Updates coming soon …. just wait!

Relax, don't worry, have a home brew. - Charlie Papazian

Posted in Malter News, Uncategorized | Comments Off on UPDATES!!!

February 2022 Style of the Month: Irish Extra Stout

Irish Extra Stout
April’s meeting we had (1) examples of a Irish Extra Stout

Here are some details for the Irish Extra Stout – BJCP Category 15-C

Click here to see the info:

And Beersmith’s describes it as:

A fuller-bodied black beer with a pronounced roasted flavor, often similar to coffee and dark chocolate with some malty complexity. The balance can range from moderately bittersweet to bitter, with the more balanced versions having up to moderate malty richness and the bitter versions being quite dry. History: Same roots as Irish stout, but as a stronger product. Guinness Extra Stout (Extra Superior Porter, later Double Stout) was first brewed in 1821, and was primarily a bottled product. Described by Guinness as a “more full-bodied beer with a deeper characteristic roasted bitterness and a rich, mature texture. Of all the types of Guinness available today, this is the closest to the porter originally brewed by Arthur Guinness.” Note that in modern times, Guinness Extra Stout has different strengths in different regions; the European version is around 4.2% and fits in the Irish Stout style. Style Comparison: Midway between an Irish Stout and a Foreign Extra Stout in strength and flavor intensity, although with a similar balance. More body, richness, and often malt complexity than an Irish Stout. Black in color, not brown like a porter.

~Beersmith software

We had examples brought by Alex Hartlaub

Alex’s recipe details including water adjusts from BeerSmith:

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11 gal 60 min 33.2 IBUs 37.3064546 1.056 1.011 5.9 %
Actuals 1.054 1.01 5.8 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Irish Extra Stout 15 C 1.052 - 1.062 1.01 - 1.014 35 - 50 25 - 40 2.4 - 2.6 5.5 - 6.5 %


Name Amount %
Maris Otter (Crisp) 12 lbs 64.86
Barley, Flaked (Briess) 4 lbs 21.62
Black Barley (Briess) 2 lbs 10.81
Chocolate (Briess) 8 oz 2.7


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Nugget 1 oz 40 min Boil Pellet 13
East Kent Goldings (EKG) 1 oz 30 min Boil Pellet 5
HBC 472 1 oz 10 min Boil Pellet 9


Name Amount Time Use Type
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 7.84 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Baking Soda 5.51 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 3.09 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Chalk 2.88 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 0.43 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 2.91 g 60 min Water Agent
Baking Soda 2.05 g 60 min Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 1.15 g 60 min Water Agent
Chalk 1.07 g 60 min Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 0.16 g 60 min Water Agent


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Lutra Kveik (OYL-071) Omega 79% 68°F - 95°F


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 75 min
Ramp up for mash out 168°F 10 min

We what will be your next beer to brew? Possibly look into making a Irish Extra Stout!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on February 2022 Style of the Month: Irish Extra Stout

Dunkles Weissbier (April’s Meeting Style of Month)

Dunkles Weissbier
April’s meeting we had (2) examples of a Dunkles Weissbier – April’s Style of the Month

Here are some details for the German Wheat Beer – BJCP Category 10-B

Click here to see the info:

And Beersmith’s describes it as:

A moderately dark German wheat beer with a distinctive banana-and-clove yeast character, supported by a toasted bread or caramel malt flavor. Highly carbonated and refreshing, with a creamy, fluffy texture and light finish that encourages drinking. History: Bavaria has a wheat beer brewing traditional hundreds of years old, but the brewing right was reserved for Bavarian royalty until the late 1700s. Old-fashioned Bavarian wheat beer was often dark, as were most beer of the day. Pale weissbier started to become popular in the 1960s, but traditional dark wheat beer remained somewhat of an old person’s drink. Style Comparison: Reflecting the best yeast and wheat character of a weissbier blended with the malty richness of a Munich dunkel. The banana and clove character is often less apparent than in a weissbier due to the increased maltiness.

~Beersmith software

We had examples brought by Brian Lesperance and Alex Hartlaub

First we have Brian’s recipe details, water adjustments from BruN’Water and picture:

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
5.3 gal 90 min 11.4 IBUs 20.6 SRM 1.070 1.018 6.9 %
Actuals 1.046 1.01 4.7 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Dunkles Weissbier 10 B 1.044 - 1.056 1.01 - 1.014 10 - 18 14 - 23 2.9 - 4.1 4.3 - 5.6 %


Name Amount %
Rice Hulls (Briess) 1 lbs 6.78
BEST Wheat Malt (BESTMALZ) 7 lbs 47.46
Pilsner (2 Row) Ger 3 lbs 20.34
BEST Munich (BESTMALZ) 1 lbs 6.78
Caramel Malt - 60L (Briess) 1 lbs 6.78
Chocolate Malt - Pale 10 oz 4.24
Melanoidin Light (BestMälz) 10 oz 4.24
Crystal Wheat 60L (Proximity) 8 oz 3.39


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Wakatu (Hallertau Aroma) 0.75 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 4.7


Name Amount Time Use Type
Whirlfloc Tablet 1.00 Items 15 min Boil Fining


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Weihenstephan Weizen (3068) Wyeast Labs 75% 64°F - 75°F


