All Grain Brewing Tutorial

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Single Infusion Mash For Gluten Free Malted Grains

by Brian Kolodzinski

Single Infusion Mash is the recommended method for all-grain gluten free brewing by Grouse Malting & Roasting Co and Eckert Malting & Brewing Co. It is also a very simple all-grain mashing technique that requires minimal equipment or expertise. You may buy gluten free malted grains and other ingredients from Gluten Free Home Brewing. The milled grains and rice hulls are mixed with hot water and enzymes to achieve a mash at a temperature of 150-165F (Grouse Malting & Brewing Co recommends a mash temperature of 163.4F) for 90-120 minutes (Eckert Malting & Brewing Co recommends a mash time of over two hours). The recommended water-to-grain ratio is 1-1.25 quarts per pound. However, when you add grain to water the temperature of the water will decrease. Therefore the “strike water” temperature needs to be higher to compensate for the heat loss. The ‘Brewing Calculator’ available on this website includes an ‘Infusion Mash Calculator’ which will calculate the appropriate temperature for the “strike water”.

In order to maintain your mash temperature you will need a mash tun. This is very simple to use brewing equipment, typically a converted five or ten gallon cooler, which holds your mash at a relatively consistent temperature for a prolonged period of time. A mash tun may be purchased from a homebrew store, or you may construct a mash tun yourself. There are many easy to follow instructions online and all the parts are readily available. Finally you may need a Hot Liquid Tank, which is in the most basic terms a container that is connected to the mash tun and holds the sparging water. However, many gluten free beer brewers are having greater efficiency with batch sparging which does not required a Hot Liquid Tank or fly sparging manifold. This method requires the mash tun to be emptied, refilled to the top of the grain bed with sparge water, and emptied again. This process is repeated until you achieve the desired pre-boil wort volume.

Equipment

Minimal equipment needed for brewing beer:

  • 20 qt. brew kettle
  • 5-10 gal mash tun
  • 5 gal liquid hot tank
  • large metal stirring spoon
  • measuring spoon set
  • glass measuring cup
  • food-grade plastic bucket or glass carboy
  • airlock
  • sanitizer
  • thermometer (preferably digital with temperature alarm)

Optional equipment:

  • additional food-grade plastic bucket or glass carboy
  • wort chiller
  • wort chiller pump
  • metal fine mesh strainer
  • brewing siphon
  • digital scale
  • reusable nylon mesh bag

Reading a Recipe

In order to brew beer it is important to be able to read a recipe and know some basic terminology. Typically when you read a recipe there will be an ingredient list which may include a grain bill. A grain bill is simply a list of just the grains used in a recipe. All-grain recipes solely rely on grains to produce the fermentable sugars.

Most recipes will include some of the following information:

  • ABV: Alcohol By Volume.
  • Boil: Total amount of time which the wort boils.
  • Final Gravity (FG): The ending gravity after fermentation, used to calculate the alcohol content of the finished beer.
  • IBU: International Bitterness Units are the measure of bitterness in the beer.
  • Original Gravity (OG): The starting gravity prior to fermentation attributes to the potential alcohol content of the finished beer.
  • Primary Ferment: Refers to the time the finished wort ferments following the brewing process.
  • Secondary Ferment: Refers to the time the finished wort ferments after primary fermentation.
  • SRM : Standard Reference Method for determining the color of the beer; also used to describe the color of an ingredient such as malts and grains.
  • Yield: The final volume of beer collected after conclusion of the brewing and fermentation processes.

The typical recipe will list the ingredients in the order in which they will be used in the brewing process. And because timing is critical to the brewing process, the ingredient will be accompanied by the time in the process that the ingredient is used. However, when brewing beer, the time starts at the maximum boil time and counts backwards. Therefore an ingredient that is used first, or at the start of the boil, may be denoted with “60 minutes”; while subsequent ingredients will be denoted with a time less than the first ingredient.

Single Infusion Mash Brewing

Now that you have your equipment and can read the recipe, you are ready to brew an all-grain beer. The next step is to buy a kit or ingredients. You will have more brewing options when buying the ingredients yourself outside of a kit. While kits are convenient and easy to use, you will be limited as to the types of beers you can make with a kit simply due to the sheer number of recipes available and the limited numbers of kits. When you buy supplies for a beer recipe, use the recipe as a shopping list. You will most likely need to buy more supplies than the recipe calls for, and have to measure the amounts out when you get home. A digital scale is the most precise way of doing this. And don’t worry about the extra ingredients as you can always use them in future beers.

Before you start brewing it is important to first clean you work area and sanitize all the equipment. Sanitation is the most critical step in brewing as it prevents unwanted contaminants, mainly bacteria and wild yeasts, from getting into your beer and destroying it. Contaminated beer can be dangerous to consume and should always be disposed of. Sanitize equipment using a sanitizer designed specifically for brewing, and avoid using bleach. Bleach is alright in an emergency but should not be considered for use as a regular sanitizer. A good idea is to buy a spray bottle and fill it with sanitizer as well. Sometimes you may forget a piece of equipment and need to sanitize it quickly.

