View Full Version : My first all-grain homebrew day

07-05-2004, 07:29
On Sunday I took the leap from extract brewing to all-grain brewing for the first time. Here is the recipe I was following:


Bell Two Hearted (5 gallon all-grain)

9# american 2 row malt
1.5# Vienna 6 row malt
.75# 40L crystal 6 row malt
.5 wheat malt

Mash for 75 minutes at 152F Sparge with 180F water (grain bed to 170F) collect 6.5 gallons. Add 1 oz of centennial hops

Boil for 90 minutes - add 2.5 oz centennial at 15 min - add 1.5 oz centennial at 30 min - add 2 oz at 80 min - add 2 oz centennial at flame-out - cool to 70F


Pitch American 1056 starter - 5 days primary add 2oz centennial to secondary 14 days



I followed this recipe closely, though I substituted my own yeast that I had cultured from the dregs of three bottles or Bell's Two Hearted Ale.

Here are a few pictures of my brewday:

My crushed grains prior to mashing:

07-05-2004, 07:33
My Mash Lauter Tun. This is used for mashing the grains at a consistant temperature and then straining off the sweet wort that will become beer. I made this unit from a $12 cooler at Wal-Mart and about $20 woth of CPVC and hardware from Lowes.

07-05-2004, 07:34
Another picture of my MLT:

07-05-2004, 07:35
One more showing the slits that I cut out of the bottom of the manifold:

07-05-2004, 07:40
Here is my mash of 12.5lbs of grains and about 4 gallons of 152* water just after mashing in.

07-05-2004, 07:43
Here is a picture of the sweet wort being collected after the mash was completed. After collecting the initial runoff, I then added an additional 4 gallons of 180* "sparge water" to rinse the remaining sugars from the spent grains. I collect a total of 6.5 gallons of pre-boil wort.

07-05-2004, 07:46
Here we are a few minutes into the boil. I will boil for 90 minutes, adding hops along the way for bittering and flavoring the beer. After 90 minutes I'll have approx. 5 gallons that will go into the primary fermenter.

07-05-2004, 07:47
Did you taste the wort Jeff? What was it like? I know, I know, but I taste everything that goes into my beer. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

07-05-2004, 07:51
For this batch I cultured my own yeast from the dregs of a few bottles of the real Two Hearted ale. Basically, I pour all but the last ounce of a bottle into a glass to drink, then I take that last ounce and add it to a small amount of wort that I made especially for this. This "revitalizes" the yeast in the bottle and gets them going again. I stepped this up over a week until I had about a pint of yeast "starter". I add this to the wort after it has been cooled to around 70*.

07-05-2004, 07:56
Here is the almost finished product. As you can see the fermenter is capped with an airlock that will let the CO2 out, but nothing in. I'll ferment for about a week at 66*, then I'll transfer to a second fermenter to get the beer off of the sediment of proteins and dead yeasts. I'll "Secondary" for about 14 days before bottling. I'll post more pictures along the way.

BTW: That's Casey

07-05-2004, 08:00
You know I didn't, but I did taste the yeast culture before adding it. I didn't want nasty yeast screwing up all that work. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-05-2004, 08:09
Looks awesome so far Jeff. Man, I can tell Bob was right, don't even try doing this in the little palce I'm in right now. Once I get into a house around here (don't ask, hosuees are over a mill around here right now!) I definately want to try making my own brew. Keep us informed along the way! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif Oh and save some for the festival for me and Bob! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-05-2004, 14:30
I'm pretty much making this to bring to the festival, assuming it doesn't turn out as rotgut http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/puke.gif My Irish stout just came of age and turned out pretty good, so I'll bring that as well.

07-06-2004, 15:13
Here you can see that fermentation is actively underway. The krausen is about 4 inches thick, but beginning to fall back into the wort. There is a lot of yeast activity going on, as you can watch them swimming around, kind of like a living lava lamp http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-10-2004, 16:18
After 6 days in primary fermentation there is little airlock activity. About 3 inches of trub and spent yeast line the bottom of the carboy. Before I siphon the beer to my secondary fermenter I take a hydrometer reading. The original gravity reading was 1.060, now it reads 1.018, meaning fermentation is almost complete, though I would like to lose another point or two before bottling. I tasted my hydrometer sample after measuring and I am impressed so far. Still a little bitter and sharp, but those flavors will mellow over the next two weeks prior to bottling.