Step Temperature Time
Beta Glucanase 113°F 10 min
Protease Rest 131°F 10 min
Beta Amylase 149°F 20 min
Alpha-Alylase 154°F 10 min
Mashout 168°F 15 min
Brian’s Dunkles Weissbier in the glass.
Brian’s Dunkles BruN’Water Sheet

And now Alex’s recipe details including water adjusts from BeerSmith:

Recipe Details

Batch Size Boil Time IBU SRM Est. OG Est. FG ABV
11 gal 60 min 16.3 IBUs 20.0 SRM 1.053 1.013 5.3 %
Actuals 1.056 1.01 6.0 %

Style Details

Name Cat. OG Range FG Range IBU SRM Carb ABV
Dunkles Weissbier 10 B 1.044 - 1.056 1.01 - 1.014 10 - 18 14 - 23 2.9 - 4.1 4.3 - 5.6 %


Name Amount %
Wheat - Red Malt (Briess) 10 lbs 47.06
Pilsen Malt 2-Row (Briess) 6 lbs 28.24
Borlander Munich Malt (Briess) 2 lbs 9.41
Acidulated (BestMälz) 1 lbs 4.71
Caramunich II 1 lbs 4.71
Carafa II 12 oz 3.53
Special B Malt 8 oz 2.35


Name Amount Time Use Form Alpha %
Loral 1 oz 60 min Boil Pellet 9.5


Name Amount Time Use Type
Baking Soda 3.70 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 3.70 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 3.00 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 3.00 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Chalk 1.20 g 60 min Mash Water Agent
Calcium Chloride 0.80 g 60 min Water Agent
Epsom Salt (MgSO4) 0.80 g 60 min Water Agent
Gypsum (Calcium Sulfate) 0.80 g 60 min Water Agent


Name Lab Attenuation Temperature
Hefeweizen Ale (WLP300) White Labs 74% 68°F - 72°F


Step Temperature Time
Mash In 152°F 75 min
Ramp up for mash out 168°F 10 min


Profiles (ppm) Exist Mash Finished
Ca 18 51 52
Mg 15 8 11
Na 9 30 26
SO4 24 69 73
Cl 15 46 48
HCO3 91 99 NA
SO4/Cl Ratio 1.5

Batch Volume 15.3 Gallons
Total Mash 12.2 Gallons
Mash Dilution 12.2 Gallons
Total Sparge 3.1 Gallons
Sparge Dilution 0.0 Gallons
Estimated Mash pH 5.46 SU

Mineral Additions (gm) Mash Sparge
Gypsum 3.0 0.8
Calcium Chloride 3.0 0.8
Epsom Salt 3.7 0.9
Mag Chloride 0.0 0.0
Canning Salt 0.0 0.0
Baking Soda 3.7 Not Recommended
Chalk 1.2 Not Recommended
Pickling Lime 0.0 Not Recommended
Sodium Metabisulfite 0.0 0.0

Both examples captured that Dunkles Weissbier profile with the aroma, mouthfeel and taste as described. We also had a commercial example to compare to as well – which is always fun!

We what will be your next beer to brew? Possibly look into making a Dunkles Weissbier!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Dunkles Weissbier (April’s Meeting Style of Month)

Homebrew Podcasts!

Do you listen to podcasts? Do you like beer? Do you like to discuss beer?
Well are you listening to beer related podcasts? No? Why not?

Beer related podcast information coming up just for you!

Click here to see the info:

So let us start with the “What’s a podcast?”

Basically a podcast is a combination of the words “iPod” and “broadcasting” … others say the “pod” was for “portable” .. while others refer them to “net cast” to not relate or be confused with Apple’s iPod.

Regardless what you call it though they are basically a digital audio audio file (some are video file format video podcast or vlog) that you download and enjoy. You can subscribe to them via a RSS feed, an application or download them manually. You can listen via your iPhone, Android phone, tablet, computer … any device that can store or stream from.

The apps you can use to subscribe to podcast with are:

  • RSS Feed – The original old school way
    With an RSS feed you can sync your email client, like Outlook, with the RSS or XML site address. There also are options with apps or via a browser.
  • Cell subscription service. This comes down to platform: iPhone or Android (Or an app available on either platform)

Now the nitty gritty … What to listen to!

The original beer podcasts!

Basic Brewing Radio

James Spencer has been doing this podcast since 2005. Doing both audio and video shows.

James starts the shows with the same basic message:
“At Basic Brewing Radio, we’re all about home brewing. Each week, we hope to bring to you interesting interviews with people who can shed light on the hobby, share an interesting story, or give expert advice to help us all become better home brewers.”

Additional Links:

The Brewing Network

The Brewing Network (The BN) has numerous shows and and various hosts and also has been going since 2005 as well founder by Justin Crossley. With other hosts including: Jason “JP” Petros, Scott “Moscow” Moskowitz, Jamil Zainasheff, John Palmer and the late Mike “Tasty” McDole.

The main and original podcast is The Session

Other great shows include:
Brew Strong
Dr Homebrew
Brewing with Style
Can You Brew It
The Sour Hour
And many more …

Now the new guys to Podcasts ….

Experimental Brewing

Experimental Brewing, along with The Brew Files, and hosted by Denny Conn and Drew Beechum, authors of Experimental Homebrewing and Homebrewing All-Stars as they explore the world of beer and homebrew.

