All Grain Brewing is not difficult but there is a lot to it…
We as humans have been brewing beer for a very long time… thousands of years… people have made beer in some wild ass crazy apparatus over the years and I am sure they thought it turned out just fine…
So again it is not hard to brew beer… you can do it… and you will make good tasting beer in the not to distant future… but there is no doubt a learning cure involved in the brewing process…
So my goal in this post is to shorten your learning curve… I have put together the following list of easy to follow All Grain Brewing Instructions for you…. if you follow the advice I provide here you will be off to a great start in your beer making adventure in no time…
Have You Ever Brewed Beer Before?
When I started brewing all grain beer I found it to be quite easy and straight forward…
Why is this? The answer is because I did not start out as an all grain brewer.
Instead I started making beer about 16 years ago using malt extract beer kits… I did this for quite a few years… then I moved on to doing partial mash brewing… and then finally I advanced to all grain brewing.
What this did for me was teach me the complete beer brewing process over the course of many years…
You see everything I learned AND the equipment I purchased I was able to use when I transitioned into a partial mash brewer… and everything I learned as a partial mash brewer I used as an all grain brewer…
Starting at the beginning like I did is almost like getting a job and learning how to do it on the job… on job training so to speak.
Instead of trying to master everything at once, you learn as you go…
Now having said all of this I know many people who jumped right into all grain brewing and did great… so the choice is up to you… how much do you want to spend to get started and how much of a learning curve do you want to tackle at one time?
If you want to learn more about the different ways of brewing I just discussed you can check out this post:
If you are ready to jump right into all grain brewing read on...
All Grain Brewing Equipment
I am going to do my best to write this post with the thought that you are new to brewing… so I am going to cover the basics and then move into the more advanced stuff… start at the beginning and work our way up!
The first thing to understand is that when you are brewing there is a cold side and a hot side….
The cold side is going to be the fermenting and the bottling or kegging…. where the hot side is going to be mashing, sparging and boiling… etc.
For the cold side you are going to need:
- A Fermenter
- Mash Paddle (big arse spoon)
- Bottles or kegs… in this post I am focusing on bottling… if you want to keg go here: Kegging Homebrew
To me the best way to get everything you need for the cold side is to get yourself a Coopers DIY Kit, it comes with everything you need to get brewing and the fermenter it comes with is one of the best I have ever used.
The following link is to my review of the Coopers kit:
For the hot side you are going to need:
Now this is where things get a little tricky… at this point you are going to have to make a decision on how you want to brew all grain beer.
Like anything in life there are many ways to get the same result…
With making beer you have options in regards to your brewing setup. You can get really complicated and expensive with your set up or you can keep it simple and inexpensive.
I have brewed using different set-ups… I have tried beer from buddies of mine who use different set-ups then mine and one thing I can tell you is that the Quality of the Beer is the same whether you spend a ton of money and complicate the crap out of it… or you are cost conscious and keep it simple. The beer tastes the same!
So myself I keep it simple…
Where some people use 3 different kettles (vessels), control panels, transferring equipment… I use 1 vessel that does it all.
Where some people spend thousands of dollars on equipment to brew 5 gallons of beer… I spent a fraction of that.
If you want to learn more about these different methods, the following link will take you to a post that will help you out… in it I cover more about the 3 vessel system vs the 1 vessel: How to BIAB
In this post I am going to show you what I do…
… if you go this route you are going to save big bucks… and also save yourself a ton of time on brew day, because the system I use is not only a ton less expensive but it also takes less time to brew on and to clean up…
Alright enough of that… lets get at it…
I actually brew on two systems… if it is a nice day out I will Brew in a Bag… if it is not nice out or if I simply want to brew inside I use an All-In-One-Brewing System.
They are the exact same thing… except one uses propane to heat the kettle and the other is an electric system that you plug into an electrical wall outlet. So one you would brew outside with and the other inside. Simple as that.
Here is a post where I tell you exactly what equipment you need and where to get it for either brew in a bag or all in one brewing: What is Brew in a Bag
Read on to see the exact all grain brewing instructions for both of these systems. The process is the same.
Instructions to Make All Grain Brew
OK here we go… I will give you a basic overview and then will also point you to another post that will help you understand this even more…
NOTE: Later in this post I am going to recommend you pick up an all grain beer kit, it will come with everything you need, ingredients AND detailed instructions. So between all the information on this site and the instructions in the beer kits you are going to be all set! Plus if you ever need my help drop me a comment in the comment section of this post and I will be there for you my friend!
So basically what happens with this method of brewing is you:
=> Heat the water in the kettle to strike temperature
=> You either put the grain bag into the kettle if you are using the brew in a bag system or you put the grain basket in the kettle if you are using the all in one system.
=> Then add the grains to the bag or the basket (dough in)
=> Mash for 60 – 90 minutes (soak grains in the heated water, about 150F’ish)
=> Remove the grain bag or grain basket and let the liquid drain back into the kettle
=> Boil the wort (liquid left in the kettle aka unfermented beer)
=> Add the hops as your recipe calls for
=> At the end of the boil you chill the wort to fermenting temperature (under 70F is good)
=> Transfer the wort to the fermenter
=> Pitch the yeast (sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid)
=> Put the cover on the fermenter and put the fermenter in a dark area of your home with temperature around 63-65F
=> After fermenting, bottle or keg your beer
Here are some additional resources to help you understand this process:
Here is a link to the a review of the all-in-one system I use:
What About Recipes & Ingredients?
As far as recipes go… you can find all grain recipes everywhere… there are books with great recipes… there are forums where people share recipes… on this site I have actually given away my top 5 Home Brewing Recipes…
However what I recommend when you are first staring out and something I still do from time to time even to this day is to pick up an all grain beer kit…
These kits are awesome… they make great beer… they come with everything you need… all the ingredients (grains, hops, yeast, priming sugar, etc)… and complete step by step brewing instructions that are very detailed and easy to follow.
And the cost of these kits is about the same as if you sourced out the ingredients on your own, so it is a win win.
I have tried beer kits from many places… Adventures in Homebrewing has some of the best and a very large selection so I typically recommend people start there.
Do You Have Any Questions
So that’s it my friend… between all the information on this site… the all grain brewing instructions I just gave you and any help I can provide you in the comments section below you should be off and running on your brewing adventure.
Remember to have fun with it… it’s a great hobby!
Big Robb is out…