All-Grain Brewing 101: The Basics

Welcome to the world of all-grain brewing! In this video, we’ll give you a crash course of everything you need to know to get started all-grain brewing. We’ll talk about the equipment you need and how you use it to make beer. In this video we’ll be using a gravity-fed setup with Fermenter’s Favorites All-Grain Coolers. We’ll walk you through simple assembly to ensure an easy, leak-free brew day.

The all-grain brewing method we’ll show you in this video is called a single-step infusion mash. This means we’re going to hold the mash at one temperature the entire time to convert the starches into sugars. There are more advanced mashing schedules out there where you hold the mash at different temperatures for different amounts of time; we recommend you learn those after mastering the single-step infusion mash.

Step 1: Heat your strike water. This is the water that will bring your mash to the correct temperature.

Step 2: Pour strike water into your mash tun, add the grist and stir well to prevent the grain from clumping together into dough balls, and to ensure an even temperature throughout the mash.

Step 3: Hold your mash temperature for one hour. The standard temperature for mashing is between 148° and 158°F. Do not exceed a mash temperature of 168°F!

Step 4: Inside the cooler, the hot water is activating enzymes in the grain that are converting the stored starches in the grain into fermentable brewing sugars. While this is happening, collect and heat the water for the sparge.

Step 5: Once the sparge water is at 175°F, transfer it to the Hot Liquor Tank

Step 6: After the saccharification rest (60-minute mash), mash out by raising the temperature of the mash to 170°F by adding near-boiling water (not the water from your Hot Liquor Tank) and stirring well.

Step 7: After a mash-out of 10 minutes, recirculate by slowly draining runoff from the mash tun and gently pouring it back into the top of the mash tun until it is clear.

Step 8: Sparge! Gently spray the grain in the mash tun with water from the hot liquor tank. Drain wort from the mash tun into the boil kettle at the same rate you are draining water from the hot liquor tank.

Step 9: Stop sparging once you’ve collected an adequate amount of wort. Now you can boil your wort, much like you do with extract brewing. The only difference is a full-volume boil.

As you become a more experienced all-grain brewer you’ll find techniques and tools that work better for your brew day. Whatever your method, the most important thing to remember is to never stop brewing!