Both Denny and Drew are also pretty active on Facebook, Reddit and Homebrew Talk. You’ll see Denny posting alot on Wisconsin Homebrewing Community Facebook page even!

Additional Links:

The Beersmith Podcast

Not only is Brad Smith the author and creator of BeerSmith brewing software he also has a podcast as well! With each episode having interview with guests, how to brew, techniques and history.

If you haven’t heard of BeerSmith … you need to check it out. You can get a free (21) day trial.

List of all the shows:
And BeerSmith software overview.
BeerSmith Overview


If you like the idea of a triangle test … this one is for you.
Marshall Schott and Brülosophy team first started with their exBEERiments (or xBmt) to test the conventional wisdom and post their results of brewing and brewing techniques. This is by far their best contribution to the brewing community and they eventually transitioned to hosting a podcast as well.

Additional Links:

The Master Brewers Podcast

The MBAA (Master Brewers Association of the Americas) is hosted by John Bryce and interviews with the industry’s best & brightest in brewing science, technology, and operations.


And the last two I’ll mention are a little different podcasts ….

Milk the Funk: The Podcast

Art Whitaker, Dan Pixley and Dr Matt Humbard talk about mixed and alternative fermentation for beer, wine, mead, and cider. “The Podcast” is an extension of the Milk the Funk Facebook group and Wiki.

Check out the wiki page for all your alternative yeast and bacteria fermentation needs.

Fuhmentaboudit! (Ferment About It!)

The hosts Chris Cuzme and Mary Izett (of Fifth Hammer Brewing) aim to demystify the art of home fermentation with a primary focus on home brewing beer. They cover topics from beer, to cheese, to pickles, to sauerkraut, to sake, to kombucha, to water kerif, to kimchi, to makgeoli … basically all things fermented!!


So if you’ve never listened to podcast or need something new to check out … you know have hours or brew content to listen to!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Homebrew Podcasts!

Easy to Make Cyser – Anyone Can Make This!

Let’s talk about this easy to make cyser! It is as easy as “dump and stir” .. Well kinda.

First off, ‘What is a cyser?’
– A cyser is a variant of a mead.
Now you ask, ‘What is a mead?’
– A mead is a beverage created by fermenting honey with water. The world’s oldest alcoholic drink and generally called the drink of the Gods! It’s is like beer and not like beer; it’s like wine and not like wine. It is it’s own distinct category and has been around millenia!

Click here to see the info:

So a cyser, is a mead, that is a blend of honey and apple juice and then fermented together.
So lets start with that … Honey and Apple Juice.

Let’s talk about honey.
Now we can on and on about honey but we’re talking about ‘Easy to Make Cyser’ so store bought honey is what we’re using here. Typically clover honey is what you’ll find in the stores. Sometimes you’ll find wildflower honey and maybe even orange blossom. What you are looking for are the words in honey like: “pure”, “100%”, “raw” or “unpasteurized”. If the honey is “pasteurized” or “filtered” this is fine, this usually means the the natural wild yeast has been killed off and done to slow down the crystallization. But it needs to be honey.

Watch out for the honey that comes in a little bear … this usually is “fake honey” and mainly is sugar, cornstarch and artificial sweeteners. A good test for honey is this: Place a few drops of the honey on a paper towel. If it is honey, it will stay solid and not soak through. If it’s not honey it will wet the paper towel and soak through the paper towel.

And next is apple juice or apple cider.
Again we’re looking for easy so we’re using store bought juice, or fresh cider from the store. Be sure that it is “100% juice.” It can be pasteurized, it can have ascorbic acid or vitamin C which is commonly added to store bought apple juice. This will not harm the fermentation. Just be sure it has no preservatives at all this will not all the juice to ferment.
Brands like Tree Top, Mott’s or house store brand – whatever you can find that doesn’t have any preservatives (specifically sorbets). Potassium sorbate is a growth inhibitor for yeast and will not allow the yeast to grow and ultimately ferment the juice.

And last thing that’s important is yeast.
With the batch I chose Lalvin D-47 – which is a white wine yeast. You want a yeast that will leave some body and sweetness after fermentation. A champagne yeast will ferment down to bone dry and leave no body or sweetness behind. Unless this is what you are going for. Depending on your starting gravity and estimated alcohol you can use beer ale yeast as well. But I’d recommend sticking to wine yeasts like: D-47 or 71B for the best results.

So there you have your main ingredients: Honey, Apple Juice and Yeast. Now we are going to be adding; water, some sugar and yeast nutrients .. but these are optional.

So lets see the recipe first:

This is for a 5 gallon/19 liter batch size
OG = 1.060 (What I was targeting)
FG = 1.000 (Estimated)
Est. ABV = 7.8%


  • 5 lbs Clover or Wildflower Honey
  • 1 gallon Apple Juice
  • 3.25 gallons Water (Topped off to 5 gallons or desired gravity)
  • 11 gram sachet of Lalvin D-47 yeast

    Optional ingredients which I’ll be using:
  • 12oz Brown Sugar (I added sugar and water ratio to reach a OG of 1.060)
  • 1 campden tablet
    (If desired for cider to kill off wild yeast and if you’re using tap water to rid you of chlorine and chloramine)
  • 1-1/2 tsp of Go-Ferm
    (A natural yeast rehydration nutrient added to the yeast hydration water)

    Staggered Nutrient Adds (SNA) – See below
  • (4) doses of 4 grams of Fermaid-K
    (A yeast energizer)
  • (4) doses of 2 grams of Diammonium Phosphate or DAP
    (A yeast nutrient)

    Possible additions at the end – Again these are OPTIONAL as well
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • Oak Chips / Spirals
  • Potassium Sorbate (For back sweeten at the end)
  • Other sugars, spices or herbs
  • Wine Tannin and Acid Blend

Now Step by Step with Pictures!

