Have a go at simple AG

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Jamesman

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Everyone's plans and pans are different! For what's it worth, I'd consider a slightly larger pan. I started on 5L but I caught the brewing bug and quickly realised the same effort could get me 10-11L with the same time and effort.

I bought what was advertised as a 20L pan. If it is 20L, it is right to the brim and I suspect it might be a bit smaller. I know others on here have had the opposite experience and pans have been larger than advertised.

The 20L works great for me. I can collect and adjust all the water for the brew in one pan. It holds 14L pre boil comfortably with no boil over risk. For a few quid more might be worth it.
Thanks. I have thought about a bigger pan still but up to now I will only using my oven top to make it so don't know if that's powerfull enough for anything bigger. Cheers.
 

Jamesman

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Personally I use a 20L pan for my 9-10L batches has the advantage of reducing the risk of boil over, (One thing to be aware of is their is a limit to how much liquid a regular stove can keep at a rolling boil, for mine it’s about 15L).
Hi, that's what I'm a bit worried about if my stove can actually boil that much liquid. My plan is to eventually buy an all in one towards the end of the year after I've got a few brews under my belt so I don't really want to spend a lot on equipment at the moment. The bigger pan I get i think I'd have to start thinking about getting a separate heating system like gas? Thanks for the info's. Cheers.
 

Jamesman

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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.
Hi, if I double to a 10 litre batch would the water ratio just double? So it would be 6l strike water and 8l more heated up to 80c for 10 mins? And can I use that mash and water ratio on any 10 litre AG recipe I make? Could I also use the 8 litres of water to fly sparge instead? Is their a normal strike water to sparge water ratio that everyone uses? Hope this all makes sense. I'm starting to confuse myself. Cheers.
 

matt76

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Hi, if I double to a 10 litre batch would the water ratio just double? So it would be 6l strike water and 8l more heated up to 80c for 10 mins?
Yep, that's right.

And can I use that mash and water ratio on any 10 litre AG recipe I make?
Yep, exactly.

The point here is, in the mash you want a ratio of approximately 3L water : 1kg malt. It doesn't have to be exact.

The sparge water volume is just however much more water you need to hit your desired pre-boil gravity, and hence OG. So you can play tunes on the precise quantities of malt and water to make beers of different strength.

By the way I started out exactly as you're doing by doubling up on clibit's original recipe to make 10L. I think many would agree that 10L is still small enough that it's no more hassle than 5L, so you get double the beer for the same effort 👍

(Not sure the same is quite true if you go up to 20L though!)
 

Jamesman

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Yep, that's right.


Yep, exactly.

The point here is, in the mash you want a ratio of approximately 3L water : 1kg malt. It doesn't have to be exact.

The sparge water volume is just however much more water you need to hit your desired pre-boil gravity, and hence OG. So you can play tunes on the precise quantities of malt and water to make beers of different strength.

By the way I started out exactly as you're doing by doubling up on clibit's original recipe to make 10L. I think many would agree that 10L is still small enough that it's no more hassle than 5L, so you get double the beer for the same effort 👍

(Not sure the same is quite true if you go up to 20L though!)
Hi, that's great. Thanks for explaining. I'm just gonna start my first 5l batch. Fingers crossed. Cheers.
 

Slid

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If you are going to lose 2-3L during the boil, one tip is to do a second dunk sparge to collect more (but more dilute) wort and add that to another pan and simmer this also to top up the main pan as it loses volume.

I used to "get away" with little more than a simmer on the large pan, though I did simmer for 60 mins.
This is a great way to get started, that is stove top brewing, as you gain more understanding of the processes if it more hands on.
 

Jamesman

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If you are going to lose 2-3L during the boil, one tip is to do a second dunk sparge to collect more (but more dilute) wort and add that to another pan and simmer this also to top up the main pan as it loses volume.

I used to "get away" with little more than a simmer on the large pan, though I did simmer for 60 mins.
This is a great way to get started, that is stove top brewing, as you gain more understanding of the processes if it more hands on.
Thanks Slid, good idea. The first brew was enjoyable until I messed the yeast up a bit. I had a bit of trouble trying to keep the right temperature for the mash but I suppose that'll come with experience. Cheers.
 

Pavalijo

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I know that @clibit hasn’t posted on here for a good few years, but just in case he occasionally pops in to see how we’re all doing I would like to thank him for the inspiration.

After reading every one of the 1,700+ posts in this thread I had my first attempt at AG.

