basics and beyond

Life seems to get more and more busy as Lil’ Smokey grows older. It is nearly impossbile to schedule a period of 5+ hours, just for myself. Consequently, my lists of “beers to brew” and “experiments to try” keep growing longer. Well, enough is enough. I’ve decided that I’m going to supplement my infrequent all-grain brewing with some extract brewing.

While brewing with malt extract (and steeping grains) is very common back in the US, here it has a bad reputation. Everyone has made it clear to me that you can’t brew good tasting beer with extract. I take that as a challenge. There were some pretty kick ass extract beers coming out of our kitchen before I made the dive into all-grain. Plus, it will allow me to brew more often. In a couple of hours I can brew up a batch and have the kitchen all cleaned up. Perfect for a quick night-time brew after the little one is in bed. Whether it is making a simple beer for poker night or a split batch for comparing yeasts, I think extract brewing will help keep me sane.

Speaking of things to try, I have been thinking of ways to cut down on oxygen exposure during the fermentation/transfer/bottling processes. I may have come up with something worth testing (perhaps with an extract batch?). It involves using two fermentation buckets. One is of course for the fermenting beer, and the second one collects the CO2 from fermentation. This bucket full of CO2 then becomes your secondary fermenter or bottling bucket. With a little hose magic you can ensure an oxygen free transfer between the buckets. I put together a quick PDF that explains it in more detail. Click on the image below to see it.

if you are wondering where the top photo was taken… that is the brew hall at Mort Subite.

2 thoughts on “basics and beyond

  1. Your transfer method sounds interesting. I have heard about people doing this in a similar way using carboy caps or fermenting in a keg. I am very curious how well it would work in practice, it would be very neat if you could put together a video. Thanks for the idea.

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  2. Or you could not transfer at all and bottle directly from the fermentation vessel. Also, if you’re looking for a fast way to brew beer without spending money on extract, my method is all grain BIAB and consistently clocks in under 2 hours using a 30 minute mash and boil. check me out: onepotbrewing.wordpress.com.

    it might not be for you, just sharing. Time and cleaning seem to be the biggest enemies of homebrewing IMO.

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