Start with your store bought apple juice and honey.

Store bought juice and honey – Festival brand apple cider and Sam’s club honey

Since my honey had crystalized some at the top I chose to heat the honey up in a hot water bath. I aimed for the water bath starting at a temperate of ~125ºF which normalized to about 100º after 5 minutes. Now the honey itself probably reached 85º to 90º tops – Heating well aid the honey to pour easily from the container. Be sure NOT to heat the honey up too high because it could change the flavor and not needed at all.

Heating up honey to normalize temperature, dissolve crystals back into the honey and aid in pouring.

As the honey is warming up be sure the sanitize your fermentation vessel and other equipment (like spoon, scissors, airlock, etc.)
I’m using StarSan, you can also use other sanitizes like OneStep, IOStar or Iodophor.

Sanitizing IS the most important step … Do NOT skip proper sanitization!

With the cyser I’m using a bucket since I will be degassing in the next couple days. Degassing is gentle agitating of the must to help get the CO2 out of the fermenting solution. This is done by shaking or stirring Stirring with the using of a wine whip or sanitized spoon works just fine.

A clean fermenter is a happy fermenter

After sanitizing add you apple juice, or cider, first into the fermenter. I took a gravity reading of the initial apple juice and just like before in the past store bought apple juice is typically a gravity of 1.045. Then adding your honey next. To give you idea adding (1) 40oz / 2.5lbs jug of honey raised the gravity to 1.098!

After adding both jugs of honey (totaling 5 lbs) start adding water (1/2) gallon at a time. Stirring thoroughly to incorporate the apple juice and honey to each other.
After adding 2 gallons of water the gravity was at 1.079. Now this is a optional step I added 12oz [or 3/4 lbs] of brown sugar and ended up adding 3.25 gallons of water reaching just under 5 gallons and an original gravity of 1.060. This was is my desired starting point for my cyser.

Be sure to add a campden tablet if you’re using tap water.
“Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good..”
Hard to see but it’s 1.060 – Confirmed with a refractometer and hydrometer

Now moving to the yeast. Rehydrating dry yeast is a simple step and helps it to give it a good start. And with this I’m using Go-Ferm as well with rehydration.

First start by heating 1 cup of water to approximately 100ºF. Adding 1-1/2tsp of G0-Ferm and stirring until dissolved. Let sit about 5/10mins. Ensure the water is under 100ºF sprinkle the dry D-47 yeast on top of the Go-Ferm slurry.
And let sit until yeast starts to show activity. About 20mins total time for rehydration process.

Be sure to sanitize the yeast sachet and scissors.
Sprinkle the little yeast monsters on top
After 20mins and stirring thoroughly.

Now the addition of DAP and FermAid-K. I also will be doing a Staggered Nutrient Addition (SNA) during the fermentation. This is something typical mead makers utilize.
I’ll be using a modified technique that Ken Schramm made famous. Which is:

  • Day 0: – Rehdyrated yeast with Go-Ferm with 4 grams of Fermaid-K and 2 grams DAP
  • Days 1, 3, 5, 7, 8: Degas must by gently stirring (or twirling the carboy) carefully
  • Days 2, 4, 6: Gently stir and add 4 grams of Fermaid-K and 2 grams of DAP
    When degassing and adding nutrients, do it slowly to avoid rapid foaming
4grams of FermAid-K
2grams of DAP (Diammonium Phosphate)
Pitching yeast after DAP and FermAid-K addition

Now add your airlock and allow to ferment. Typical room temperature is fine but try to stay within the yeast temperature range, which for D-47 is 60-68°F – I’m controlling the ferment temp at 64ºF

Make sure to note the date, OG and notes.

Ferment your cyser until reaching finishing gravity and is stable. Typically 2 to 3 weeks is when you can take gravity readings. Then bottle still, keg and force carbonate or in this case I might be back sweetening and bottling.

I’ll be back sweetening by first adding 7-1/2 tsp of potassium sorbate for the 5 gallon batch (1/2tsp per gallon), let sorbate sit for 1 week. Then adding back sugar (honey or apple juice concentrate) in small increments, thoroughly stirring and then testing until the desired sweetness. Then proceed to bottling. The sorbate will inhibit the yeast from fermenting the addition of new sugars. Never back sweeten a wine, cider, mead or cyser and bottling with out adding sorbate – Skipping this step will be explosive … no really bottle bombs are no joke!

Now hopefully your cyser will be your next go to drink! And drink it like a Norse God!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Easy to Make Cyser – Anyone Can Make This!

What in the World is a Gotlandsdricke?

For January’s meeting we’re having the final for the 2020 Iron Brewer! With a head, to head, to head 3-way battle brewing a Swedish-Style Gotlandsdricke.

So if you’re interested in learning about this and trying a Gotlandsdricke (also spelled Gotlandsdricka) be sure to attend January’s meeting!!

