A bit about the method and equipment


Spring has sprung, spirits are high and the ingredients are here! That’s it, I will be making beer with these three ingredients (plus a little sugar later on) and, of course, water. Just in case, you didn’t read the last blog, these are standard English Ale yeast (four brews worth of yeast in there), usual Pale Ale malt (this is three brews worth of malt, I only need 1kg this time) and 30g of Cascade hops (dried and in pellet form). Money-wise my final ale will be a third less cheaper than our current budget beer, working out at about about 100 yen for a pint. Craft ale or full-Malt lagers range from 800 yen to 1,500 yen for a pint in the bars.

I have decided to go for a slightly higher temperature (66-67 degrees) in the mashing stage. This is basically soaking malted grains of barley in warm water to extract maltose to make the base liquid of beer (the wort). The higher temperature the more maltose (it seems), so this should give me a slightly sweeter, maltier ale (perhaps, not so pale an ale after all). In theory, at least…

The equipment
Here is the equipment line-up for the mash, sparge, boil and fermentation.

I am going to be using an old pasta pot that was going to be thrown away, which is perfect for my needs. It has a mesh built into it to help you raise the pasta out of the water. This can be put to use for my sparging stage (a rinse over and final wash through the grains to get the most out of them.

In the boil stage I will use the same pot as for the mash, minus the mesh insert. I’m reasonably sure that there is no reason not to. I’ll find out when I try, I suppose.

I am going to be using the standard brew bucket for my fermentation. As with the rest of my nano-brewery this is smaller size than usual, 15 litres.

I’ll be using the Brew In A Bag method (BIAB, to all intents and purposes, a giant tea bag). The grain bag is in the mesh insert of the pasta pot.

One thing I do need is some form of insulation for my pot to keep it at a constant temperature for the mash (grain soaking/maltose extraction) stage. I am thinking of a camping mat and doing a scissor job on it. In the book I read it seems to be a favourable option (see an earlier blog for more about the book).

On a relevant note, I may soon be joined in this venture by a few others. More, on this later.

I’ll post my brew day details later with all the numbers etc…I am such a geek!


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