Good online tutorials: all grain brewing

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Good online tutorials: all grain brewing

Postby Jimmy Scott » Sun Oct 16, 2005 7:41 am

I'm getting ready to grab the required equipment and have a go at an all grain brew, finally!

I've searched pretty well, read the topics here, etc. trying to pick up all of the tips that I can.

I came across this site that demonstrates very clearly the equipment required and the whole process for brewing. I'm interested in similar "tutorial" sites if anyone has any links handy!

http://cruisenews.net/brewing/partial_mash/page1.php

Very nice! Everything from cleaning equipment to temperatures at various stages to reworking corny kegs to forced carbonation is concisely illustrated.

I hope to make a clear brew by force carbonation and to use all grains, versus the partial extract recipe he used in the tutorial.

As I understand (at this point), no sugar is required. The fermentables are within the grains and force carbonation provides the suds without a priming sugar.

My goal is to brew to the stringent standards of Germany... pure beer! Grains, hops, yeast and water.

One question that I have is that the tutorial shows how to save yeast, but it does say how to use the saved yeast in another batch. I assume the next batch should use the same yeast. Anyone care to elaborate?

Another question: I'll be building a kegorator as per instructions gained here. After force carbonation, can I fill sterilized bottles and cap them for portability when I want to share the wealth?? Has anyone ever tried this?

The brunt of each batch will be stored in and dispensed from corny kegs in a kegorator. Bottling is a real chore that I hope that I can largely avoid.

I'm thinking of trying a German style pilsner first. I landed a medium sized chest freezer that no longer works to do lagering in and I'll be itching to get a great lager going soon too.

So, I'm interested in other tutorial sites for all grain brewing, as well as any feedback that anyone has from the tutorial I listed above.

Js
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German "standards"

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:48 pm

The former Reinheizgebot law did not allow for force carbonation! Batches had to be "spundt" or sealed before fermentation was complete to produce carbonation in commercial breweries. Otherwise they were "speised" (the UK equivalent is known as gyleing) which is where unfermented wort was added as a priming agent to carbonate the beer. (Don't confuse this with krausening... that is the addition of fermenting wort to a beer usually with the purpose of reducing diacetyl)

Unfortunately, the Reinheitzgebot has grown to urban legend status, particulary in the homebrew community. Most people assume it was about beer quality... wrong... read the full text. It was set up to protect the domestic beer market as a trade barrier. This is why it is no longer a law but rather a marketing tool. For Germany to enter the EU, all trade barriers had to be removed, Reinheitzgebot included. This is how Becks gets away with calling itself a Reinheitzgebot compliant beer on their labels even though it is an adjuncted brew.

There is nothing wrong with force carbonating beer. As long as you know what you are doing and give it proper equalization time, the results will be the same. CO2 is CO2 is CO2. There are some textural differences that are created by natural carbonation that have to do with the larger amount of yeast present. But as far as just the carbonation... CO2 is CO2!

I guess it can give you a "warm, fuzzy feeling " being traditional, I too have been proud of this approach from time to time. But, I have come to the reality that I am not in Germany, I am in America. To be constrained by a former law of another country doesn't make sense commercially. After meeting at roundtables at Weihenstephan and at other industry conferences with German brewmasters, I have learned that they don't like the implied constraints either. This is why a large amount of German beers are not available in the US. Their companies desire to hold onto traditional practices (regardless of the repeal) have placed limits on the exportability of their products. They will not use some of the inert, non-beer harming stability agents (such as PVPP) that could make their beer survive in the export marketplace. This places them at a competitive disadvantage to other worldwide brewers who do avail themselves of current brewing practices. The ironic thing is that a good number of these improvements were developed in Germany! Most just don't use them.

Brewing is a constantly evolving art... some things that come about don't end up being great for beer quality, but most are. The industry has come a long way since the Reinheitzgebot.
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Re: German "standards"

Postby Jimmy Scott » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:41 am

Mesa Maltworks wrote:The former Reinheizgebot law did not allow for force carbonation! Batches had to be "spundt" or sealed before fermentation was complete to produce carbonation in commercial breweries. Otherwise they were "speised" (the UK equivalent is known as gyleing) which is where unfermented wort was added as a priming agent to carbonate the beer. (Don't confuse this with krausening... that is the addition of fermenting wort to a beer usually with the purpose of reducing diacetyl)

Unfortunately, the Reinheitzgebot has grown to urban legend status, particulary in the homebrew community. Most people assume it was about beer quality... wrong... read the full text. It was set up to protect the domestic beer market as a trade barrier. This is why it is no longer a law but rather a marketing tool. For Germany to enter the EU, all trade barriers had to be removed, Reinheitzgebot included. This is how Becks gets away with calling itself a Reinheitzgebot compliant beer on their labels even though it is an adjuncted brew.