A Gotlandsdricke is a very unique beer (smoked malt, juniper, etc.) – closely related to the Finnish Sahti and a Norwegian Maltøl.

Here is a brief description of the beer:

Swedish-Style Gotlandsdricke
(From Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines)
Color: Pale to Copper
Clarity: Chill haze or yeast haze is acceptable
Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium. Birchwood smoke character, derived from the malting process, should be present.
Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Not present to very low
Perceived Bitterness: Very low to medium-low
Fermentation Characteristics: Bread/bakers’ yeast is traditionally used for fermentation and contributes to unique character of these beers. Fruity ester and yeasty aromas are medium to high. Diacetyl should not be present.
Body: Medium to full
Additional notes: Juniper aroma and flavor should be present due to the use of juniper boughs/branches and berries in the brewing process. These beers are characterized by juniper and birchwood smoked malt.
Original Gravity (°Plato) 1.040-1.050 (10-12.4 °Plato)
Apparent Extract/Final Gravity (°Plato) 1.010-1.014 (2.5-3.5 °Plato)
Alcohol by Weight (Volume) 4.4%-5.2% (5.5%-6.5%)
Bitterness (IBU) 15-25
Color SRM (EBC) 4-12(8-24 EBC)

Want to learn more? Check out these links:
And how’s your Swedish?

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What in the World is a Gotlandsdricke?

Taproom Tacker Signs

Available soon … Manty Malters Taproom Tackers!
Signs are on 0.020″ thick aluminum

$17 for either style (Discount price for members)
Contact president@mantymalters.org for details

15-1/2″ Round

Malters Circle

12″ x 17-1/2″ Rectangle

Malters Square

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Taproom Tacker Signs

4 Hour Boil! Or, how to make a 10% Beer with a lower amount of grains.

Pre-Boil Color Sample
Color Check – 1 Hour in
2 Hours
3 Hours in!
Color sample after 4 hours
Posted in Beer Recipe | Comments Off on 4 Hour Boil! Or, how to make a 10% Beer with a lower amount of grains.

Mash and Sparge Temperature and Milling

Milling and the crush of your grain

Why do we mill the grain? You want to remove the husk and break the kernel up enough to extract all the sugar by breaking up (the endosperm) into just pieces.  Breaking up the grain not pulverize it. The finer you grind or crush the grain, the better the efficiency and extraction of sugars. The finer you crush the grain, the more “flour” you will get. Then mixing the flour and water will result in making a sticky dough and eventually “glue” that you won’t be able to lauter through.

Click here to see the info:

The grain husks act as a filter to keep the whole mash and lauter flowing and moving.  You want the husks to be left as a whole because finely shredded husks will result in an astringent off flavors and risk of tannins.

So getting a good crush is key. Produce little flour, break the kernels up, and don’t shred the husks.


  • Always mill outside to keep the dust down – Away from fermenting beer
  • Mill right before you brew to minimize oxidation
  • Use rice hulls when you are unsure of your crush, especially using wheat and rye
  • Purchase the best homebrew grain mill you can afford
  • A hopper always you to mill more grain at once, if not you’re whole grain bill
  • Set your mill roller gap to proper desired gap.
    Which from 0.5mm (0.019”) to 1mm (0.039”) with 0.75mm (0.030”) being an average.
  • Check your crush and adjust the gap as needed…Don’t wait until you’ve finished and it’s too late

Mash and Sparge Temperatures

A single step infusion mash is the most common mash technique used which is the conversions step. The main reason for mashing is the conversion step. Typically done at between 146F[63C] and 156F[69C], this conversion breaks down the complex sugars in the grains into shorter chains of sugar that the yeast can eat on during fermentation.

The temperature of your conversion step determines what percentage of the complex sugars are broken down into simpler sugars. This is from the enzymes active in the mash that break down complex sugars into simpler ones.

The two main enzymes active during the mash are the alpha and beta amylase. Alpha amylase are most active in the 154-167 F range. Which creates longer sugar chains that are less fermentable, resulting in more body in your beer. Beta amylase are most active between 130-150 F which cut off single maltose sugar units that are more fermentable. This results in a more complete fermentation, higher attenuation, a cleaner beer and a thinner body.

A multi step mash is the used to be the standard in brewing. The reason behind multi-step mashes was to develop enzymes to help in the conversion of starches. Before malting and kilning was improved most malts were described as “undermodified”. They had relatively low enzyme content as a result, and required additional steps to help enhance the enzymes.

Typically rests during the multi step mashing.

  • Phytase (86-126 F) – Lowers the pH of the mash.
  • Debranching (95-112 F) – Helps with solubility of starches
  • Beta Glucanese (95-113 F) – Breaks down the gummy heavy starches, which can help improve stability and extraction, particularly for mashes high in proteins and adjuncts such as wheat.
  • Pepidase (113-131 F) – Produces free amino nitrogen, which can aid in fermentation.
  • Beta Amylase (131-150 F) – Produces maltose, the main sugar fermented in beer.
  • Alpha Amylase (154-162 F) – Produces a variety of sugars, including maltose and also some unfermentable sugars. Mashing at the higher end of this range produces more unfermentables and therefore more body in the finished beer.

Sparging is the rinsing of the grain bed to extract as much of the sugars from the grain as possible without extracting tannins from the grain husks. Typically, 1.5 times as much water is used for sparging as for mashing. Your sparge water should be heated so that your grain bed remains at 168–170 during lautering whether you’re doing a fly-sparge or batch sparge.

