In this second I Brew - U Brew course series, I draw from my 13 years of brewing experience, in order to teach you deliberate and time conscious methods of how to make 5 gallons of all-grain beer, while utilizing DIY techniques in a very tiny brewing space. Forget everything you know, as you witness alternative mashing, fermenting, bottling and kegging techniques. I'll also show you efficient and time-saving strategies, while completely eliminating the need for a mash tun, all the while turn up the heat on the Brew in a Bag method.
Bachelorism is more than a marital status, its a way of brewing. Deliberate, repurposed, ambitious, thirsty and resourceful - there is a little bit of bachelor in all of us!
By purchasing "I Brew - U Brew: Brew like a Bachelor," you'll have an unlimited access to videos, PDFs, screencasts and illustrations.
After completing this course, you'll be a confident single batch (5 gallons) Brew in a Bag brewer. This will help you transition seamlessly into a double batch (10 gallons) mash tun-focused brewing system, which is illustrated in my other course "I Brew - U Brew: small spaces, minimal gear, lotsa beer."
How it all came to this point. "Bachelor Brewing" makes use of the resources that surround you. It's fast, simple and unapologetic.
Just in case you're on the fence about going down this road. When applying Pereto's principle, if 20% of the effort yields 80% of the results, then this style of brewing is for you.
Brewers often worry about forgetting a step, especially when using a new and/or unfamiliar method. Use this PDF as a guided checklist to ensure a successful brew day for three example brews:
Commonly used measurements in the brewhouse. Sometimes necessary because I unknowingly bounce between U.S customary and metric.
Pick a source, any source ... of CO2. Most people are familiar with the massive CO2 tanks that accompany commercial or homebrew kegerators but there is more than one source available to push draft beer into your glass.
Analyzing your needs as a perspective brewer can keep you from making redundant purchases. While it's impossible to predict where your new hobby will take you, with some careful planning, you can make the most of your gear purchases.
Kegs save time, space, labor, frustration, cleaning time and sanitizing time and can be used in more ways than you think. What I'm trying to say is that kegs are awesome and you should buy them immediately.
Gather up the kids, load up the station wagon and head on down to the corner store for some light shopping. This list contains every piece of hardware you'll need to make every DIY item in the "hardware preparation" section as well as everything you'll need to make all-grain beer (sans hops, yeast and malted grains)
Imagine being able to easily slide your entire brew setup into a closet or cabinet for safe keeping. This is possible because of careful planning of purchases and stackability of gear. This video shows you what it all looks like packed, unpacked, then packed again.
As they say, there are several ways to skin a cat and using your brew kettle as a base to conduct your mash is no different. Don't overthink the second B in BIAB. We are mashing grains, not building the pyramids.
You can't lose it (like a marked mash paddle), you don't need to sanitize it (because you've boiled it), you don't need to worry about it after you've completed it. What is it? It's a notched pot and, in my opinion, it's one of the most important things you can do to help with brew repeatability.
Small in size yet large in function, the hot-side approved stainless steel racking cane and tea ball strainer provide a yeoman's effort separating solids from wort/beer.
Fermenting in a keg can save you a couple of steps when moving from wort to finished beer. If you plan on fermenting in a keg, there are some precautions you might want to consider.
A dash of retail plus a pinch of DIY yields a device that nearly does it all! Recapture CO2 produced by fermentation to save yourself a step in the brewhouse.
Reduce reliance on bulk CO2 sources with a couple of clever brewhouse workarounds.
The perfect accessory to any outdoor beer dispensing crime, the "Bike pump / party pump". Borrowed from my course "Small spaces, minimal gear, lotsa beer".
Learn how to calculate water loss when making BIAS/BIAB + keg fermented beers or mash tun + fermenter beers in both U.S customary and metric measurements. Accurate water measurements and calculations allow for greater brewhouse repeatability and efficiency.
Take in a screencast where I breakdown water needs and losses in the scenarios outlined above. Learn how to calculate water loss when making BIAS/BIAB + keg fermented beers or mash tun + fermenter beers in both U.S customary and metric measurements. Accurate water measurements and calculations allow for greater brewhouse repeatability and efficiency.
Making a battle plan for game day in an online brewing software calculator. The premise is simple: cheap beer and quickly. What better beer than something malty and simple?
You might not need to go out and buy a piece of hardware strictly delegated to one task: crushing grain. Instead, side step this common brew day hurdle with relative ease with some tips from The Bachelor.
The days of hovering over a volatile dry malt extract (DME) filled pot are over. Make a yeast starter in your rice cooker and save yourself some money and worry.
Yeast starters are like workouts: they are both really easy to skip but their absence has drastic effects on health. Streamline your starter making technique so you never skip one again. The days of hovering over a volatile dry malt extract (DME) filled pot are over. Make a yeast starter in your rice cooker and save yourself some money and worry.
You'll need to clean then sanitize. Choose a homebrew specific product or something you have at home to accomplish both tasks. They will both accomplish the same goal of leaving you with a sanitized fermentation vessel so your beer yeast can do what they do best with wort, make beer.