  1. Mill your grains to release the starches within the grain. It is recommended that you do not mill your grains coarsely, but more finely as to release as much of the starch as possible. To release the starch from within millet and buckwheat malt a mill gap setting of 0.65 – 0.70 mm is recommended. When milling rice malt you want to keep the rice hull intact while still milling the rice seed within the hull. A mill gap setting of 0.90 – 0.95 mm is recommended for rice malt.
  2. Mix your milled grains with 20-25% rice hulls. The rice hulls will allow for proper circulation and filtration.
  3. Calculate your mash tun water volume and strike temperature.
  4. Add the water to the mash tun and stir in your blend of grains and rice hulls along with the appropriate amount of Alpha Amylase enzymes.
  5. Cover mash tun and let sit for recommend duration during which time the starches will be converted into fermentable sugars.
  6. Before mashing concludes, prepare your sparge water and add to the hot liquid tank.
  7. Upon conclusion of mashing, open the valve on the mash tun and begin to collect wort.
  8. Sparge grains by draining mash tun and refilling with water from hot liquid tank, or “fly sparge” by gently sprinkling water from the hot liquid tank while matching flow rates of the mash tun and hot liquid tank.
  9. Once all the wort has been collected, place brew kettle with wort on a heat source.
  10. While wort is coming to boil, prepare the remaining ingredients in premeasured amounts so they may be added at the appropriate times.
  11. Allow the wort to come to a rolling boil. This is the stage that you are waiting for a hot break, and may occur for 5-20 minutes. This is also the first stage that your wort may boil over. A boil over is when the hot break billows over the side of the brew kettle. Reduce the temperature of the wort to control.
  12. After the hot break has been achieved and you have allowed the wort to boil for at least five minutes, you are ready for the first addition of your hops or other ingredient. When you add your first addition of hops, start by only adding a small amount. The alpha acids in the hops may cause a boil over. You may notice the head of the wort temporarily build up again. Once the head has subsided it is safe to add the rest of the hops addition. Add all ingredients as instructed per the recipe.
  13. Before the boil time has expired, you will want to prepare you ice bath or wort chiller. An ice bath is a way to cool the wort without any additional equipment. It is exactly what it sounds like, a sink of ice cold water that you place the brew kettle. You never want to allow any water or other contaminates in your wort. With an ice bath, you bring down the temperature of the wort by using cold water to draw the heat out of the wort. This uses a lot of water and a lot of ice, and does take some time to complete. Another option is to use a wort chiller to pump ice cold water through the wort and draw out the heat. A wort chill conducts temperature more efficiently, and with a constant supply of cold water it reduces the temperature of the wort very quickly.
  14. Once the boil time has expired, immediately cover the wort and begin to bring down the temperature of the wort. This is the stage that the wort is most vulnerable to contaminants such as bacteria and wild yeast. Make sure anything the wort comes into contact with is sanitized.
  15. Before the temperature of the wort has reached the range which you will pitch your yeast, you first must prepare the yeast. Some yeast may be dry pitched, meaning the contents may be poured directly into the wort. While other yeasts need to be prepared or started. Follow the instructions on the yeast package.
  16. Once the wort has reached the temperature range which the yeast me be pitched, it can be transferred to the primary fermentation vessel. You can rack the wort using a siphon, or pour the wort using a metal fine mesh strainer. Either way, you want to leave as much sediment behind while collecting as much wort as possible.
  17. Now that the wort has been transferred to the primary fermentation vessel, it needs to be prepared for the yeast. Using a medal spoon or whisk, stir the wort vigorously for 4-5 minutes. This aerates the wort and should produce a frothy head.
  18. Pitch the yeast.
  19. Cover the primary fermentation vessel and insert the airlock.
  20. Allow the wort to sit undisturbed in a dark area at 68-70 degrees for at least one week. This will also be the most active period of fermenting.
  21. After one week you may rack the wort to a secondary fermenting container.
  22. After another week the wort can be racked to a bottling bucket and bottled with priming sugar where it will continue to age.

Congratulations, you have just brewed your first all-grain brew!

Sample All-Grain Single Infusion Mash Using A 5 Gallon Mash Tun

You can brew a great beer that is up to 5% ABV using only 10 lbs of grains and a 5 gallon mash tun. If you are looking for more flexibility, greater range of beer styles, and an ABV that is more consistent with the specific beer style, you may want to use a 10 gallon mash tun. But you can still make some great beer with a 5 gallon mash tun!

Here is an example of an all-grain single infusion mash using a 5 gallon mash tun:

  1. 10 lbs blend of gluten free grains, milled, blended with 2 lbs (20%) rice hulls
  2. 3 gallons (12 quarts) strike water at 183.1F (water-to-grain ratio of 1 quart per pound); or 3.8 gallons (15 quarts) strike water at 178.7F (water-to-grain ratio of 1.25 quarts per pound)
  3. Add strike water to 5 gallon mash tun and stir in the 12 lbs of milled gluten free grains, rice hulls and enzymes (this will fill your mash tun near the very top but will not exceed the capacity of the mash tun)
  4. Allow mashing to occur for 90-120 minutes (longer if using malted rice), collect wort and sparge grains.
  5. Now you are ready to start your boil and brew some great beer!

 

Sample All-Grain Single Infusion Mash Using A 10 Gallon Mash Tun

To reach full potential of any style beer it is recommended to use 16-18 lbs of grains and a 10 gallon mash tun.

Here is an example of an all-grain single infusion mash using a 10 gallon mash tun:

  1. 16 lbs blend of gluten free grains, milled, blended with 3.25 lbs (20%) rice hulls
  2. 4.8 gallons (19.3 quarts) strike water at 183.1F (water-to-grain ratio of 1 quart per pound); or 6 gallons (24 quarts) strike water at 179.1F (water-to-grain ratio of 1.25 quarts per pound)
  3. Add strike water to 10 gallon mash tun and stir in the 19.25 lbs of milled gluten free grains, rice hulls and enzymes
  4. Allow mashing to occur for 90-120 minutes (longer if using malted rice), collect wort and sparge grains.
  5. Now you are ready to start your boil and brew some great beer!
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