To reach or maintain the 168 to 170 F sparge quicker you can add the additional step of a mash out before the start of the sparge. Performing a mash out step, while not required, will aid in the lautering because the sugary solution is less viscous at higher temperatures. And will also likely increase your extract efficiency. But keeping in mind not to exceed 170F is the most important.

Then you have BIAB. Which uses a full volume mash and does not require a sparge. With a thorough crush BIAB efficiency can be quite high, especially for lower gravity worts. Some BIAB brewers sparge by dunking their grain bag in another vessel, or by sprinkling sparge water on and through the bag as it is suspended over the kettle. Or perform a mash out and temperature increase to aid with draining of the grain bag once removed from the wort.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mash and Sparge Temperature and Milling

Sour Beer Brewing

Notes from 2017 meeting topic …

Click here to see the info:

Sour Brewing for Us Home Brewers
There are various ways and techniques to process sour brew at home. Each method have pros and cons, do’s and don’ts and varying outcomes. The best part is there is no one way better than the other.

Sour Mashing
Sour mashing is a process that is typically regarded as the lesser of the different methods due to it’s lack of ability to control the outcome and to measure the progress throughout. But yet it is a way to produce a sour beer none the less.

Sour mashing starts out just as any other all grain mash would but is allowed to keep warm for several days after the introduction of a lactic acid producing bacteria, typically lactobacillus. The inoculation can come from various sources
such as; a pure pitch of a commercial culture of lactobacillus, a small amount of un-mashed base grain (the husks of grains have one or more wild strains of lactobacillus on them) or alternative sources of lactic acid producing bacteria.

After a certain level of souring and pH drop is achieved, the mash is then sparged as normal, followed up by the boil, chilling of the wort and then cold side “clean” fermentation takes place. A benefit of this method is that that lactobacillus, and any other wild or non-wild bacteria that was in the mash, will be killed off in the boil and only “clean” beer will go into your fermentation and serving equipment.

Steps Are:

  • Mash either a single infusion, step infusion, turbid mash or decoction mash – Whatever your recipe calls for, or what you are familiar with.
  • After saccharification rest is completed perform a mash out, raise mash temp to 168°, to stop enzymatic activity.
  • Next pre-acidify your mash. Drop the mash pH to 4.5 by adding lactic acid or phosphoric acid. You can also add acidulated malt AFTER the saccharification rest but the amount of total weight vs total gist weight is too high.
  • Cool the mash to around 110° to 120° and add your source of lactic acid produce bacteria.
  • Seal and removing oxygen from the vessel is the best practice. If you have a way to flush with CO2 this is ideal, but impractical at the home brewer level. The most important thing is to seal the vessel off and not allow oxygen into the vessel during the process. This needs to be an anaerobic process, absent of oxygen, during the souring.
  • Keep the vessel and mash above 100° if possible. Checking the pH during the process every 12 to 24 hours.
  • Typical desired pH levels are: 3.6 for a tartness of a Berliner Weisse or Gose, 3.3 would be a strong younger lambic style and even lower to your liking. Typically the 3.6 to 3.0 level is where you will fall. Be mindful though that Saccharomyces yeast strains will have difficulty with pH levels below 3.4. And mixed culture strain or Brettanomyces pitch for primary fermentation maybe need for your lower pH beers. Brettanomyces can ferment way below a pH of 3.0.
  • Once the desired pH level is achieve that you want, heat the mash to 170° and then sparge as normal.
  • Then follow your recipe for a standard boil, hop additions, chill and pitch your saccharomyces yeast or brettanomyces for a standard alcohol fermentation.

This process is obviously for all-grain brewers but the next processes can be used for extract brewers. I have not tried
the process of sour mashing nor will I probably try either.

Kettle Souring
Then there is kettle souring, This is another process where lactic acid producing bacteria, again typically lactobacillus, is used to inoculate the runnings of a typical mash and sparge procedure or even an extract brew. It is also kept warm for several days to allow the bacteria to lower the pH in the kettle and then gives you the choice to either boil or not boil the wort.

The “no boil method” will keep the lactic acid bacteria alive through fermentation and will survive in the final product.

The “boil method” will kill the bacteria before fermentation and will be a “clean” beer going into your fermentation and serving equipment, just like in sour mashing. I have done both methods and both have the benefits.

Steps Are:

  • If you go with the “boil method” A good practice to do is before pre acidifying your wort is to bring the wort to at least 180°, or even a low boil, for 2 to 3 minutes to kill off any unwanted wild bacteria. Basically pasteurize the runnings. For you extract brewers you need to steep your specialty grains, dissolve your DME and/or LME and bring to 180° to thoroughly mix the extracts and kill off any unwanteds.
  • If you are going the “no boil method” follow your recipe for boil but keep you hop additions low, like >10 IBU, or lower, to none at all. The higher IBU, alpha acid and hop oils will inhibit the lactobacillus and will not sour and
  • lower the pH during fermentation.
  • Chill the wort, for either method, to below 120° then pre-acidify your wort. Drop the pH of your wort to 4.5 by adding lactic acid or phosphoric acid before pitching your source of lactobacillus to the kettle. Again a pure pitch of a commercial culture of lactobacillus, a small amount of un-mashed base grain or alternative sources of lactic acid producing bacteria.
  • Seal and removing oxygen from the kettle is the best practice. If you have a way to flush with CO2 this is ideal. You can bubble CO2 into and through the wort for several minutes to scrub the oxygen from the wort pre-say. The idea is to omit the O2 to maintain an anaerobic condition.
  • Just like with sour mashing, keep the kettle and wort above 100° if possible. Checking the pH during the souring process every 12 to 24 hours. The ideal temperate range is typically between 90° and 120° and takes between 5 to 7 days to reach the desired power pH levels.
  • Now with the “no boil method”, where the bacteria is not killed off, cool the wort to the proper fermentation temperature and pitch lager or ale saccharomyces yeast or brettanomyces for a standard alcohol fermentation.
  • The “boil method”, where the bacteria is killed off, you would now follow your recipe and boil as normal, chill and pitch your saccharomyces yeast or brettanomyces for a standard alcohol fermentation.
  • You can dose the wort with a hefty amount of oxygen prior to aid with alcohol fermentation, the lactobacillus bacteria at this point would not be negatively affected by introduction of O2. The use of yeast nutrient, Go-Ferm, FermAid-K is wise too.

Traditional Souring: Spontaneous Fermentation, Mixed Fermentation, Dregs, Coolships and Soleras
There are other traditional and non-traditional brewing techniques that deal with sour beer brewing. I will just touch on a few. And these are often used in different combinations as well. That can create interesting results.

  • Spontaneous Fermentation: Is the use the yeast and bacteria from naturally in the air, on fruit, the surroundings
  • for examples. The inoculation of these microbes traditional occurs in a coolship.
    • Coolship: A coolship is a fermentation vessel that is used in traditional lambic production. It’s a wide and swallow, open top vessel where the hot wort is cooled and exposed to the air over night.
  • Mixed Fermentation: This is a beer that contains more than just saccharomyces yeast to ferment it. Or lack of Saccharomyces. Use of Brettanomyces, Saccharomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. There are numerous species or strains of each to pick from.
  • Dregs: The use of commercial bottle’s last 1/2″ sediment is the “Bottle Dregs” that is typically discarded by most. The microbes left in the beer are built up in a starter. These microbes are typically stronger and more aggressive from commercial breweries. Some breweries pasteurize their beers to stop this from happening or use champagne or wine yeast to bottle condition killing the original microbes in suspension in the beer.
  • Solera: A sour beer solera is process of taking about a third of the beer out for packaging out of a single large fermenter every 6-12 months. Then is replaced with new beer or wort. The beer will continue to develop and change over time but can be steered by changing the recipe. The blending of new and old provides everlasting sour beer, similar to sourdough beard and it’s mother dough.

Microbes and Alternative Sources of Lactic Acid Producing Bacteria

  • Saccharomyces: Typically it’s called “Sacch” – Considered a yeast, is actually a genus of fungus. Different species are used to ferment beer, wine, sake, and an agent in bread.
  • Lactobacillus: Typically it’s called “Lacto” – A lactic acid bacteria. There are over 100 species and many found in your gastrointestinal track. Used to ferment cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi.
  • Brettanomyces: Typically it’s called “Brett” – Is a yeast usually thought as a spoilage yeast and is unwelcome to most breweries and wineries. It can breakdown dextrins (chains of too long for Sacch to ferment) and can add a wide range of complexity beers. From pineapple, apple, and pear; to horse blanket, farmhouse and funk.
  • Pediococcus: Typically it’s called “Pedio” – Is a lactic acid bacteria that often takes several months to really get working. Note; never use pedio without the use of brett. Brett is needed to clean up the mess pedio causes. Strains can cause your beer to become “sick” and “ropey” but generally goes away and the brett is there to help.
  • Alternative Sources: There are many sources for lactic acid bacteria, typically various strains of lacto. Sources include; yogurt, unmashed grains, Kefir (Ke-feer), sauerkraut, probiotics and dietary supplements.

Various Sources
http://www.themadfermentationist.com/ and the book American Sour Beers

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Sour Beer Brewing

Not Beer Related But “Homebrewed”? – Cider!!

Ok ok ok …. Yes cider!

I just made a cider (along with others) and we got to say a big thank you to fellow Manty Malter Scott Kohlmann for, once again, providing cider to the club via his uncle! And if you’ve ever processed apples for apple sauce, pie filling or juice … you know how much of a pain it is to process apples.

Click here to see how to do it:

Let’s start with the numbers. YEAH MATH!

  • Approx 16 lbs of apple = 1 gallon
  • 1 Bushel of apples is 48 lbs
  • Thats 80 lbs of apples for 5 gallons
  • So … for 5 gallons of cider you’ll need 2 bushels of apples or 96 lbs
    (I know the math … but your yields will vary on your press and pressings)
  • Then … if you go bigger yet to smaller:
    • 110 apples per milk crate
    • 27 milk crates per bin
    • 3,000 apples per bin
    • 24,000 apples per truck load
    • 60 gallons of juice per bin
    • 50 apples per gallon
    • 10 apples per 750ml bottle
    • 2 apples per glass

So … press your own, order a special blend from the various orchards on our area or store bought cider WITHOUT preservatives. You’ll need apples!


Orchards in the area (Yes there are TONS here are some):

Now store bought cider (or from an orchard…) here what’s to look for and keep in mind.