You can see how I got on HERE
 

clib

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I know that @clibit hasn’t posted on here for a good few years, but just in case he occasionally pops in to see how we’re all doing I would like to thank him for the inspiration.

After reading every one of the 1,700+ posts in this thread I had my first attempt at AG.

You can see how I got on HERE
I'm not sure what it is about you Pavalijo, something about timing and your message and your fabulous photo made me want to reply. Where are you? Thanks for the kind words P, and everyone else further back.

So I just re-joined. I've had a few beers this afternoon, I think that's to blame. I have dropped in from time to time. My original post was obviously timed well as a lot of people seem to have made the step to AG, which is what i hoped it would do, but i only expected a few. I simply passed on something I learnt myself from a very basic website that someone set up and then abandoned, and then it disappeared. I'm still brewing regularly and it's one of the things that defines me! People know me as the bloke who makes beer and goes cycling a lot. Cheers everyone. :onechug:
 

Pavalijo

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Hi Clib(it) and welcome back, good to see you.
It really was amazing how many people you converted. I’m in Halifax. My photo was taken in the Sparrow real ale house in the centre of Bradford at a staff Christmas do. I was the only one that fell for the Christmas jumper dress code!
My “Clibit’s Citra Pale” is fermenting very slowly (after a rapid first few days) and I’m very much looking forward to trying it. But I have learned patience since my early lurking on here......

If you ever get time I’d like your favourite ever recipe so that my second attempt can be “Clibit’s Peak”. Now that will occupy your mind for a while I imagine!

Cheers, P
 

clib

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I'll have a think. I don't have a single favourite though...

You are much closer to me than I expected. I thought you were going to be somewhere like Slovenia. :laugh8:
 

Pavalijo

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I'll have a think. I don't have a single favourite though...

You are much closer to me than I expected. I thought you were going to be somewhere like Slovenia. :laugh8:
Is that my spelling or my costume? 😁 I did expect that you would have to massage the grey matter and have a good ponder.
I suppose I should have requested your favourite recipe with an ale yeast as I don’t have a brew fridge - yet. So far my careful hints have met with stern resistance from SWMBO 🙁
 

clib

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Name and costume.

I've used lager yeasts about 5 times in 12 years. I'm an ale man. You can use lager yeasts without a brew fridge though.
 

clib

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If you ever get time I’d like your favourite ever recipe so that my second attempt can be “Clibit’s Peak”. Now that will occupy your mind for a while I imagine!
I've thought, and I haven't got one! I recently read something in which a pro brewer said that it's not about recipes, and i agree. It's about process and ingredients, chiefly. Doing things well with good ingredients. I'm still learning, I'm a slow learner! I also like many types of beer and my tastes vary according to the situation, time of year etc.

Some thoughts though:
1. Yeast is the key ingredient, IMO. Choose and handle it well. Every beer is heavily yeast and fermentation dependent, even when yeast is in the background. I have started using more than one yeast in a beer, which provides more options and more complexity.
2. I still like American hops but I have slowly gravitated towards less hoppy beers, with more balance and more yeast and malt focus. I like bitter beers though. My tastes have widened as a result of brewing, and trying different beers more often.
3. My favourite beers are probably pales/bitters/IPAs with a high bitterness, saisons, Anglo/American Brown ales (I just made that up), Red IPAs and some porter/stout types. Oh and some Belgians, like Orval and Rodenbach, De Ranke XX and De La Senne beers - all those are English influenced Belgians.

4. OK I don't have an actual recipe for you but I have a suggestion. Make a saison. They are simple and I love them.
Malts: 1046 ish. 70% pilsner or pale malt, 15% wheat, 15% Vienna, or something like that.
Hops: About 30 IBU. Saaz, Goldings, Fuggles and Styrian Goldings are all typical. Or go with Citra or something if you wish. Do a late or flameout addition, but not loads.
Yeast: Belle Saison is a simple starting place. Or Wyeast 3711. Alternatively, pitch Belle Saison and Nottingham 50/50 you will get a nice halfway house Bitter/Saison kind of beer, a gateway beer perhaps. I've done this recently and I really like it, simple but very satisfying. English bitter with a Belgian twist. Some of the liquid saison yeasts are fantastic though, if you like this type of beer - which is great at this time of the year, and through summer. Great time to brew a saison. And saisons can be fermented hot, so if you buy a liquid yeast you can brew a few batches through summer from the one pack.

Actually i think that's a recipe.
 

