A Grain Brewing session demands a great deal of time - something like 5 or 6 hours depending on how well-organised and experienced you are. If you dive in unprepared your brew-day can turn into a brew-nightmare!
However, good planning and preparation can save a huge amount of time and confusion on the actual day, and if you're just learning, use a checklist to make sure you do everything in the right order, and that you don't miss an important step out. Watch my video below to get an idea of what you can do the night before to make the brew-day easier.
Don't wait until brew-day to think about what you're going to make. Decide the type of brew you want, find a recipe, and have a look in your brew store to see if you need to order anything - the last thing you want is to get halfway through the brew and find you don't have the right hops, or worse still, no yeast!
If you aren't working to a recipe from a book or off the net, use one of the many available brewing calculators to work out the quantities of ingredients needed. There are many of these freely available and Beer Engine, written by Graham Wheeler, is excellent. You need to have some idea of beer styles and ingredients to use them.
A simple written list of steps that you have to go through on the day can be surprisingly helpful - particularly if you haven't got that many brews under your belt. It allows you to concentrate on the job in hand, rather than constantly having to think about what you have to do next, or whether you've forgotten anything. There's an example below of my checklist to give you an idea. Don't copy this exactly, you need to write a checklist of your own that suits your own brewing space and equipment.
Equipment: Mash Tun, Boiler, 2 fermenters, small plastic bucket, scales, thermometer
Equipment: as night before plus pressure cooker, wooden spoon, jug, hydrometer & jar, plastic bowl, plastic paddle.
......now let's move on to stage one - the Mash!
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