First All Grain Brew

There are a lot of Serra Nevada clones out there but this one was the recipe that I felt was the closest. With picking out the recipe, last Monday (4.8.2013) night we brewed our first all grain beer. It took a lot longer than I thought since we have to extract the sugars from the grain as opposed to just boiling the malt extract that comes in the can.

The corona mill was a little tricky in the beginning but after about a pound of grain we were getting a  of cracked grain and not flower. From what I researched you can get better results from a finer grind but you risk getting off flavors. I think one of the batches we will get close to flower and see how the beer tastes.

Everything else went pretty smoothly except for ending at 3am. I knew it would take longer but wow 5 hours seems excessive. Now we plan to start or before 8pm otherwise we might miss something due to the lack of sleep. In the end we had wort, added the hops and yeast and put it in our garage to get the temp at 64°F.

There are two things that I can think of that we will do differently. The first is to heat the strike water about 5° higher since we didn’t reach the proper striking temp until we took some wort out and heated it to 160°F. The second is to let second run off sit for 10 minutes. We only let it sit for 2 or 3 minutes and let it drain. We got an efficiency of 49% which is pretty low but with the changes and knowing how to mill the grain properly I think we can get it up to 65%-70%.

Next weekend will be the Rogue Old Crustacean clone brew which will require about 6 more pounds of grain and will push our mash tun to the limit.

Two Small Brews

This weekend we plan on brewing a Sierra Nevada clone and  Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine clone. I’m very interested is both of these since I would like to have a barleywine to age and on the flip side have an easy drinking beer for my wedding. I really like Sierra Nevada beer since its not too bitter and is a little complex. I’ll use Beersmith to cut these down to 2.5 gallons each since we, ironically, don’t drink as much beer as we did when we first started.

I got the corona mill in the mail yesterday and Saturday morning we will pick up the grain and hops. My hope is that the lower volume of liquid needed will make brewing inside a lot easer.

If the grain bill for the barelywine is high enough we can finally use the mash tun that we built last month. If it doesn’t work as well we can add some malt extract and hope for the best since we will be using BIAB.