Well my willamette/cascade IPA is my last extract batch, and now I’m moving to all grain brewing. I have constructed a mash tun using these directions from The Screwy Brewer.
I deviated just a little bit from his directions, but essentially I have almost the exact 5 gallon mash tun described in the above link.
I plan to start making 3.5 gallon batches. The reasons for this are:
- lack of space
- lack of an outdoor brewing setup/propane burner
- wimpy electric stove
- to practice brewing more often
- small batches / more variety
It’s going to be interesting on my first brew day! I also bought BeerSmith II, which I am using to guide me through the building of recipes and the process of making beer. Note that I’m quite happy with the software, and recommend it for all homebrewers.
I have decided on a light body, batch sparge, single infusion technique for my first batch of all grain. The body of chatter on various websites indicates that batch sparging is easiest and has consistently good results. I will work my way up to fly sparging down the road when I upgrade my equipment.
The basic mash technique will be to add the mash water, then drain, then add about 1.5 gallons of 168F water, drain, add 1.5 gallons of 168F water, drain, then boil. Total pre-boil volume is predicted at 4.1 gallons, with boil-off of about a half gallon. We shall see on brewday how close these numbers actually come to reality, but I am guessing they will be close.
I’ve ordered a few batches of ingredients (grains and yeast only, hops still to be determined). I’m thinking a SMaSH recipe will be first up, but I haven’t decided for sure yet. I’ve got a pale ale, a SMaSH, and an IPA for starters.
Now to wait for the mail…