Spreading your brew day out over a couple of days can make brewing possible in situations with time constraints. Refer to "Lecture #3" for the timeline we use to ride shotgun on this start-to-finish brew session.
A must read lecture in order to determine beverage line length, serving temperature and desired CO2 volumes. A step-by-step guide to "set" keg lids using bulk CO2 or your CO2 inflator. "Balance" in a kegging system is when the resistance from the liquid post onward meets the pressure held within the keg. A symptom of an unbalanced kegging system is foam. Learn how to set your kegerator up right the first time.
The path to packaged beer isn't without forks and Ys in the road. Filling a keg of beer (no more, no less) is our primary preoccupation in this course, however, when life gives you free beer, you make minor provisions to house this "free beer" with priming sugar or a carbonater cap.
The "try before you buy" way to get into a kegerator. Borrowed from my course "Small spaces, minimal gear, lotsa beer." "The Non-committer" allows you to convince and demonstrate to your significant other that kegged beer is positively life altering (*spoiler alert: it is)
If you're willing to buy a unit dedicated to having kegged beer, "The Bachelor" is a great first step. Here are some things to consider when setting up a kegerator from a dormitory refrigerator. Borrowed from my course "Small spaces, minimal gear, lotsa beer".
Video camera be damned, learn how you might be able to dispense keg beer sans refrigerator. Because of the importance of a stable serving temperature in order to minimize this issue of foaming, this should be looked at as a last ditch/temporary solution. However, if you are just trying to "play the cards dealt", this might just work.
When you've got 5 gallons of chilled and carbonated beer locked and loaded, the entire world opens up to become your low-tech dispensing playground. In this video, we cover one conventional, and one not so conventional way, to serve kegged beer.
The setup & rationale: produce drinkable beer from grain-to-glass in 7 days. 7 days is definitely not typical or preferred but is possible depending on how scrutinous you and your crew are. Aging further would absolutely provide an improved product but sometimes we don't have 7 days do we?
Turn and burn a beer in 7 days? Did it work? A panel of beer drinkers chime in.
4 tasters out of 5 preferred the keg fermented beer. Ending music credits to ch5k
I've had beer drop clear in 5 days. This wasn't one of them. Nevertheless, the beer was dangerously drinkable and proves that with the right procedures a guy or gal can "turn and burn" a beer very quickly.
I don't care much for learnin' but when I'm forced to, it better be about beer. My take home thoughts on the experiment. What worked, what didn't and tweaks I'll make for "The experiment redux".
Should you find yourself in the Middle East or a minimal security prison, with a suitcase full of well-purposed tools and supplies, you'll be up and brewing in no time. Remember, grain is begging to be made into beer. It's up to you to liberate it. Godspeed, young brewer, godspeed.
"Make beer that you like as simply as possible". That's what I say at least. If you're looking to experiment, I offer some parting suggests on what a brewer might do in order to hone the effort needed in order to make beer simply. I call this the "The triple crown of bachelor brewing: slow chill, kettle fermented & PET bottled"
Here's what I consider to be some breakable and unbreakable rules of the craft. If you see a "corner", "cut" it and see if you notice in the final product.
Apartment dwelling doesn't have to be the death knell of the aspiring bachelor hop grower. With a few tools and supplies, you will be well on your way to growing your own hops in confined quarters.
Twelve years ago, I started with a bag of dry malt extract and a bucket just like everyone else who has become involved in this wonderful craft. At that time, I was the only one I knew who homebrewed so any lessons I learned were self taught. I was absolutely hooked but my nomadic lifestyle as a soon-to-be educator brought me to places such as Portland, Maui, Korea as well as my off-grid base of Montana. In order to continue my passion for brewing, I had to adapt to my surroundings; small spaces, high temperatures, language barrier, ingredient unavailability and a lack of electricity/fuel, be damned, I found a way to brew. Being able to make and source my own equipment was the only way I could make beer when I first arrived in Korea. Simply put, Korea was a landscape barren of quality beer and homebrewing equipment and ingredients.
Along the way, I taught a friend to brew over Skype sessions and started a brew club at the Korean university where I teach. Teaching brewing to students whose first language isn't English really makes you focus on the important parts while eliminating all the clatter.
Over those years, I have become obsessed with making and serving beer as efficiently and as simply as possible. I have two homes (one in Korea, and one in the US) so this gives me a unique view on beer making and how to further hone its efficiency. Because I've helped numerous friends get started from the ground-up (the ex-pat community in Korea can feel like a bit of a revolving door), I've had countless opportunities to refine brewing rigs.
In the last six years that I've been a resident in Korea, the beer brewing community has grown leaps and bounds. As a large part of this community, and founder of our local brewing club, I have had the pleasure of receiving several national 1st place awards for my home brews. As a humble tinkerer, it was a great honor to be recognized by my peers. While my methods and practices may be uniquely simple, they are proven to produce results.