People who read on the production of home-made beer may get tipsy over terms, definitions and distinctions between all grain brewing, extract brewing and fermenting beer at home. The fact is that there really is no distinction between the three.
All grain brewing produces the extracts used in extract brewing, and fermenting beer at home picks up the process from after the extract has been mixed with more water and is ready to be fermented.
Brewing beer starts with all grain brewing
Practically speaking, extract brewing and home fermentation are finishing stages in the entire procedure of making beer. The principal phase that produces the beer extract itself is all grain brewing. Anyone who is familiar with the steps involved in this type of brewing can practically concoct beers that are completely his own creation.
The steps to take in all grain brewing are easily outlined and done. (1) The first thing to do is to select the appropriate grains to use for the beer. Then you need to set their proportions in case you are mixing multiple grain-types. (2) The proteins and the sugar in the grains will need to form. This is done by boiling the grain in low heat. The isolation of protein is called protein rest while the formation of sugar is referred to as sacchrification rest. (3) Following this, you use more hot water to extract those substances from the simmered mixture. Brewers call this stage sparging. (4) During the last stage, the aromatic hops and the fermenting agents are added to the wort (sparged liquid).
The obvious advantage of all grain brewing
Because the option of selecting the grains and the proportions of the grains will all be yours to decide, you can better control the type and flavor of the beer you will produce. Unlike extract brewing, you are not restricted to the specific extract mix that you bought. You will not need to content yourself with extracts that you can buy from stores.
On top of that, you can be sure that the ingredients of the beer mix are all genuine, with all grain brewing. We can never know if what the package of pre-made extracts claim to be are true. The only way to be sure of that is to make the extract yourself. And this is precisely what you do with all grain brewing. Commercially made extracts have different grades of quality, from the excellent to the downright deceptive. Brewers have reported some brands, touting different extract flavors, to be actually using the same combinations of grains and ingredients for all their extracts.
Implements for all grain brewing
A working kit for all grain brewing should have a gas stove of some kind, a cooking pot and a mixing ladle. When you need to sparge the beer mix, you may either choose to use a sparging bag or a sparging container. Sparging bags contain the extract and are immersed in boiling water to produce the beer wort. A sparging container has a sieve near its bottom through which the wort can pass through. You should also be able to fix a hose to a spout. This is where the wort passes on its way to the new container.
Easy to follow detailed guides
You should now be able to follow and understand most of the tutorials for all grain brews that can be found on the net.
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