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Old 16-02-2015, 11:02 AM   #1
clibit
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Default Have a go at simple AG

If you've made a few kits and/or extract brews, why not have a go at a simple AG brew, to see the difference it makes? A small batch of AG beer is not difficult and you will discover the difference and feel the joy and pride of making it from scratch. All you need for 5 litres is 1kg of Maris Otter, or other pale malt, a packet of hops, and a sachet of yeast. You just need a thermometer, a decent sized pan and something to strain the grain from the wort. A big sieve, or a piece of cloth in a colander. A bag that fills the pan and,drapes over the sides and holds the grains, made from muslin or voile, is ideal. You also need a hydrometer to check the gravity before and after fermentation.

Recipe:
  • 1kg Maris Otter (about £1.50)
  • One packet of hops (any you like - EKG, Citra, Amarillo, Galaxy, Fuggles, First gold etc) (About £3-4, but you will only use 15g of the 100g, so cost is around 50p)
  • One packet of yeast, 3g dried yeast is enough. (50p ish)

Method:

1. Heat 3 litres of water to 75C in big pan.
2. Pour in the pale malt while stirring - get rid of lumps.
3. Check temp is 65-70C - adjust if necessary with cold or boiling water.
4. Wrap a thick towel round the pot and leave alone for one hour.
5. Strain into a bucket or other vessel through sieve, or colander lined with cloth.
6. Heat another 4 litres of water to 80C and add the grains back to it. Leave 10 mins, stir, and strain the liquid to your bucket. You should have about 6 litres, which will reduce when you boil it for an hour.
7. Dispose of grains, add wort to pan and bring to boil.
8. Add 5 grams of hops when boiling point is reached.
9. 55 Mins later add 5 to 10g of hops, depending on your hoppiness requirements, boil another 5 mins and switch off.
10. Cool the wort in sink, with lid on, add to sterilised FV/demijohn via sterilised sieve to catch hops, and top up the level to 5 litres if necessary. Pitch yeast at around 18 - 20C.

[Measure the amount of water added if you top up the FV, and add this amount to the sparge water next time you brew]

You should get 8 or 9 x 500ml bottles of lovely beer for about £2.50. It takes me about 3 hours start to finish, making 10 litre batches in this way (see below).

10 Litre option: You can just double all the quantities and make 10 Litres, which is what I do most of the time, it's a good amount of beer. About 18x500ml bottles, or 27x330ml bottles. You just need a 15ish litre pot.

If you've never made an all grain beer it's really worth giving this a go.

Here's a youtube video that shows the method quite well:


Last edited by clibit; 11-05-2015 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 16-02-2015, 01:33 PM   #2
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Good post, Clibit. It strips it right down to the bare essentials and shows just how simple it can be. I will be doing something very similar myself soon as my first AG brew - a nice simple SMaSH (single malt and single hop).
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Old 16-02-2015, 09:52 PM   #3
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I'm keen to try this clibit. One question though, how long for initial fermentation? Is it the same as a 20L? I've only got room for one fv so this would slow down production dramatically. Could get two 15L fvs but havent really got space to store everything when not in use.

Presumably you could do a 10L by doubling all quants, same boil time etc?
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Old 16-02-2015, 10:19 PM   #4
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I decided to do something similar for my first beer. I made up a grain bill of 1 kg. Wacked it in a stocking and into water at mash temp. One boil and one aroma hop addition.

Had my first bottle last night and I am very pleased. I've definitely got the bug. A SMaSH as you suggest will be next. And I've bought a paint strainer bag to improve my efficiency. Get into it people.
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Old 16-02-2015, 10:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garethhuwwilliams View Post
I'm keen to try this clibit. One question though, how long for initial fermentation? Is it the same as a 20L? I've only got room for one fv so this would slow down production dramatically. Could get two 15L fvs but havent really got space to store everything when not in use.

Presumably you could do a 10L by doubling all quants, same boil time etc?
Fermentation time isn't dictated by brew length i.e the smaller the brewlength the faster the fermentation.

If you need to ferment fast use S04 yeast. It can ferment out fully in as little as three days. Also the lower the OG the faster the ferment as there's less sugars to consume. So if you stick to brews around 4% using s04 you can get it in and out the fermenter in 3 or four days
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Old 16-02-2015, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garethhuwwilliams View Post
I'm keen to try this clibit. One question though, how long for initial fermentation? Is it the same as a 20L? I've only got room for one fv so this would slow down production dramatically. Could get two 15L fvs but havent really got space to store everything when not in use.

Presumably you could do a 10L by doubling all quants, same boil time etc?
Fermentation time is not substantially different, I usually allow two weeks, sometimes more.

Yes you can just double the quantities for 10 litres, an amount I often make.

I use some large 5 and 10 litre yoghurt containers for short length brews. Picked them up from a take away, saw them behind the counter and asked...
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Old 16-02-2015, 11:07 PM   #7
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Another trick to speed up fermentation is to over pitch. Ideally you want to pitch the correct amount of yeast but everything I've read suggest that's it's actually really hard for HBers to over pitch and cause significant adverse affects. This is more a problem for commercial brewers.

I've over pitched (not on purpose) two or three times. The last time was on saturday with my cultured up brakespear strain. I figured I had cultured up way more yeast than I needed plus I was pitching it into a 3.1% target abv beer so the gravity was quite low too but I pitched it all anyway, just to make sure as it took me nearly three weeks to culture this up from bottle dregs. It started off after about two hours and I measured the gravity this morning and it's hit the target FG already after just 2 days.
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Old 17-02-2015, 09:04 AM   #8
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Some food grade buckets might be the way forward then. As long as the haven't had curry sauce in them.
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Old 17-02-2015, 09:48 AM   #9
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Don't fancy a Rogan Josh stout then?
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Old 17-02-2015, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garethhuwwilliams View Post
Some food grade buckets might be the way forward then. As long as the haven't had curry sauce in them.
If you've got a bit of headroom above your 5 gallon FV, you could buy a 2 gallon FV which will sit on the lid of the 5 gallon one.
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