That's an interesting reply, thanks! I googled "Reinheitzgebot" and found one of your earlier posts here.

So yeast isn't an ingredient that would be included under this directive as well.

Mesa Maltworks wrote:There is nothing wrong with force carbonating beer. As long as you know what you are doing and give it proper equalization time, the results will be the same. CO2 is CO2 is CO2. There are some textural differences that are created by natural carbonation that have to do with the larger amount of yeast present. But as far as just the carbonation... CO2 is CO2!



I suppose that I'm going to have to fudge in force carbonation and in the use of yeast...

Excerpt from: http://www.garshol.priv.no/blog/4.html

The law has a long history, but it's generally the version of the law enacted in Bavaria in 1516 that's know as the purity law. This version states that the only allowed ingredients in beer are water, barley malts, and hops. The point of this was to ensure that brewers did not add cheaper, and poorer, ingredients to the beer to save money, thus screwing the consumers. You'll often find this described as "the oldest law in the world still in force", as many claim that this law is still followed in Germany today. So far, so good.

You'll find lots of German (and foreign) beer brewers stating proudly on posters, beer labels, web sites, etc that they brew according to "the purity law of 1516". The strange thing about this is that it's not true. Note that in the list of the three ingredients there is something missing. You're not allowed to add yeast! So, in fact, the only brewers in the world following the original purity law must be the lambic brewers, who get natural yeast bacteria from the air. Until yeast was discovered in 1800, this was the only known way to make beer ferment, so all the beer in the world before 1800 was really lambic.

In the Bavarian Brewing Museum in Kulmbach there was a section on the purity law, with the original text, and a translation into modern German. It then went on to say how important this was for German brewing, and how it guaranteed the quality of beer. Startlingly, the text did not comment on the fact that yeast was not on the list of ingredients, and nobody seemed to find this in the least puzzling. (Except me, that is. :-)

Not only do modern brewers sin against the law by using yeast; the weissbier brewers also use wheat malts, which are not allowed, either. And the few producers of roggenbier violate it by adding rye malts. Then there are the "dinkel" beers, which use spelt.

So, is the purity law all nonsense? Well, not really. It turns out that there is a modern version of the law, called the German Beer Tax Law. This has been updated to allow yeast, and for top-fermenting beers other cereal malts are allowed. So the brewers do indeed follow a purity law, they just don't follow the original from 1516.

End Excerpt:


Mesa Maltworks wrote:I guess it can give you a "warm, fuzzy feeling " being traditional, I too have been proud of this approach from time to time. But, I have come to the reality that I am not in Germany, I am in America. To be constrained by a former law of another country doesn't make sense commercially. After meeting at roundtables at Weihenstephan and at other industry conferences with German brewmasters, I have learned that they don't like the implied constraints either. This is why a large amount of German beers are not available in the US. Their companies desire to hold onto traditional practices (regardless of the repeal) have placed limits on the exportability of their products. They will not use some of the inert, non-beer harming stability agents (such as PVPP) that could make their beer survive in the export marketplace. This places them at a competitive disadvantage to other worldwide brewers who do avail themselves of current brewing practices. The ironic thing is that a good number of these improvements were developed in Germany! Most just don't use them.



Yes. a warm and fuzzy feeling can be had by "trying" to use the minimal ingredients. That will be close enough for me. I don't intend to brew over an open fire or to gather wild yeast from the air though.

I have a really great tap water from deep well via a small municipal system. That's a nice start. Buying modern grains and yeast is a tradeoff. The purity is as high as I will be able to make it given the circumstances.

Mesa Maltworks wrote:Brewing is a constantly evolving art... some things that come about don't end up being great for beer quality, but most are. The industry has come a long way since the Reinheitzgebot.



I'm just a hobby brewer with 12 or so batches of extract brews under my belt. These were pretty darned bad in my opinion. Of course, I have little experience, but I followed the instructions for each to a T.

I had a chance to sit in with a local group of home brewers who cracked grains and made some of the best brew I've ever tasted several years ago.

The group disbanded and moved on, but I have the lingering desire to create such a great brew! I'm not concerned with problems in exporting the product and such; I seek only great brew made from the base components to provide that warm and fuzzy feeling!
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