  • It can be pasteurized – that’s not a problem
  • Cold pasteurized preferred or UV light treated. Heat pasteurized will lead to pectic haze
  • If it is unpasteurized from an orchard and or hand pressed … all the better BUT read below about sulfates. And do not HEAT pasteurize.
  • Musselman’s brand is good. Old Orchard is another is Mott’s
    Look for 100% juice NOT concentrate.
    • Just make sure there it does not have any preservatives. NONE – ZERO
    • NO potassium sorbate NO potassium benzoate
      It will NEVER ferment
    • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) … is so-so. Most will have this or …
    • Citric Acid (Vitamin C) … which is ok too.
  • Don’t cheap out and get JuiceyJuice … it’s concentrate sugar flavored apple water


To SUFLITE or not to SULFITE …
That is the question!
(Disclaimer down below)

For those of you using fresh cider you’ll need kill bacteria and to control wild yeast naturally in the apples. Crush one campden tablet (potassium or sodium metabisulfite) for every gallon of cider. The same campden tablets you use in your brewing water for beer to remove chlorine and chloramine. Now this will not kill all bacteria or wild bugs in the must BUT will knock it down and keep to big bad ones at bay. Let it sit at least 24 hours and should be as good as it’s going to get.

Now the ** D i s c l a i m e r **

Some people are touchy with sulfites / have a sensitivity to them. They are in LOTS of packaged and prepared foods. They can trigger asthma attack, hives, rashes and cramping. If you know for sure you or someone has this issues with a sulfite sensitivity … you’ll know! Then don’t use sulfites then. So skip the campden tablets and let the wild yeast go and do it’s thing!

Now one thing you’ll hear … and is NOT true. Let me make this absolutely clear …

Sulfites do NOT cause headaches! Nor do tannins!

All alcoholic beverages dilate blood vessels in the brain and cause a headaches. Along with dehydration .. Histamines and tyramine in wines can contribute to the headaches .. but it’s the alcohol that’s causing that headache.

Now that we’re through all that … time for a recipe!

  • 12 to 16 lbs of apples or 1 gal of of cider (Gravity 1.046 or 11.5 Brix/Plato )
  • 1 lb of sugar
    (Less or more … you decide)
  • 1-½ tsp Acid Blend
  • ½ tsp Pectic Enzyme
  • ¼ tsp Tannin
  • 1 tsp Yeast Nutrient
  • 1 Crushed Campden tablet
  • 1 pkg Dry Wine Yeast
    I like D-47 71B for some extra flavor or EC-1118 for a neutral flavor
    US-05, S-04 or “cider” yeasts …
    Try them all!

With a pound of sugar per gallon you’ll have a gravity around 1.085 to 1.090 (20.5 to 22 Brix/Plato)

What I like to do (since you can also add but not take out) is the cut the: sugar, the acid blend and the tannin in half. Add the sugar to your desired original gravity before pitching your yeast. After fermentation gauge do you need more acid tartness? Do you need more tannin bite? Is it super hazy?

What I do is take about 2 quarts of the must and combine all the ingredient addition and slower heat it all together. Now do not heat the entire batch, do not boil the mixture just heat enough to dissolve the sugar … no hotter then 160°F

Like brewing … sanitation, sanitation, sanitation! Keep it clean people! And fermentation temp control … “Slow and low, that is the tempo..”

During fermentation you’ll notice a very distinct smell … that’s the sulfur. Not like beer fermentation by any means. Smell that airlock you’ll know what I’m taking about.

Now you can follow a staggered nutrient plan like with meads. But fructose sugars in the apple must the yeast can chew through pretty easily. But if you do see a stuck or slow fermentation by all means add a slow amount of nutrients.
Follow this link for more info: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/how-to-brew/improve-mead-staggered-nutrient-additions/

Now … bottling, kegging, backsweeten, still or sparkling.
Cider typically will not hold carbonation or have a head foamed like beer. Thus most ciders are served still. Your cider will finish bone dry … 1.000 or lower.
If you like to dry .. “Bob’s your uncle!” and you’re ready to go! Or time to add sugar back …

So the low down for backsweeting … Potassium sorbate.
Do NOT add sugar and bottle or you’ll have kaboom! Bottle bombs are no joke.


Now up top … I said NO potassium sorbate. Now you can use potassium sorbate after fermenation is done. The will not kill the yeast but will stop the yeast from converting anymore sugars.

  • 1/2 teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon 
    Wait 24 hours after it is stirred in to halt the yeast
  • Add honey, sugar or apple juice concentrate (Use NOW you can use concentrate!)
    Dose in a know amount on the side to the gravity or taste you prefer and then scale up to your batch size. Or add to the entire batch in small amounts, thoroughly stir and then test
  • And bottle without risk of bottle bombs … BUT the cider will be still. But safe.
  • Now if you keg … force carbonate to a mid to high level of CO2. Bottle from the keg for “sparkling” cider or serve from keg.

Cider is super easy and don’t over think it … it’s dump and stir if you want it to be … or make it as complex as you want. Try malolactic fermentation, try a fruited cider, try an ice cider, try a cyser (mead with cider), try a Graf (cider-beer hybrid) … So many things to explore.

So it has to be said.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Not Beer Related But “Homebrewed”? – Cider!!