e.s. delia said...

Congrats indeed on going all-grain! I've only done a few extract brews with a friend's equipment, one using specialty grains. But I've got the itch so bad, especially after reading about your oak chip experiment, I think I'll be buying my own set-up as a Christmas gift to myself. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Joe said...

I'm jealous! I have an accord with the Missus to NOT start homebrewing while we live in Belgium and while a generous part of our budget goes to beer-cellaring and beer-traveling. Seems like a fair enough deal until we get posted to the Middle East or something.

John said...

Nice one! They do get easier and quicker. I learned little time saving tips like getting all my water from the hot tap and sparging directly into the boiler and switching it on once the element was covered, little things like that saved me loads of time. Other things such as getting a good rhythm will help too.

Adeptus said...

Thank you all :)

I've avoided going all grain for over two years now simply because of time and space constraints. I have the space since moving to Germany, and actually, the time isn't so bad after all. I still firmly believe that you can make beer as good with dry malt extract and speciality malts (although I'll let others judge my efforts), but being able to do all grain just opens up more taste possibilities using grains that must be mashed to release their goodness. I reckoned it was about bloody time!

I have my extract brewing technique pretty smooth now, so this is just one more process that I can learn from. As you say, John, it's the little tricks that can really streamline the day. But I like being in the kitchen anyway...

I just hope it tastes good! :D