07-10-2004, 16:22
After taking a few readings I siphoned my new beer out of the primary and into the secondary fermenter. This serves to get the beer off of the trub and dead yeasts, avoiding off flavors that could result from too much exposure. I will leave the beer in the secondary fermenter for about two weeks before I put it into bottles. This allows the beer to condition and mellow uniformly, as well as to allow more sediment to drop out, resulting in a clearer beer.

07-12-2004, 15:01
How are you going to bottle and condition? I've always done my secondary fermentation in the bottle, using a bottom settling yeast. Are you planning on Kegging this brew?
CO2 for carbonation?

07-12-2004, 15:37

I'll secondary for about two weeks to allow the flavors to mellow and the beer to clear, then I'll rack to a bottling bucket, add 3/4 cup of fine corn sugar to revive the yeast still in suspension, and bottle. I follow the 1-2-3 method of: 1 week primary, 2 weeks secondary and 3 weeks bottle condition. Should be ready in plenty of time for the Festival. Are you still going to brew soon? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

07-13-2004, 15:57
My schedule has prevented a boil. I'm off to Fl again this weekend and then off to Chicago. I need two weeks, or so, at home to tend the fermenting batch prior to bottling. I could still have a batch ready by September. I've got the makings of a Scotch Ale. Just need to pick up some liquid yeast. I'll give you a buzz and we can have a boil and barbecue party. Let's say July 29th or so.

07-13-2004, 16:00
I'll give you a buzz and we can have a boil and barbecue party.

I'm game, sounds like a hell of an idea http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif BTW, where will you be in Florida this weekend? Leslie and I will be in Orlando with the mouse.

07-26-2004, 19:12
I bottled my brew this evening. Man, bottling is a pain in the @ss. I took another gravity and it had fallen to 1.016. I tasted my new, flat beer and it is comming along quite nicely. The sharpness has faded considerably and the beer is becomming quite floral in the nose.

So, I boiled 3/4 cup corn sugar with 2 cups water for 5 minutes to sterilize. After cooling I added the syrup to my bottling bucket (5 gallon plastic bucket with a ball valve drain). I then racked my beer from the secondary to the botting bucket, thus mixing the sugar and the beer. This will effectively "recharge" the yeast still in the beer and cause another, smaller fermentation inside the bottle. After 2-3 weeks the beer will be carbonated by the CO2 released during this fermentation.

I filled a combination of 12 and 16oz bottles. I'll begin tasting them in about 7 days to check for carbonation. They should be at their peak around festival time. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

P.S. Sorry there are no pictures of this process, but Leslie was away and I was doing the bottling by myself, and I only have 2 hands http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

07-27-2004, 15:50
Yes, bottling was such a pain it is the main reason I stopped homebrewing, some 18 years ago. To me, cleaning the bottles and capping them after filling were the worst parts.


09-01-2004, 16:31
Damn this is good beer. 128 IBU's for the hophead in you http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif A little sweeter than I intended, but I have made adjustments in my mash schedule to fix this problem, I hope. I'll be bringing a buunch of this to the festival, along with an Irish Stout that I made a while back. I hope you'll enjoy it.

09-01-2004, 16:54
I hope you'll enjoy it.

What I want to say starts with "B" and ends with "ee", but I ain't goin' there!!

Maybe you'll let me fill my bottle for the 5K run with some?

09-01-2004, 18:26
Jeff, nicely done. I enjoyed reading your progress. I'd like to see a picture of your beer in a clear glass. Better yet, taste it! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Did you use finings or irish moss?

09-02-2004, 00:15
that was very fascinating for somebody as clueless to home beer making as I am.

09-02-2004, 02:50

I used Irish moss, though I forgot to put it in until the last 5 minutes of the boil, so it didn't do much to clear the primary. I did manage to use it properly on an Amber Ale I brewed last night and it kept the trub in the fermenter to less than half of what showed in my erlier picture.

I'll post a pic later this week. I am wanting to do a side-by-side with the real thing to see how closely I copied it.