Pavalijo

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Actually i think that's a recipe.
I‘m pleased you came up with a style I’ve never tried and dont know what to expect, thanks! I have said recently that I want to explore new styles.

My nephew visited a short while ago. We drank my brews but he left a White Belgian wheat beer. I’d never have bought that myself but enjoyed trying something different. So a saison it is.

I will only be able to do one more batch before leaving Blighty for a few months in June, so will use a single yeast. And will do a “saison” search
on here and enjoy the process of creating a recipe. I will try and use one of the online recipe creators and closely follow your guidelines/recipe.

I’ll let you know how I get on, and thanks again, P
 

ChrisM

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My first stove top all grain brew, inspired by this thread - loosely following the Graham Wheeler Summer Lightning clone. Much happier with this compared to the LME version I attempted last year. Will try again with a cleaner tasting yeast - the Wilko yeast is a bit too much up front for the otherwise subtle flavours.

SummerLighteningApr2021.png
 

NoArt

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Waiting for my boiled wort to cool in the sink on my first AG biab! Thank you @clib another convert!
A scaled down, to 10 litres, version of Greg Hughes' pale ale. Hopefully true to recipe. I'm really pleased I've made the jump from extract to biab. But my little brain hurts from trying to work out all sorts of things that have, up until now, been done for me through kits.
I'm have been telling myself biab is a small step towards full AG on a big all-in-one set up or 3 vessel system, but time will tell. I'm tired!
Next thing will be some form of wort chiller 'cos this sink thing is taking an age!
Cheers
 

NoArt

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My first stove top all grain brew, inspired by this thread - loosely following the Graham Wheeler Summer Lightning clone. Much happier with this compared to the LME version I attempted last year. Will try again with a cleaner tasting yeast - the Wilko yeast is a bit too much up front for the otherwise subtle flavours.

View attachment 46186
I LOVE Summer Lightning!
Enjoy!

Cheers
 

clib

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Waiting for my boiled wort to cool in the sink on my first AG biab! Thank you @clib another convert!
A scaled down, to 10 litres, version of Greg Hughes' pale ale. Hopefully true to recipe. I'm really pleased I've made the jump from extract to biab. But my little brain hurts from trying to work out all sorts of things that have, up until now, been done for me through kits.
I'm have been telling myself biab is a small step towards full AG on a big all-in-one set up or 3 vessel system, but time will tell. I'm tired!
Next thing will be some form of wort chiller 'cos this sink thing is taking an age!
Cheers
Your brain hurts the first few times but it becomes simple. Steep some grains in hot water, remove the grains, boil the wort and add hops, cool it down, pitch yeast. Everything else is tweakery.

Sparging isn't necessary if you have room in the pan for all the water.

Good luck with the brew!
 
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NoArt

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I have a few questions. I wonder if any of you knowledgeable folk can help.

I went 10 litre biab with the pale ale recipe scaled down from Greg Hughes. I used the Brewfather app for numbers, but I think I just put the numbers in and fiddled with them so they would fit what the book said. 😬 is that the right way to do it? How do I play that game properly?
Moving on, 1984g of extra pale malt and just 30g of light crystal malt was mashed in 6l of water for an hour. I heated 5l of water to dunk sparge (is that the right term?) the grains. I got a total of 10l of wort after a good squeeze. My stockpot won't take too much more without boilover.
A 70 minute boil. Why 70 and not 60, as per start of this thread? What does the extra 10 minutes do?
At 15, 30 and 40 minutes during the boil, I topped up the wort with 1l of boiling water each time. (I think I worked my boil off rate to be 3.2l per hour after a trial run with water for 30 minutes the other night.) Is this a good idea in order to finish with 10l of beer? Or is there a better way?
Bittering hops added for the 70 minute boil, half a protafloc tablet with 15 minutes to go, and aroma hops at flameout. No worries, I understand those steps!
Transferring the wort from the pot to the fv, after a long wait, I strained through a sterilised seive. Should I have lined it with a straining bag? It looked quite sludgy/cloudy despite the protafloc.
I've ended up with 9l of potential beer in the fv. Is that the leaf hops drinking a litre of my beer?! How dare they! I also had to sacrifice a little into a trial jar for the og reading, which is annoying!
And now for the main question, if my OG was supposed to be 1041, as it was according to the book and my numbers (the book's numbers) in Brewfather, why is it 1052? What have I done? What have I not done?
I'm scratching my head, which still hurts, and I'd feel better for knowing more.
Please enlighten me! 🙏
Cheers
 
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