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Simple all Grain Brewing (batch sparging)


Simple All Grain Brewing - 

Single Infusion Mash/ Batch Sparging Technique.

The simplest and easiest way to make beer from all grain malt is to do a single infusion mash followed by batch sparging. It is certainly an excellent way for a beginner to move from extract brewing to grain brewing. It is the fastest method of all grain brewing, saving hours of time compared to doing a decoction mash, and the quality of the beer is excellent.   Batch sparging works well in just about any lauter system as long as the system is not prone to stuck runoffs. (you need a good drainage system like a louvre or false bottom or one of the many filter screens available) 

At the top end of the range are the Blichmann Enginnering boilermaker pots, which incorporate a sophisticated louvre bottom at the base, inbuilt brewers termperature gauge, and many extra quality features.   Alternatives are coolers, or plastic containers with a domed false bottom or screw in filter screen.  

Single Infusion Mash

A single infusion mash means that the grain is steeped in hot water for a certain amount of time. The temperature and amount of time that the malt is mashed are both important to good results. Typically, a single infusion mash is at a temperature from  66C to 68C (150F to 155F), with a slightly lower temp being better for drier beers like pilsner, and the higher temp being better for sweeter beers, like ales and stouts. 60 minutes is a good length of time to mash most beers. Heavier beers may improve with longer mashing of up to 90 minutes.

Batch Sparging

Batch sparging refers to draining the grain and then filling the vessel up with hot water, stirring the grains to rinse out sugars, and then draining the grain again. A typical temperature for sparge water (rinse water) is 75-80C (167-175F.)  Batch sparging does not require long periods of adding water on top of the mash, you just pour all the sparge water into the grain, stir a bit, wait a minute, then start draining. The first few litres of wort are usually returned to the mash tun because they are cloudy, and the grain bed will help filter out the wort. The issues with batch sparging are how well your equipment drains the mash, and how you are able to get the clearest possible wort (unfermented beer: sugar water) out of the mash tun.

Single Infusion Mash Method.  Allow 3-4 hours to mash, sparge and boil.

4.5kg  (10 lb) of pilsner malt or chosen base malt, will result in a  20 litre (5 gallon) batch of beer.

Crush malt and add to mash tun 

Strike with 13 litres (3.5 gallons) of water at  70C (160F). The resulting temperature in the mash tun should reach  66C (150F), stir well and let rest for 60 minutes.

Drain into boil kettle, recycling the first runoff to improve clarity.

Heat 15 litres (4 gallons) of water to  77C (170F).

Add 7.5 litres (2 gallons) water at  77C to mash tun, stir, let rest for a few minutes.

Drain into boil kettle, recycling the first few quarts to improve clarity.

(Repeat)Add 7.5 litrs (2 gallons0 water at 77C to mash tun, stir, let rest for a few minutes.  If your mash tun is large enough, you may add ALL 15 litres (4 gallons) at the same time.

Drain into boil kettle, recycling the first few quarts to improve clarity.

There should be about 22-23 litres (6 gallons) of wort in the boil kettle.

Discard the spent grain.